When you write a book about prejudice, stereotypes and media, you soon realize how often this stuff surfaces in just about every major story.
The subject came up today during my appearance in the Barbershop discussion segment of NPR's multicultural showcase program Tell Me More.
The Barbershop is a great segment where host Michel Martin and co-host Jimi Izrael gather a group of guys, usually men of color, to give our take on the news of the week.
This week, we started off talking about former GOP candidate Mitt Romney's comments that the voters who re-elected President Obama over him were inspired by how the Obama campaign "focused on giving targeted groups a big gift." Among those gifts, free birth control for young women and amnesty for children of illegal immigrants.
I talked about how this was a prime example of stereotyping and prejudice, as outlined in Race-Baiter. That's because Romney had made lots of promises to bestow things on his own supporters -- low taxes, no increased taxes on the rich, better government despite no rise in taxes, less regulations for businesses, and more
But, for some reason, Romney didn't see those benefits as gifts. Only those who chose policies benefiting their circumstances and voted Democratic were accused of wanting something for nothing from government.
Stereotypes are seductive because they simplify a complex world. So it's easier for Romney to believe he lost because people unlike his followers are selfish and lazy; much harder to admit he ran a seriously flawed campaign and was beaten by a skilled opponent.
The segment is below; click here to hear my segment today with KPCC radio in Los Angeles, where we also talked about decoding the issues at hand in modern media and politics, using principles outlined in the book.
And, of course, click here to buy the book.