Western Media Bigotry

On Tuesday, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammed, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, 19. There are some important things to note about this murder in particular, a. it barely got any media coverage, and b. it was a hate-crime, it was unecessary and cruel and shows just how far we've come as a country. 

To emphasize, there was a blatant hate-crime committed against Muslim-Americans and when the media did report the story they tried to cover it up as a "parking dispute." This country, the land of the free, is so corrupt and intolerant it's disgusting. On the flip side, the media is so quick to report on the newest fashion trend, the newest couple, however, the media is even quicker to criminalize black corpses. But let's not get off topic, let's look at the history to try to conceptualize this event . In the most comprehensive and systematic study of Hollywood movies done to-date, media scholar Jack Shaheen examined 100 years of Hollywood film representations of Arabs and Muslims. He found that the majority of the 900 films he examined portrayed Arabs and Muslims as "brutal, heartless, uncivilised religous fanatics and money-mad cultural 'others' bent on terrorising civilised westerners, especially Christians and Jews. Furthermore, the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the media is generally "stereotypical and negative," the study shows that TV news and documentaries have the stronglest influence of people's views of Islam, followed by newspaper coverage. Then we have what happened in Paris, adding to the anti-Muslim/Arab sentiment. Then of course 9/11, which hits close to home for me because I'm from New York, and even I fed into this stereotype and hated them, hated them all for the pain they brought to my city, hated them for bringing hate into my heart. Taking all this into account, it's easy to see why these hate crimes occur. Pause. 

Three innocent Muslims died yesterday. Three innocent Muslims died yesterday. Three innocent Muslims died yesterday. Let that sink in for moment. They died for their race. They died because of the stereotypes the media perpetuates, they died because of events that had nothing to do with them, they died because of America's inability to love all, to provide equality for all. 

America continues to fail people of color. I really don't know why this bothers me so much, honestly I shouldn't even be surprised anymore. 

Do Better America.

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1 Comment

Could not agree more

Rochelle, I could not agree more. I actually stumbled across this article on Facebook-- the caption: "if this were the other way around [if a Muslin individual had killed 3 Christian individuals] we would be hearing all about it." This statement is devastatingly true. Media bias is an absurd reality in the US. The amount of coverage that the Charlie Hedbo murder received, plus the incendiary language used in the reporting of that murder... it doesn't even compare to the portrayal of these murders. Many people would point to the fact that news outlets are reporting on this killing as proof of media impartialness in the US. The New York Times, for example, has the headline "North Carolina Man Held in Killing of 3 Muslim Students" as its third story. To be fair, the fact that we in the US report at all on this killing indicates that the media is not absolutely biases. However, just as you indicated before, the portrayal of this killing as an individual act of brutality, rather than any sort of systematic discrimination or racism against Muslims, is absolutely unconscionable and downright false. Murders such as that of Charlie Hedbo are linked to greater cases of terrorism, portrayed as a national trend that we, as Americans, should fear and protest. The portrayal of these killings as isolated incidents from a normal "North Carolina Man," not terrorist in training or even mentally-ill individual, is proof of the disrepect and blatant injustice alive and well in our media and our country today.