Racist Framing of African Immigrants: Fox “News” Yet Again

Over at huffingtonpost, there is a good summary of former Republican Senator Al D’Amato’s (R-NY) strongly worded reaction to racist comments being made by a GOP strategist, Jack Burkman, on Fox’s heavily biased Business Network:

The blowup came during a discussion on Thursday’s edition of “Money Rocks” about whether or not to privatize the US Postal Service. …. Burkman launched the discussion by saying, “most of these guys working in the Post Office should be driving cabs, and I think we should stop importing labor from Nigeria and Ethiopia. That’s the skill level.”

D’Amato first just chided him for name calling, and another guest attorney Tamara Holder commented that

Making all these somewhat racist statements about Nigeria is a spinning of sorts…this has to do with government waste.

After Burkman defended his illiterate and racist commentary, again attacking Post Office workers, D’Amato, got angry:

You are a nasty racist …..that’s a bunch of bullshit and you should be ashamed of yourself and have your mouth washed out…Wait a minute…shut up. I listened to your racist bullshit.

One does not hear Fox’s often racist commentaries called out on Fox “news” network itself. Note too here the way in which some prominent white analysts also have a racist framing of immigrants from Africa. Not only is this framing defamatory and racist in singling out and stereotyping African immigrants over many other immigrants, but it also demonstrates ignorance about the recent African immigrant population. African immigrants today generally come in with relatively high levels of education and skills, often near or above the median levels of the native-born U.S. population. This image of unskilled Africans is yet again part of the white racist framing in this society – framing that is seldom systematically challenged in mainstream media.

Comments

  1. Yoku Shaw-Taylor

    The new legal immigration has yielded many dividends for the U.S; the immigration act of 1990 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1990) enabled the entry of many professionals from Nigeria and Ethiopia who contribute to this great nation of immigrants. In a strange twist, this immigration (of professionals who leave their places of birth for the US) is one of the ways the developing countries of Africa are helping to subsidize our economy with trained and educated individuals. Immigration is hard; one leaves familiar environments, the proximity of kin, the comfort of close networks. In the land of settlement, these immigrants must forge new identities and work hard to reap returns on the immigration investment and tolerate stereotypes (they can’t just leave because they are mocked!) Truth is, many of them do not find the right jobs because of their lack of cultural capital – they end up driving taxis, doing other jobs that under-utilize their skills. But America is the great land of opportunity! (The globalized view and framing is that!) These immigrants are not to be mocked or defamed. The U.S. could stop ‘importing’ these immigrants; but why should we close our doors to the very imports that make us what we are: a great nation of immigrants?

  2. Joe

    Thanks, Yoku. The powerful white elite also controls the mainstream media, which gets to misrepresent immigrants without data and constantly in an elite white framing. And that then creates anger in unthinking Zombie-like ordinary, mostly white , Americans.

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