HOW LANGUAGE IS USED IN THE MEDIA TO PORTRAY AFRICAN AMERICANS
As we look at the next two pictures take a look at how the two people are portrayed. What is different? What is the same? Why do you think these people are portrayed this way?
Both the men in the above pictures were criminals in the sense of the law. The first, a murderer of 12 innocent people in movie theater, and the second a thief who stole from a convenience store. Although Holmes was a much more serious criminal in this case, he was portrayed as a "Brilliant Science Student" as if to make the fact that he killed 12 people and injured 70 a little more reasonable. On the other hand, Michael Brown, who had not injured anyone and who was shot by a white police officer, was said to have struggled with the police officer as a way to justify the 12 shots fired by the police officer. The media has the tendency to portray white criminals as people with "troubled pasts" or mental illnesses to account for their wrongdoings while African Americans are portrayed as natural criminals who one would suspect would commit a crime.
African American Stereotypes in the Media
Recently there has been an increased amount of media coverage on police brutality and the police's relationships with members of the African American community. 80% of black Americans asked in a survey say that the police use deadly force when it is unnecessary while 60% of white Americans surveyed stated that the deadly force is usually necessary(Whibey, 2015). This is a prime example of the improper stereotypes white Americans have when they view black Americans as they view them as criminals, rapists and thieves with no evidence to back their opinions. A hashtag on twitter was started to increase awareness for the negative stereotypes that are common when African Americans are portrayed in the news.