Summary of topics covered
In multiple occasions as evidenced in our unit 1 readings, gender, race and class have been influenced y multiple factors in the United States. The most common of these factors are social powers, geography, intersectionality and besides historical times such as colonialism. In unit two it evidence that social institutions, sexuality and customer market are the greatest influences to believe and perceptions of gender, race and class. The education system United States law and U.S census are some of the aspects under institutions that have rapidly influenced shaping of gender, race and class. However, in the recent past, individuals had great influence on the current stands on social issues. This is mainly through the high rise of activist groups and high focus on communities which aim at shifting institutional structures.
To better understand the topic, unit 2 is structured into four main sections: education system, law, customer market and sexuality as factors that enhance gender, race and class. The education system in the United States tends to encourage racism this is because it does not recognize the community institutions and personal financial and religious stands. For instance, there are several education institutions which are too expensive for the disadvantaged people in the community such as blacks who do not have easy access to white collar jobs. The customer market has also played a major role in encouraging racism and gender perceptions, for instance the cosmetic market according to the middle and working class white women. This is also the case when class issues are being analyzed. Institutions including the media have used gender and race differences to portray health, relaxation and cleanliness even in the public advertisements.
From the evidenced provided y the concepts learnt on law and court cases as well as ideologies of race, it is clear that the legal system goes above simple explanations of the social and scientific ideas about race, this is because it actually assists in producing and reproducing them. According to the miscegenation law, modern social science especially in the 20th century portray racial ideologies major focus on the negative effects of scientific racism as well as the emergence of new racial ideologies. Due to these changes scientific influences, it is clear that race is not simply as expression of an individual’s biology. Therefore racial discrimination should e understood as an indivisible essence that does not only involve biology but also culture, morality and intelligence.
The video is titled “Racial stereotypes in the Media,” and is a mish mash of a number of videos collected from various movies and television shows. The creator of the video clip goes by the nickname “The Jjd03” and he uses it to depict contemporary stereotyping in the media. The video though full of what society has come to accept as comedy, is actually a depiction of how insensitive society has become towards racism. Due to the narrow modernist definition of race that society now ascribes to, most people have actually become blind to racism even though they see it in their screens everyday, mainly because society is no longer aware of what line can or cannot be crossed, as proven by the video.
A video depicting a new form of racial discrimination stemming from the modernist definition of race, the link to the video “Racial Stereotypes In the Media” is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBnYJe96KaA
An Analysis of the Effects of the Modernist View of Race
Peggy Pascoe raises a number of pertinent issues regarding race and racioal discrimination, as she argues that the current modernist view of race, provides a slippery slope that makes dealing with racism quite difficult. In fact, this narrow definition of racism has actually led to a new phenomenon as depicted by the youtube video “Racial stereotypes in the Media.” Due to the fact that society has learnt to accept race as only being defined by ones biological makeup, it has become blind to what is essentially a new form of racism. It is perhaps even plausible to argue that this new narrow view of race4 and a condensation of racism has created a significant impediment to the correction of racial inequalities that have existed for a very long time. In fact, this narrowing of the definition of race has created a society that is actually passive to racism in its new form. The narrow definition of race has according to Pascoe (318) actually created a very huge gap between what she calls a very narrow conception of race and the true forms of racial oppressions that bedevil today’s society. She even goes as far as to argue that this deliberate form of ignorance that has resulted from the misguided definition of race, have led to a dulling of society’s ability name or recognize racism. The YouTube video in my opinion is a very clear example of how society’s ability to recognize racism. The video depicts what has now come to be known as media stereotyping; a phenomenon that if looked at critically, is actually racism peddled through the media.
A quick browse through most forms of contemporary entertainment, reveals a number of stereotypes peddled by the media, which due to the narrowed definition of what constitutes racism, not only go unnoticed, but are actually applauded. Society does not really realize how this widespread stereotyping actually promotes racial discrimination and serves to propagate racial inequalities and ills that bedevil society today. Whereas the law encourages color blindness, it does not discourage practices that would otherwise undermine the credibility of a particular race, or the peddling of racial stereotypes, leading to the construction of incorrect identities for the races in question. This creation of a situation whereby individuals cannot express their true identities, or be recognized for who they are simply because the law believes doing so would create an environment that encourages racism is not right according to Pascoe, as it creates a situation of non recognition. It is possible to even argue that this creation of a not so clear sense of identity, creates a loophole that is then exploited by the media to peddle a false image regarding a particular race, hence leading to stereotyping.
In the video for example Latinos are depicted as good only as illiterate housekeepers, while blacks are depicted as being thieves or gangsters and vulgar. On the other hand, Asians are depicted as clueless entrepreneurs, while whites are seemingly capable of getting away with anything, including stealing. Some of the clips in the video even paint a picture that whites are significantly favored and not good at anything unless assisted through the back door. Other than create a false image regarding a particular race, stereotyping is also offensive to the race in question, and it could be argued is a clear depiction of has insensitive society has become, mainly due to the narrow modernist definition of race. Part of the reason why society has become so insensitive, is ignorance, due to a seemingly blanket ban on racial expression, other members of society have become oblivious of what other societies’ values are. This lack of knowledge of what can be considered offensive in other cultures has actually encouraged ethnocentrism further fuelled by mass culture peddled by the media and social institutions. This has led to a society that is actually ignorantly racist. Most people actually act in a racist manner without knowing it. For instance, Jack Shaheen in his book Tv Arab, claims that in the last ten years alone, approximately 21 movies depict the American military killing Arabs. This has the het effect of painting Arabs as terrorists, and is a major factor in the rise of racial profiling even amongst normal everyday citizens. Part of the credit for the success of this new form of discrimination, can be attributed to the modernist racial ideology, which deprives society the opportunity of defining their own racial identities. Instead, the media has been given the license to report in a biased manner that only blunts society’s sensitivity towards what one can refer to as contemporary racism. Most people including the victims of this new form of racial oppression, have actually come to accept racial stereotypes as the truth.