Racism and Media

The actual origin of racism is still unknown, but careful approximations suggest it to be the product of modern times. The racist activities might have prevailed in the ancient societies, but the contemporary situation is much different and more complex. According to Michel Foucault the first formulation of racism emerged in the Early Modern period as the “discourse of race struggle”, a historical and political discourse which Foucault opposed to the philosophical and juridical discourse of sovereignty.

Wikipedia defines racism as a belief system or doctrine according to which the inherent biological differences between human races determine the cultural or individual achievement. The present scenario with the technological progress and globalization has made the racism not only an ethnical stereotype, but also economic, social, and political.

With the outgrowth of media, the racist activities have much been highlighted during the past few decades. Media in fact is one of the most powerful tools of the contemporary societies. The more powerful the media is the more powerful is the society itself. Media in the present has the ability to mould the societal behaviour in its desired way.

When it comes to discuss the media with reference to the racism, the most challenging concept which comes in mind is the term ‘institutional racism’. It can also be termed as structural racism or systematic racism. This type of racism is actually a racial discrimination by governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals.

As media of present times itself is an institution, as it retains the ability to influence the lives of masses its connection with racism is very complex.

What exactly media can do in this regard is the presentation of real facts and constructive measurements. Unfortunately, world media in general has not been very successful in nipping this evil in the bud. Instead the riots throughout the world on the base of color, creed and race have placed some deep imprints on even very well developed societies. For example, America being super power still have the crises of black and white; black are still convicted of many crimes, regardless of the matter they have commited that particular crime or not.

The ultimate negative consequence of racism is actually the hurdle for the intellect and talent to be equally appreciated. Here it becomes the prime responsibility of the media to resolve such conflict and let the opportunities be opened for everyone regardless of the color creed and race.

One Response

  1. There is very good article on “race” or “racism” in MS Encarta. Do read for further interesting info. Secondly I don’t think that racism is the product of modern times. It has strong roots in the early history of human civilization. In our modern time, actually racial sentiments are on the decline.


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