MINORITIES IN THE MEDIA
They are treated by the police as thugs and dangerous suspects. In the year 2011, a study was conducted by The Opportunity Agenda on the Media Representation and the Impact on the Lives of the Black Boys and Men. The findings showed that negative mass media messages such as those in television; internet, video games and print media changed and shaped the attitudes of the people towards the black men. This paper ought to answer the following questions: what is the influence of media in portraying the social class of African Americans? What is the influence of the media in portraying the personal characteristics of the African Americans? What is the influence of the media in portraying the treatment of African Americans by the police? Statement of the problem African Americans are viewed as the less fortunate in the society and are subject to police brutality as compared to the whites.
The African Americans are associated with criminal activities and violence. Those who have not encountered the African Americans believe all the negative stereotypes that they watch on television as true about the African Americans. The images and videos give negative perceptions on the lives of the African Americans and thus make them be middle class and lower class citizens. Media serves as an important source of the information regarding the lifestyles of African Americans. This paper aim at examining the influence of the media on the perception of African Americans. Literature review To understand the exact reasons why the Africans Americans are portrayed as the poor people and the less fortunate by the media this paper focused on cultivation theory, job roles of African Americans, personal characteristics of African Americans, socials class of African Americans and police brutality on African Americans.
The ideas, messages and the video that the television display concerning the African Americans gives negative stereotypes shaping the attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs of the viewers on the African Americans. Job occupations of African Americans Several television shows, videos, and images show the African Americans as people involved in undertaking blue collar jobs such as cooks, house cleaners, and servants. This makes the viewers of television and those who use the media believe that the African Americans are only good at performing blue collar jobs. The viewers can perceive the African Americans as the less fortunate people in the society because they undertake dirty jobs as compared to the whites who are shown by the media as the people who undertake white collar job, well-educated and perform professional jobs such as doctors and surgeons.
These negative stereotypes showing the occupational roles of the African Americans make the white people lose respect on the African American and treat them as slaves paying them low wages and salaries as compared to the heavy workloads that they undertake as cleaners, cooks, and servants (Chao et al, 2013). The negative stereotypes images displayed by the media on the achievement of African American women change the perception of the viewers. African Americans are depicted as uneducated in the society and thus they are viewed as the people of low social class. The media images displayed on the lifestyles of the whites depict the whites as the more educated, high achievers and people of high economic class. Television viewers who are highly exposed to the negative stereotypes portraying the lifestyles of the African Americans are more likely to develop negative attitudes, believes and assumption concerning the African Americans (Patton et al, 2013).
Police Brutality and the African Americans The raw videos are shown by the media on how the police treat the African Americans going viral make the viewers’ believe that the African American are criminals who should not be treated with humanity. The observed variations in the media may not be the accurate reflection of the reality. Findings African Americans are represented in the media as individuals involved in criminal activities and violence. The news shows the African Americans being arrested by the police and the arrest rates of the African Americans are very high as compared to the white people (Boyd-Franklin, 2013). African Americans are portrayed in the media as the poor people. They are shown as low-income earners who live in the rural area and in slums.
What is conclusively unknown? Giving positive views about the African Americans can help in creating new opportunities since the negative views contribute to the denial of great opportunities to the African Americans. African Americans are also human like the white people they can also perform white collar jobs and give outstanding results. They should not be underrated and be associated with blue collar jobs but be given priorities in other fields like the white people. Negative stereotypes can have negative effects on the African Africans. The stereotypes can increased anxiety, reduced performance, consume more of their time and mental resources as they aim in suppressing negative emotions and thoughts. Policing & Society, 21(2), 167-189. Boyd-Franklin, N. Black families in therapy: Understanding the African American experience.
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