African Americans, Asian Americans And Native Americans Essay

African Americans, Asian Americans And Native Americans Essay

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In the wake of one of the most destructive and devastating catastrophes ever to have occurred in this country, sparks of aggressive discussion over matters of class and race were reignited as news outlets released images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. An image from the Associated Press (AP) shows a young black man, wading through waist-high floodwaters, dragging a large floating bag of supplies after, as the caption indicates, “looting” a grocery store. A contrasting image from Agence France-Presse (AFP) shows a pair of Caucasian residents, a man and a woman, trudging through the same waters after “finding” a meager set of rations from a local store. It might essentially boil down to semantics, of course. Then again, whether intentional or otherwise, the sentiment is there and it 's one that continues to propagate today.
In contemporary American news media, there remains a tendency to portray African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans and Native Americans in unfair and stereotypical ways, often when it comes to choosing the very topics deemed to be newsworthy. These negative portrayals unfortunately come at a cost: not only do they exist, they persist and they encourage, however directly or indirectly, the very stereotypes they acknowledge to a wide national or (sometimes) international audience. For African Americans, news about success stories, achievements, and overcoming poverty are often overshadowed by more violently-inclined reports: stories on crime, gang relations, and riots come to mind. Chicanos are usually found on the same boat, but with segments on illegal immigration added to the mix. Asian Americans, if mentioned on the news at all, are often regarded as “model minorities,” which puts them at odds with o...

... middle of paper ...

...more diverse representation of different races and cultures in the media.
The battle for racial equality is a constant one and its far from over. While those who provide us with information continue to perpetuate such negative stereotypes about our fellow Americans, true equality will be nothing more than a pipe dream. African Americans are still synonymized with murderers, rapists, and gangsters. Chicanos are mistakenly judged as illegal immigrants, regardless of their citizenship status. Asian Americans are unfairly entrusted with the expectations and corresponding pressures from generations of socioeconomic success. While Native Americans are regarded as aliens and pests in their own homeland, if they are ever acknowledged at all. It’s a precarious situation, to say the least, but we only have ourselves to blame. After all, the viewers get what the viewers want.

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