Media has played a special role as a great success and achievement for activists all around the world. Not only has media change the world but has change the way people see the world. Without media the world will be less aware of what is happening around their surrounding and what is happening around the globe. One main reason why I believe that media plays a special role in everyday life is because that fact that we are now more connected than ever. With all types of social media that circulating in the internet . For instance like Facebook and Twitter and many other online websites that people use to be connected with each other. With these types of online websites, there are more than millions of users. With so many users being online, thousands of information circulate throughout the internet so quickly and freely. This is where our change happens. We are able to hear and see what is happening and we are able to disagree and agree with people’s feeling and thoughts on different situations. Not only we are able see and hear what is happening around the world but we are able to take action on what we feel is right. For instance we can donate money instantly to help people in need or because of how many views a certain person gets will also help them.
If we are able to look back on how things were done, it was much harder for activist. Because it was harder for words to circulate around the world. Decades ago when someone wanted to hear about something or do something, they had to wait and be patience. looking back, when we wanted to hear the news or see the news we had to wait until there was a specific time. The only way we were are able to see the news was on television, hear it on the radio or wait for the news paper to come out. When we wanted to action we had to take risk by doing street marches, rallies and different types of strikes. But now that has all changed, we are able to see and hear different types of news instantly on our computer. Now we don’t have to wait impatiently or go on a strike just to make a difference. Technology has given us the chance to change the world in many different ways
In April, an article titled “Tribal masks auction gets go-ahead” was published on the Express news website. The background of the article is that a lawsuit was made against the Drouot auction house, a private auction, for deciding to sell 70 tribal artifacts that mainly belonged to a Southwestern tribe, the Hopi. Of these artifacts, many objects were masks that embodied dead ancestors’ spirits which had a sacred value to the tribe. Gilles Neret-Minet stated that, “When objects are in private collections, even in the United States, they are desacralised.” Later on, the court ruled the masks were in no imminent danger and upheld the auctioning of the various artifacts.
Through this ordeal of tribals artifacts, there definitely is activism and a distinct portrayal of Native American tribes. The type of activism could be reactive or collective, but its more of a mix between the two types. This wouldn’t be fundamental change because its not changing the image of how Native Americans are viewed in the UK or US. Its reactive change through a collective group. This definitely isn’t an isolated case, but the Hopi tribe is responding to the misuse of the masks. Through the article, theDrouot auction house seemed to give no apology as this happens with many other ethnicities for lost or stolen artifacts. Even though this isn’t completely sustained activism that leads to fundamental change, it is a step. Native Americans need to represented as an alive ethnicity functioning within the US. The image of a white man’s indian is dead or if it ever existed at all. Native Americans are really on the marginal as they aren’t in the mainstream media often. This is a step towards change that isn’t superficial. What is meant by superficial change would be asking for apologies from historical events many years before present time. What is meant by superficial change would be focusing the identity of a tribe or Native Americans as a whole on artifacts, stolen or not. This is not arguing the sacred nature of the artifacts. It is meant to mean Native Americans need to get away from an image of a Native American as a relic, and see an image of a voiced participant. Through this article, the Hopi tribe was mentioned many times which helps people to see that this tribe is alive and has a voice. Bringing to light the real image of a tribe in mainstream media would correct the representation of Native Americans and not a white man’s indian. Even though this article does focus on relics and hints at apologies for the tribe, the Hopi made it so that a unified voice came from the tribe. Native Americans have a voice and must use it even when there are no artifacts at auction houses.
In 1959, Mattel invented the beloved Barbie doll, treasured by generations and an icon recognized worldwide. The Barbie doll has had many incarnations over the years, and has been in many different types of media ranging from movies to video games. Recently Mattel launched its newest line of Barbie dolls in the “Dolls of the World” line, started in 1980, which has Barbie dressed in different clothing from countries throughout the world. This new line did not come without its controversies, though; the company revealed its new Mexico Barbie doll, complete with a chihuahua – and more interesting, a passport.
