Essay On The Consequences Of Opinions In Indian Killer

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The Consequences of Opinions in the Media
The media is a driving force and a major contributor to change in society. The information it gives has the power to sway the opinions of millions and is a significant factor in the views of the public. When the media gives its own opinions to the public about a certain race, group, or religion, there are immense consequences. In the book Indian Killer, the media plays a large role in swaying the opinions of the public toward a specific race. One specific media source, a radio broadcast by a man named Truck Schultz, gives a conservative view of current events. When a serial killer, known as the “Indian Killer”, is found killing white men in Seattle, Truck automatically focuses his words and stories …show more content…

A more dangerous way Truck’s broadcasts have affected natives is by turning natives into the “savages” Truck calls them. As seen with Reggie Polatkin, a Native American, his rage toward white people increases after Truck’s broadcasts about the Indian Killer and natives. Reggie had a Native American mother and a white father, named Bird. Bird was very abusive and beat Reggie many times. Bird desired Reggie to be a ‘good Indian’, so he always said. “I don’t want you to end up like all the other Indians. I want you to be special” (94) “Reggie always tried to get good grades to show his father he was not a ‘dirty Indian’, but, “On those rare occasions when Reggie had brought home a failed test or a flawed term paper, Bird would beat him” (94). Reggie feels that white men are the cause of his suffering, and a rage toward white people forms inside him. When Truck voices his opinions about the Indian Killer, Reggie’s rage boils over. He is tired of white people determining who is a ‘good Indian’ and a ‘dirty Indian and begins to act like the ‘dirty Indian’ represented by Truck. He and his friends capture a white person, thinking he is Truck Schultz, only to realize they captured a different white man. Reggie then “placed his hands on either side of the white man’s face, leaned in close as if he was going to kiss him, and forced his thumbs into the white man’s eyes” …show more content…

As seen in the aftermath of Truck’s broadcasts, racial tensions skyrocket, due to Truck’s opinions on natives. White people such as Aaron begin committing crimes against natives to vent their anger towards them. While the general public is affected by the media’s opinions on a certain race, it moreover affects the opinions and mindsets of Native Americans. Natives such as Marie Polatkin are affected by Wilson’s books and Truck’s broadcasts and begin to have hatred toward white men. Additionally, not all natives are affected the same. Native Americans who have different backgrounds, childhoods, and opinions are affected differently. Reggie is a Native American who had a rough childhood with his white father, and his rage toward white people boils over when the media expresses its opinions about natives and the Indian Killer. Alexie demonstrates how the people of the race represented are affected in a spectrum, with some natives’ views changing such as Marie, to other natives turning violent and brutally attacking people, such as Reggie. Truck’s reckless words on Native Americans and Wilson’s novels had the consequences of severe racial tensions between Native Americans and white people. Since the

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