Represented as a minority
in America, Native Americans are underrepresented in many ways in media. Like
any other ethnic group, they are stereotyped, and portrayed in a certain way that
makes them look a way. Historically marginalized so that many aren’t aware of
the pressure that they are putting on the underrepresented in America.
Statistically shown, Native Americans respectively have proven that compared to
other American groups, they feel relatively invisible. One of the great ironies
in life is how America is so proud to become a melting pot to those who are
willing to be a part of the contribution to American life. Does this even
include the various groups that represents American society?
Associated with wearing skins, living in teepees, and
riding horses Native Americans are viewed as ‘country’ and lack of knowledge. Shown as dumb and have a lack of formal
education, most of them live in poverty invested areas. Because of this, they
feel that “one representation is better than no representation.” When a group
feels underrepresented their psychological relevance and has a toil on the
overall ethnic group and can make a difference in lives. Inaccurate and
negative representations of Native Americans can be detrimental to the overall
perception to the race in general.
Being historically marginalized in American, even today
not much is being done to credit the Native Americans for their discovery of
America. Over 30% of these Indians live below the poverty level because half of
them are unemployed. The life expectancy of Native Americans is below the
national average because of unemployment and lack of jobs for those groups. The
way that American Native Indians are mistreated, the culture is ridiculed and
is mocked through sports team’s mascots and just disrespected in general.
Stereotypically represented as portrayed as proud,
independent and honorable people or as power hungry barbarians. Many Native
Americans tend to steer away from the idea of mass media interpretations of
what commercial media has produced. With this imagery, Indians have conceptions
of what is favorable and unfavorable to reflect the use to how the image is
used. Both positive and negative
connotations have been used. Many early 1900 television shows showed that the
Midwest Indians capturing white people, mainly women. It also portrayed savage
male Indians that overpowered and terrified white women. The theme, however,
was one-sided saying that Indians killed innocent individuals including women
Similarly, stereotypes reactions to popular movies and
television productions that includes Native American Indians demonstrates
trends that keeps reflecting perceivable thoughts that have been shown to
emerge from a more general standpoint. Have ideas and thoughts changed over the
last few years? This theme seeks to find answers to these questions to provide
a viable explanation for trends that emerge from mass media. Stereotypes may
involve only one belief about a certain belief that are not widely accepted by
everyone but includes everyone.
It is important that we realize that we include
everyone’s emotions when participating in mass media news and broadcasting.
Native Americans only get about ¼ of the credit they deserve for how they have
founded and established this land for the betterment of America and its
qualities. Because they feel underrepresented they feel as if they have to keep
up the quota to live up to something because of many of their current living
situations. Many are without jobs and without homes because of these portrayals
in America. Stereotyping can be created into a basic definition where limiting
humans through gender, race, religion, ethnic groups, and a combination of all
the above makes a difference in one’s well-being in day to life. Any statement
that envisions a set group of people to make them respond negatively to any
preconceived thoughts is bead for humanity and can be eliminated.
Most of these negative preconceived thoughts are backed
by the many economic hardships, disease, and despair. The way Native Americans
are portrayed in mass media, they are characterized by: poverty, suicide,
family, violence, school failure, infant mortality, alcohol-related illnesses and
poverty. Overgeneralizations about Native Americans can go all the way back to
when Europeans first arrived in North American and were considered inferior
biologically and morally. This was all because they were not granted the same
privileges as the other citizens.
Not being considered as ‘civilized’ novices to the
country, they were not granted access with as others were. A Kootenai man
interviewed for a study point in the Survey
of Native American Media Use and Representation in the Mass Media by
Merskin said, “Native Americans are portrayed as people who lives in slums
(where the government puts them), live off your tax money (our land was taken,
thank you very much), drunks (why shouldn’t they be depressed?), and basically
numbered, labeled, canned, then shuffled on to desolate, barren, useless land
to live a quirt life out of the way of mainstream, white collar America.”
English constantly evolves to reflect Americas social and
cultural values. Jean Gaddy Wilson from Facing
Differences, Gender, and Mass Media says, “Ridding media messages of
minorities, messages of sexism, racism, and other ‘-isms’ is primarily a task
of clearly seeing current reality and reporting it.” Today, new construction
replaces the traditional and sexist biased him
to describe those who act ads teachers, attorneys, pilot’s, factory
workers, managers, etc. Why is this?
