The Power of Media Should Be Used for Unity

Nathaniel Smith
3 min readNov 11, 2020

Being treated as a second-class citizen and not having the ability to vote or go to school was the cold reality for black people during slavery. The pain and suffering did not end with restrictions on rights because black people were vilified and murdered in front of white bystanders. The thirteenth amendment abolished slavery; however, a greater focus was placed on police officers to target black communities. In the year 2020, what has changed? It is not legally accepted to be a slave but, brutal treatment by police officers wrongfully killing unarmed black people and lack of equality still exist.

The 13th film showed that public leaders like Bill Clinton, George Bush, Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and others were instrumental in creating a negative portrayal of black people. Through newspaper headlines, criticism, and false narratives on black people helped perpetuate the systemic anti- Black racism. Terms like a monster and a super predator addressed black leaders and people who were not guilty of heinous crimes. These messages from public figures made black people look dangerous to other people in the community, and that helped push for laws and acts that negatively impacted blacks.

Richard Nixon created a campaign that focused on eradicating drugs like marijuana and heroin from the communities. This campaign had more police out targeting black people who had possession of drugs in the area because of poverty and a lack of opportunity to make money. Ultimately, causing blacks to get incarcerated and sentenced to many years in prison. Even though drugs were prominent in that period, the attention on cleaning the streets from drugs was a part of a larger plan to terrorize and destroy black families. John Ehrlichman, who was an advisor to President Nixon, said, “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.”

Having people express hate towards another race is discouraging, especially when they are in a position of power because that hatred created unjust treatment to blacks who faced jail time, ridicule, and possible death penalties. Black Leaders like Angela Davis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who tried to give black people empowerment, direction, unity, and preached justice, were demonized as liars, fugitives, or were hunted and murdered like Fred Hampton.

The suffering for black people is immense because more black men are in prison than spending time with their children, and that creates a cycle of issues for children growing up in a broken home. Society has improved immensely over the years, but our leaders need to support unity, love, and peace for all races so everybody can strive for success and live-in harmony. The President needs to help create situations that can increase job opportunities for blacks so they can stay away from the prison system. Kamala Harris holds the position of Vice President-Elect to Joe Biden. She is the first black woman to hold that position and, that is a tremendous feat because equal opportunity and diversity are missing at all levels in the world. Harris and Biden need to continuously push for equality and hold everybody accountable for their actions to invoke change.

--

--

Nathaniel Smith

Striving to reach my full potential.. BA in Communications and Digital Media... passionate about writing ✍️ music 🎶 .. anime.. sports 🏀 justice ⚖️ equality