Educating the ignorant (myself)…

Posted: June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

I can finally educate the ignorant. Only because I, myself, have been educated.

I came into this class thinking that I knew everything there was to know on racism, sexism, and stereotypes in the media. I thought that I knew the ins and outs to living a bias-free lifestyle. I was sadly mistaken. Throughout the month-long class I learned that I had only studied one chapter in the book that is race, gender, and the media.

In our lives we see racism and sexism come in all shapes and sizes. In my first blog I wrote of how racism has no color and sexism has no gender-inflicted voice box. I still hold these assessments to be true. We have learned in this class that stereotypes can be found everywhere and I have found a number of biases that I believed in that weren’t healthy. I’m proud to say that this class has molded me into not only a stronger American, but a stronger human as well. I have eliminated my own biases. I have overcome what little stereotypes I used to find. Fortunately for me, no longer are the issues that can be closely related to racism and sexism found in my thoughts. I have overcome an evil that has torn apart our country and the world for so many years. And I have one month in one class with one teacher to thank for it.

Have we moved past the need to have a class called “Race, Gender, and the media?” Three weeks ago a number of my fellow students would have said “yes.” Now, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all agree on “No.” We haven’t moved past the need for this class. We all know this because we have all grown from the topics discussed everyday.

The best example I can give is what I initially thought when I saw Bryan, my classmate, in class for the first time. As Bryan said on his first day, he was from a small Texas town and had joined the class late. He came into class in a baseball cap, some athletic shoes and a football polo. My first thought was “Uh-oh. Small town Texas football boy is NOT going to like me or Ta’chelle.” There. I automatically, without even knowing this kid, assumed that he was a racist, white, small town Texas kid. I was sadly mistaken. Never have I been so happy to be wrong and felt so bad internally for assuming incorrectly. I felt awful. The first things he said were so out of the box and down to Earth. The words coming out of his mouth didn’t match the stereotype that I had thrown him in and it was already a wake-up call for me. Second day of class and one of my stereotypes was shot down already.

We all have a Bryan around that we can learn from. The question is, are you going to take the time to learn from your Bryan? Are you going to step out of the box and not only close the door behind you, but also lock it and throw away the key? I did. And I will continue to do so.

I stepped out of the box. I closed the door behind me. I locked the door. I threw away the key. I’m never looking back. It’s invigorating. You should try it.

It’s been a blast blogging for you. I hope in reading about my growth you have grown with me. I hope, if not all my words, just one sentence had a positive impact on you.

Here is the link to our FINAL PROJECT!

Thanks again,

Nader

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Comments
  1. I think your group did an great job covering this topic for your final project. However, I think you all should have conducted a few more interviews and asked some adults and people of color. I am sure you would have gotten some interesting perspectives.
    I liked the commercial example you used for your project. The world cup or FIFA organization has really changed the way I look at diversity in commercials. It will be interesting to see the future of sporting event advertisements after this years world cup PR campaign. I think it is interesting that we don’t see this diverse of commercials until the olympics or the world cup.
    All of you did a great job in our class this summer stepping out of your boxes and seeing a different perspective other than your own. I’m sure with people like you in PR and Advertising, we will start to see gradual change in the way the media portrays different groups. Thank you for your honesty and your participation.

  2. I like that y’all approached a topic that you often deal with being advertising majors. I do wish that there was a little more diversity in your interviews and also I think a few more interviews would have given people a wider view, but overall I did find it interesting. What shocks me the most is that it takes a sporting event such as the World Cup to create diverse commercials, where are these commercials in everyday life? Sports is notorious for being diverse but it is in other areas such as beauty commercials that we need diversity. The question is not if there is enough diversity, we know there is not, but how do we go about creating more diversity.

    Nader you made our class step out of the box and were never afraid to challenge people and make them think harder, keep this up and you will make a big difference in a lot of peoples lives. Thanks for all your class participation.

    -Ana

  3. tachellejones says:

    Nader,

    I really enjoyed watching your final project on YouTube. My favorite part was the integration of the FIFA Wordlcup commercial into your presentation. That has to be one of the most diverse advertisement I’ve seen in a long time. This class really forced us to step out of the box and to look at things more critically than many of us ever had before. I know for a fact I never recognized so many of the things we’ve learned in class in every day life before enrolling in this course. Through reading your blog and watching your final project I can say with confidence that you’ve achieved exactly what Dr. Flippin Wynn hope we would. Awareness. Awesome job! It’s been a pleasure meeting you and having you as a classmate.

  4. hayleycimel says:

    I really enjoyed the graphics you used in setting up your video and the audio that went along with it. I feel you opened your project strong in this light. I agree with Ana and Brittney, but I would also liked to have seen more research throughout the project, like a montage of advertising images, research studies, or statistics relating to how the lack of diversity in advertising affects people. However, as a whole, I think you had a great concept and you all worked hard putting this together. My favorite part of the video was the FIFA commerical because it showed, no matter our differences, we are putting those differences aside for one event. I think using this commercial showed analysis and critical thinking. However, it does bring up the question, like Ana mentioned, why don’t we do this in all areas of our life? Why can’t we put aside our differences to even sell consumer goods?

    It has been great getting to know all three of you in class and I wish you guys the best as you finish up your degrees. You all are smart, talented and well spoken people and I hope you continue to use what we learned in this class in your areas of expertise.

    -Hayley

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