The primary objective of this ten week course was to provide twenty students with an understanding of the way in which contemporary popular media perpetuates the ideology of colorblindness in American life today. The course examined how American popular culture has from its earliest beginnings in the 15th century imbedded the notion of black inferiority and white superiority. Using contemporary popular media (movies, music, magazines, and the Internet) the course provided students with an opportunity to think critically about the ways in which media sources naturalize the superiority of whiteness while at the same time denigrates all "other" non-white groups in the United States today. The course also offered twenty students an opportunity to think critically about their own colorblindness and false conscious ideas about "race," gender and sexual hierarchies.
Below is a definition of modern racism. We follow the definition with a examples of
the students first major assignment (posters). The students were also
construct a YouTube video project that demonstrated
for them modern racism in popular culture. The students worked
teams to put together videos that captured the essence of what they
about modern racism and popular culture in 2011.
Definition of Modern Racism
Modern racism has evolved from an
behavior to a more subtle prejudicial behavior. This type of subtle
behavior is often felt as micro-aggressions by individuals while
growing up or
in their day to day activities. Modern racism is the mindset that
are better or worse with specific innate abilities or weaknesses. For
black athletes are often regarded as naturally athletic while white
are often seen as being unable to run fast or jump
Whites are often regarded as naturally
rational, fair and caring while blacks are often regarded as criminal,
irrational. Asians are often seen as intelligent, while Hispanics are
as unintelligent. All of these myths are seen as innate manifestations
in our subconscious belief systems. Many of these beliefs are
perpetuated by a
media which show these stereotypes in different forms over and over
(movies, cartoons, music videos, sitcoms, newspapers etc...).
further reinforced by our school system in the curriculum that is
not covered (e.g. the invisibility of Native Americans). The socialization
we receive while growing up in
our families also contributes greatly to our beliefs
certain individual groups. Some of these beliefs become naturalized in
parent(s) or relatives make about other groups while children are
growing up. Children come to accept these ideas without much thought.
Modern Racism manifests itself in media characters like: