Latinidad and Social Biasness of the Media
What is the issue?
Social Media is one of the most powerful and influential tools people use to communicate, entertain and inform others. It is also one of the most biased sources of information. Especially when it comes to minorities. Social media has given people quick attention grabbing headlines but it usually does not come with legitimate sources. Usually their information is based on stereotypes in order to make their statements seem true. The problem with that is that some people are so ignorant to believe those statements instead of investigating on their own.
The use of Technology
Throughout the years, technology has been rapidly advancing. One of the most popular advances are our mobile devices and computers. We are no longer limited to having over the phone conversations on huge bulky telephones attached to cables. We are no longer using huge tower computers where the only way to use the internet was to ask your mother to stop talking on the phone so you can plug into a dial-up internet and risk getting a chancla getting thrown at you. No, we are now using tiny mobile devices where we have access to anything and everything. If you need to check the score of a game you couldn’t watch in the comfort of your home you can just quickly search for it on your phone. You forgot what the hell it was your abuelita put in her caldo de res that made it taste so good, no problem you can go on YouTube and watch some one else’s abuelita make caldo de res and you may end up liking that recipe better. You may also have been too busy watching three seasons of a television series in a matter of two days and you lost touch with the world so you don’t know what the hell is going on? No worries, there are tons of news sources that are now using social media to reach their audience through their mobile devices. We are now living in a time where social media is becoming our only sources of obtaining knowledge of what’s going on around the world, our only source of communicating with one another, hell it’s even become our own cupid*wink… wink.*
Due to social media things that were once socially acceptable are now very out of the norm. Reading a news paper for example could be seen as odd for some one between the ages of sixteen and forty where it may be more acceptable for some one in there fifties or over to do that because “They are from another time”. Writing a letter to friend’s or family or even your sweet heart, something that used to be very intimate and meaningful is now considered odd because now you can just send a quick text to tell them you love them and then bye and that’s it. What the biggest difference I have seen due to these advances is older generations adapting and using these new mobile devices and using these forms of social media. I can’t even begin to tell you how many panic attacks my mother had reading fake posts about Don Francisco from Sabado Gigante being dead. Which brings me to my first point. Finding credible sources to receive news.
The American media has a long history of being biased when a situation involves a Latinxs and/or a Caucasian individual. Media sources like CNN, Fox News, and more has a tendency of labeling and painting the picture of certain minority groups in a negative picture. They use negative photos to vilify individuals like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie gray, and groups like Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups. Television news programs and newspapers over-represent racial minorities as crime suspects and whites as crime victims. Latinx suspects are also more likely than whites to be presented in a non-individualized and threatening way, unnamed and in police custody.
How are the Latinxs represented?
When we watch the news, online social media, and other news sources, there are times when the content that we watch become controversial. When we look at Latinxs and other minority groups on the news, the most common image that shows up are immigrants, cholos and gangsters, criminals, and narcos. We’re painted in a menacing, degrading, and overall negative image so that our communities can become targeted and harassed by law enforcement, the government and even our own people
Latinxs are represented as gang members in today, often linked with drugs or illegally crossing the border into America.
Out of the hundreds of sources of news on social media applications a person can choose ,it can be hard to accept whether that source is legitimate or not. Where you can read a story from one source there can be three other sources writing about the same story but having completely different points. So now the reader is confused and doesn’t know who is telling the truth so they just go with what seems to be the most creditable source and believe every single thing they say. This kind of ignorance has been damaging to people’s lives.
The biggest evil of social media is how they use their resources to attack ethnic communities living in poverty. They shine spotlights of drug use, rapes and murders happening in poor neighborhoods like Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, etc cities where predominantly blacks and Latinos reside. Yet they seem to miss stories about Anglo- Americans over dosing in suburbs, Trust fund students raping classmates in their Ivy league schools, or cases where an Anglo- American committed murder. They use their resources to influence their ignorant readers to believe what they want them to believe. They do this by focusing on poor cities like these and only focus on the negativity in order to spread the message that black and Latinos are bad people.
They don’t talk about the individual who just opened up a restaurant and feeds homeless people and treats them with respect, they don’t want to show readers about the individual starting after school programs to keep young kids off the streets and provide them positive role models because we live in a system where they do not want to see us do good and treat each other with love and respect, they don’t want to see our people advance and go to school and obtain powerful positions in society, they don’t even want to see black or latinx art on the streets. They don’t want us to be happy. So what is a big way to make our people unhappy? By influencing a bunch of uninformed, misled readers to believe we are bad people and have them start discriminating against us. What is worse is you even have people from those communities being attacked turning against their own people. People like the ” Latinos for Trump” or as I like to say “Vendidos for Trump” who are totally against their own people.
We live in a time where we believe what the media tells us because they are the news, why would they lie? We live in a time where we have lost sight of communicating with one another physically because we are so attached to our phones. I see young and old immigrants as well trying to fit in with the norm by getting addicted to this bull shit as well. I don’t blame them because they want to fit into this new community they are apart of now, they want to be “American, offends” and sadly that is basically what it takes to be American. Stick your face into your phone, buy these fancy shoes, eat at this world famous fast food chain restaurant, consume! Don’t you dare produce, consume what they tell you to consume.
It’s sad to see people from my community that white wash them selves in order to fit in the American ideology of beauty. I see carnales wearing Hollister shirts and two hundred dollar torn jeans trying to look like preppy frat boys, I see hermanas straightening and coloring their hair and even purchasing eye contacts to change the color of their eyes so that they can be “American”. Social media has made my people believe that they are ugly. Why wouldn’t they think that? We live in a time where the youth are easily influenced by social media so social media can tell everyone what beautiful is as well. By watching famous fashion shows, reality tv shows following the lives of celebrities showing off their wealth, and musicians that don’t even sing with soul or talent for that matter, they just jump on stage in a skimpy clothing, shake their ass, and spit out repetitive lyrics and the crowd eats it up because this is what is socially accepted now. God forbid your one of those weirdos who still listen to oldies or punk rock or nineties hip-hop because that isn’t cool anymore according to social media.
