You can read a lot into media depictions of minorities.
Richard Pryor was hilarious at it. One time he said he had just seen a movie called "Logan's Run." It was set in the future, and there were no black characters in it. "That means white folks ain't planning for us to be there," he said.
Media critic Eric Deggans joins us today, and one of his major theses is that extremism and division make for a bad public discourse and great television. Big media, says Deggans, thrive on division and tension, whether it's on cable news shows or reality TV.
He's right. Media companies are mainly addicted to and therefore biased toward money.
Pryor's solution was to seize the means of production: "That's why we gotta make movies where we're in the future. But we gotta make some really hip movies."
What do you think? How is race handled in today's frenetic media landscape? Email Colin@wnpr.org, tweet @wnprcolin, or comment below.
Deggans will join Colin, Susan Campbell, and Frank Harris for a town-meeting-style discussion about media & race at the Playhouse on Park in West Hartford tonight at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available at the door ($10).
- Eric Deggans - Author of Race-baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, and NPR’s television critic.