In the midst of the Trayvon Martin madness, I believe it’s important to question the media’s misrepresentation of black youth.
It frustrates me to turn on the television and see a black male behind bars or in the middle of fighting “baby mamas.” That’s not all there is.
I was outraged when I first heard about Martin’s killing. It’s obvious that George Zimmerman stereotyped him from the at first glance. In his 911 call, he was adamant that Martin “looked like he was on drugs.” That’s a sorry excuse for taking a person’s life. If he posed no threat, what made Zimmerman think it was right to kill him?
Racial profiling is nothing new under the sun but something has to change.
Don’t get me wrong, non-minorities are shown in negative lights; however, they do not bear the burden of representing their entire race. It’s a lot of pressure to prove to the world that you are not what they see on TV.
I often question myself as to why the media does not focus on positive stories. Contrary to popular belief, the number of black graduates has increased. Last year’s census reported a 48 percent rise in the number of black college graduates. Unfortunately, black success does not seem “suitable” enough to air or publish in newspapers and magazines.
With these negative images, the world unconsciously looks down on black males. Black men, regardless of their social class, will be targeted at least once in their lifetimes. The mass media shows black men as oversexed, soulless beings who want nothing more than sex or drug dealing thugs.
In my journalism classes, my professors have pointed out the biases toward the lack of black news producers and misconceptions of African-Americans.
It is for this reason I strive to become a news producer so I can have authority to control the images the world sees.
As a journalist, I understand the importance of my profession and aim to report fair stories.
Sadly, whatever society deems threatening is what people will automatically go by.
We need to stop labeling issues that affect one race and examine them as social issues. There are numerous studies that indicate a higher rate in traffic stops for African-Americans.
The media has a responsibility to offer balanced coverage regardless of the subject.
The “black on black” crime is not limited to the black community. In 2011, the U.S. Department Of Justice reported whites kill 84 percent of whites. This shows that crimes among the same race aren’t just a “black thing.”
Instead of just reporting about it we need to do something about it.