Black People in the Media
By: Steve Kao
Racism have always been around for centuries. Throughout history there have been segregations between races. One of the most well known segregations of race is here in America where there were black slaves working in farms, being mistreated, and dissed by society among the whites. We can all agree that racism towards blacks have somewhat died down these past few years drastically after having Barack Obama as president but, there is still an elephant in the room. His presidency shocked the world and raised a lot of questions among the people. According to an NPR news cast, they mentioned that during Barack Obama’s upcoming election he was under the microscope of his opponents as some of them have questioned his birthplace as an American citizen, whether he was an undercover Muslim, or if his fist bumps were a terrorist fist jab.(1) Sure, we can all agree that we can question in detail about a candidate who may or may not be our president but for Obama’s case not only did the public question and attack Barack but also attacked his family with racial comments which is not usual for any candidates who is being elected as president. The truth is that Barack is a mixed and a lot of black voters at that time also wanted to know his kinship and if it is possible that the other black voters can relate to themselves with Barack as president. There was another aspect where in America there were a lot of police brutality towards Latinos or blacks. As a president in this history of such a powerful country the first black president what is the thing he going to address? During president Obama’s multiple speeches he have addressed race problems within America such as “I’m not the president of Black America,”(1) in his 2012 reelection campaign where he readdresses the issue of race and equality. He also says that he is like no other president. President Obama addressed in his speech that “ we are going to have a woman president, we are going to have a Latino president and we’ll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president” (1).
(Image Source: NPR)
A lot of articles out there have claimed that Obama’s legacy is not what he did as a president but remembered as the first black man to lead one of the most powerful nation in the 21st century, changing the minds and the standard of society. he broke the line of color that stood for 220 years. According to the NPR article people celebrated his success as his story as president motivates other race, gender to achieve better.(1) As president he reformed immigration rules, which was never addressed opened healthcare for millions of minorities. Obama was a symbol in the eyes of other black folks which later then started a movement called the black lives matter movement. Due to people disliking obama which as a result had been an increase of police brutality against black people.
Another movement that recently started which has spread across united states at a very rapid rate is called the black lives matter movement. #blacklivesmatter advocate that equality of black lives. It all started with the murder of 17-year old Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman who was acquitted for his crime, and Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. On their main website, blacklivesmatter.com pushes forth how, in society, there is a problem between race which is not openly addressed, and this movement is to shine light on black lives. On their website they also discuss how women in the workplace have always been mistreated and it worsens depending on the color of their skin. They strongly believe that white supremacy have taken over America and if they remove this white supremacy ideology, they can potentially liberate any race from being pushed down. One of their slogans include “When Black people get free, everybody gets free”(3).
Tying it back to our class material, in class we read about how google have fliter their GUI and search engines. Racial gender bias in google search. The article talks about how when you search black girls in google it showed all these pornographics contents which defiles black women. (IVC,2)
In conclusion racism have been around for a very long time, even when we think it have died down it is still there such as when we had our first black president, black lives movement and even google’s search engine algorithm. These are clear examples that is in need a change in the mindsets of society. In one of mccloud’s comics “If society has the ability to simplify our image we are moving further and further from the real face of the photo. Why then is it simplified face so acceptable to our eyes and seem just as real to others”(mccloud,29). If we could accept that a simple image such as a stick figure can represent any gender, race or ethnicity on a comic book then we should be able to accept the fact that blacks are no different than any other kinds of people in this world and we should all treat them equally.
- Demby, Gene. “Obama’s Racial Legacy: Some Last Words On The First Black President.” NPR. NPR, 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
(2) “Herstory”. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.<http://blacklivesmatter.com/herstory/>
(3) Noble, Safiya Umoja . “Google Search: Hyper-visibility as a Means of Rendering Black Women and Girls Invisible.” Invisible culture: an electronic journal for visual culture. N.p., 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. <http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/google-search-hyper-visibility-as-a-means-of-rendering-black-women-and-girls-invisible/#menuopen>.
(4) mccloud, scott. Understanding Comics. 1st ed. new york: Harper Collins, 1993. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.
(Feature Image source: Black Lived Matter)