Racism in Advertising

Although some people claim that racism no longer exists and that people “just keep beating a dead horse” (Dirks, Rice 43), its presences can still be traced in modern society. This video displays racist advertising images that continue to dehumanize African Americans and other minorities. For example, images portraying African Americans as savage-like angry athletes that perpetuate pre-established stereotypes of them in American history currently circulate the media. I personally, find it troubling and distressing the fact that society has unconsciously learned to normalize racist images such as these. It comes to show that it’s not that racism does not exist; society has simply learned to turn a blind eye to the social injustices affecting minority groups.

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4 thoughts on “Racism in Advertising

  1. I definitely agree with your idea of how society continues to perpetuate racist images. As a society, we have grown so accustomed to they ways in which different racist are dehumanized and viewed as inferior in the media, we have come to accept this type of racism as ordinary. Many people do not feel the need to say anything or make an effort to change these images, simply because we have grown so reliant on them, and racism as become so embedded into our society to the point where it can unfortunately be seen as the norm.

    • I thought this video was very interesting in that it showed the similarities between historically racist advertisements and contemporary media. This video shows how clueless many are to how hurtful and consequential it is to perpetuate racist stereotypes through the media. The video shows that all people need to be educated and informed about these ideas so that people organizing advertisements do not fuel racist stereotypes, but also so minority people realize the consequences of portraying themselves as, for example, violent, such as the Lebron James ads. Essentially I really enjoyed the video because it shows the modern take on “ethnic notions” and shows that thought our society has advanced in many ways, many of the same problems remain today

      • I agree, this video shows how racial images have transcended over history, especially post civil rights era. But, I don’t understand “so minority people realize the consequences of portraying themselves as, for example, violent.” From my understanding its at a magazines discretion as well as the photographers. Although they should take some ownership I believe magazine editors and any other people that took note of the pictures and saw nothing wrong with it. The videos over arching message is to analyze and speak up when you notice racial stereotypes. Its more than just being aware, it is about being aware and taking action.

  2. This is a great video and definitely represents the ways in which advertisements have depicted racial stereotypes over time. I agree with one of the previous posts that this is similar to Ethnic Notions, especially in the way that while images have changed over time, the racist undertones still remain in various ways. We may be more sensitive to racism as a society, but at the same time, many deeply engrained ideologies have stayed with us. They are present in the many modern day examples shown in the video. I definitely agree that black males are depicted as violent aggressors, and are often only highlighted for their athletic abilities. They are not shown as well-put together men- they are shown in a savage-like way, just as we discussed with Ethnic Notions. We seem to be more shocked by the images of the past, because of their display of “blatant racism,” but as I watched this video I realized that these more current images are almost equally as upsetting. This is a great post, and a great video to share with the class.

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