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Stomping on a Box

Race and gender in media seemed interesting, but the first day I didn’t really know what to expect.  We were told to step outside our box and this can make anyone nervous. Our boxes our comfortable and safe, but I’m really glad that I did step out.  It was totally worth it to see things in a different perspective. I became aware of things that I had never even thought to be aware of.  The issues that stick out most to me are the illusion of race, certain white privileges, and issues within Advertising.

No one seems to speak about race.  It’s a sore subject that people find hard to talk about. No one wants to be blamed or become uncomfortable. In class we learned that race is an illusion.  It’s built as a social construction by society.  Our society acts like race is something that we’re born with and not created.  It was created in order to maintain a class system and have subordinates to do the dirty work. They had to have reasons that these groups of people were below them, and so society created the idea of race.  Our society never seems to discuss it because it would show privilege.  Race becomes your identity. I’d never thought of race like that. I’m a lot of things besides white, but our society places such importance on it.  I think I never thought about race much because I’m white. This class has awakened a new thought process because race is everywhere I look now.

I’ve never thought of myself as having special privileges. After reading McIntosh and watching  Tim Wise  I do believe that white privilege exists.  Even hearing stories from my classmates proves that white privilege exists. Bryan stated that he saw prices of houses change just to keep minority groups out of certain neighborhoods.  I didn’t think that these things still existed, but obviously they do. It’s hard to see that we haven’t come farther than this.  Another sign of white privilege is racial profiling.  They have shopper watchers in Target that profile certain people.  I didn’t know they existed and that is my privilege.  Also, I’d never noticed in the news that they didn’t racially profiled people for crimes.  I’ve come to realize that my privileges are that I haven’t had to notice these things, but now I know better.

Throughout class we learned about how women are depicted in our society.  In Jean Kilbourne’s Killing me Softly 4, we saw so many advertisements that show the amount of respect given to women.  It’s not a whole lot. Women are seen for their bodies and many advertisements are sexual. Young girls see skinny models that have been airbrushed.  Before this class I had no idea that they airbrushed, and cut up women’s bodies to make a perfect woman.  I’ll admit that I’ve had problems with my own body image, but who wouldn’t with how our society thinks.  This class has helped to show me that it’s an artificially created beauty.  Another thing that I’ve really been noticing is the lack of diversity within Advertising.  It’s sad when you look through an entire magazine and don’t see a single minority represented. We our a multiracial society so we should see that in the media. I can’t imagine what it feels like not to see someone like myself.  It just shows that we still have so far to go.

My prognosis for race and gender in media is that we lack diversity within it.  I think it’s getting better because I see more and more commercials with minorities, but we still have a long way to go.  Gender issues seem to be getting worse and it’s reflected in our society.  When young girls starve themselves we have a big problem in America.  The media are causing these problems.  So to answer the first question asked in class. Do we need this class?  I’d say we do because knowledge is power.  We can make a difference just by becoming more aware, and sharing what we have learned.

I hope that I never see my box again, but stepping outside of the classroom is difficult.  Many people don’t want to listen or hear about these problems.  I can take what I learned and hope to make others aware.  I know I’m more aware and that’s the right step forward. Starting a career in media I hope to help change our society.  I’m not sure I know how yet, but holding onto what I learned is a start. I’m definitely not going to be boxing myself back up anytime soon.

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-Darci

Advertisements

The perfect body seems to be plaguing women in our society.  This is caused by the massive amounts of Advertising that we see everyday.  It’s filled with skinny sticks and beautiful airbrushed women.  No woman could compare themselves to these advertisements without feeling inferior. Beauty and body image is a large part of our society because the human body is used to sell every product possible. Pick up any magazine, and you’ll see the crisis that our society faces.  Women have become objects and silenced through sexuality.

Opening up the Vanity Fair magazine I had an idea of what I would see. It’s known for its skinny white models.  Our flawed American ideals are leaking across to the rest of the world.  It’s a very scary reality. As I thumbed through it; I noticed the lack of diversity immediately in the advertisements.  Most of the models were white.  I took what I learned from Killing Me Softly 4 to analyze the magazine advertisements.  In many advertisements sexual innuendo is meant to sell the product. Vanity Fair’s advertisements reeked of it.  In Advertising sex sales and money is what the business is all about.

