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About racism in media

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When people watch television at home, they do so to get a laugh out or get information. But what if what they see is insensitive remark towards another race? Does that make it okay to laugh at, or should cartoons and the media, in general, watch what they put or say on television? Because the media is a very powerful tool that can influence the thought of many. If there is racist or stereotypical humor in the media then people will think those types of jokes are okay, which will then lead to people using them in public or in school to make fun of minorities. Media makes these stereotypes feel like the norm, so minorities begin to treat themselves that way. Some examples of this can be seen in famous T.V. shows like Family Guy which make fun of the Irish as being drunk stupid. I feel that the media should do the opposite of putting down minorities and instead should make minorities feel safe.

Despite what many people might say that jokes aren’t meant to hurt people and not to take it so seriously. However, this is almost never the case as those jokes such as the phrase “Thank you, come again,” by Apu from the Simpsons wasn’t meant to hurt people but can be used by others to bully those minorities and make their lives worse. These points were also said in Comedian Hari Kondabolu documentary about the Simpsons character Apu, who is a stereotype of an Indian immigrant with a full-blown Indian accent. His documentary holds interesting points about the topic and he really goes in depth to how it has affected him. He talks about how Indian communities are the most hurt since they didn’t have any other representation in media before Apu and are left with an ignorant stereotype.

The issues he sheds light on really opened my mind to the effects of the media on society and how people think. People use the media as a basis on how to act and think, so I believe that more people should watch his documentary and also try to be more understanding to those around them. People need to make sure that what they say has some backing to it and isn’t just a tasteless stereotype joke, meant to bash on another race.

In the end, I feel that racism in the media will only end if people are educated more. Most of the time the people making those remarks or jokes are people who are ignorant about other races. When they see a person on television make a similar insensitive joke, then they feel that what they are doing is also okay. This continues a cycle that leaves immigration and minorities as a constant target for jokes and bullying throughout their lives. People, especially in the media, need to portray the correct image of a race, without any of the stereotypes that make them funny. That way people will be taught the correct information which will make stereotypical jokes less and less common in the public or media. Which will then allow other minorities to join the media scene and be able to portray their race as for how they want to be seen.

About the Writer
Salem Habarneh, Special Page Editor

Grade: 12

Most passionate about: Video Games and the News

Teletubby that relates to you most: The blue one

Favorite book: The Elegant Universe


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