STEREOTYPES: THE MEDIA-NITE SYNDROME.

download (2)In the standard English language, stereotype is defined as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”. Stereotypes have become a norm in the society today, which is not so perturbing if the stereotypes existing today were not so enamored to be potentially dangerous and disruptive, and they are not far-fetched either.

In most parts of Ukraine for instance, foreigners especially dark-skinned people are immediately considered to be very rich and naive by the natives and even their own fellow people who have lived there long enough to become natural citizens. This makes them easy targets for scams, cheats and even abuse or extermination owing to the fact that person does not know the language firsthand. In some countries in Africa, whites are looked at as the definition of perfection and civilization, some sort of role models and even mini-gods. An average American or Ukrainian thinks Africans don’t wear clothes and hop from trees, and their females are wonderful sex objects because of their mostly buxom bodies. They also think Africans are violent and too strong, and have barbaric cultures. The list is endless.

The media is a powerful influence in today’s society. A lot of folks believe the media firsthand and do not even bother to research by themselves the authenticity of the “trash” they are being fed on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the media is constructed on what I term the “bad-market-dey-sell-pass” strategy i.e they thrive on showcasing the negative aspects of people, races, ethnicities, cities, countries and even high-ranking personalities or celebrities. Without consideration for how these various films, documentaries, news readings and the likes affect the minds, perceptions and thoughts of the viewers, especially the very young and still-developing ones, these television stations, internet sites and other media outlets resort to showing only the filth, the stench and the sufferings of targeted countries, especially those they categorize as “third world”, making them look helpless and easy prey for different exploitation acts disguised as relief funds, relief trips, sometimes mission trips and the likes. It’s now getting hard to know which ones are genuine.

What these people fail to realize, or maybe they have gotten to the realization yet turned a deaf ear and blind eye to it, is that they are indirectly laying the grounds for many vices that plague the world today. They carry a large part of the responsibility for vices like racism (irrespective of color and who is the victim), exploitation (especially of women and children), human trafficking, increased immorality and STDs (by encouraging and promoting sex-influenced scenes, adverts and movies) low self-esteem which on its own breeds self-hate, depression and suicide in the viewers, and even low self-esteem on the part of the countries portrayed. By preying on the underdevelopment and unfortunate ignorance of most of these countries, their leaders that is, they are constantly creating a dangerous, tension-drenched environment to the detriment of future interactions, and of course to the wonderful prospect of fat pockets for themselves. Until the media “receives sense” and a conscience, and learn to promote both the good and the bad about all countries irrespective of their ranking/status in the world, whether they be “the watchdogs of the world” or the “washbasins of the world”, the count of lives that will keep getting marred, lost and wasted just because of their money craze is yet to reach its climax.

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