SOCIAL SCIENCES

Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words To Divide a Nation

. October 2012. 288p. 978-0-23034-182-1. 28.
COPY ISBN
Citing Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke, among others, Deggans (TV & media critic, Tampa Bay Times) explores how using certain words to talk about race, gender, and class colors how people perceive that information. He explains that when cable news pundits, talk-radio personalities, and political bloggers use race-baiting phrases, code words, and overt name calling, they perpetuate stereotypes and confirm prejudices. Suggesting that a young black person wearing a hoodie is probably a gang member and calling a law student a “slut” are examples of how the real concerns of neighborhood crime and women’s health care are drowned out by derogatory images and words. While he theorizes that much of this problem stems from polarizing cable news and talk-radio programs, Deggans shows how other media such as newspapers and network television, as well as the lack of diversity in company hiring practices, also contribute to this divisive political and social discourse. He closes with prescriptions for finding a more productive way to communicate.
VERDICT This insightful analysis is for aspiring journalists, media studies students, and news junkies.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.