reappropriate

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Out-of-touch

Lou Dobbs needs to shut up. Is anyone else annoyed by the way financial commentators on programs like CNN Money are so blase about race issues? Is anyone else infuriated by the way Lou Dobbs seems to wax philosophical on his show -- broaching subjects of immigration and economic power struggles between foreign and domestic companies without a single thought to how his words are muddying the waters between race and nationality? This morning, I was watching CNN Money while two of the talking heads were discussing China's increasing economic dominance over international markets. This is nothing new: we've known for years now that China is growing in economic prominence. What I found unsettling, however, was the xenophobic tone that comments like these tend to take. Why be afraid of China's economic power? Because it's China, a foreign power, a mysterious, perilous, Yellow unknown that threatens us. Shows like these, designed to cater to the fear of the unknown foreigners, do so by not only fostering a divisive environment in which foreign nations are Otherized but also condone humour that intensifes these differences. I was altogether offended to listen to two White commentators butcher a Mandarin phrase and then laugh at their own inadequacies. The pundits on shows dealing with the global economy seem to place themselves on pedestals of racial ignorance, preferring simply to not deal with how their opinions on foreign trade and economic dealings may come across as xenophobic and discriminatory. After all, why don't they talk about how identifying with the other side seems to be important for Americans? We rarely hear about the threat of the growing British or French economy, whereas problem areas include Mexico, Asia and Africa (where people are too poor and need our "charity" rather than being perceived as threats). Again, people of colour are derided and dehumanized by Whites on-screen, and no one ever seems to see a problem with it. If journalists are supposed to present us with reality, why do they so often seem to lose touch with it?

3 Comments:

Anonymous szczewik@op.pl said...

I'm not watching CNN or others TV programs about wars, politics and economy. It's just a waste of time for me...

I prefere read something about philosophy or theology. I don't think, that I could change somethin in society, but You Jenn... You are still fighting! I'm just sitting and waiting for some changes in my life...

I'm starnge boy...

12/25/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger jose said...

The thing is, Capitalism's drive toward Free Market utopia hinders race relations. The Free Market is colorblind, but colorblindness simply perpetuates systematic racism. That is not to say that Capitalism is bad -- just that it is out of step with the rate of race normalization -- and until there is parity, things like corporatism and commodification in the context of race will perpetuate the problem.

12/27/2005 10:31:00 PM  
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