The Media: More Harm than Good?

Our country is an an extremely sensitive era in regards to racism, homosexuality, anti-semitism and a variety of other topics. People being accused of racism is becoming more of a normality, even considering the fact that racism has long been around even before the birth of our nation. It’s seeming as if it’s becoming the one and only accusation that is made, of white American’s, some having good reason, others have really no legitimacy at all. As if you turn on CNN, and the first thing you see is “ BREAKING NEWS: DONALD TRUMP IS A RACIST.” Surely, President Trump has said some racist things, things that even though they shouldn’t have been said, should have been said in private. However, isn’t everyone at least a little racist? Some just hone in on their subconscious thoughts and actively attempt to change them for the betterment of society. Everyone agrees, or at least should agree our country division is harmful and we must unite. However, the media, all networks, are trying to, and accomplishing dividing us even further. For really no particular reason, besides to keep and increase their rating. It is unfortunate that the media chooses money, over truly trying to change society for the better. The media has long been doing this, so attempting to change it, it just wishful thinking. Many people only watch one news outlet and formulate their opinions based on that. But wouldn’t it be more effective to watch all news channel, no matter if you agree or disagree, in order to come up with a more knowledgable fact based opinion? In the article Breaking the Silence by Beverly Tatum, she is a proponent of increasing the amount of race talk in our country. Sure, that is a smart move as race is a significant topic that must be discussed. However, in article, she is also an advocate of bringing up racism when there isn’t a place for it. She states we must “ break the silence about racism whenever we can… It means meaningful, productive dialogue to raise consciousness and lead effective action and social change.” Tatum is telling those that race is the main and most important problem in our society, which further  exacerbates the problem.

3 thoughts on “The Media: More Harm than Good?

  1. I have to disagree with one of the comments on this post that may be controversial – I don’t think Donald Trump is a racist. I don’t think ANYONE is a racist. It is the rhetoric of this statement that is problematic to me; I don’t think anyone should be defined by one thing. Someone can make racist comments and engage in racist actions, but they are not “a racist.” I think using this kind of language allows for people who may say racist things to allow themselves the ability to say “well, I’m not a racist.” The reality is that, yes, many people have said or done racist things, but nobody is *A* racist.
    In all actuality – everyone is racist because we are all contributing to a continuing system of racism in our society. Food for thought.

  2. If “everyone” is “at least a little racist,” doesn’t the allegedly common-place accusation of racism make sense? It seems to me that this is a great starting point to address racist rhetoric in America; making people aware is the best course of action in a society that preaches egalitarianism but acts with prejudice. If I’ve learned nothing else in this class, it’s that challenging your implicit biases is imperative. Just because you and I have been taught the same or similar stigmas, stereotypes and biases towards people of color doesn’t make the racist sentiments any less legitimate and it does not make them less dangerous. I’m struggling with the suggestion you seem to be making.

    Also, Donald Trump is a racist. Implicit biases aside, Trump is actively, explicitly racist. Why would it be any more acceptable for Donald Trump to be racist “in private” than in the public sphere? Is he not still spewing a convoluted and hateful frame of mind? Only, he’s not in the private sphere — he’s the nation’s president; to use the racist rhetoric that he employs to gain traction and supporters is abhorrent to many and particularly threatening to people of color.

    Additionally, your argument sounds as though you’re proposing race not be mentioned among news outlets. This confuses me. We have spent a semester delving into the intersections of racial identities among other identities, societal and systematic implications of race and so forth. Some of the main and most important problems in our society surround the economy, poverty, women’s rights, health care, education, and more — if you ask me, we don’t talk enough about race nor how the implicit, aversive racism that you reference is taking a toll on people of color among each and every one of these societal plights. How do you propose racism be addressed?

  3. I appreciate the honesty of this post, and your analysis of current events. However, I am unclear how telling people that race is a problem in our society “further exacerbates” the problem. It is definitely true that White people don’t know the right way to bring up racial topics, mainly because as Bonilla-Silva discussed, we were never given the proper training to do so. However, ignoring the fact that racism is a problem in our society is not a constructive mentality to have. We need to be aware of the fact that our society is inherently racist, and as a result we all have implicit bias, in order for us to move on from the divisiveness that you speak of.

What do you think? Join the conversation!