The White Lens of Crime Media
Examining Minority Underrepresentation in American Media and its Consequences
True crime’s popularity has never been higher. However, true crime media largely ignores offenses by authority figures, and creators use their outreach to monetize viewership with cold cases rather than making critiques of the societal structures in the United States. Most true crime media is also favored towards “missing white woman syndrome” and ignores the plights of marginalized communities, including Black and Native Americans. This bias makes it harder for the stories of minority groups to be heard and can be damaging to their communities in the long run. Following this, my argument will use Huey P Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide as a historical representation and firsthand accounting of the ways in which the judicial system is inherently biased towards minority groups, and how their representation in the media makes them more likely to be targeted by police, as well as a contemporary comparison and analysis of these issues. The media around Newton’s case, although he was later acquitted of all charges, painted Newton as a deviant simply because he was in a Black organization. Applying the lens of Critical Race Theory, as explained by Bryan Warde and Edward Taylor, to these events, we can begin to see the racist groundwork on which many of our institutions of law are built upon and how media’s favor of sensationalism over accurate representation is hurtful to already vulnerable members of the American public.
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