Racism In Haiti

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When we hear the word ‘Haiti’, many of us may think about a hopeless country that is seemingly dependent upon the United States. Whether this idea has to do with racial stereotypes or our view of the country as a whole, media plays a large role in how our view of Haiti has developed and its underlying subtle racism. In Racializing Pity: The Haiti Earthquake and the Plight of ‘‘Others’’, Murali Balaji explains how we pity instead of empathize for victims of Haiti and other third-world nations. Balaji outlines the communicational problems between whites and blacks because of Whites’ inability to relate to these “Other” people (Balaji 51). This situation creates an ethnocentric society of Whites feeling superior because of their perceived view …show more content…

We often struggle to empathize with people from cultures that differ from our own because we cannot understand the way they live and their cultural circumstances. Much of the information the American public received about the earthquake that took place in Haiti seemed to demoralize the victims. Through this demoralization, Whites began to develop a “racialization of pity” for the Haitian people and viewed themselves as superior because they had the power to send donations, volunteer, etc. (Balaji 50). Balaji explains this cultural phenomenon by saying, “Simply put, if we view the victims as equal, we empathize and draw from our own experiences to find connection. If we view victims as an Other, we tend to show pity: an emotion that places some distance between the subject and the object” (Balaji 54). Constant negative depictions create emotional detachment in the viewers of these news stories over time because they perceive the people in these third-world countries to experience tragedies often, so it’s more …show more content…

Developing connections between the two cultures will help people build an understanding of what other people are going through and their economical or social situations. It is not an evil desire to want to help others who may be less fortunate or need our services, but we should not have an inflated self-image as a race because of it. We need to drop previous ideas of the “dark world” being hopeless and the “white world” being a symbol of hope and gain a larger and less racist view of the world (Balaji 51).
We can easily conclude that intercultural communications relating to our perception of other racial cultures needs significant improvement. Through amended media portrayal about the African population and the process of acculturation, we can begin the transition to being more understanding and less racist in our view of other

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