The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media

  This argument is a basic summary of the racism in pop culture today. It begins by defining ideology as something that doesn’t include indivdual concepts but separation of different elements of a chain of meetings; statements that are made by individuals subconscious thoughts; also something that works to differentiate and identify groups of people. The reading then goes on to define what ideology means in a media aspect. The media presents ideology and rasicm in many ways. Hall defnes two types of racism, “overt racism and inferential racism”. Overt racism is when people or the media openly speaks or addresses any “racist polict or view”. Inferential racism is that factual or fictional representation embedded within the plot of and media form. This is often seen in television programs and movies. Hall states that “if only the extremists on either side would go away, normal blacks and whites would be better able to get on with learning to live in harmony together”. This concept is extremely visible in Hollywood today. In every “old movie” there are the familiar stereotypical characters. The “slavefigure” is always depicted as “devoted and childlike” as well as “unrelieable, unpredictable, and undependable.” Then there  is the native, a savage beast who runs wild and free threatening the “isolated white figure”. The comedian is the third character that never has a deep meaning. Hall says, “one noticable fact about all these images is their deep ambivalence – the double vision of the white eye through which they are seen”.

 This essay makes very valid points about the racist ideologies in society today. I had never taken a moment to really see the racism that is in media all around us. Nearly every movie and novel has a character to which Stuart Hall refers to. When reading this, I was very intrigued at how much of what Stuart Hall says is real. He allows you to think about things that begin socially acceptable until you look at the deeper meaning. I now will not be able to look at a movie or book in the same light. I will forever notice the ideologies that have been created in my mind by society and the media.

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