The first advertisement is of a white model selling a grey Prada bag.  The top of her face is cut off and her bright,red lips are left to show seduction. The main focus is on the bag, but every advertiser knows that red draws the readers focus.  So it seems like she’s having a seductive moment with her high-priced purse.  They’re targeting white females or anyone who can afford such a thing.  The problem with the advertisement is that it cuts off the woman’s head.  It ruins her identity and shows that a woman’s body is most important. It states, “Who cares who she is?”  I would show the woman’s face or the purse itself as the advertisement. I wouldn’t buy the bag because of her, I’d buy it because I liked the look of it.

My second advertisement was the only advertisement that showed any diversity.  It was an advertisement for the Equinox Gym.  The headline reads, “It’s not Fitness. It’s Life”.  It’s a pretty dramatic statement. The advertisement has several boxes with images of people inside.  They’re different ethnicities and some have tattoos.  I’d say the target audience would be men and women in their twenties.  The problem with the advertisement is that the minorities are all light-skinned.  You barely notice unless you look.  Also, it chops the bodies up, and focuses on certain areas only.  It’s focus is on the sex appeal of a man and woman, and it’s aiming to draw people to their gym.  It doesn’t send the best message because everyone has different body types.  I wouldn’t change the focus of being fit because it’s a gym advertisement.  I would like to see more models of different ethnicities and remove the focus from their body parts by introducing their faces.

My third advertisement is about the new vibrating mascara brush.  The headline states, “Turn it on.  The brush does all the work”.  The photo shows clips of it vibrating. This is all about sexual references, and it shocked me when I looked deeper into the advertisement.  They made doing your eyelashes a sexual experience.  What’s next?  Eyelashes are thought to be sexy, but the vibrating is a little too much.  It all goes back to making women sexual objects through Advertising. They’re saying, “Your looks are all you have women”. They’re targeting women of all ages.  We’ve put so much pressure on our appearances because of the media.  I’d have the product used in the advertisement, and remove the headline to something more suitable.  Perhaps, “Beauty just got easier”.

After looking through the magazine it showed me the lack of diversity in Advertising. I knew it was there, but it really stuck out. I feel like I need more experience because I don’t know how to change these problems. Women are definitely silenced, and their bodies become our society’s main focus.  I want a change for future generations because confidence feels beautiful. The problem is in the media, but now we just need to learn to solve it.

I was extremely excited to explore Disney, but to my disappointment diverse seems to be a dirty word at Disney.  I never even caught onto the sexism and racism present in these movies.  Disney wants to be viewed as diverse, but I’m afraid it’s not the kind of diverse we need in this country.  It almost scares me that Disney is giving these messages to Americas youth.  Instead of spreading diversity they spread stereotypes.

I don’t even know where to begin on discussing the racism present in Disney films.  One of the things that I remember from my childhood was watching Peter Pan.  The way Native Americans are portrayed is a tad ridiculous.  The red man song is very stereotypical and they’re smoking peace pipes.  It depicts stereotypes that are even present today in our society.  I’ve met people from out-of-state that still believe Native Americans live in tepees. I thought seriously? Looking at Disney’s portrayals I can see why these ideas are still present in our society. In the movie Pocahontas the Native American men seem violent and war hungry. Parts of the movie showed them as savages.

They just added a new Disney Princess to the line-up with the Princess in the Frog.  This movie was filled with stereotypes.  I’ve already spoken previously in another blog about “Ray”, the lightning bug and how he was depicted.  One thing that truly bothered me was the prince. They made him from another country, but he was white almost.  Why couldn’t they have a prince of African-American descent? Maybe I misunderstood the movie, but it bothered me that they made him so light-skinned, and it was confusing for me an adult.  That is my bias. I suppose it shouldn’t have mattered, but it still baffles me.  African-Americans have never been depicted nicely through Disney.  Watching Fantasia as a little girl… I’m still confused.  They had a black centaur girl helping the white centaur girls get ready. It wasn’t a very nice interpretation of African-Americans.  I believe the girl was a slave.  That’s what we feed our youth and its very depressing. Perhaps the beginning of my personal stereotypes began through these movies, as well as my environment.  Something to definitely think about.

