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Essay on Native American Stereotypes in the Media

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Native Americans have been living on American soil for quite a while now. They were here before the European colonists. They have been here and still continue to be present in the United States. However, the way the media represents Native Americans disallows the truth about Native Americans to be told. Only misinterpretations of Native Americans seem to prosper in the media. It appears the caricature of Native Americans remains the same as first seen from the first settler’s eyes: savage-like people. Their culture and identity has become marginalized by popular culture. This is most evident in mainstream media. There exists a dearth of Native American presence in the mainstream media. There is a lack of Native American characters in different media mediums. When they are represented, they are misrepresented. They are easily one of the most underrepresented cultures and people in American media. Native Americans shouldn’t be confined to a stereotype, should have a greater presence in the media, and shouldn’t be misrepresented when they are presented.
The stereotype of Native Americans has been concocted by long history. As any stereotype constructed by physical appearance, the early Europeans settlers were no different and utilized this method. Strangers to the New World, they realized the land was not uninhabited. The Native Americans were a strange people that didn't dress like them, didn't speak like them, and didn't believe like them. So they scribed what they observed. They observed a primitive people with an unorthodox religion and way of life. These observations made the transatlantic waves. Not knowingly, the early settlers had transmitted the earliest cases of stereotyped Native Americans to the masses. This perpetuated t...


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...ean the media would stop lacking in the presence of the Native Americans in their productions. The limited presence of Native Americans translates to the limited possibility of Native Americans to voice their perspectives. In order to achieve a fuller picture of Native Americans, the media must stay away from misrepresenting the race when they are present. Presenting Native Americans as a race of savages only makes more people believe that misinterpretation. The media needs to become more informed about the culture of Native Americans, feature more Native Americans in their productions, and represent a clearer picture of a people that has suffered from portrayals as a primitive people. The media should never be responsible for interpreting the image of a particular race; it should serve to more accurately inform people. A more informed people create a better society.


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