Union High School
Southern Miss professor Chris Campbell spoke Friday to participants of the high school multimedia journalism workshop about race and racism in the media.
Campbell is a critical and cultural studies researcher and author of “Race, Myth and the News.”
Campbell said the media slants and cuts stories to provoke biased feelings and create false stereotypes about African Americans. He claimed media outlets often ignore the issue of crime to tell sensational stories of crimes.
“Journalists aren’t telling the story of why violent crimes are so prevalent,” he said. “That’s a problem because it’s not giving us the right perspective.”
During Hurricane Katrina, Campbell said the broadcast news media often painted blacks as animals using words like anarchy and chaos to describe the scenes of New Orleans.
“We live in a society where white is dominate,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the news coverage of Katrina is not out of the ordinary. Many stories involving African Americans are often depicted the same way.
For example, Campbell said the media often call African American protests riots and refer to the protestors as bands of thugs; however, white protests are gatherings of young people or out-of-control parties.
The media makes black people out as innate criminals, he said.
“There are high crime rates in poor black communities, but there are reasons for this and journalist never tell these reasons,” he said. “Building more prisons to deal with crime problems is like building more grave yards to deal with AIDS.”
Campbell explained that American society is not in post-racial period, which he described as time when racism does not exist. He pointed to income statistics to support his claim. He reported that black family income on average is a little over half of white family income.
Campbell also used these statistics to call the belief that society is becoming more anti-white preposterous.
Campbell said as long as biased media fuels racial stereotypes and American capitalism drives the inequality in wealth, America will never be able to reach post-racial state.