The Disney Princesses are all beautiful cartoons and every girl wants to be a princess. Sexism is present throughout the movies because men our dominant over females in probably every Disney movie.  I’ve never noticed it much, but many of the Princesses were raised by fathers and not mothers.  Jasmine and Pocahontas are highly sexualized because of the skimpy clothes they wear.  I always thought the princesses were so strong, but now they’re always being rescued by men. Many of the men seem scary like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Masculinity is represented as powerful and dominant.

Disney fills youth today with diversity that is based on stereotypes of races, and that doesn’t spell true diversity to me. 

Hip-Hop.  I was interested to see how I would feel about this topic.  I’ve listened to it and I like some songs, but I’ve never gotten into the culture of hip-hop.  It’s interesting because I’ve always been so confused are Rap and Hip-Hop one in the same? Is Hip-Hop dancing? Is Rap, Hip-Hop?  Hip-Hop uses words to express themselves through music.  Rap is a great way for people who maybe can’t sing strongly, but are great lyrist to share their stories. 

When I think of a rapper it’s someone who has seen and lived a lot.  People that don’t always have the easiest lives, and want to share their stories. Ludacris, Eminem, T.I. are all artists that I’ve listened to several times.

I’ll start with Eminem because he’s an interesting subject.  Most people considered rappers to be black or at least that’s my stereotype, but he changed that.  He shares his most intimate stories and seems very angry at the world.  His new song “I’m not afraid” gives me the chills because he tells his fans, “…I’ll never let them down again”.  He tells a story of his life changes. It’s moving at least to me.

Ludacris is a rapper I enjoy listening to because his rhymes are so catchy, and he does a lot of duets with other singers. For instance J.T. and Justin Beber.  Ludacris raps unbelievably quickly.  The rapper T.I. is a bad boy that makes his rhymes into music. And I love his song “Whatever you like”.   After looking at these artists and their songs you begin to see the diversity within hip-hop.  Not one artist is the same.

On an ending note, Vanilla Ice and “Ice Ice Baby” is a rap that cracks me up.  His lyrics are very interesting. He says something like “he’s back”, and that was his first song. So what was he back from again? 

Still a confused girl, Darci

Token what?

One of the questions asked at the beginning of our class was if race discrimination still existed. Just by watching television I can see the problems we still face. Diversity within television just doesn’t seem to exist in our society.  Whether it’s commercials, movies, sitcoms, or the news it seems to be lacking in diversity.  If diversity is present it’s probably a stereotype, or they just placed in a “token minority”. Having a “token” anything flashes a big bright red problem screaming STEREOTYPE! It’s like the writers place one minority and its to show “hey were diverse look at us” or “Please don’t sue us”.    In America the land of equality we should have race-blind casting.  Our media should be blind to color.

One example is the television series CSI had a character named Warrick who was the only black CSI, and the writers made him have a gambling addiction.  He was the only character that had an addiction problem.  I think it just reaffirms stereotypes to general viewers maybe it’s not a common stereotype, but it’s just weird to me that he was the only one given a problem like that. When they decided to kill Warrick off they replaced him with Langston another black actor.  It was like they did this so they had their “token”  minority. It’s obvious what they’re doing and it’s kind of silly, and they aren’t blind to race. It shouldn’t matter what color the actors skin is, but I’m seeing now that it’s still out there. Why should there be only one main black character?  Is this really how our society is represented? 

Advertisements dictate the same kind of attitude towards lacking diversity.  Advertisers focus on certain target groups because they want to make a profit.  They seem to do this even if the ad will lack in diversity.  Certain commercials like McDonald’s target minorities, but other advertisements seem to vary.  They will have one minority placed in the advertisement, but white people will dominate the ad.  The advertisements that really crack me up have at least every single race in the advertisement so they “look” diverse.

