Media Thought #1

My blog has been revived thanks to a new class I am auditing! I am loving the discussions so far, and one aspect of the course is to maintain a blog pertaining to media and our thoughts.

I came across this quote whilst reading an article, and I thought I would share my thoughts…Bon appetite

“Media Magic” by Gregory Mantisos

“During the Christmas season, the news media sometimes provides us with accounts of poor individuals or families (usually white) who are down on their luck.” Pg. 513

To put my this blog post in context, I am taking three social and economic justice classes, which has made me hyper aware of privilege, class, race, injustice, and patriarchy. After studying the institutionalized racism and race relations in this country, I will have to express my agreement with the quote. It hints to the idea that poor white people are the ones who get the “bad luck”/ get-out-of-jail-free car. If we see poor white people on television, which we rarely do comparatively speaking, then the image portrayed is that perhaps bad times have befallen them rather than poverty being a perpetual status within an overarching institutional system. This iconography is not only present when Christmas time roles around, but it is seen even in print media. It reminds me of a book series I used to read in middle school called the Clique Series by Lisi Harrison. It followed the lives of prissy rich white prep school girls who had chuffers to drive them to school. One of the “scandals” of the series was that one girl in the clique was no longer rich. During the series, her father, who was an art dealer, lost his job (“fell upon hard times”). They were forced to move out of their penthouse to the shabby apartments a couple of blocks away. Then girl would make the trek to her old ritzy apartment every morning so that she could save face when her rich friends would pick her up from school. When it was finally revealed that she was poor, it was framed as though her family hit a rough patch, they were down on their luck, and that poverty is not type of perpetual condition that can be handed down from generation to the next. This example highlights how white poor people and black poor people are portrayed. A black poor person would not be considered down on their luck, they would be considered too incompetent or too addicted to drugs to keep a job…skeptical? Check out this link to a news story on Angel Adams. It sure does not seem like she is “down on her luck”…

Stay tuned for post #2 which will be an analysis of the aforementioned video, an analysis of the way poor black people are portrayed in the media, and a comparison!