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Racism and Sexism in Media: Jemele Hill, Carron Phillips, Marc Spears and more...

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

By Shayler Richmond

Racism and sexism are prevalent across media coverage and representation in media.

The National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) brought together a panel to discuss racism and sexism; titled, “Intersection of Racism and Sexism in Sports,” featuring: David Aldridge, reporter for Turner Media (moderator) ; Marc Spears, writer for ESPN's The Undefeated; Meghan McPeak, play-by-play broadcaster; Jemele Hill, reporter for ESPN and writer for The Undefeated; Jessie Washington, reporter for ESPN's The Undefeated; and Carron Phillips, columnist for The New York Daily News (left to right in photo).

“Racism still exist because statistics show it is both marketable and profitable,” said Hill, during the panel discussion.

Many forms of hate can be used as divisive tools, but are also marketable because hate has a strong emotional pull. Racism is one of the most visible tools used to divide and oppress, when compounded with sexism these practices significantly target individuals and communities with intersecting identities.

For example, the share of Black women in media is even less than the number of Black men in media, which is directly representative of the more severe and oppressive restraints placed on the advancement of Black women in media, however the number continues to rise.

“Black women are often put in situations to be made to feel uncomfortable, but still prioritize managing the care of black men,” said Hill.

For example, Black women are more subject to dismiss misconduct from Black men to protect them from society’s blatant oppressive nature and pitfalls.

“No one takes care of Black men like Black women,” said Philips, following the panel discussion.

“Rather the women be your mother, sister, friend or your lady. Black women are often home for Black men, so there is no reason not to take care of home,” he continued.

When not managed by privilege the complexities and intricacies of human interactions are challenging, and the value and importance of intersectionality is often lost or diluted.

“Black women get it twice as bad, as a Black man, the adversity I deal with is nothing compared to the adversity Black women are faced with,” said Phillips.

A question was posed during the panel; “Do we need white allies?”

“We don’t need any additional fake allies, if you are going to be an ally be an ally and use your white privilege for good,” said Phillips.

This spread of love helps to create a strong sense of community. A step toward increasing diversity in media and furthering equitable coverage of minority issues is leveraging our influence in order to further other journalist and media entities that are continuing to produce diverse content well and ethically.

“Despite how painful the truth can be to hear, truth has to be heard in order to bring about change. Hopefully, the more racism, sexism, and LGBTQ issues are discussed, written about and debated then the more people will be motivated to create change,” said Spears.

The 43rd annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair was located in Detroit, Michigan.

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