Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review-Race-Baiter by Eric Deggans



by Eric Deggans

Palgrave Macmillan(2012), Hardcover
288 pages, 0230341829.

Eric Deggans' social commentary is a worthy and important book for all. As an educator in the field of media literacy,  it is a valuable book with current analysis of what the author calls "media ecology". He defines media ecology as "the constellation of websites, social media spaces, radio and TV outlets, print publication, and even music platform that each person regularly consults each day. What I found interesting is how he points out that if as a media entity, your news, your delivery happens outside of any person's media ecology, it doesn't exist to them.

The author's purpose “is an attempt to decode the ways media outlets profit by segmenting Americans.”  He shows how the reporting of journalists can influence, persuade its audience to the left or right. His focus through most of the book is on racial bias and the consistency of managing the news with untruths and misleading reporting. Is there anyone who really believes that television and all media in our purview is not biased?  Deggan outlines his argument with countless examples of the ways media alters dialog, images and general news gathering to suit a specific audience or slant the news left or right. in reporting. He shows the irony of the term "Reality Shows" and how they are chiseled to each a specific audience.  

He offers solutions to breaking down the race-baiting of our modern media and how we must work to break down segregation that still exists. A phrase that tells so much...Deggan says, "we have to learn to sit together." This may sound preachy...but he is not.

In his view,  racial equality is looked at differently by whites and African Americans. Here is an example, in Eric Deggans' words:

“Whenever someone tells me in a well meaning voice, that they don't see color, I always respond, What's wrong with seeing my color?" The key is that when you see my skin color, you don't think it's a bad thing."

As I witnessed this personally in an interracial marriage, his observation is accurate. There is "the look", an experience that is repeated often when you are in public. Anyone who has been given "the look" understands what I mean. It's better to talk about racial difference than to pretend it doesn't exist.

Race Baiter is a candid and necessary book that should provoke a deeper awareness of the powerful messages that try to perpetuate fear or confirmation of your beliefs through any media possible.  

 Disclosure: Library Thing sent me a copy of Race-Baiter to review for the Early Reviewer program.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2012].

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013].

1 comment:

Pamela Schoenewaldt said...

A thoughtful review of what seems to be a significant book.
Pamela Schoenewaldt