Vanilla

“By the mid-1800s the policies for dealing with the “Indian problem” had found their justification in popular literature, which helped to establish the myth of the monolithic “Indian” without regard for the distinctions of more than 2,000 different cultures, languages, and value systems that the concept represented… Readers of this fare were already conditioned to see the natives portrayed in a manner that justified their elimination as a barrier to Western expansion.”Racism, Sexism, and the Media (Wilson II, Gutiérrez, Chao, 2013, page 56-57)

I chose this photo because it shows the magnitude of the Native American’s  various tribes and how diverse these people actually used to be before the creation of the United States of America. By generalizing all “Indians” as one, this made the dehumanization and eventual elimination of our forefather’s new perceived enemies a non-issue. Each one of these tribes had their own unique flavor which was ultimately marginalized to that of vanilla; just plain ordinary and having no special differences, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

-Edgar Nava

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Beyoncé’s Superbowl Controversy in the Media

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Beyonce during Super Bowl 50, at Levi’s Stadium. (Matthew Emmons / USA Today)

 

A controversial issue in the media right now is that of Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Sunday performance this past weekend. The superstar performed her brand new song “Formation,” which references the “Black Lives Matter” campaign as well as gives a tribute to the Black Panthers with similar looking costumes. She received major backlash from many media outlets, a major one being FOX News, in these past couple of days. One of the most noted adverse reactions was from former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani criticized Beyoncé for calling out the very cops who protect her everyday. He said because she is someone of such stature and fame, she is heavily reliant on outside forces such as the police to keep her safe and therefore should not be turning her back on them. The “Black Lives Matter” campaign rides heavily on the issues of police brutality and the shooting of harmless African American people just because of the color of their skin. Much of their crusade is to defeat racist ideals within law enforcement and politics. I commend Beyoncé for using her immense power across the nation to highlight a real world issue of today. She will not be the one to stand back, she feels the need to advocate for what is right because of the immense fame and platform that she possesses. “The media often disregards women as leaders and are more likely to portray them as individuals rather than groups, victims instead of heroines, and sexual figures as opposed to thinkers” (Wilson, Gutierrez, Chao, pg. 145). After her performance, Beyoncé was seen as an individual standing out for a certain cause, while she is not the only one speaking on this matter. What made her performance so controversial was that she is not usually one of such fame to take major stands on controversial issues. Because she is such a megastar, someone that virtually people of all cultures like and listen to, her stance on the topic made her different to other superstars. Also, because of Beyoncé’s immense beauty and physique, she is not often seen as a political activist and thinker of today, she is seen as a hyper sexualized woman, not capable of any real and deep thought. Society thinks that someone with that mount of beauty cannot be capable of critical thought and activism.

While many did not feel it was her place to advocate her stance on such a controversial matter, I think that her usage of the Super Bowl halftime show stage was an ideal place for her message to be seen across not only the nation, but all around the world. With more than one million viewers, Beyoncé’s timing was perfect. As she released the very powerful music video the day before the Super Bowl it set the stage for what she would be doing next. The timing of her performance and videos were remarkable, because she had surprise released the music video the day before it was something that was already influencing the media heavily.

Although she is using her extremely powerful image and persona to stand up for a good cause, many people are not happy with they way things went about. The performance was viewed to more than one million people in the world, and many do not agree that what she did was all right. One woman who is married to a police officer posted on Facebook that she felt that Beyoncé’s call to action was unnecessary and that she was offended by her actions of calling the police force out on such a large scale. There has even been a hashtag going around the Internet calling for a Beyoncé boycott. But I think the real problems of their argument are that Beyoncé is not calling out the policemen in a militant way. She is stating that they are held to a higher standard of protecting people and the peace. She is pointing out that there is corruption that needs to be fixed within the problem. All Beyoncé is doing is asking the police force to do their job of protecting people. Just because she is telling them to do their job does not mean that she hates all police force and wants them gone forever, it means that she wants them to do their job just as she does on a daily basis. But where people do not understand is that she is not attacking the police force. They are making her out to be a violent extremist ready for war. But that is simply not the case, the Black Panthers, which she paid homage to were not bellicose either. The Black Panthers were there to protect their own selves from the harm of others. I believe the real reason that many media outlets portray Beyoncé and the Black Panthers in this derogatory way is just simply because they feel threatened by a force unknown to them. By militarizing both the Black Panthers and Beyoncé in the media, certain media outlets like FOX news are trying to cast a certain negative light on the two. Mayor Rudy Giuliani said “I think it was outrageous … The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.” But while Giuliani claimed to not know what was happening during the performance, why is he alleging that she was trying to tell cops to stop shooting blacks. If he could not understand the performance, how does he know that that is what Beyoncé was expressing through her production.


