Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mexicans Portrayal in the Media

In the media we see many portrayals of many groups of people, we see that Mexicans are portrayed in many ways such as that they are lazy, they are illegal immigrants, they are also seen as unable to speak English and they are seen to be a major part of the people that make up gangs. We can see this in the documentary American Future 4 as well as in South Park. This has occurred because of the American media manipulating their audience and changing the way that the American viewers see Mexicans. They have turned them into a stereotypical view on the Mexicans as a inferior race of people who are not worthy to live in the same country as the Americans. This is because of the American media portraying Mexicans in an unworthy image as they take short cuts when showing something Mexican related as it is an quick route for us to recognize the people shown are Mexican.  This can be seen with many stereotypes as the American media uses images and symbols which we recognize to show us what they want to in a way where they can save time The media texts below each show a slightly different image of Mexicans as they are trying to entertain their target audience which all share a common factor of their American Media influence. All of these texts show Mexicans as immigrants and how America is trying to stop immigrants when really everyone in America is an immigrant.

Media Text 1:
TV Program: South Park
The Last of the Meheecans

In the South Park episode 'The Last Of The Meheecans' Mexicans are portrayed in many ways and most of them are being used to show us how the American Society views Mexicans. The target audience is adults. This is because they creators are simply making a show that they personally enjoy. You may not consider many adults actually enjoying the show South Park, but this is because it is mostly young adults and a few generations older then them watching this show. This show is also seen and enjoyed by teenagers because we like this humour and we can relate with the fourth graders with more ease because they have episodes relating around things that we used to do. We can see that this show is not for children as it is not on straight after school around 4:00 pm as they usually targeted with shows that will appeal to them around that time and not around 10:00 pm when adults finally get to take control of the TV and watch their programs like South Park. In this episode of South Park we can see Mexicans doing the jobs for Americans like cleaning the windows and blowing the leaves away which Americans don't want to do. This is because South Park is trying to show us how Mexicans are coming in and then beginning to work for Americans doing jobs American simply don't want to do. Mexicans are portrayed as poor and doing all the jobs the Americans don't want to do because of how the American media has used its power to shape the image of Mexicans into this image for Americans to see as the true Mexican.
After a series of events in this episode of South Park we see Mantequilla (Butters) getting dropped off outside El Pollo Loco by the people who took him in. At El Pollo Loco we see Mantequilla (Butters) and the workers who are all Mexicans because of them being stereotypically viewed in that image during this scene during the show. The creators of South Park Matt Parker and Trey Stone use this representation of Mexicans that the American Media has used to change how their audience which is Americans to make a connection of El Polo Loco to Mexicans immediately as they have made and are using a short cut. We see him talking about his journey about how is way 'left behind' and once he says "But I'm not giving up, for I, am Mantequilla (Butters). The recognize his name and they talk about how they saw posters about him (note that sense the game has not finished they have a picture him dressed up in his Mexican outfit and have his Mexican name Mantequilla (Butters) on. A quote from one of the workers is "¿Un niƱo gringo que quiere ses mexicano?" which translates to "A WHITE American kid who wants to be Mexican?". This is seen as extremely unusual as Americans would never want to swap place with their workers the Mexicans. This connection is made of how the American media have build up the idea of Americans and Mexicans and have put them at the opposite end of the scale. By doing this they have created a gap between Americans and Mexicans and over generations they have grown even further apart. So South Park uses their ability to show the view that American Society has on Mexicans and how the American Media has influenced their target audience of Americans to show their view on Mexicans in a negative way which is now a short cut to show that something has something to do with Mexicans by showing it in this negative image. We can understand why this is targeted at adults as most adults understand and have an interest in what the episodes are about, but they watch it because it shows it in a humorous image that when they come home from work and have some time to finally relax they can watch a show which will help them relax without thinking about the next day of work. We understand this by seeing Mantequilla (Butters) in a viewpoint which the American Society made and is using. They take this viewpoint and they use fourth graders to show us how the American Society has built up a general view on Mexicans and how stupid there viewpoint is when they have changed the way Americans see Mexicans and turned it into a perspective where every Mexican is meant to be like it. One of the scenes where we see this humour is when Randy Marsh one of the main character's dad goes to go wherever he was planning to go, but is stopped when he opens the door and sees the horror that his property is covered in leaves. This suggests the South Park creators believe that without Mexicans Americans would not be living as smoothly as they believe. This is backed up with the quote from Randy Marsh which was copied from Star Wars when Darth Vader says his line of "NOOO!!!" this shows us that the horror that Randy saw was worth the Darth Vader quote as it reflects the problem without having Mexicans in America making it good. This scene provides the target audience of adults with humour as they immediately recognize the symbolism behind what they just saw and enjoy it as they understand the reference to Star Wars. We can now understand why this is not targeted directly at teenagers because your average teenager would not even recognize the reference to Star Wars. This will lead to them not understanding even more of South Parks jokes as they do not have the knowledge and experience from watching classics like Star Wars to even begin to recognize what just happened. So we can see that the target audience most be adults because they understand and recognize these references which makes the show stand out from other cartoons.