South Park gives a satirical effect to the “token guy”.  They have one black character and named him Token.  Many people seem to make jokes about token minorities in order to bring attention to the problem. As far as movies go unless it’s created by other minority producers or writers then you will most likely have one token minority in it.  Hollywood seems to allow minorities to be a part of the films, but many times they aren’t the main characters.  Jack Black in Kung Fu Panda was made the lead when Jackie Chan only had a few lines.  This is a result of “white washing” our entertainment as a society we’re multiculturalist, but all over television screens we look like a white society.

Change is coming because things are becoming more diverse.  We need to drop these “token” characters and embrace our diversity because  I’m tired of seeing the black guy die at the beginning of the scary movie.

-Darci

Identity and Privilege

I was asked to describe my identity.  This is very difficult, but I would say that I fit into several boxes, not just one.  I’m a woman, American, Christian, and often considered just white.  I believe I’m more those identities, and don’t want to be concreted into a set group. I would say that is my first privilege. If I could choose my identity it would be human.  

I can fit in almost anywhere in Oklahoma.  I never feel alienated when I go to the grocery store or walk in my neighborhood.  I feel that I do have white privilege.  It’s there and hard to admit that I’ve been living with them, but I’m afraid it won’t be going away anytime soon. After reading McIntosh and listening to Tim Wise it just makes white privilege clearer. I used to think privilege was all about material possessions.  I still believe that it is part of that, but it goes deeper to advantages.   Both McIntosh and Wise brought “white privilege” into view so that I can see it for what it is, socially built privilege.

McIntosh states that we carry these privileges in an invisible knapsack.  She makes it clear that privileges aren’t just material things, but they’re things that we don’t even notice exist.  Everyone has privileges, but white privilege was put in place to keep others underneath them. She states that privilege “confers dominance  because of one’s race or sex”.  

Tim Wise was a very interesting man.  My head was spinning after listening to him speak about white privilege. He touched base on things that I’ve often heard.  “Why do they get a black history month” and “Where’s our month”.  Wise put it simply that March, April, May and the rest months out of the year are white history.  I never thought about American history being “white history”.  I guess that’s another one of my privileges. If we’re ever going to make any progress then we should make all races a part of American history since immigrants our American history.  I just don’t think you learn those things in school.  One issue I did have with Wise was his article on white privilege updated.  I felt like he attacked Sarah Palin to make a point, and he did.  I just didn’t personally agree with him bringing her situation with her children into the article.  I’m chuckling to myself because I guess I’m expecting some “woman privilege”, which means women shouldn’t be talked about that way.  Anyways, I hate politics and we’ll leave it at that.

The different perspectives I viewed are very interesting.  The Race Traitor states “…it is fair skin in a certain kind of society, one that attaches social importance to skin color”.  They state that they want to ebolish the white race, but not by exterminating people, but doing away with the social meaning of being white.  I agree that we need to look at other things besides the color of our skin.  Our country is young and can get through this, but I think it’s based on class systems too.  The British due to their new multiculturalism is having its class system slowly erode away.  I think this is a sign of future things to come within America.

Another perspective is the fear of immigrants and the “show me your papers” going on within certain states.  People forget that our country was built upon immigrants. All of our ancestors were immigrants unless you’re from Native American descent, and that shouldn’t be forgotten.  I think it’s the fear from the recession because of our economic situation.  Fear breeds blame, and hate. In 2006, 819 people were victims of anti-Hispanic hates crimes.

Privilege has everything to do with race and gender. It’s the reason we have so much conflict, and until privilege is gone the conflict will be here to stay. Realizing that we have this privilege will help us because hopefully this will stay with us in our future career fields. Knowing that it’s there might force us to branch out, and try to incorporate other sexes, ethnicities, and lifestyles into our media fields.  So the knowledge of any kind of privilege is important to the future of our country.  Diversity will increase and social conflicts could take place if we don’t begin to understand one another.

