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Whether you’re watching TV, listening to radio, or streaming online content; it doesn’t matter how you enjoy mass media. In the heart of most entertainment is a covert message to the audience, leaving them exposed to ideas, which alter their opinions, beliefs, and lifestyles in one blink of an eye.

Messaging in media and entertainment can be good, however, Hollywood, Hip Hop, traditional news outlets and social media have glorified violence and crime, perpetuating perceptions of and behavior in many communities across the country, especially that of urban youth and police.

There are many investigative reports, which expose the long-term effect of children’s shows containing sexual or violent content, subconsciously disturb sensitive viewers.

Studies by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have shown that children who have been taught that violence can be a form of entertainment are more likely to commit violent acts. The data collected from juvenile detention centers and child psych units often indicate that the adolescents, who frequent them most often, were more than likely exposed to heinous violence through entertainment.

NatSCEV’s (National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence), 2009 bulletin states that children in the US are more likely to be exposed to violence than adults. A simple Google search of fight videos reveals a plethora of filmed schoolyard brawls. In many cities and states this has become entertainment for youth from ages 10 and up. Throughout the country there are swarms of urban youth filming and uploading gruesome fights, which almost always leads to on-going online beefs.

What’s worse is these videos are fueling all out street wars. The beef between Lil JoJo and Lil Reese is evidence of how far these filmed incidents can be taken on social media. Prior to Lil JoJo’s fatal death he posted videos supposedly chasing Lil Reese, with one video containing a verbal death threat.

Murders like Lil JoJo’s are credited to Chicago’s gang street culture often referenced to as Chiraq. The term is sadly revered by the youth of Chicago, and to the nation’s authorities represents a subculture of urban terrorism in the form of drug trafficking, prostitution, and gun-violence.

Within such communities one can see the shared learned mentality of its citizens is, don’t trust the police. It is often the epitome of urban TV, music, and film; the non-belief in the service offered by local police departments. Like art imitating life, a large majority of urban citizens have experienced being treated like criminals, before being proven guilty in a court of law.

Authorities, much like the citizens in heavy policed areas, have a set disposition in regards to its citizens; anyone can be a criminal. Many officers often report experiencing fear infused impulses when encountering individuals in urban environments. Much of police training, like media based vocational studies, revolves around the psychology of the suspect. When developing a case, investigators must know their suspect intimately and be able to predict their next acts based upon other past observed criminal behaviors.

It’s all by design

Whenever a producer casts an individual to be criminally frightening in a film, urban adolescents who admire the character may mimic their criminal behavior.

The research produced to define patterns of criminal behavior is used by both film and law professionals alike. This research produces data on drug trafficking, prostitution, gun-violence, and identity theft statistics, which the government uses to justify their right to conduct more surveillance within these specified communities, and discrimination based upon stereotypes, in many incidents, has caused more police violence.

Stereotypes, or labels garnered through historical events, cultural beliefs, and entertainment are how many individuals worldwide get introduced to other ethnic groups. Therein is the root of all cultural misunderstandings: typecasting, or false portrayals of groups of people. Unintentionally, someone can derive a preconceived notion in regards to someone else based upon what they have learned about this person and their culture from scripted dramatized entertainment.

For an adolescent living in America, media is their window to the world. Sitcoms, reality TV, and steaming dramas include material based upon news headlines, popular trends, and statistics. The coerced episodes and segments of weekly programming that millions of viewers tune into are the building blocks that many in the viewing audience will blindly base their social interactions off.

When watching TV, listening to radio, and streaming media, one must guard their perceptions, and be made aware that all media has a purpose for being produced, and in that process of production there is a message. Broadcast professionals are very similar to psychologists, they survey large groups to predict behavior based upon the viewing audience’s responses through screen testing, character, and audience gauging. Like lab mice, the average viewing audience submits to every experiment willingly, not realizing that they are participating in a massive programming assembly.

10 Responses

  1. kingblack

    This was on point an to hear what people know brings fact out more
    Great work….

    • Sarai Graves

      @KingBlack, most definitely appreciate the follow up, thanks, you words mean a lot

  2. Arlie

    Have you been banned from using DLACK or any color of DARK INK? I would love to read your posts, however you boarder on the invisible.

    • Sarai Graves

      @Arlie, wasn’t aware of the visual issue with viewing the content. I will mention it to the editor.

  3. DrK

    good work keep up the writing. we need to do more to talk about the disparities in black and brown inner city communities. If you really wanted to get crazy you should hook up with some poor white kids in rural communities they don’t have shit or any opportunities either, but that will take some take to cross that barrier. just keep showing people what is happening !

  4. domain names

    What’s up to all, the contents present at this website
    are truly amazing for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.


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