The passport is where all the controversies stem from in this new line of Barbie dolls. Every doll in the line of “Dolls of the world” comes with a passport, but in light of the recent debates over immigration reform, which is affecting millions of Mexicans in the United States right now, was it a smart move by Mattel to allow this accessory right now? Alan Hilowitz, spokesman for Mattel, stated that while every doll comes with a passport and animal companion, Mattel did consult with the Mexican embassy before the doll was launched. Hilowitz goes on to say that the goal with the “Dolls of the World” Barbie dolls is to “celebrate cultural differences and tradition, introducing girls to the world through play.” While some parents don’t have a problem with the doll, stating that they won’t count on toys to educate their children on history or culture, many more believe that it is insensitive in this time of delicate issues.
While Mattel was attempting to celebrate different cultures of the world, including the passport with the Mexico Barbie doll was an obtuse move amid immigration reform in the United States. For the doll to be released with that type of accessory, right now, only marginalizes Mexican Americans and immigrants alike by demonstrating that anybody who has roots in Mexican culture is not from here. Mattel should have considered current events before allowing Mexican Barbie to be released with a passport. While not discriminating solely against Mexicans, the “Doll of the World” line does reinforce negative messages to children, such as any doll that doesn’t look like the original Barbie must be different; and with the current theme of immigration reform, this can lead to the idea that any doll of a different race or culture is not as good.
Rainone, Cathy. Amid Immigration Debate, Mexico Barbie Sparks Outrage. NBC, 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/NATL-Mexican-Babrie–202551021.html>.
Media and activism seem to go hand in hand with one another. If one person has a cause why not use media as an outlet to let millions of people acknowledge this cause as well? With social media networks like Facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.. there are tons of sources of information on the web. And now with options such as the “like” button can now generate revenue. So now a “like” for supporting refugees of a faraway war can also be interpreted the same as the “like” of a angry but cute cat. The significance is the same, but now these causes can be expressed via the internet. Through these means of communication a single person is able to communicate to a large network of people. The ability to reach out to a larger audience can increase the awareness of an activists cause and also increase revenue, donations, and overall profits. By using means of social media people are able to communicate more personally to their audience by giving them a cause and allowing them to decide whether they “like” it or not. This ability to reach out individually to each person allows for subjectivity, and more often than not if a cause is just, in a moral society it will most likely become “liked”. And with one “like” in social media a new network of people are able to see the “like” and it is able to spread through many networks very rapidly.
Also, as we have learned in class the media can redefine terms as our social awareness and perceptions change. Like many other ugly words from American history referring to an immigrant as an “illegal” is now banned. I believe that making steps towards a more accurate depiction for the public is very important for media networks. Many expressions in today’s language give a one sided approach and can sway to one side of an argument. Although, with social media changing the way we communicate as a society we are creating an equal platform for all to express their freedom of speech. Social media have become giant billboards for people to express their thoughts, opinions, and even actions. The ability for activists to now express a cause through social media is reinventing the way we communicate and the way we think. By continuing activism online and in the media we can only hope for a more knowledgeable and supportive society.
Recently country music superstar Brad Paisley released a brand new album known as Wheelhouse and one of the songs on the album has people in a major uproar. The song of controversy is titled “Accidental Racist” and it tells a story in which the main character—a white southerner—walks into a Starbucks coffee shop and has a moment of extreme clarity regarding the Confederate flag T-shirt he’s currently wearing. LL Cool J who is featured on the song is responsible for playing the barista role as well as being the de facto spirit guide within Brad Paisley’s moment of realization of what the Confederate flag on his shirt really stands for. The first verse that the southerner sings goes like this: “Just a proud rebel son with an ol’ can of worms. Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn.” Then LL Cool J’s character replies, “If you don’t judge my do-rag, I won’t judge your red flag. If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains.” The problem with both of these verses though is that they are painting racism as dealing mostly with our wardrobe choices when it reality it’s a much deeper problem then that. The song had great intentions but I feel that this was a message song that accidentally contradicts itself. The southerner is expressing remorse for the things that the confederate south put the black population through in regards to slavery and other things. Meanwhile, LL Cool J’s character is just asking the southern man to put the shoe on the other foot and realize what it would be like to come across people who celebrated the confederacy as being a positive thing. Racism runs extremely deep in this country and I applaud this song for trying to talk about a topic that most people in this world are afraid to touch. Brad had actually said that this song as well as the album was not meant to be easy listening, he is actively trying to get his listeners to think about the state of our world today in the hopes that some people will want to change things for the better. He is aiming to create a new generation of southern people as well as convert the old south to be more tolerable of the great racial diversity we have in our country today. I actually feel that more artists in the music industry need to try and invoke thought from their listeners even if it is controversial thought as Brad and LL Cool J have done. Music is one of the most powerful mediums in the world and if more artists get behind such a movement we may be able to create positive change leading to a much more equal society. I respect Brad and LL Cool J for sticking behind their product even though it has had such a mixed reception. Personally, I am not offended of the song as I have heard it quite a few times and I think the message it is attempting to send is a more than worthy cause. All of this just goes to show the power of music and media on our social perspectives when it comes to racism and how to look at events from the past. It also shows that racism can be blatant and direct or indirect and innocent. I happen to feel that in this case the racism is indirect and innocent and that’s also why I think the title “Accidental Racist” is extremely perfect for this powerful song.