-Darci

“A pattern of stereotypes is not neutral.  It is not merely a way of substituting order for the great blooming, buzzing confusion o reality.  It is not merely a short cut.  It is all these things and something more.  It is the guarantee of our self-respect; it is the project upon the world of our own sense of our own value, our own position and our own rights.  The stereotypes are therefore, highly charged with the in feelings that are attached to them.  they are the fortress of our tradition,and behind its defenses we can continue to feel ourselves safe in the position we occupy “(1956: 96).- Walter Lippman

Walter Lippman in my opinion is correct we have begun to identify ourselves within our race based on created stereotypes. I feel that he had such passion because he came from Jewish-German parents, and understood prejudices within media. We base judgments on fixed ideas about people, and the media plays a large role in this. What we see everyday in the newspapers, television, or advertisements does influence us.  Our environments and families play such important roles on what we think of the world. 

Ian F. Haney Lopez stated that race becomes our identity because of the social construction of race, which was put in place in order to maintain a class system. I believe that every country around the world has to deal with stereotypes, but America is unique because we’re a nation of so many ethnicities. We stereotype in order to explain things or to identify people. We identify people based on physical appearances because our society tells us to.  Just looking at the newspaper or watching television they seem to describe people by their race.  It has been engrained into our society. So I think that Lipman means to say that stereotypes have become who we are, and that we feel comfortable within them. It might not be by our choice, but we are forced into them by society.  My groups discussion topic is a “Different mirror” by Ronald Takaki.  He states that when a group doesn’t experience its own race portrayed through the media than they look in the mirror see nothing.  People don’t know how to identify themselves because our society hasn’t told them yet.  The media has a large influence, and it’s important to take that into account in the future.

I agree with Lippman because  we do live within these created stereotypes.  They become who we are because others judge us based on our looks, class, accent, skin color, education, and gender.  Unfortunately, in my belief no matter what anyone says they do make first judgments of people based on at least one, or more of those things. Breaking out of these stereotypes is up to us as people to overlook them.  As future employees in the media world we need to make sure our work doesn’t depict these stereotypes, and that we stay unbiased. 

In contemporary media, I believe that they reinforce these stereotypes. For example, racial profiling certain groups among local news when it comes to crimes being committed. In the news they show minorities being arrested for robbery or murder, and to the average consumer they will stereotype that it’s because they are black or hispanic.  As we discussed in class it’s based on class differences instead of race differences, but still stereotypes are set.  Don’t get me wrong there are stereotypes based on class like “white trash” and “rednecks” these are also stereotypes to bring down the lower class.  Just because they are poor they all must be “ignorant or dumb”.  The lack of education does breed ignorance, but that is why the teaching of diversity in primary and secondary schools should be a future focus of Americans. I think we should also become diverse in class differences, as well as, race and gender differences. This way we can do away with these stereotypes because we know better.  
 

Also, certain cartoons and Disney movies that children watch racially discriminate.  According to the National Association of Young Children, children between the ages of 2 and 5 become aware of race because of their environment, and the media they encounter. The lightning bug named Ray, in the Princess in the Frog, sounded like a man from the Louisiana bayou, but they made him sound unintelligent, which is a sign of stereotyping people from that area. That was only one of many stereotypes present throughout the movie. We reinforce these things into our children’s minds, and we wonder why change is so hard. Another example of media today putting us in a stereotype box is through advertising.  The documentary we watched in class, Killing me Softly 4, showed how women are stereotyped to be “skinny and sexual playthings”.  It makes young girls have depression problems and eating disorders. Media is becoming more diverse, but it has a long way to go before we rid ourselves of stereotypes.

-Darci

When I first read our blog assignment, I thought it might be difficult to find certain examples about race within our media.  Sadly, as the day went on everything I heard or watched seemed to have race in it.  In our society and within our media it’s completely natural to identify a person by race.  

Relaxing during my Sunday afternoon I wander across a movie called Beyond the Gates.  It was about the genocide among the Hutus and Tutsi of the Rwanda.  This movie made me cry because it was so horrific.  People were killing each other because of ethnic strife and the fear of enslavement. Honestly, it seemed like they were just killing to kill in the end. In the Rwanda genocide over 800,000 people were killed. The Tutsi’s were a minority and the Hutu’s hacked them up with machetes.  These things could happen in America.  The battle seemed to be over power.  They were killing women and children as if they were animals and it shocks me that this happened in 1994.  The UN was supposed to be there to mediate and protect people, and so a school became the safe haven during this time.  One of the main characters was a school teacher named Joe,and he gathered a journalist to show the world what was happening there.  He kept saying, “She will help you, the world will know”.  As the movie goes on the journalists tells him that she cried everyday during the Bosnia crisis, because she saw women murdered, and thought “it could be my mother”.  Then she says in Rwanda she just sees a dead black woman.  She didn’t identify herself with them and journalists need to work at throwing away these bias. The hardest thing was watching the “whites” jump on the buses as the Tutsi’s watched helplessly. I wonder what I would choose, “to live or to do the right thing?”

