Thursday, April 25, 2013

Racist Instagram


Imagine going on Instagram and finding your photograph from a store posted without your consent. This is what many African American customers from a party store in Detroit found on Instagram. It is not the photograph that upset them at all. It is the racist comments on the photographs from the party store that has the customers raging with anger.
According to Andrea Isom from Fox 2 News, the photographs were taken with cell phones. Most of the photographs are so disgraceful and disgusting that they cannot be shown in media. Although the level of racism varied in the photographs, no one was safe. African American children were even victims of these racist comments. To find answers to this phenomenon, the customers went to the news station.
What’s even worse about these photographs were that they were posted by the sons of the store owners. The comments mentioned in the video were all stereotypical notions of African Americans. The first photograph of two African American women with dogs had comments stating how the women stole the dogs. The comments of an African American baby in a stroller discussed how the child was homeless while his mother bought alcohol and drugs, while another comment called the child an unusual monkey. There are countless of other photos with comments of African Americans being gang members, monkeys, and attempting to bleach their skin.
When the fathers and store owners of the party stores were questioned about the racist comments, one of the store owners apologized while the other store owner claimed that his son’s identity had been stolen. It can be inferred that this was simply a joke; however, racism is never a joke. The comments of these young boys and their friends reinforce stereotypes of African Americans since the Reconstruction era. Since Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, African Americans have been portrayed as monkeys and lazy. The stereotypes only evolved to include drugs, alcohol, and gangs.
It is sad that these young men decided reinforce stereotypes, especially in an area that a mass amount of their customers are African American. Their comments only reveal their subtle racism towards an entire race. Because their comments were directed towards customers of their families’ businesses, their families’ reputations and businesses have suffered from their acts. Should these young men be punished more than being fired from the establishment? What does this reveal about subtle racism present in the United States today? 

2 comments:

  1. In a consumer economy I think that no action rather than the store is punished and the boys being fired can be given to them by the community and the owners. However, I think that as a father he needs to not allow his son’s acts to go unpunished by denying that it was his son that posted the picture. Allowing the son and friend to not endure ridicule because of their actions will allow them to think that this type of behavior for the most part is acceptable, creating a mindset that it is okay to be harsh to others and not worry about receiving the same kind of treatment.
    As for the subtle racism that is being more easily portrayed thanks to technology, it seems a hard issue to fight. This story at least shows a solid example of how to fight the problem, using the media to push a message. Although times have gotten better for the African American community it is still good to see that being heard and not felt, meaning members of the community did not take violent action against the store and son, have been passed down as the appropriate way to handle racism.

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  2. I think they should absolutely be fired for thier comments. I think the comments aloen are grounds for being fired, but if the owner needs a more buisiness-oriented reason then that would be the alienation and insulting of customers which would ruin business. I think firing them on the grounds of the former would send a message that racist remarks will not be tolerated. Remarks made on a personal account on a social media site are not separate from the real world for they will not tolerated even if they were made in private.

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