When I was little, I watched a lot of TV as any regular kid would. I especially liked to watch cartoons. My parents told me not to watch too much television. I didn’t know why, but as I grew, I understood what they meant. They didn’t want me to start believing what the set was telling and showing me. Of course, they meant when it comes to animated programming out of the fear that I may imitate what’s being broadcast, but I’m proud to say that to this day, I’ve never dropped an anvil on some guy’s head.
Now, I start to question and criticize the media’s contents, especially when it comes to race representations. My co-blogger Lavern Merriweather has written examples of media hypocrisy, especially when it comes to news reporting. There have been studies conducted and articles and books written that closely examines how the media presents nonwhites, non-Christians, women, the poor and youth. And all point to the fact that the vast media machine is incredibly biased against said groups.
Yet, you have people that have evidently missed the lesson about TV and have considered it as an oracle of information to process.
Tell me if you’ve heard this before. Someone comes up to tell you about how awful or inferior black folks are. And in the middle of their rant, they say something along the lines of “Look at the news!” They may even cite reality TV, music videos, or some program which showcases black people in a less-than-flattering way.
One has to wonder if such people ever saw actual black people in real life or if they have but chose to believe what the TV shows them instead to satisfy their prejudices.
Most people who would cite TV as a source of how black people behave are usually too lazy or too ignorant to do any actual research. If they weren’t, they would learn that the news overreports black crime while it underreports white crime. Most newsrooms are owned, operated and ran by mostly white people from upper and middle-class backgrounds.
Reality TV is NOT real! Yet, there are grown people that thinks it is. Black people on these shows do not represent the majority of the entire black race! A lot of shows cast individual black folks that they hope would generate high ratings, and usually those black folks are the ones that they hope will cause friction among his or her cast mates. (If not, they, the behind-the-scenes crew will devise ways in which there will be trouble.) If something was to go down because of that black individual, it will be shown for the world to see for the sake of ratings.
Bottom line. There are people you don’t see in these and other types of programming that make decisions as to who to present on TV, how to present them and to whom they want to present them to. The evidence is in the closing credits.
The Western media is ran by wealthy white males. So, a bias is definitely a certainty. And since TV is almost a religion in these parts, there will be citizens who will ingest the gospel.
Nothing about this blog post is new or profound. Yet, one of the microaggressions black people have to deal with is this fallacy that television is a mirror to the black community. Most black people are not violent, unintelligent criminals too lazy to work. That’s the reality. You won’t find that truth much on television, but to a lot of misguided souls, who needs reality when you can have reality TV?