 

Sources:

Kerr-Dineen, Luke. “Fox News Slams Beyoncé’s ‘outrageous’ Super Bowl Performance.” For The Win Culture. USA Today, 09 Feb. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

Wilson, C. C., Gutiérrez, F., & Chao, L. M. (2013). Racism, sexism, and the media: Multicultural issues into the new communications age (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

 

Race and Ethnicity on The Bachelor

Will we ever see a black bachelor or a black bacehelelorette? Usually by the third show all black participates are gone.   In the year 2016 is America comfortable with a black and white couple? The bachelor and bachelorette are two of the most popular reality shows on T.V. The show is going on its 20th season since the year 2002. Every year millions tune in to view the Bachelor. From the average American to celebrities many viewers cannot get enough of the bachelor. The most recent finale of the Bachelorette generated 352, 000 tweets seen by 4.6 million viewers.   Advertisers pay an average $177,500 for a 30 sec spot. In fourteen years is the Bachelor afraid to mix races. In an article in Huffington Post there was an issues regarding race and discrimination of the bachelor and bachelorette. The issue arose when a contestant named Jubilee on the Bachelor was black of Haitian descent made it pass the third show. The women were one of the few finalists of the show and received nasty threats and backlash from her fellow contestants.   As Jubilee was not only a beautiful well qualified candidate for bachelor. She was never considered a serious candidate. Despite that her fellow cast mates were mean, judgmental and naïve they were still viewed and better manner than Jubilee. (Wilson, Chao and Gutierrez, 2013:p.147),“Because people of color are vastly underrepresented in the upper middle to upper- class income economic categories they have been shortchanged in the news media coverage”.

Many African American contestants who have been on the bachelor and bachelorette have been well and over qualified choices for the bachelor and bachelorette that they are usually gone by the third episode before we as viewers get a chance to know their names. ABC has hidden this secret agenda in plain sight and no one has done anything about. The non- white contestants do not get a fair chance and have been for over 14 years.   Before the show even begins the non-white contestant are losing from the start, which accounts for the lack of non-white viewers. In my opionion the Bachelor is afraid to have a mix race couple because of the fear of losing advertisers. The bachelor is viewed from a white perspective. , “The commission noted that news was determined from “a White Perspective”(Wilson, Chao and Gutierrez (2013): p.147). Usually show with black producers and writers for example Scandal and Gray Anatomy are not afraid to show and interracial couple. Which is a true vision of our world.

ABC needs to do a better job of showing diversity on their show. There a lot of shows that show diversity that does very well such as New Girl, Empire and Scandal. People want to see shows they can relate. The more diversity on a show they more viewers of different races and backgrounds you will have. This is 2016 and an interracial dating is perfectly fine and there has more and more of it on T.V. The bachelor and the bachelorette may have many viewers but they do not have to make one race feel more inferior to the next. Unless they change their ways they are not going to be as successful but they are not showing the true 2016 America.

Sources:

Wilson, C. C., Gutiérrez, F., & Chao, L. M. (2013). Racism, sexism, and the media: Multicultural issues into the new communications age (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

 

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Controversy

 

 

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Beyonce performing at the Super Bowl 2016 Halftime Show (Photo Credit: Charlie Redel)

Recently, Beyoncé slyly paid tribute to the Black Panthers through her dancer’s costumes during her 2016 Super Bowl Halftime performance. This performance gained a tremendous amount of media attention amidst the anticipation of the release of her new album. Rather than the artistic creativity and Beyoncé’s singing taking the spotlight, it was the costuming and clear reference to the Black Panther’s that gained the most attention.

In the lyrics and music video for her song “Formation”, Beyoncé depicts the lack of support that survivors of Hurricane Katrina, shines the light on police brutality toward the black community, and reflects on the influence of African American women in society. The day after the release of her music video, Beyoncé performed her single for the Super Bowl Halftime show. A common critique echoed in mainstream news media and social media platforms was that she unnecessarily paid tribute to violence that portrayed police as a common enemy and distracting from the “wholesome” game of football. However, there was no trace of such displays during her performance, rather I believe it is the purposeful costuming and a political stance she used with her nationwide platform that “offended” people.

