In 1844 Secretary of State John C. Calhoun used minstrel shows to argue for the extension of slavery. He wrote “ Here is proof of the necessity of slavery. The African is Incapable of self care and slavery and sinks into lunacy under the burden of freedom. It is a mercy to give him the guardianship and protection from mental death.” Now here 166 years later the media still portray African Americans as ignorant and uncontrollable.
The media use negative imaging to instill criminal stereotyping. During hurricane Katrina one Image in particular portray African Americans simply trying to survive as looters. This image showed an African American child leaving out of a grocery store with food. As another image of a white couple leaving a grocery store with food as trying to survive this horrific tragedy.
The two photos both published by Yahoo News. Shot by photographer Dave Martin for the associated press. The description on the photo with the young black man stated “ A young black man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans”. While the Photo of the young white couple stated “ two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, LA.”
The media evokes these negative stereotypes and ideas in place in mainstreams
America. According to Lawrence Grossman, Former President of CBS News and PBS, TV newscast, “disproportionately show African Americans under arrest, living in slums,
on welfare, and in need of help from the community. This is why the mass of un-socialized white America has a fear of African American. This is also how the idea of the “welfare queen” was started, due to the media output regarding single black women on welfare, its is assumed that all black women are single parents on welfare not want a job and abusing the system, when statistics prove different.
Mainstream America use the media to downgrade the views and political actions of African Americans. Even in debates and political discussion white people tend to try and talk over the black counterparts in an attempt to downgrade them . Even the question directed to the African Americans are wording to confuse them.