My second example comes from talk radio.  On K.J. 103, they have a girl who goes out to clubs, and gives random men her number to a voicemail that is hooked up to the station. It’s supposed to be funny, and  I didn’t think anything of it till a man talked about her race. Raul thought that she was one beautiful a$$ white girl.  Once again race popped up as form of identification for people.  A week ago it never occurred to me that we are identified this way, and how this is essential for our society.  No one seems to see it because it’s just so natural. Would we be able to function as a society without race to identify ourselves? I’m a little worried that our society will have trouble looking beyond race.

My third example comes from a movie. From Paris with Love.  The movie is about a spy fighting against drugs and terrorism. The terrorists are of Muslim and Middle Eastern descent.  Many other movies since 9/11 have reflected this view.  As a society we are embedding these views in our pop-culture, and making it natural that our terrorists are always Muslim or Middle Eastern descent.  During the Cold War it was us against the Russians and it was displayed throughout popular media. Our movies reflect our society’s thoughts and fears. We racially profile people based on their country, and race when being searched before entering an airplane.  I understand it, but it still doesn’t feel right. We never seem to reflect in movies, and other media entertainment that “white” people can be terrorists too.  Where are the movies with characters like Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, and Dylan Klebold.  It’s just rare that movies show white terrorism. Our media could be helping in breeding fear and hate for these ethnic groups.  Don’t let the few ruin your views of the many.

Race is definitely too prominent of an issue in our society, and hopefully one day we can change this through the media.

Media is a tool and we should use it to create awareness.

-Darci

Born Privileged


I was asked to come up with my own definition for privilege, and I’ve always thought of privileged as someone living with many opportunities. For example, I think that Paris Hilton is a very privileged girl.  I would have never compared myself to her because she’s extremely wealthy, and I’m obviously not. My parents do own a chihuahua, but frankly that’s where are similarities end.  I’ve examined others definitions of privilege and it all leads back to certain given rights.  I’ve never really looked at being born of a certain race gave me privileged rights. We live in America and even with all of our problems we are supposed to have tackled inequality. With white privilege in the world will we ever be a nation of equality? In my opinion it’s not possible with white privilege present. To me privilege belongs to people who have better opportunities because they belong to a socially constructed society that gives them a sense of entitlement.

Privilege seems to linger around race because it was created to make others superior. Being born into a certain race gives you different advantages.  I do believe even within races what families you’re born into does play a large role as to the level of privilege you have within the system, but it’s still there.  White privilege does allow for people within that group to have better opportunities. They get options of living in better neighborhoods without discrimination. They also have opportunities for better education and future opportunities. Who wouldn’t want a privilege like that? Isn’t that suppose to be what our country is about?  

Privilege can cloud the minds of men because they don’t realize that they have certain advantages over women. The gender wage gap gives a prime example to this idea. The gender wage gap has been narrowing due to the recession, but men still make more money then women do. That screams privilege to me!

I don’t think as a society that we realize that these privileges exist and it’s important that the media is not bias.  We need to know that they exist so we can bring light to the issues, and change the system.  It’s important to know all sides in order to understand sexism and racism, and if we don’t know privilege exists then how can we change it.  That is why it’s important to discuss privilege along with race and gender in media. And it’s important to look at your own privileges:

1. My parents pay for my college.                                                                                                                                                                                      

2. I got to go to college.  

3. I live in a beautiful house that I personally own.

4. I’ve never been discriminated against.

5. I’ve rarely ever been a minority.

6. If I wanted to get a job it would be based on my skills not my skin color.

7. It’s easy for me to find someone with similar life experiences as me.

Those are a few of my personal tracks.  When I reflected on them it occurred to me how truly privileged I am.  I was born privileged.

