Race And American Culture By Michael Omni

1012 Words5 Pages
Author Michael Omni states in his work “In Living Color: race and American Culture”, “ The power of the media lies not only in their ability to reflect the dominant racial ideology, but in their capacity to shape their ideology in the first place” (542) . The media has the ability to make society see any race in any light they choose. For example African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics are all tied to smoking marijuana, excessive alcoholism, broken sentences, being indolent, jobless, and imprisonment. These are sometimes true in every race but they portray these listed races in an inaccurate way in every film. Hollywood directors do have a social responsibility to stop stereotyping different ethnic groups. Through analyzing various films such Friday, American Me, and Skins you will be able to see the prejudice stereotypes and the negative affects its causes in society. What are ones first thoughts of when you think of a Hispanic? Most would say gangster or sweatshop worker or even pregnant high school dropout. One rarely thinks Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. If you take a step back and ask why does most of society have these stereotypes for this group of people? Media, films, and every channel that has the ability to reach some part of society. American Me a film so deeply tied to the Hispanic culture, represents its people as all living in poverty, affiliated with some sort of gang, and speaking broken if any English at all. The main character who is in fact a “cholo” goes to prison gets out lives with his poor family and struggles to get by as a non-educated Hispanic. It a mass produce idea of what it is to be Hispanic. It is extremely damaging to its people. Most of society see them as gangsters, dropouts... ... middle of paper ... ... her work “Asian Women in Film: No Joy, No Luck” (351). The media and is directors producers or anyone who has the responsibility of casting directing or anything that will be shown to the masses have a huge responsibility to every group of people to represent them in light that is not stereotyped in a negative manner. All the films discussed all show some form of stereotype each ethnic group has held over their heads. Ask yourself if we didn’t have film would we still have these stereotypes? In order to get over this racial profiling in film they should start showing what else these groups have accomplished not just the negative side. For example they could make a film of Madam C. J. Walker who was African American and also the first self-made female millionaire. Directors hold a huge responsibility and they owe it society to portray each ethnic group in fair way.
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