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| | |-+  Popular Media - Perpetuating the Status Quo
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Author Topic: Popular Media - Perpetuating the Status Quo  (Read 10273 times)
Senior Member
Posts: 634

Ayanna's Roots

« on: May 07, 2004, 10:08:28 AM »

This is an excerpt from the  full article:

This War and Racism--Media Denial in Overdrive

by Norman Solomon

"The U.S. government doesn't drop bombs on people because of their race. Washington's geopolitical agendas lead to military actions. But racial biases make the war process easier when the people being killed and maimed aren't white people. An oversize elephant in the American media's living room is a reality that few journalists talk about in public: The USA keeps waging war on countries where the victims resemble people who often experience personal and institutional racism in the United States.

In the American media coverage of the uproar after release of the Abu Ghraib photos, one of the only references to race was fleeting and dismissive, midway through a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on May 3: "So far the alleged grotesqueries are more analogous to the nightmares that occur occasionally at American prisons, when rogue and jaded guards freelance to intimidate and humiliate inmates. The crime, then, first appears not so much a product of endemic ethnic, racial, or religious hatred, as the unfortunate cargo of penal institutions, albeit exacerbated by the conditions of war, the world over."

That essay, by the Hoover Institution's Victor Davis Hanson, typifies media denial about what's happening in the hellish American cells populated so disproportionately by low-income blacks and Latinos. In the world of the Journal editorial page's convenient fantasy, guards "occasionally" choose to "freelance to intimidate and humiliate inmates." In the world of prisoners' inconvenient reality, guards frequently intimidate, humiliate -- and brutalize.

Media denial lets the U.S. military -- and the U.S. incarceration industry -- off the hook..."

The unwillingness and inability of the popular media to see and address the issue of racism in U.S Foreign Policy underscores the importance of informed people developing their own media to air issues that are important. The white liberal/conservative media (who knows the difference between them these days) certainly will not make this known even if they can see it. Contrary to what is sold to us, the ‘ role’ of the media is not to tell the truth, protect the innocent or ensure that democracy is maintained. Their role is to protect the status quo and to maintain their own capitalist interest. Just as knowledge is power, the role of the mass media has evolved into the maintenance and perpetration of inequitable power relations. Fortunately in this age of new technology that has revolutionized communication and rendered states virtually borderless, one man with a modem and a home video camera can be a journalist. One thinking person with a weblog can ensure that people can have better information and opinions. Our challenge is to make sure that we understand the issues and can be discerning enough to see the truth within the lies and expose it for what they are. and then be empowered enough to articulate the issues properly. - yan

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