Essay about Racism in the Media: Misrepresentation of Minorities

4156 Words Nov 24th, 2005 17 Pages
Misrepresentation of different cultures by the media
The definition of race is often based on physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture and eye shape. Race is both a set of genetically defined biological characteristics and culturally defined characteristics. One influence on culture is the media and the media have a huge influence on the way different races are viewed by society. The media consists of communication devices and some media forms include television, newspapers, magazines, film and radio. Misrepresent can be defined as to give a false or misleading representation with an intent to deceive or be unfair.
The United States is one of, if not the most, diverse nations in the world. It is often described as a
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West said "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food." West was saying that identical behaviors by minorities and Caucasians are defined differently partly due to the fact that minorities are stereotyped as being criminals. While this is just one individual's personal opinion, African Americans are portrayed negatively in the media. Recently, former Education Secretary William Bennett made some remarks about the crime rate and black abortions. He made the following comment on his show "Morning in America." Bennett said "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, your crime rate would go down." Bennett is very ignorant to think aborting black babies would reduce crime. He is implying that the majority of the crimes committed in America are committed by blacks. Bennett is stereotyping all African Americans as being criminals and therefore misrepresenting African Americans even more.
The media replayed this part of his show repeatedly and placed emphasis on these remarks. He said that the media took these comments out of context and distorted his remarks and that his intentions were to make "a bad argument in order to put it down." This distortion of Bennett's comments by the media is one example of how the media often links

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