Sunday, August 21, 2016

Segregation + Media = Stereotyping

We know that America is more segregated today than at any time since the '60s. For the most part, black kids and white kids don't live in the same neighborhoods or go to the same schools. At the same time, for every middle-class "Black-ish" on television, there are 1,000 stories about poverty and violence in the black community.

So when Trump reaches out to African-American voters with the line, "You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed—what the hell do you have to lose?" isn't he just parroting the perception foisted upon white America by the media? Yes, we expect our elected officials actually to visit the real world and see it for themselves, but Trump is wholly media-made, so it makes sense that he should believe this skewed version of reality.

When you have a strong middle class, you tend to have people of color working and living together with white folks. Remove those jobs, separate the very very rich from the struggling, and you tend to separate the races, too. At least that's been the result here over the past several decades. And when people are no longer neighbors and in each other's lives, they are free to imagine what "the other" is like. How's that working for us, America?

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