Over the past several years we have seen acts of possible racism here at home, and right in our backyard with the killings on Younge Street and the shooting on the Danforth and most recently the violent act of running over a group of people in London, Ontario. These senseless killing here at home and abroad are all very bad and should never occur.
Many people misunderstand the definitions of racism and prejudice; however, they are different. While all racists are prejudiced, not all those with prejudice are racist. Prejudice is usually learned early in life and affects behavior in a more subtle way. For example, a police officer with prejudice might assume that a person of color would be more likely to commit a crime. That belief would then affect the actions of the officer, even if it were in a subconscious way. Prejudice still persists today even if this kind of thinking is no longer deemed acceptable within some systems and organizations.
Racism in contrast, is directed at a particular group and is generally more overt. An example of racism would be a shop refusing to serve patrons of a certain skin color. While most blatant racism toward BIPOC… (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) is no longer tolerated or viewed as acceptable in contemporary society, we are not so far removed from the years of slavery and segregation. For this reason, it is the case that prejudice is able to persist even though outward racism is no longer seen as acceptable.
Do people learn to be racist or is it an inborn survival instinct for people to align themselves with people of their own race and push away other groups?
The general consensus is that racism is not inborn but learned through one’s early environment. For example, a white child who grows up without ever seeing a BIPOC child may learn that they are not connected to people of color. It is the responsibility of parents to explain to children that all races are connected in their humanity. Racism is in many ways a cultural phenomenon rather than an individual psychological occurrence.
The media plays a role in sustaining racism when it portrays a mostly white cast of actors in magazines, television shows, and movies. This industry has in recent years changed their casting and has included more folks of color when it comes to certain roles in film and television. However, in my opinion, l believe that media is the biggest reason why racism gets fueled and creates a more serious problem or gives you the feeling that everything is motivated by race. Don’t get me wrong, these very serious acts are totally unacceptable, however, in many cases these acts are just committed by thugs and there are no racial biases behind these crimes. There are many of these crimes that are created and executed due to racist motivations, but not all are and should not be lumped into one category. In many of these cases the media uses the race card before it really has all the facts.
Jumping to conclusions by the media fuels the next group that takes it and makes it even bigger, because it works to their advantage. Yes, speaking about our good old politicians.
I would say that the majority of politicians take these horrible situations, and they make it their own issue in order to get exposure. Unfortunately, in many cases these politicians are to blame for much of the racism because they fuel a rift between groups.
called out all Canadians that we are racist and that we should be all scolded. Again, all these cases are terrible, and we all need to be protected from these crimes but let’s work together rather than creating fear in many Canadians. He said, “this killing was no accident, this was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred in the hearts of one of our communities” and yes this may have, but let’s get all the facts before you put all of us in that box.
Other politicians including our Prime Minister and Premier had no choice but to jump on that bandwagon and create this racist state that yes l believe exists but let’s not call everyone a racist. These politicians have no balls when it comes to this issue because they will not say what they really think. The media would crucify them if any politician would …. Say that we need to get all the facts before we make statements that all of us are racist or prejudice.
I want to take a minute and state that yes there are problems in this country and in the world when it comes to racism, but l want to put a positive spin on this argument and say that l believe we are a loving society in most parts. We are a caring and loving community and will help when push comes to shove because we care. From where l sit, l believe that through education and loving support we are making many great strives in curbing racism.
Media holds significant influences in our daily lives, and it infiltrates our perceptions and understanding with continuous messages that impact our belief and value systems. It becomes important to look at whether or not media also impacts race and racism in our society.
Throughout history the mass media, in various forms, have tended to support the power of the dominant group by presenting to the general public highly negative, emotion evoking images of minority groups. The topic of media influencing racism in society is salient in research that targets media bias, and therefore it is prudent to explore how media contributes to racism in explicit ways. The news in many instances has already set the course way before you even see it on television or hear it on the radio. Especially today, the bulk of media outlets are left leaning and always project the worst situation before all the facts have been considered. Unfortunately, this is the way things work and that old expression of don’t always believe what you see or read is so relevant in today’s society.
Social media today is playing an even bigger role to deliver messages that form racism and prejudice when it comes to delivering the news, good, bad or indifferent. Between these new social media outlets and the more traditional news organizations, they seem without question the ones that are formulating a narrative that makes us the viewers form an opinion. And that opinion paints many of these situations to have racism contained in its messaging.
There is no question in my mind that media and many politicians of the day create the narrative that we are all racist which creates a negative environment. Let me end on a positive note and say that, negativism sells, but we are a loving nation, and we will overcome these negative narratives of racism.