Constantly I feel that we are being bombarded with images that are designed to connect Blacks with the ills of society. Each and every night on local and national news you see the same types of images being flashed across the screen. Black faces shown for topics such as welfare reform, crime statistics, unemployment, ill education and you name it a stock photo of a Black is associated with it. So basically what you have is Pavlov’s experiment using people. If you have not taken psychology 101 then Pavlov’s experiment was to ring a bell each time a dog was given food and soon enough the dog would start to salivate just from hearing the bell. The dog learned to associate eating with the bell. Just like Pavlov’s dog, people begin to associate Black people with crime, welfare, laziness and stupidity. So now just by hearing the term welfare recipients…I am sure your mind pictured a bunch of young, single Black females.
The problem is that young, single Black females do not make up the majority of welfare recipients. The majority just so happens to be White females. But, that is never what they show when the news has a story to cover. One such story I watched on the news was about a kid who brought a gun to school. The picture they showed was that of a Black student in the shadows walking in a school. When in actuality the student who brought the gun to school was Caucasian, so why should a stock photo of a Black student be representative of this crime. For one thing the school in question is 100% White. So where did this fictitious Black student come from that they needed to present him as the one bringing a gun to school. Why was it even necessary to show a picture if the picture could not accurately convey the message that needed to be sent, or maybe that is because the message was exactly as it should have been, “see, Blacks are bad.”
If any of you caught the last 60 minutes broadcast about the Geek Squad called “Get Me The Geeks” then you undoubtedly saw this very thing in action. As they spoke about the tech help industry they focused on bad customer service in which all attention was on what looked like a predominantly minority call center with a ton of Blacks and a then few Indians when they mentioned Delhi. And for each thing said that was bad they showed a Black representative. Reps have no idea what they are talking about the narrator said as a video of a Black lady talking on the phone flashes on screen. Then some reps were too exhausted to do a good job as they show another Black lady who was lifting her head off of her desk. Then it was on to how the software makers blame the hardware, yet another Black rep and how hardware blames the software, yet again another Black rep. We move on to the Geeks who were profiled we see a butt load of Whites and I counted three Blacks littered into the background.
Now what is this showing us, that Blacks are incompetent, lazy, with poor work ethic etc. Now they did show the three or so Blacks in the background of the Geek Squad showing that we are still incompetent that only a few of us actually got in and a lot of people might assume that for all we know that was due to affirmative action. I don’t want to even go into my story of the Geek Squad, just that I think I am better off on my own. But this is seen all too often just watch Discovery channel or any of their other stations such as Discovery Health etc, Food Network, HGTV or TLC and tell me how many Black show hosts you see. You could count them practically on one hand. I watch all of these channels regularly and I am wondering why I bother since they obviously don’t have me or people like me in mind when they think of their target viewers.
You can chalk it up to whatever you like as the reason this type of character assassination of Black people takes place or you might not even see it as that at all, that is your prerogative. I just know that I will continue to point this out in hopes of curtailing the negative propaganda that is infecting us all. How can we let go of racism when there are forces out there reinforcing all the negativity and disparities that we have been fighting since our forced arrival.