Misrepresentation Of African Americans

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Misrepresentation of Minorities in Mass Media: African Americans In today’s world, the exchange of information between individuals is largely based on the media alone. Conversations are held through social media sites, the news channels become the deliverers of new waves of specifically chosen stories, and the rest of the media effects the subconscious of the society. Movies, television shows, and “general” knowledge contribute to the rest of the mass media that affects the minds of people. The subconscious of the people can form the characteristics of the young and solidify ideas within the older population. The problem of the current society is that the subconscious ideas transferred to the media is particularly in the favor of Caucasians.…show more content…
According to a new study by Bas W. van Doorn, a political science professor at College of Wooster in Ohio. Doorn studied 474 stories about American poverty from 1992 all the way to 2010. Within the images that were ran alongside these stories, African American people were overrepresented. They appeared in a little more than half images that were portrayed while only making for about 25 percent of Americans below the poverty line. Latinos, however account for 23 percent of the poor but were underrepresented seeing that on they only appeared in about 13 percent of the images. Those statistics are alarming and so are the discrepancies that come along with them. These type of assumptions are solely the products of American stereotypes. In 1991, a study was done that Doorn recorded to gauge American opinion. American’s average guess at the amount of poor African Americans was 50 percent, although the actual figure was around 29 percent. Around 2013 the exact same survey was taken and citizens overestimated the percentage again by more than a factor of two. As if this wasn’t enough. African Americans are thought of being lethargic or lazy. In 2008 , only about 40 percent of Americans thought black people were hardworking, while 60 percent of other Americans classified Latinos as “hard workers”. Although these studies were taken almost eight years ago, this image is increasingly…show more content…
This includes movies, plays, television shows, and traditional stories. Movies are often enjoyed without ever analyzing and digesting the full plot. The plots of most modern entertainment has a major underlying story although most clearly identifiable racism is often ignored. For example, Sherlock Holmes is considered one of the most esteemed mystery and suspense stories in all of fiction. Although Sherlock Holmes is considered a charismatic and beloved character, he was unapologetically racist . In, “The Sign of the Four,” Holmes makes assumptions about the former slaves saying “they are naturally hideous, having large, misshapen heads, small fierce eyes and distorted features. Their feet and hands, however, are remarkably small…They have always been a terror to shipwrecked crews, braining the survivors with their stone-headed clubs, or shooting them with their poisoned arrows. These massacres are invariably concluded by a cannibal feast.” Fortunately, these stories were published in the early twentieth century so majority of the severe racism and tactics have since died off. The only problem with this wide exposure is the implementation into the next generation. So realistically speaking toxic views are only pressed onto children and they continue to live on even after the first offenders are long gone. In addition to blunt racism, there is more often than not unrecognizably to someone who’s looking on the surface.

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