So it’s the final blog of the semester and after a distaste for writing them in the beginning I’ve grown fonder of them because they allow me to illustrate some of my thoughts with hope that someone may take interest. This week’s makeup blog topic is on media and activism and if it weren’t for Professor N. and APA 340 I probably wouldn’t be aware of how these two things mix. The lessons I gained from this class have turned out to be very useful to me and I will continue to apply this knowledge to my everyday life continuing past the Spring 2013 semester.
This week’s blog topic is about activism & media, I thought chapter ten “Asian Americans and the Media” by Kent Ono and Vincent Pham was particularly interesting because it spoke of groups such as Center for Asian Americans (CAAM) and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) which I didn’t know existed. Organizations like these are absolutely necessary in our society acting as: “are supporters of Asian American film and constant watchdogs of Asian American media representations” (Pham 158). These organizations are absolutely NECESSARY for us because they keep public networks on their toes about what they release to the public. If it weren’t for these organizations, these networks could air absolutely whatever they want! The power and grip the media has over the majority of people is astounding, and people need to start employing more activism into this huge part of our lives. This is easier said than done because a lot of people are perfectly content with our media.
The unfortunate truth is that the majority of people believe just about everything that comes from media, leading to fewer and fewer people thinking for themselves. This ignorance is what keeps us as Americans separated by race, religion, etc. The point is, is that the media activism these organizations are employing needs to be followed in just about every industry that the media is made up of, and it is the public’s job to open their ears. As a young adult I feel I need to take responsibility for absolving some of the current injustices taking place in our country. As part of the new adult generation, it should be our job to take responsibility and start employing positive values and ethics back into our media. If not, it will only lead to the demise of future generations to come.
Through the aid of social media, the ability to bring together individual actions can make each one more powerful. “If the Internet didn’t exist, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States,” says Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org. “The fact that the most powerful person in the world wouldn’t be in that position without the Internet and organizing online says something.” The power of the Internet in Obama’s case, Rattray says, was its unique ability to organize thousands of passionate people to work together for change. While 100,000 people ranting on Twitter might not be worth anything, organizing those 100,000 people in a simultaneous action can have a significant impact.
It might be really difficult to go protest in person, but it might be easier to group people using the web to simultaneously send letters to a single target. Social media changes public awareness. Because information floats around so freely and quickly, it is easier for people to get access to it. The donations to the Haitian earthquake are a great example. People were moved to text in a donation, and a few were committed enough to get on a plane and go to Haiti to help. These people became aware of the impact of the disaster in a part of the world that might have never even thought about. Social media gave it more urgency than just seeing and hearing the story on the news, making it more personal and allowing for immediate individual action. This is extremely helpful in raising donations quickly and spreading important information. Social media technologies have also changed the ability to act. I believe they allow us to feel a level of involvement in events that we might not usually feel. Although maybe only a small percentage of people who express interest in a cause online are willing to commit to offline action, social media interaction can be viewed as the first step in a an engagement. It has the potential to move people toward social action and change.