Racism has been embedded in the American culture for the longest time possible. People of color and those deemed not to show the white people facial features, have been marginalized in the society. Looking back at the history of America where the government enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act. This Act meant that the Chinese had to be put in reserves so as to keep them away from becoming US citizens (Fisher and Shane 2). This act of segregation illustrates how the white race have oppressed other races for over 200 years. This paper will look at how institutional racism has played a factor in the entertainment industry.
The entertainment industry is one of the things that reflect today’s world. The media has shown that racism still exists in the American culture in that people of color are less represented in the media. This is saddening because most of the shows shown on television feature only the dominant race, whites. This means that racism still exists in the entertainment industry where many casts can be made up of white people only. It is clear that television has been white-washed in that there are less shows where a person of color takes the leadership role. According to Sarah Seltzer, only 1% of the TV production in the year 2011, was directed by women of color (Entman 337). This shows that other races have not yet been accepted into the video production companies, which indicates that people of color are still marginalized in the community
When a person of color is featured in a white people movies, he/she is either symbolized as a homeless man, a criminal, or sells drugs. It is quite uncommon for black people to feature in a movie or TV as living in a luxurious life, wearing suits, being a doctor as it is not the norm in the American society (NY Times). People of color have been negatively stereotyped by the media. According to one of the producers, shows feature less people of color because people want to watch shows that are a reflection of them (Entman 335). This means that since the white race is most dominant and has a higher population in the American society, producers target the white race as the audiences of most shows. Underrepresentation of the other races in the diverse American society symbolizes the deep racial division that exists in the community.
The school system in Florida is very perturbing because the schools have different level of goals for different kids based on their race (CBS Tampa). This act represents that the idea that one race is at the top of the hierarchy and better than other races. If kids are taught this idea at a tender age, some kids will definitely feel inferior and some superior to others. This eventually will result to racism among kids as those who are intelligent, white race, will feel that they have more power over other races. Florida and other states that have enacted this law in the school system should remove it as a way of reducing racial segregation among races at grade level.
In conclusion, it is clear that the American society has portrayed a heightened level of institutional racism in that the dominant race, whites, have played a significant role in excluding people of color from TV shows and movies. The media has also helped in cementing stereotypes among races in that black people are rarely featured as upper class citizen but are cast as poor and low-life. In addition, the school system has enacted laws that apply to only few individuals in the school system based on their races. As a result, children are exposed to the act of racism as a tender age, which is disheartening.
""Accidental Racist" Did Unite Us, With Laughter - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/10/accidental-racist-and-lyrical-provocation/accidental-racist-did-unite-us-with-laughter>.
Entman, Robert M.. "Modern Racism and The Images Of Blacks In Local Television News." Critical Studies in Mass Communication 7.4 (1990): 332-345. Print.
Fisher, Patrick, and Shane Fisher. "Congressional Passage of The Chinese Exclusion Act Of 1882." Immigrants & Minorities 20.2 (2001): 58-74. Print.
"Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals « CBS Tampa." CBS Tampa. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2013. <http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/florida-passes-plan-for-racially-based-academic-goals/>.