Illustration… Racism in the Media

Published April 15, 2012 by Dezirae Mccausland

This video link above, is a commercial for KFC, a popular fast food restaurant. It shows a ‘white man’ sitting in a crowd of rowdy ‘black people’. He says “Need a tip in an awkward situation?” and then is shown with a bucket of KFC’s chicken. This commercial is creating a stereotype of African American people, assuming that all ‘black’ people love fried chicken, and once the man offers the crowd around him some chicken, instantly the situation is not awkward and they seem to be settled down. This commercial is very racist. Although created using light humor, the underlying message is racist by creating a generalization about the crowd in the background. In the text, “Issues in Social Justice”, the content on race and racism is quite extensive. The most important aspect of this section is that race and racism has not always existed in history, but was created by humans. Race, “can be defined as a grouping of human population characterized by socially selected physical traits” (Tridico, Pellerito, Armstrong, 2009, p. 308). So, race was socially constructed. Racism then, is the act of hatred or intolerance towards another race. Even though in this commercial we do not see blatant hatred toward the other race, there is the underlying message that the one and only ‘white’ man feels uncomfortable among the crowd or another race. It is surprising that this commercial was created by KFC and that it was even allowed on Television at all. Racism in Media

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