A while later we see Mexicans rushing to the border to get back to Mexico and one of the Border Officers  After a few have got back across the border we hear the Head Border Officer named Charlie saying "You're goin' the wrong way!" Another quote which happens later on is by Charlie is "When we asked Obama to stop illegal immigrants, we didn't mean to make the U.S. so shiity they wouldn't want to come anymore!" This shows us even though the Americans don't really like the Mexicans they realize that they need them to help them to do all the jobs that they don't want to do. This is portrayed by the quotes as they don't want the Mexicans to leave so that they will have someone to all the shit jobs like doing all the jobs you should do yourself to maintain your house. This is a portrayal of Texans as they are seen by the American Media as stuck up Southerners and one of the things we see the stereotypes do is blaming their problems on Obama.
At the end of this show we get a sense of how Mexicans are being portrayed throughout this show. We get a sense of that they get portrayed in a bad way, however it is only to shows us of how the American Society has built up their view of Mexicans and is spreading it to create a change in how the American Media shows us Mexicans. We see in many incidents of Mexicans attempting to cross the border which can be seen as stereotypical as they are now seen because of the media by being illegal aliens because of crossing the border. This is shown to us to show that even with a decline in immigrants coming through the border they still try to keep Mexicans. This is seen as senseless because to get rid of immigrants in America is to get rid of everyone in America because they are a nation of immigrants who are all united under one flag.

Media Text 2:
Documentary:               American Future 4

American Future 4 is about America and their Immigration of foreign people from foreign into their country. In the documentary it is seen as a terrible crime from the eyes of the Texans who are trying to go around Texas and acting like they are the border control by take the law to into their own hands. We see in the documentary the the Mexicans are portrayed as jobless people waiting on the sides of the streets for a days work. We see that they are dressed in plain shirts and pants with most having facial hair which is not well groomed which represents that they are low in income as they are working on the streets. We see that the Texans are red necks and the racist old men with a few others in their group who believe because they are citizens that they have the right to intimated and threaten them with jail sentences if the Mexicans do not go back to Mexico. We see at the start that they are pledge to their flag that they will give liberty and justice to all under god. This is quite ironic as they do not give any of this to the Mexicans even though they obey the same laws and morals responsibility as the Texans, but they still do not receive anything from the Texans except from outrageous threats and demands for their documentation. We see that the leader of this group of hopeless volunteers is a Texan believing he most protect his nation by stopping immigrants. This is seen as incredibly ironic as everyone in America is an Immigrant and for him to want to cleanse America of Immigrants is for him to get rid of everyone in America because America is a nation built and maintain by immigrants as everyone there is an immigrant. We can see this also in the documentary when they show us how and why immigrants came to America from the Europeans to the Chinese and how the Mexicans are trying to join them. This documentary is targeted at American adults who are eligible to vote, this is because the 4 part documentary was made around the time of the 2008 election to help inform the American voters about their past and their possible future if they do not make a change. It is also for people who like the past work of what Simon Schama has done as they would expect a similar greatness with this documentary and so they would be targeted by keeping similarities between his work. We do not expect that this documentary would be targeted at teenagers and children because they will not be able to vote and the 4 set documentary was shown around when the 2008 election was taking place. They would want to help convince their viewers that they should vote for who they want to vote for as they want to help shape the world in an image which they want. This is why it can't be targeted at teenagers and children because they are not the correct generation at this stage who has the most important opinion which can be reinforced by documentaries like this. We see Mexicans in this American Media source as who they really are from people like Simon Schama's view as they are trying get rid of the stereotyped Mexican and stop people from using the short cut when looking at Mexicans. This is because of what the Texans are doing by treating the Mexicans like scum and calling them illegal immigrants which most of them are they ignore the fact that everyone is and immigrant in America as they came from all around the world to live under the same flag with a unique set of rules and laws.

