25/ 04/ 2014

Dame Dash on Race and Media

I am loving how he turned the tables on the reporters. People don’t do this enough, and his points about racism in the media are valid.

But, there is a but. I’m sorry guys, I have to argue this one a little bit.

(This is just for discussion’s sake, because this video straddles both racism and media conspiracies, both things that I hate.)

1. Reporters don’t have to be Republican to be racist. Though Republican reporters do exist, the truth is most reporters aren’t even remotely conservative (though the owners and/or editorial boards of their publications might be). In fact, you can pretty much guess the reporters in this video are socially liberal because Dame was able to shame them into silence. (Conservatives, especially in conservatives in a city as liberal as New York, would probably have been conditioned to defend themselves in these types of situations.)

For the record, I consider myself neither Democrat nor Republican. I don’t believe in blindly aligning myself with any group or point of view.

2. To that effect, Dame is probably wrong that it’s “killin” these reporters that Obama is in office. They probably voted for him.

3. Reporters are people, though, and most of them are white. Even those who aren’t white grew up in a white-dominant society like the rest of us, and are working in a white-dominated industry. So they are just as susceptible to the forces driving all the racial stereotypes and attitudes in our society as everyone else. They’re ignorant and privileged, but not necessarily part of a conservative conspiracy or agenda.

The REAL problem here is there needs to be more diversity in the newsroom, and in the upper echelons of society in general. That is an ongoing battle. It would have been cool if Dame said something about that.

4. Reporters, whether consciously or subconsciously racist, or not racist at all, are not in the business of printing press releases about anyone. They may not be writing about all the wonderful things that Dame Dash has done with his life, but let’s face it–they’re not in the business of writing wonderful things about anyone. “I employ at least 10 people at any given time” is not a story. Not a story anyone would read, anyway.

The fact they care about his court case is actually acknowledgement that he is someone, and that he means something. He’s in the public eye. He’s achieved success and notoriety, and in that sense, he is part of the establishment. The media is supposed to serve the public by informing them about things that people with influence, money and power don’t want to talk about. That means you, Dame. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if Apple’s very white CEO Tim Cook walked out of the same court house five minutes later with the same kind of case, he’d be followed by reporters, too.

This wouldn’t be the first time a famous person tried to hide behind the ‘why do you vultures always circle around the bad news?’ argument. No one cares when you’re having a good day! Sorry. That’s what advertisements are for.

4. Let me also take a moment to cringe at people who think reporters are monsters (see the comments below the video) for giving people an opportunity to comment. The whole point of getting someone’s comment on a bad situation is to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. If he really wanted the media to write about the good stuff, he should have given them an interview about it a long time ago.

To be fair and realistic, though, I do not have faith that all reporters are that genuine and fair. Even if they want to be, it’s not always easy to do when those who know better can be so good at working you over. This is actually another real problem causing a racial slant in media coverage–people who are part of groups with established influence in society are much savvier at manipulating the media to their advantage.

5. Though they didn’t really have a choice from a public relations standpoint, some credit should be given to the Daily News. We don’t know who else was there, but it appears they were, and they published this even though he’s criticizing them. I don’t know if everyone commenting on this video realizes they are watching it courteous of the evil editors they hate so much, or that those conspiring journalists actually agree with them and saw some value in what Dame was saying.

(…as I write this, though, I’m wondering if maybe they really just had no self awareness and published the video thinking it made Dame look like a raving lunatic without realizing so many people would agree with him.)

So yea… just something to chew on. All that said, it’s about time someone tells reporters to take a hard look at themselves and why they are covering what they’re covering. From the stuttering in this video, it’s pretty obvious they don’t have a clue.

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I'm a 30-something multimedia creator from New York. I do videos on Youtube centered on open discussion and co-mentorship. Once a month, I host a Q&A with inspiring people from entrepreneurs to athletes and more on The itsme Podcast. Be warned: I can be opinionated. But it's all love! Please follow and subscribe, it would mean a lot! :)

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