Usually when it comes to musical artists and their performances, there is more of a focus on the singing, costuming, dancing, and other distracting factors that do not include drawing attention to “real life” issues and their opinions. I have noticed that with musical artists, success comes more easily with the help of sexual exploitation. Artists tend to play on the notion that “sex sells” i.e., focusing solely on sexualized lyrics, revealing costumes, and provocative dance moves to increase sales. To me, Beyoncé’s most recent performances and music have become less consumed with these types of gimmicks and have begun to touch on bigger issues, such as feminism and now recognizing the treatment and mistreatment of black lives. No matter how subtle or obvious Beyoncé’s stance is on such matters, it has become obvious that the more power and voice that she has, the more she is perceived as threatening.

In the book, “Racism, Sexism, and the Media”, there is material relative to the current media conversation around Beyoncé: “…the media often disregards women as leaders and are more likely to portray them as individuals rather than groups, victims instead of heroines, and sexual figures as opposed to thinkers” (Wilson II, Gutierrez, Chao p. 145). As much as I would like to think there has been a lessening of sexism, racism, and inequality in the United States, it is instances such as the critiques on Beyoncé’s performance that reveal that progress does not mean such problems no longer exist.

Although there has been debate, negative comments, and misconstruing of Beyoncé’s musical performance, I think it is respectable that a popular artist, such as she, uses her nationwide popularity in a way to shed light onto important issues and openly expresses her beliefs. I hope that in time the media changes the way they portray and acknowledge people, but I know it takes various efforts and understanding for advancement can occur.

 

Sources:

Racism, Sexism, and the Media: Multicultural issues into the new communications age (4th ed., p. 145). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

 

NFL Super Bowl 50 Media Coverage and the Threatening Issue of Cam Newton

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Media coverage of the NFL’s 2016 Super Bowl 50 has been extensive to say the least, but as the momentous event came and past, the players that seemed to be on everyone’s tongues we’re Peyton Manning (of the Denver, Broncos) and Cam Newton (of the Carolina, Panthers). More specifically there has been major criticism of Newton’s flashy and entertaining celebratory dances, which have come under-fire multiple times for being unsportsmanlike conduct. Cam Newton’s energetic persona as the incomparable African American quarterback has been a hurdle for Sports News to cover, and thus has been handled in a number ways.

Leading up to the big game Fox Sports did an analysis of the two quarterbacks giving correlation to how their viewers see Peyton Manning’s actions in comparison to Cam Newton’s. They described Peyton Manning as “Prolific,” and compared his constant surveying of play print-outs to that of a student “cramming for an S.A.T,” preparing the Fox Sports audience to see Peyton as focused and dedicated. Alternatively, when talking about Cam Newton, his actions are described as “Demonstrative and Hyperemotional” and painted as the “most rambunctious kid on the playground” (Fox Sports, 2016). This break-down of Cam Newton makes him look unstable and childish to the viewer, especially when compared to Peyton Manning’s gleaming review. At the time Fox Sports was acting as an opinion leader and its opinion was that Cam Newton didn’t deserve or belong to be in the Super Bowl.

Active reporting and labeling of the chosen general consensus, that Cam Newton didn’t belong in the Super bowl, echoed through many social centers and media hubs until the day of the game. When Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 rolled around, Sports Media got what it was hoping for.  The Bronco’s ended up beating the Panther’s with a score of 24 to 10, thus giving some sincerity to the news’ previous accusations. With the defeat of the Panther’s, it left the door open for a long line of Cam Newton scrutinizers. Perhaps the biggest showing of fangs by the media, was how they had criticized his after-the-game interview, which he reportedly left from in the middle.

Cam Newton’s behavior after his loss at Super bowl 50 was short-worded and despondent, but nothing short of something you would expect from a truly zealous player. This, however, proved to be Newton’s proverbial, “nail in the coffin” as sports news would have its viewers see it. Cam Newton’s interview has been used to question Newton’s professionalism and loyalty to his team. It really shows how previous stereotyping of Cam Newton, has led to a social feeding frenzy in the wake of his defeat. Cam Newton is an ardent African American quarterback who is unapologetic and fervently passionate; in being so has happened to have ruffled some of Sports News’ “Anglo American” expectations for what was expected from a professional quarterback. It’s this passion that makes him such a wild cast of colorful emotion, and it’s that emotion which does not, “conform to existing Anglo American attitudes”(Wilson, Gutierrez, Chao, 2013: pg.134) and does not fit the typical, “success story”. Cam Newton rebels in being strong willed as well as being a strong minded individual; a role model well-welcomed and hopefully unchanged by the daunting media pressure.

 

Cited works:

Brinson, Will. “WATCH: Cam Newton Abruptly Leaves Super Bowl 50 Postgame Interview.” CBSSports.com. 7 Feb. 2016. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.

