Sunday, November 16, 2008

Type Of Stereo?...

Stereotypes are commonly used to associate groups with various behavioral characteristics.

There are, today, two different kinds of stereotypes, the social and the media.

Social stereotypes are based on common -personal- observations, often recited collectively as an experience and generally reflect basic truths about one group or another.

Media stereotypes however are generally invented to serve the political goals of those who wield said media as a form of social engineering.

For example we often hear of the historic "media stereotyping" of blacks and other minorities with the blame of this insidious practice laid at the feet of the White Devil's "institutionalized racism".

The problem though is in actually looking at how media has portrayed minorities down through the decades.

Off the top of your head, how many movies from the 30's, 40's, 50's, or 60's can you think of that portrayed blacks as evil, murdering, rapist-thugs?

The reality is that the stereotype the media created of blacks was that of friendly, non-threatening, innocent and downright helpful goofs.
Same goes for Asians, Hispanics and others.
Even Cowboy and Indian movies almost always had a White guy as the main antagonist. And the testimony of how positive the media generated image of Indians was in those days is the high percentage of Whites today (who grew up in that era) erroneously claiming to have Indian ancestors.

No, only White gentiles have been perpetually stereotyped in American media as "the bad guys".

Just think of the list of stereotypes commonly (and wrongfully) applied to Whites in Media. Wife beaters, rednecks, gunrunners, rapists, gangsters, drug dealers and of course serial killers.
The reality?

There were many expressions of shock and surprise voiced in the media in 2002 when the "D.C. Sniper" turned out to be two Black males. Two of the stereotypes surrounding serial killers are that they are almost always White males and that African American males are barely represented in their ranks. In a sample of 413 serial killers operating in the United States from 1945 to mid-2004 it was found that 90 were African American.

So the next time you hear someone go off about unjust media stereotypes, ask them for some historic examples, reminding them of just how positive those stereotypes were to non-Whites. And then juxtapose that with some factual data...