Men seem to have more priviledges than women do.

1.   They aren’t judged by their gender whether they are smart enough.

2.   They will get paid the appropriate amount of money for the same job as a women.

3.   They can write a check or use a credit card without being questioned.

4.   Other men listen to them fairly.

5.   Always seem capable of a doing a job based on their gender.

I probably sound like an angry women writing those, but I have experienced some of those things. Privilege does exist and it shouldn’t. This took centuries of built up entitlement that will probably take centuries to disappear. Well I’m working to that goal one mind at a time.

-Darci

Humanity=Earth’s Race

Before Monday I had never really considered the definition of race.  I’ve always considered it to be physical characteristics and cultural experiences.  Lopez shined the light on the fact that race is an illusion.  It was created by our ancestors to gain superiority over others.  No matter what color of skin you have we all have the same biological components and genes. So obviously race is not going to be biological like many would like to believe.

So then what is race? Race has become an identity of a person. It is how we begin to see ourselves and other people. People can become trapped within these socially crafted identities.  I’m sitting on my sofa watching re-runs of the comedy “Scrubs” and race pops up. The problem for one of the characters was race and their identity. They have a Latina/African-American child and they want their child to have a proper identity. Instead of being able to share both cultures the argument was that the baby was seen to be physically African-American instead of Latina.  Just because a person looks a certain way doesn’t mean that share more or less of a culture. These are everyday problems that many Americans face within their communities, and this is due to a social construction of race.

“The Wire” shows the struggles of corruption, drugs, and violence.  The series exemplifies the hierarchy that was created by the social construction of race. It shows Baltimore’s “ghetto” and the privileged elite participating in corruption at different levels. Some of the scenes can be looked at as stereotypical, and the average consumer might have trouble seeing through those stereotypes to the truth. I think it takes a break down of a profound series, within a classroom to really see how identities can be forced onto people.  People did not choose to be born in America, or to be born black or white.  We should be able to choose equality.  “The Wire” seems to be a step toward intellectual thought that can appeal to young Americans. I think that it’s great that major colleges like Harvard are using this as an educational tool.  It keeps class fresh and interesting , which really helps. Showing what certain groups go through can be a huge eye opener. Pictures can be powerful tools toward awareness.  

Hopefully, one day we will look at one another, and see no race, but one.  The race of humanity.

http://anthropology.net/2008/10/01/race-as-a-social-construct/

http://www.gossamer-wings.com/soc/Notes/race/tsld002.htm

A Brave New World.

With all of the new media present in society and changes in tolerance, I would like to think that we will be looking at a brave new world filled with acceptance.  This is possibly a lot to ask for at this moment, but we seem to be making improvements toward that goal.  Tolerance has improved over the past decades, but as a society we have had some set backs. I think this class is more important than ever because of the recession.  People are looking for someone to blame and its the media’s job to neutralize this flame. Whether its tolerance of a person’s religion or culture, we could all use more education and understanding.  So we can use these ideals to better equip us for our media fields. We have not moved beyond needing a class to discuss race and gender. The lack of education on the matter can breed ignorance, so classes like this are very important to our American culture. It’s possible that we will always require classes like this.  As Americans we have very diverse cultures, and we need to understand one another in order to live together.  Media plays an important role in our society, and it’s necessary to understand how gender and race work within the system.  People listen to what the media says so its important that we are knowledgable, and know our own biased thoughts. In advertising we direct so much focus on stereotypical things when it comes to our target audiences.  To me that’s wrong, and that’s why we need this class to better understand how to change this. They want to reach their audience so that they can make a profit, and they want something that sells.  Sex sells products, and to me this exploits women.  It’s plastered all over the media that women have to be a certain way.  In my new world, I want to see something different.  These things just take time and education. In church one day a preacher said, “Knowledge can’t enter your head if your mouth is open.”  That really stuck with me, because I think people are sometimes to busy sharing their own opinions then listening to others.  Learning is the key to a tolerant society.