The Impact Of Racial Profiling And Minority Criminalization In The Media

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Despite the fact that “three-quarters of motorist and traffic violations were perpetrated by whites, four-fifths of the searches” made by law enforcement were on those of color (Sáenz & Morales 180). Racial profiling and minority criminalization in the U.S. are major issues that are often disregarded or ignored by some, but are key subjects to be discussed and ultimately eliminated. Although these social dilemmas apply to multiple minority groups, two of the most heavily affected are African-Americans and Latinos/Hispanics. Racial profiling and criminalization occur all throughout society in various ways. However, there are three areas in which Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics are the most targeted: the media, schools, and the justice system. One of the biggest culprits of ethnic and racial criminalization in the United States is the media. Mass media is an incredibly powerful societal influencer, therefore it should ideally be the less prejudistic. Unfortunately, the misrepresentation of Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics in the media is clearly present and most definitely problematic. An example of this misrepresentation is the fact that, “Blacks are twice as likely as Whites to be portrayed as perpetrators” in media reports (Janorschke 5). This type of negative portrayal surprisingly resides heavily in Black victim stories compared to White perpetrator stories (Fig. 1) (Wing). This also goes hand-in-hand with the highly contrasting portrayals between Black and Latino/ Hispanic, and
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