“The Modern Racist Paradigm” Reflection
This documentary film openly addresses the issue of racial conflict in American society – primarily the fact that whites are seen as dominant. The film opens with some clips of a research study performed where young black children are shown a black and white doll and asked which they would like to play with. 15 of the 21 children opted to play with the white one. Most kids also said that the white doll was the nice one, “because it’s white”. To me this is an excellent portrayal of how youth’s innocence is being corrupted by the media. Five year olds should not have to be exposed to the issue of racial superiority. The fact that most mainstream media content is controlled by Caucasians is most likely the cause. The film also talked about people of some races, particularly Asians, getting cosmetic surgery so they look more like whites. For example, double eyelid surgery has becoming increasingly popular to young Asians – both men and women – to make their eyes appear larger. One woman said that her reasoning for the surgery probably had something to with television actresses or magazine models (who are predominantly white). Even Tyra Banks admits that she is conforming to the white image by having a hair weave. There is a large section of the film dedicated to the portrayal of Arabs in movies. They are often viewed as villainous, incompetent, or lowlifes. One movie that I never thought of as having a racial edge was Aladdin. There are Arabic men running around with swords trying to kill Aladdin for taking an apple, and a lot of women in the film are gypsies. I guess the racism is evident, I just never wanted to let go of the innocence we associate with Disney movies as a child, though upon reflection most of the films have quite mature content. This film really opened my eyes about how easy society and the media can infiltrate the minds of young kids without as much as a hassle.