Racially Provoking Language

Decent Essays

The Impact of Racially Provoking Language in Mainstream Media In recent years an unfortunate trend has emerged that has created a new awakening in American society, however this birth of awareness has been at the cost of several innocent lives. The origin of this trend began on the night of February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida, where an unarmed 17 year-old boy named Trayvon Martin was murdered by neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman. Every since this tragedy, media outlets have been pouring out headlines that grab the attention of the mass majority by way of highlighting racial differences. Adam Hodges, in his article, “Ideologies of language and race in US media discourse about the Trayvon Martin shooting,” argues that the …show more content…

Another claim by Foreman (2013) was that racism in the justice system was the crux of the case for millions and that alone was “what made it a national story, instead of merely a local tragedy.” Rather than using statistics as support, the article mainly relied on quotations from random Twitter accounts, African Americans at the verdict hearing, civil rights activist group members, collegiate professors and students who are tied to African American studies, and members from both Martin’s and Zimmerman's legal teams. The problem with each of these selections is that they are going to be biased opinions towards one group of people and lack any sort of scientific or statistical validation. Throughout the majority of the article, the tone is overall oppression of African Americans and that there is a number of interview excerpts going with that argument. This suggest that the article was meant to have a more pro black audience as a means to spark action and emotion from readers. Intense emotion is essentially what is being driven out of stories such as Trayvon Martin’s and rather than focusing on justice, the media flips the attention of the masses to another topic and in turn causes a frenzy. Foreman (2013), makes a note that some spectators of the trial suspected the not guilty outcome and argued “this case should never have been about race.” However, this goes to show that once the race card gets thrown into a situation there is no taking it back as it will devour any previous topic. Unfortunately, since race was thrown into the mix during the trial, “preconceived notions effectively had people watching two different trials” (Foreman, 2013), as if it was a sporting event causing a duel between fans. Here in the mainstream article, Foreman tells how the events following and preceding the trial unfolded, but he cannot give an

Get Access