Until recently, Latino portrayals in the media has had negative effects for the Latino community. Historically Latinos have not only been portrayed negatively through stereotypes but they have also been largely portrayed in the media. The mainstream media produces shocking examples of racism, and this contradiction tends to change the value of media today. The representation of Latinxs affects the construction of identities. When Latinxs are portrayed, they are made to feel as if they do not belong in this country they are classified as criminals and deviants. Society needs to understand what are some of the factors that shape media and the effects of media coverage. The media continues to broadcast negative stereotypical images that affect Latinxs. The relationship between ethnic groups and the media is described by change. The project aims to explore the influence of the mass media on the public image of minorities. Minorities have been portrayed throughout the years, but Latinxs are exposed to negative entertainment, and they hold the most unfavorable treats. Many times, that Latinxs are present in the media is because they are being portrayed. Very much all portrayals of Hispanics in media have the negative connotation of being lower-level and substandard. These types of stereotypes show ignorance of Mexican, and Hispanic cultuoffendLatinxs.
Subgroups have disadvantages when it comes to Social identity. The issue about it is that society tends to portray individuals based on misinformation and stereotypes have negative affect among minorities and this created social injustice, racism, discrimination, etc. As human beings is natural to develop stereotypes when we are unable to obtain all the information we need. Stereotypes help us to fill in the blanks. The problem with the media biases against minorities groups, in this case, Latinxs, is the injustice it creates. Today we can explore how the media plays a great role in this social issue. Is more likely that the individuals that are portrayed are the ones who has darker features, tanned skin and an accent. Throughout the semester in class we discussed what are some examples when it comes to stereotyping Latinxs. The question most Latinx would encounter at least once in their life is are you Latino enough? “Fitting in with American culture is one thing. But the pressure to stay a “true” Latino — speaking fluent Spanish being the main criteria — has seemingly created a rift among Latinos in America as generations go on”
Many individuals would affirm that all Latinxs are immigrants or Mexicans. In many occasions Latinx tend to assimilate to the American culture because they do not want to be discriminated because their skin color, the language they speak and their religion.
Despite all this attack our communities receive there are now people fighting back with the way they have been attacking us for years. There are now black and Latinx controlled social media news sources, online stores, and fashion that is making the younger generation proud of who they are. Sources that are educating our youth about their history, sources that are showing us food recipes from our cultures, sources that are showing people how beautiful they are saying ” Ya’ll are a strong beautiful independent hard working people who don’t need to look like no gringo!” Blacks and Latinx communities are now getting a voice of recognition. They are now becoming the norm they are now learning to be at peace with who they are and we are now receiving news from people of our communities, not some racists pricks from white Amerikkkan stations but from us! We are now starting to control our selves. Something a lot of people have not wanted to see us do for many years.
You can not eliminate bias in a free media. When you encounter a media source that you believe is unbiased, it will only be because it mirrors your views. That happens whenever you are not the victim if you are not the one that is criticized or portrayed you would not say anything. Other sources will then be biased from your perspective if they portray you. Consequently, almost all people believe that all the media is biased. We could promote television shows helped to develop positive things about ethnic groups.
Is challenging to prevent the media from being bias, but we are the ones that decide if the media is bias. We are the ones that could make a difference to let people in, getting know the people around you don’t make assumptions. Stop yourself next time you see someone and start thinking oh she is wearing that jacket she must be STOP and ask yourself why it bothers you, how that makes you as a person and find a different focus and keep your mind occupied, think of what is valuable and positive things. Whenever you are with friends and if someone starts to criticizing call out their behavior.
The most important thing we can do is to get educated and educate the people around us.
David S. Sizemore, W. T. (2004). HISPANIC MEDIA USE AND PERCEPTIONS OF DISCRIMINATION: Reconsidering Ethnicity, Politics, and Socioeconomics. In W. T. David S. Sizemore, Sociological Quarterly (pp. 765-784). Berkeley.
Soruco, G. R. (1996). Cubans and the mass media in South Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
In Aldama, F. L. (2013). Latinos and narrative media: Participation and portrayal.
Fernandez, D. (2017). CLS 201 Class Lectures . (C. 201, Interviewer)
Mastro, D. (2015). Why the Media’s Role in Issues of Race and Ethnicity Should be in the Spotlight. Journal of Social Issues , 1-16.
Miguel. (n.d.). What’s Normal Anyway . (Miguel, Performer)
Nava, G. (Director). (1997). Selena [Motion Picture].
News, N. D. (2015, June 16). A look at Trump’s most outrageous comments about Mexicans as he attempts damage control by visiting with country’s president . Retrieved from NY Daily News : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-outrageous-comments-mexicans-article-1.2773214
Nittle, N. K. (2017, March 2). Television and Film. Retrieved from ThoughCo.com: https://www.thoughtco.com/latino-stereotypes-in-television-and-film-2834654
Rebels, L. (Director). (2017). When You’re Latino and Can’t Speak Spanish (VIDEO) [Motion Picture].
Rios, F. (2015, September 8). Are you ‘Latino enough’? How (not) speaking Spanish creates Latino identity questions. (A. Martinez, Interviewer)
Toni Schmader, K. B. (2015). Social Identity Threat in Response to Stereotypic Film Portrayals: Effects on Self-Conscious Emotion and Implicit Ingroup Attitudes. Journal of Social Issues , 54-72.
USA, L. (2016). Are My Kids ‘Latino Enough’?