URBAN PERSPECTIVE-A media that it does not control creates the issues and images of Black America. Since Black America does not control the issues we also do not control the solutions. Those that ultimately control the images that are displayed in all news, music and entertainment are responsible for the value systems that are established within the Black community. Black politicians have been responsible for assuring the lack of participation in the national media system of America. The failure of black leadership is at the core of the failings within the Black community.
In Black America there are no entities watching the elected officials that were elected by Black voters to local, state or federal positions. Our ability to access and control media, print or electronic, has never developed relative to our percentage of the general population in the United States. The willingness of the government, both local and federal, to prohibit the development of modern media resources, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, leaves Black America with little knowledge about the activities of elected officials and the political process. This is what it means to be powerless.
In our modern society the relationship between media and government threatens the public's belief in the independence of the media from the government. The billions of dollars that are spent in political campaigns in various media clearly have an influence over the information that is provided to the public. The media is blinded by profits.
How can we control the results if we do not control the resources that are necessary to make the results possible? Specifically the absence of control or involvement with major electronic media has destroyed any ability of Black America to establish values and trust within their own communities.
When someone other than yourself controls the view of yourself then you must question that view. If the view, even though it is incorrect, is force-fed to you enough you will start to believe the view and react accordingly. Every white person who expresses some fear of a black person is not a racist. Their view and understanding of Black America is also obtained from a flawed media picture.
News media is no longer a public service as it was over the many years through newspapers and network television but rather has become a profit center for multinational corporations that have taken control over the media with the assistance of government. In exchange media offers protection from disclosure of the true activities of elected officials. This control is to the detriment of the common citizen.
The ability to access information regarding the activities of government and elected officials is one of the most important elements, historically, of the news media. The integrity of the media is paramount in its job as watchman over the activities of a government that may seek to exceed its authority. The First Amendment to the Constitution was created so that that media would not be in the limits and control of government. No constitutional rights can be preserved if the First Amendment is lost.
The US Supreme Court decided the case of Preferred Communications vs the City of Los Angeles in the spring of 1986. The Court, unanimously, decided that the city's method of awarding only one franchise in a given area was a violation of the First Amendment. Despite the ruling, the City, during the Bradley administration, refused to comply with the Court's decision and allow more than one franchise.
The ability to defy the Supreme Court and deny the citizens of South Central their rights has served to assure the citizens of South Central that they will be forever a different class of citizen whose constitutional rights are only valid if allowed by the City of Los Angeles. The 14 year history of this case is detailed in the book "Anatomy of a Hustle: Cable Comes to South Central LA".
George Washington emphasized the importance of the First Amendment when he said, "If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like a sheep to slaughter". We are all witnesses that extreme incarceration levels and the murder rate of Black youth are leading a defenseless Black America to slaughter.
Those who control the media and put information on the air determine what is news and what is merely throw away information that is not worthy of the minds of America. The lives of Black America are obviously part of the throw away.
For other Clinton Galloway articles, go to search.
(Clinton Galloway is the author of the fascinating book “Anatomy of a Hustle: Cable Comes to South Central LA”. This is another installment in an ongoing CityWatch series on power, influence and corruption in government … Corruption Watch. Galloway is a CityWatch contributor and can be reached here. Mr. Galloway’s views are his own.)
Vol 12 Issue 71
Pub: Sep 2, 2014