The cultural images produced by the media serve to further oppress racialized groups in America and form national psyches which allow America’s institutionalized racism to prosper. Images proposed by the media and popular culture have made claims about all different racialized groups in America. The media has been instrumental in perpetuating ideas about the black male perp, the black male buffoon, all black Americans since the days of slavery as “darkies,” who are content with playing in the mud, Americans of European descent as harmless, safe, and normal, Asian Americans as dangerous, inassimilable aliens, who pose a threat to Americans, the American Indian culture as a joke, and suitable to be applied to American sporting events, and Chicanos/as as criminals, among the other various vicious stereotypes given to the different groups in American society. This paper will discuss the problems of the American media, and how national psyches are constructed as a result of the racism that is so prevalent in the media and that is demanded by its audiences, but will also emphasize that the racism in popular culture is nothing new, and America has a legacy of racism.
Since the birth of America, she has been a racist country that misrepresents its minorities in order to create racial hierarchies, which are as socially constructed as the idea of race itself. In Werner Sollors’s “How Americans Became White: Three Examples” he discusses the early appearance of racism in American. He quotes Friedrich Alexander von Humboldt who states, “‘In a country dominated by whites those families of whom it is assumed that they are least intermingled with Negro or Mulatto blood are the ones most highly honored,’” (Sollors, 3). This is a testament to the ways in which popular images have served to subjugate people who defy the white-American ideals. Furthermore, Sollors seeks to show that, from the beginning,... [continues]
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(2008, 09). American Popular Culture as an Intrument of Racial Oppression. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 09, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/American-Popular-Culture-Intrument-Racial-Oppression-164977.html
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