More and more women fill in for jobs and assume roles
based upon stereotyped as belonging to men. Where do these stereotypes permeate
from? News media, broadcast television and so on. New definitions of roles are
played by women, men and minority groups (especially Native Americans) to
swiftly change. This major change, however, does not happen with some form of
comment or feedback. Whether solicited or not, as men and women of all races,
especially minorities, take on more visible roles in a society of diminishing
control, resistance appears.
We live in a society that has for many centuries has
treated women of all races and men of color and peripheral. Some languages that
depicts biasness against women and minority that shows a great history of
inequality. History shows that when the Pilgrims first settled here to make
America their home, they also brought with them their common law practices and
rules. Therefore, when the Law of England was imported to this country, the
women and children were in equivalence their cattle. Years later, when slavery
was instituted and implemented into American laws, minority women and children
were equal to the white women and children; everything was considered property
to the white man. A short time after, minorities gained privileges and were
elevated to citizen level. But what did that mean for Native Americans?
Documents serving the foundation of the country’s government held white males
to a higher standard that everyone else saying, “We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Many writers are faced with the
problem now that today’s usage of words the language is authoritative and
diminishing to a certain minority group. But society is changing. The
continuing social revolutions begun in the mid-1960’s and were partly about
renaming what is. Language must catch up to a world where the misfortunate, the
needy, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and
Latinos, are given full credit for being in equivalence with the white men.
Accordingly, some of the things that native Americans
experienced and are still experiencing are Racism, sexism, stereotyping, and
biases portrayals. The belief that one’s race is superior to another or all
races is racism. Common stereotypes of racism include that native American and
other minority groups are secondary. They are people of little consequence.
These people must serve the powerful. This means that they must work for
someone, for example domestic help, farm, or factory workers. Also, they are depicted
and stereotyped as the invisible or the ignored. When they accomplish a certain
task, it is trivialized meaning people do not want to see it as a true success.
It is more like, how did they do that, or “That’s shocking.” The worst of these
depictions are that they are the despised or feared ones. Seen as outsiders,
criminals, suspects, guilty parties, it does not present a welcoming attitude
those who know little to nothing about them. For example, cheating on welfare
funds, being illegal aliens, drug addicts, or even sometimes called “animals.”
These former examples of stereotyping give way to why everyone is not being
treated as they should.
Stereotyping does not give individuals of people groups a
chance to have their own identity because of the expectancy to perform or
conform to previous unvarying patterns. For examples whenever products are
produced and advertised in the stores, and they are of Native American they
exemplify the racial stereotypes mentioned above. Some name brands are Land o’
Lakes butter, Sue Bee honey, Red Man tobacco, and the Atlanta Braves. The
butter has a male depiction of a farmer, depicting that Indians are farm
workers, they make butter. This can be said as well for Sue Bee honey with the
little girl Native American on the front of the bottle. Red Man tobacco displays the idea that Indian
men chew tobacco which goes back to the idea that they are trying to suggest
that they are to be despised, they are to be feared. Also mentioned previously,
Indians are used all over the world to be many school’s mascots, including the
Atlanta Braves at one point in time.
Most people therefore, are interested in the media’s
coverage of race believes that the press has been a racist institution, as it
has reflected the racism prevalent in the white society throughout our
country’s history. Numerous studies have provided us with many examples of
distorted, unrepresentative and demeaning coverage of minority groups.
Concerning news press releases of Native Americans, researchers have found
documents displaying the portrayal and fear given to that group as being a “the
sulking Indian enemy.” Other sources include passages about Indian savagery and
condemning them for being warriors in wars, when they needed to be. News
coverage tends to fail to represent Native Americans as contemporary
individuals. This is because there is hardly no diversity in public relations.
The level of influence that public relations has on the
news media is scary. Racial diversity in public relations can help news media
workers to have an effective way to present ideas without offending,
stereotyping, and misrepresenting any groups of people. The need for
multiculturalization in public relation is heavy. With the increased racial
diversity in this country, coupled with segmented media, the need for
minorities to learn and practice public relations is even greater. Similarly,
students of all race and backgrounds needs to appreciate and cross-culturalism
communication if they are to be effective in their profession. In a world of demystified
society and media, those who are aware of and able to function in more than one
culture and area and able to work in more that one media, will be the most advantageous.
People from minority groups needs to have someone on the inside of these firms
to speak from their ethnic group perspective so that their diversification will
not be overlooked.