Link: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25477125/watch-cam-newton-abruptly-leaves-super-bowl-50-postgame-interview

Cruz, Caitlin. “‘Daily Show’ Calls Out Racial Hypocrisy On Super Bowl 50 Quarterbacks.” TPM. 5 Feb. 2016. Web. 8 Feb. 2016. <http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/daily-show-super-bowl-racial-hypocrisyhttp://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/daily-show-super-bowl-racial-hypocrisy&gt;.

Link: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/daily-show-super-bowl-racial-hypocrisy

Wilson, Clint C., Félix Gutiérrez, and Lena M. Chao. Racism, Sexism, and the Media: Multicultural Issues into the New Communications Age. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

WEEK 5 :Stereotypes

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“Over the past two decades there has been an unusual proliferation of Asian women news anchors in major markets, spurred by Hollywood’s stereotypical images and the success enjoyed by such high-profile newscasters as Connie Chung. From portrayals of the submissive subservient “geisha” girl in the 1950’s movies as Sayonara, to the Asian woman as an exotic sexual object in films like the world of Susie Wong.” (Wilson, Gutierrez,Chao; pg.,98)” #Asian #stereotypes  #geisha #asianwomen

-There’s a vast  stereotypes about Asians. Many of these stereotypes are just portrayed by the media and more of exaggeration that leads to people believing in that media representation. People tend to retain these type of stereotypes even if that’s not what they see in reality. 

Week 5: Overview of Media Stereotypes

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“Due to continued racial segregation, the media are the primary forum through which whites come to “know” non-whites; therefore, individual minorities in the media come to symbolize these groups for white audiences.” (Greco Larson, 2005, Pg. 3)

Racial stereotypes are upheld in the movie Rush Hour with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Chan upholds the traditional racial stereotype of an Asian martial arts master. Chris Tucker portrays a loud African American man. Even in the main face of the movie, the poster itself, there is stereotypes of fast and nimble asian hands, and the portrayed loudness of blacks. Being a large scale movie, this is how these races will be perceived in the masses. These stereotypes, being seen by a very large amount of people will further engrain those stereotypes into other peoples heads. In order to reverse stereotypes the media must portray non-whites in roles that shatter the ideas engraved in so many peoples minds. Creating stereotypical roles will only further ideas about certain races that may not be the reality.

Week 5: Overview of media stereotypes

“Due to continued racial segregation, the media are the primary forum through which whites comes to “know” nonwhites’ therefore, individual minorities in the media come to symbolize these groups for white audiences.” (Greco Larson, Media & Minorities, pg 3) #jenniferlopez #jlo #latina #stereotypes #wells

I think that due to Jennifer Lopez’s rise to fame with her music and film career the media has made her a symbol for Latina women and also because there is a small amount of Latinas in mainstream media she is seen as a representation of all Latina women. However Hollywood has frequently cast her in roles as a struggling single mother as well as a Spicy Latina which white audiences sometimes take as accurate portrayals.

Fueling Fears

 “A few months after the 9/11 events two thirds of the Muslim Americans polled felt the mainstream media were unfair in covering Muslims and Islam.” (Wilson, Chao, Gutiérrez pg.49, 2013) In last weeks episode of the revamped X-Files, season 10, episode five featured main character, Agent Mulder, taking hallucinogens to talk to a self-hospitalized suicide bomber on life-support. Although the episode explores racism from both sides of the spectrum, the comedy invoked in the episodes activities cheapen the message and reality of the issue. There is often this one-sided focus in American media on all Muslisms as potentially radical Muslims, it’s a fear tactic that keeps cultures too scared to interact. It’s this constant bombardment of a singular vision that builds to the insidious preconceived misconceptions that ruin inter-cultural relations. #ManipulationOfMasses #Stereotyping #FuelingFears #MisrepresentationNation #brooks

Profiling Problems

 “while stereotyping per se may have merits in popular literature and arts, when combined with prejudice it poses a devastating obstacle to human development and understanding in a multicultural society.” (Wilson, Chao, Gutiérrez pg.55, 2013) I was walking around south Los Angels and found this poster on a dumpster and found it peculiar, turns out D.W.B. stands for Driving While Black. Driving While Black is a dark comedy that describes a harsh reality of prejudice among law enforcement. It shows how police profile African Americas and justify it with their preconceived notions. These notions are fueled by the everyday use and “self-validation” of stereotypes. Stereotypes are used as justification to disparage, to judge without contact. These quick and lazy judgements, although seemingly faster and simpler to the race that is objectifying, are used as backing arguments to defend racism. #DrivingWhileBlack #PreconceivedNotions #PoliceProfilingPersecutes #RacialPortrayals
#brooks