We have to wonder how the topic of race is seemingly made invisible. What I mean by this is that although race is one of the most important issues in the 21st century it is absolutely excluded from the political sphere.
It can be agreed that race is one of the biggest issues in a majority of western countries; this can be attributed to growing police brutality and a deep-rooted media bias that “anything black is bad”. However, what is alarming is that the topic of race is not in a single manifesto or election campaign.
The term institutional racism first introduced by black power activists in the 1980s highlighted policies, practises and also economic and political structures that hold ethnic minorities at a disadvantage. In the UK a report surrounding the death of Stephen Lawrence by William Macpherson stated that the Metropolitan Police was inherently racist. They had failed to effectively offer their services to people due to their colour or ethnic origins.
The excessive force used by police towards black men has caused uproar across different communities. An article on The Concourse had made a bolding statement that “America is not for black people” while recalling the deaths of black men at the hands of police, most recently the death of a black teenager named Michael Brown in Ferguson, St. Louis. Jointly, the actions of the mass media have increased the issue of race, a majority of media outlets have failed to give these growing issues adequate media attention. It seems when compared, the media treats and portrays white suspects or killers better than their black counterparts resulting in character assassination.
The media has immense power, enough to create opinions on an individual through how they portray them using images and the headlines that they choose. Although this is a regularly occurrence, we cannot argue this is done deliberately.
The invisibility of race is made possible through the relation of power and knowledge. Power shapes knowledge, it also creates agreed norms and traditions that shape the world and can exclude topics from discussion. Race has been excluded from the public sphere, shunned by a majority of politicians and resides in campaigns of small movements or private lives. This has eventually caused some to argue that governments are supportive of inequality and internal oppression.
The question now is how do we overcome this?