So, NatGeo, your exotic portrayals of global citizens were racist? Really?
Finally, #NatGeo is owning up to its discriminatory narratives from around the world. After decades of covering “Natives” and people in their “natural habitats”, NatGeo has reached this conclusion “Our coverage was racist.” It is said that confession is good for the soul — this is some global-sized soul work.
To admit wrong-doing, by admitting it before its uncovered, takes some heart. Truth is, NatGeo isnt the only media outlet that has some ‘splainin’ and confessing to do, though. They are in a crowded field that’s guilty of inaccurate portrayals of people. A few years ago, The Heinz Endowment s conducted a media audit on the coverage of Black males and reached similar conclusions on how the media had created inaccurate and routinely negative portrayals of Black makes in the Pittsburgh region. Editorial boards had to do some serious soul-searching and correction — Heinz is a big deal in Pittsburgh. Ironically, National Geographic named Pittsburgh one of the best cities in the U.S.
National Geographic had been weaving distorted tales with picturesque images for a long time. Its good that they realize thst by ignoring & misrepresenting non-whites around the world — even if its artistically captured — its wrong.
That is a major admission. Yet, we still see media exercising poor and unbalanced judgement in its reporting of myriad issues about Black and Brown people. That’s why incarceration rates are racially disproportionate. That’s why politicians can win votes by saying we need to wall “them” out. That’s why we continue to have lawmakers, schools, employers, neighborhoods, retail/restaurants initiate policies that discriminate.
Every discriminatory/racist practice that is revealed requires greater measures to ensure that the egregious practice ceases and cannot re-emerge under a different cover. When we see something wrong, we must say something loudly. #RaceMatters #PolicyMatters