Trump creating “borders” through out the country?

The media portrays Donald Trump as a clown, and somebody we should all laugh at. His far-right stance on immigration has caused tremors through the huge chuck of Hispanic voters in this country as well people living in Mexico. His immigration policy consists of having Mexico pay for a border wall, and revoking birthright citizenship, as well as other extremely crazy ideas. His continued presence at the top of the top of the polls has made many feel uneasy. Some even feel that he may be influencing others in the race. According to Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post, “Even if he doesn’t win, Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration could have a lasting impact.”. The problem is hard-line stances such as these will foster racism and discrimination onto a very large amount of innocent people. While we may not take Trump’s comments for granted, many people are growing skeptical if his bigotry-laced rehotric might just be hitting home.



Yellow Journalism

In order to attract attention and readers, the media is known to use yellow journalism. In the case of undocumented immigrants, news outlets such as Fox and others are known to label these people as “illegal”. By attaching a negative stereotype, these people effectively become evil in the minds of the readers, and worse than regular Americans like them. The strategy is not old, as it was used by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, when the United States was enveloped in the “Red Scare”. This technique of scapegoating is used prominently by several Republican presidential candidates when speaking about undocumented immigrants. For example, according to Bob Dane of FAIR in a Fox article,“We’re not doing American students any favors by dumping in tens of thousands of additional illegal alien children,”.By using a negative tone to implicate undocumented immigrants for wanting education, the media has effectively changed the perception of these people among their viewers. Mr. Dane is placing the blame for high costs on undocumented children, moving the focus away from reducing costs and onto helpless children. This stereotype is quite prevalent in the media, and it is a continual example as to how the media puts negative labels on undocumented immigrants.



-Maryam Naseem

Consuela: A Harmful Stereotype

The video representation of Latinos/Mexicans in the media is one we don’t pay much attention to. When watching a show like Family Guy, we laugh at the way it makes fun of all cultures and people for our entertainment. The maid in Family Guy is named Consuela. She is portrayed as a Latina housemaid, someone who speaks very broken English. Consuela is shown most times on the show walking around with a bottle of Windex in her hand, spraying everything around her. When asked to complete a task, she is shown as looking at the speaker in an uninterested way. This odious portrayal of immigrants in the show implies that latinas will work as housemaids. The representation of latinas in Family Guy shows the stereotypes surrounding female immigrants. Consuela calls everyone on the show “Misser”, her own pronunciation for the word “Mister”, regardless of gender.

Despite showing the harsh reality for some immigrants, it groups all latino/mexicans into a group who work in the hospitality-labor category. Her character in the show is constantly cleaning. In one episode, while visiting her son, Rodrigo, at the correctional facility, Consuela has a bottle of Windex and cleans the glass separating her from her son. In a moment which is supposed to be reserved for comforting words, she is shown as a stereotypical maid. In the episode link attached, Peter Griffin, the main character in the show is using the restroom and looking through a magazine. He starts to groan while Consuela vacuums outside the bathroom, getting annoyed at the noise despite the fact that she is doing her job. She is then shown opening the door while Peter is still in there, as if she cannot comprehend the fact that she should not open the door while the restroom is occupied. Peter asks her to leave. After leaving, Consuela opens the door again and is holding a lamp asking, “This trash?”. Peter replies that it’s a function lamp to which Consuela replies, “Is okay, I take home.” Again, the oblivious stereotypical portrayal of latino/hispanic immigrants is seen by millions across world. She is shown as someone who will steal the lamp even though Peter told her it works. Throughout the show, all latino/mexicans are constantly shown as working for white American employers. Each time, they are shown as being “below” all other races on the show. Her general demeanor on the show could also be seen as her refusal to play by the rules of the culture which oppresses her, in this case, white Americans. She is always saying, “Noooooooo” for most things she is asked. The lack of intelligent latino/mexican characters on the show portrays them in a bad light.

For some immigrants, this is the reality of life in the US and even here, in the Bay Area. They are ridiculed for doing janitorial jobs or being in the hospitality or labor industry. We need to remember that every person living in America was once an immigrant instead if making fun of them in media, not once, not twice, but a countless number of times. We should be empowering one another in any way possible instead of pushing them further down the ladder by addressing issues like improper workplace treatment for undocumented latino/mexicans. Our research in the Mission District will make us more aware of ways we can help to empower these immigrants and become informed of ways to break these stereotypes.


-Maryam Naseem (Media Representation)

Originally published on Sept. 26th, 2015

Short-Cuts Used by the Media

When we sit down with a tub of popcorn to see a movie or a show, we don’t give much thought to what kind of characters we see or who  they are portrayed as. This chart shows how Latinos are percieved in Television and Film. The category which scores the highest, criminals, was percieved “very often”. The fact that this happens in our society is horrible. The media has created a template for how we should percieve Latinos in the media. It is easier for them to portray them this way because its easier for our society to understand. The media manipulates the content we veiw on television to fit the stereotypes we hear about in our daily life. The media has singled out this group of immigrants to pick on despite the fact that this entire country is made up of immigrants. Whenever we see a Latino or Mexican in the media, we have a pre-concieved notion in our minds that they are probably employed as a gardener or a maid. The media has created these short-cuts in our minds so that we are automatically forced to think negatively about characters in T.V. shows, even if we don’t want to.


Originally posted on October 3rd, 2015.

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-Maryam N.

“Pulling Down the Sky”

How would you feel if you had to look at a fence day after day knowing that it was keeping you away from something that  you couldn’t have? An artist by the name of Ana Teresa Fernández has started painting parts of the Mexico-U.S. border a sky blue shade. She first started this project with about 30 volunteers  in 2012 at the Tijuana, Mexico border area. The artist said she wanted to paint the border the same color as the sky in order to “pull the sky down”. She also said,”This wall has become a symbol of pain, a symbol where we lament the lives who have not been able to cross it.” This signifies the importance of remembering that many who wish to start new lives do not always get the chance to do so. Painting the fence will make it look like there is nothing but sky to someone standing and looking at it. Fernandez says that the border fence exists mostly for Mexicans, not Americans and by painting it, they are not erasing it but “pulling the sky down to us”.


-Maryam Naseem

Does America Need a “Great Wall”?

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Memes like this one make us think twice about our next presidential canditate. In this post, Donald Trump is shown as campaigning and promoting his idea for a wall covering the entirety of the border between America and Mexico. It would strech all the way from California to Florida and would serve the supposed need to keep out unwanted visitors and immigrants coming in from our neighboring country. He is shown as reminding the viewer how many “Mexicans” China has because of their wall, reffering to of course, The Great wall. This type of negative representation hurts the image of Mexicans when really, those who are immigrating are looking for a new begginning or escaping a harsh reality.