Lewis: Acknowledge Different Interpretations of Events

by Justine Dodgen

Today we’re continuing our discussion of how there is frequent evidence of racial bias in how violence is portrayed in the media. We have been asking faculty members to respond with their ideas for how we, as consumers of news or members of the media, can “do better” at recognizing and overcoming this prejudice.

Our next suggestion is from Professor LaVonna Blair Lewis, whose research and professional interests focus on cultural competency and health disparities, particularly the health status and health care needs of underrepresented groups.

 

Bedrosian Center: What’s one thing we can do better to address biases in how the media portrays race and violence?

LLewis-130x180ewis: We can drop the veneer of objectivity and acknowledge the existence of different world views and perspectives. In other words, we must acknowledge that the ‘facts’ do not speak for themselves, there is always an interpretation. As a result, two people can look at the same situation and come to very different conclusions based on their world views- if I spend time with a particular group or in a particular community, I see [that group or community] differently than those who show up in the midst of a crisis. Those individuals in the media are not exempt from this reality; and quite frankly, they are dangerous if they deny that this is true.

 

This post is part of our series on Race and Violence in the Media. To view the series, click here. Check back next week for our next response. 

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