An Analysis of Racism as Portrayed in the Media

“We must always be on guard against racism in any form and shape.” Media sources have great power. Many people are influenced by the media and its perception of current and past events. Media’s portrayal of racial stereotypes is based on location and cultural factors. Many media sources lean either on the left [democratic] or to the right [republican], but there are also reporters who take a neutral stance and appeal to both sides. Whether sources lean on the right or the left they influence their audience into multiple viewpoints of others of a different race and mindset.

Many media sources take different stances than the majority of others in their area and culture, for example NPR’s Bill Chappell article “Black Men May Have Cause to Run from Police.” Chappell despite being from a state where the majority of people take a more right[republican] stance decides to take a left [democratic] stance in his article. In the article Chappell takes the side of the racially profiled.

He shows a statistic from Boston’s police data which found that ” Blacks were disproportionately stopped by the City’s police”.

Chappell adds this statistic into his article in order to convince the audience that police racially stereotype a minority and persuade the audience to his viewpoints on the issue. Chappell also adds a quote from the judge’s reasoning, “We [Judges] do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop”.

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Chappell includes this quote into his article in order to show the racial profiling that police make of black men.

Chappell also includes the “significant changes” in the Boston police department’s operations, training, and involvement with the community such as requiring body cameras be attacked to officers that are on duty. This is another tactic that Chappell uses to convince his majority right [republican] leaning audience to a more left [democratic] perspective. Chappell’s left [democratic] stance is evident through his abundance of evidence on the issue despite his stance being the minority in Texas.

In the New York Times magazine article,” The Identity of Political Whiteness” by Laila Lalami, Lalami takes a more left [democratic] stance as she ridicules the privilege of whites and their path to being a minority. Lalami talks about President-Elect Trump’s appeal to white voter’s identity and anxiety. Lalami being a New York writer takes a popular left stance based on New York’s multi-cultural demographic. Lalami sides with New York senator Hillary Clinton and ridicules President-Elect Trump. This is emphasized in a quote by Lalami,” Top issue… Drove trump voters to the polls was not the economy…lt was immigration…became engulfed in sensational stories about rapists crossing the southern border.” Lalami also explains the white voters’ fears and anxieties of becoming a future minority in this quote.

Lalami said ” At the heart of this anxiety is white people’s increasing awareness that they will become a statistical minority within a generation.” This quote by Lalami emphasizes southern states’ reasoning for voting for President-Elect Trump instead of her personal belief that senator Hillary Clinton should have been president. Lalami also begins to ridicule President-elect Trump for his campaign tactics to lure voters, which many in New York and their culture believe, Lalami stated ” Donald Trump regularly tied America’s problems to others. Immigration reform, he told us, to stop the rapist and drug dealers coming here from Mexico. Terrorism could be stopped by banning Muslims from entering the country”.

This quote by Lalami shows her dislike for President-Elect Trump which is very common for many in the state of New York. This issue also hits close to home for Lalami as she is also one of many Muslim’s that live in New York City. This is proven in this quote by Lalami, “But I am also an immigrant and a person of color and a Muslim.” Many others have the same beliefs as Lalami of President-Elect Trump’s campaign promises and if he will hold up to those promises. This is emphasized in this quote by Lalami’s daughter, “He can’t make us leave, right?” This fear is shared by many Immigrants not only in the state of New York but many others throughout the whole United States.

Another article in the New York Times, “Right and Left of the Violence in Charlottesville” by Anna Dubenko shows both sides of the racial issue in Charlottesville.. Dubenko in this article takes a neutral stance in the issue showing both sides and appealing to them giving them credit in their arguments over the issue. The first quote by Bill O’Reilly from The Hill comes from a right [republican] stance, O’Reilly states that “In cases where Americans are fighting other Americans, clarity is desperately needed. Trump would have been wise to articulate his anger with ‘many sides’ in very specific terms.” Debenko begins to appeal to the O’reilly’s viewpoints on the issue.

This is one of many quotes that portrays her viewpoints. Debenko also uses a quote by Scott Greer at the Daily Caller who also takes a right [republican] stance in the issue. “Law enforcement was on hand at the dueling demonstrations on Saturday, decked out in riot gear and looking prepared for the worst. Except they weren’t allowed to do their job.” This quote by Scott Greer explained by Debenko hits home with many on the right as well as some on the left. Another quote by Scott Greer shows a right [republican] reasoning for the issue in Charlottesville. He said it [violence] could have been contained and fewer people hurt if the police were a more active presence.” This quote by Scott Greer to the Charlottesville police department shows Debenko’s appeal to both sides as she takes a neutral stance in the issue.

Debenko taking a more neutral stance also shows the left [democratic] side and their input on the problem. A quote by Jamelle Bouie from Slate takes a left [democratic] stance. Yes. the proximate reason for Unite the Right was to defend the city’s Confederate memorials, but the actual reason was for the seems like it marchers to show their strength as a movement.” Debenko shows support to this argument stating that the real winners were the Nazi’s and White supremacists. This quote by Bouie is not uncommon as other writers from Slate have the same beliefs.

Another quote by Shuja Haider from Jacobin emphasizes the media’s fault in the issue. “President Trump’s reticence betrays a reactionary bias, which comes as no surprise. But his rhetoric was not unique to him – the mainstream media and liberal intelligentsia had set the precedent.” Debenko added this quote to appeal to her left leaning audience and to show her right leaning audience a different perspective on the issue. From the center stance by Perry Bacon Jr. from Fivethirtyeight. “This strain of white identity politics, which sees white people as the group in need of special protection, is relatively new.” Bacon follows this up by stating that this is nothing new to US politics. This shows the writer’s appeal to a neutral stance, despite the controversial political viewpoints of both sides pertaining to the issue in Charlottesville.

In the New York Times article,” A Guide to the Charlottesville Aftermath,” Maggie Astor takes a more left [democratic] stance. Astor begins by quoting President Trump on his stance on the issue in Charlottesville. “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” This quote added by Astor displays her left [democratic] stance. This not uncommon in for many writers at the New York Times.

Astor goes through the whole event while showing the victims that have been effected. “One person was killed: Heather D. Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville who “was a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised and was often moved to tears by the world’s injustices.” This quote from her article shows the how important the victims are to Astor and portray an angelic image of the victims to help her persuade her audience. Astor also includes the businesses affected by the issue. Websites such as Go Daddy, a website hosting service that cut ties with The Daily Stormer after the writers mocked the victims from Charlottesville. Astor includes this into her article to emphasize the effects of racism and bigotry on American business. Showing, that not only people were affected but the event sent ripples through America affecting everything.

Media sources have great influence over their audience, many sources, portrayal of racial stereotypes are based on their location and cultural beliefs. Writers either take a left [Democratic] or right [republican] stance, some writers also take a neutral stance to appeal to both perspectives. Sources today have great power over their audience influencing them to either take a left [democratic] or right [republican] stance on the racial profiling of others.

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An Analysis of Racism as Portrayed in the Media. (2022, Dec 15). Retrieved from

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