Media Text 3:
TV Ad:                             Sharron Angle At Your Expense

In the Sharron Angle illegal aliens ad campaign we see Sharron Angle who is in the running for U.S. Senate approving a message which is about her attack against her opponent Harry Reid. Harry Reid is trying to give Mexicans a better life style in the U.S. by offering them tax breaks and social security benefits as well as special college tuition rates. Sharron however frowns upon this and claims that he is not helping the people of America, but the illegal aliens which are coming into America. This ad is using short cuts to describe the people involved are Mexican who are illegal aliens by using stereotypes and lightning to show us a dark and black setting which can be seen as mysterious, suspicious and evil. This is because when we see this setting we already know what it is going to roughly going to be about by the colour and lightning. We also can see that she uses short cuts, we can tell this because not once in her ad does she say Mexicans or anything to do with them. This means she is using short cuts which the American Media have made to help us recognize Mexicans easier which might of not started off by seen as racist, but now times have changed and it is seen differently. We see that the Mexicans who are being portrayed as "illegal aliens" are clothing which could look suspicious when a crime has been committed. We see this by them wearing clothes which could be associate with criminals as the American media has shaped our view in that way. We also see them portrayed as poor as they wear pants with a plain shirt on with either a hoodie or a flannel top on top of their plain shirt which in the media has been established as poor. This is done because in most movies the dodgy and poor criminals would dress something like this which lead to them being portrayed in this way. It is important when portraying something to use stereotypical clothing so that people can see that they are truly who they appear to be. We can see this when they wear clothing which is seen as something a criminal would wear. When we see them walking by what is seen to be the border because when they say "illegal aliens" it shows us a clip of a group of Mexicans sneaking by the border which we then take in and then register them as trying to attempt to cross the border. As we see them as being illegal aliens as we grew up with the American media throwing things like this at us and making us think that sneaking Mexicans by a border are illegal aliens attempting to cross the border. When the speaker of the ad says "illegal aliens" or "illegals" we see the image change from Harry Reid looking stressed or a college photo of graduates to Mexicans and we can't help, but to think that they must be helping illegal aliens. This is because of the fact that of we are living in a society which the American media controls our view points of what we see and believe and when we see Mexicans we think illegal aliens or when we see a border and people hanging around it suspiciously we think that they are Mexicans trying to cross the border. This is because of what the American media has been using on American  and have made them believe that all Mexicans are illegal aliens because of one stereotype. When we hear about the special tax breaks for the illegals 'Mexicans' it is used to reinforce to us that they must of gotten here to America illegally because why would she carry on repeating and putting the words in red which have something do with illegal aliens. This is targeted at the voters in Nevada for their U.S. Senate. This is because she is running for Senate in Nevada and she needs more support because she did not have as much support as Harry Reid. Even though this is target at the Nevada voters it is not targeted at all of them as most would disagree with what she is saying. Because of this you can realise that it would be mainly a white population voting for her as they will be the less unaffected out of the population living in Nevada. So overall her target audience for this ad is just the white American voters who have been voted before as they are most likely to agree with her as most of the new voters are unpredictable at this stage.

When we see Mexicans in the media we always will see them in a negative image because of a simple short cut the American media uses has been taken too far and is now seen as racist. This is because the American media controls how Mexicans are seen and uses this image still today because it is a well known short cut which many people can understand. This is unfortunate because they choose to call them immigrants who are illegal aliens however everyone in America is a descendant of an immigrant which makes America unique as they are different to the rest of the world. In some media texts we see Mexicans shown in how the American Society sees them and uses it to point out the problems with this with scenes from South Park and American Future 4. So in conclusion Mexicans are portrayed in a negative way as the American media chooses to make them seem that way as they are just using a short cut which is stereotypical. This will not change because sure it can be seen as a racist stereotype, but it is a stereotype which is used very efficiently in the American media to show us their points.