television brainwashing

7

‘Think This’ is a concept album, the concept being made blatantly clear by the excellent Ed Repka cover art alone – TV brainwashing millions of us poor unsuspecting innocents into a collective sheep-like state (cleverly interspersing slices of TV advertisements amongst the songs for added effect, done to death by many a band since). However, the album focus probably made a nice change at the time of release to the usual template lyrical subjects of injustice, nuclear war, fantasy or to a lesser extent - Satan – most of which were very popular staples among the genre for a of a lot of bands at the time.

The world is rapidly advancing, and more advancements means more technology. Technology is such a large part of our lives that the average child is exposed to 10 hours and 45 minutes of media per day (Moscowitz). Some say they’re not influenced by forms of entertainment like TV shows and advertisements, but it can be easily proven how large of an effect media has on the population. It’s so important in our society that kids construct a large part of their identities through the use of media culture, young girls especially (Moscowitz). Through media kids are taught that girls are supposed to be seen and not heard, that they’re supposed to be gentle and kind, they’re taught that long hair is desired and the color pink is for them. With that being said, since it’s proven that black children consume more television than any other race (Moscowitz), it’s safe to say that media culture is especially central to young black girls’ lives. If that’s the case, why are they seldom represented in media? America’s #1 consumer – neglected.


I can recall being rejected by my friends when I chose to be a white character for Halloween. I was very young at the time but it doesn’t take long for white children to pick up on their privileges and feel entitled to things, even when it comes to something as innocent as cosplay. There were no characters in which I identified with, white is the default even in other races’ lives. I had no choice when it came to costumes; the party store only carried white superheroes, white celebrities, masks intended for white people… it’s humiliating to have so many options and yet nothing to call your own.


Media tells the population how to act and dress, what to buy and what’s important. It directly influences our lives. We wake up in the morning and watch the news; we come home from school and hop on Instagram. It’s our source of information, and those in charge of it hold all the power. These producers choose to reinforce hegemonic ideals in our society through TV shows, movies, and commercials. The population is constantly reminded of stereotypes on how women are supposed to present themselves. They’re expected to smile and care for others (Fuller); that it’s the norm to wear high-heels and tight jeans (Patton). Another common expectation is that women are supposed to be thin. Our culture values thinness so much that America’s preschoolers are beginning to develop that ideal as well (Harringer). Kids’ brains soak up information like a sponge; they copy what they’ve observed on their favorite shows. Doesn’t that mean we should be a bit more careful… and inclusive?


Not only does modern day media help reinforce gender roles, but it also has the tendency to normalize white culture. The entertainment industry universalizes experiences only lived by some – the white and economically privileged (Fuller). In doing so, every other race is seen as inferior. Because “beauty is subject to the hegemonic standards of the ruling class” (Patton), white people get to decide what constitutes as desirable. When young black girls first realize their traits don’t line up with what’s desired in our society, it damages their self-esteem. People of color are disadvantaged by the systems in place, and whites are privileged at their expense. So not only do black girls have to worry about being too intimidating and too fat, but they also have to worry about being too “black”.


Growing up I wish I’d seen more black women on TV – someone who resembled me, someone I could aspire to be like. But black women are rarely included in popular media, and if they are they’re either lighter skinned with wavy hair, or they’re portrayed in a negative light. Black women are seen as both hypersexual and hyposexual (Fuller). These stereotypes often contradict themselves but they’re successful in portraying white culture as the norm, so it’s not questioned and they stick. Stereotypes of every kind force the population to label white people as the standard (Fuller); notice how when asked about negative stereotypes about white people nothing comes to mind.


In the entertainment industry, 89% of black actresses were given roles with vulgar profanity, while only 17% of white actresses were, and 56% of black actresses were shown being physically violent, compared to white actresses that are portrayed as violent 11% of the time (Fuller). This forces young black viewers to believe they’re inherently bad. Because if it’s on TV, kids are more likely to believe it and this alters their perceptions of themselves. The media is so powerful. It conditions the population to believe the stereotypes they’ve heard, and the lack of contact that privileged people have with disadvantaged people means these notions don’t get corrected through experience (Fuller). Of course black women have noticed that they’re not considered the standard of beauty – they’ve watched the media expand its views to include Jewish and Indian women for example, but the only way black women will be considered beautiful is if their skin is light and their hair is straight (Patton).


Right off the bat young black girls put it into their heads that they’ll never live up to the standard (Patton), but that doesn’t mean they won’t damage their self-image while trying. It’s a common practice that girls alter themselves to be more attractive (Patton) because physical appearance is more important for a woman’s social success than a man’s (Harringer). Black girls often develop distorted body images and become frustrated because they can’t obtain the ideal; this leads her to loathe her appearance and believe the only way she can be beautiful is through impersonation (Patton). It’s proven that this “feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community can affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone”; it’s also proven that young black kids have a lower self-esteem than young white kids (Bergner).


As girls start maturing one of the only things they have control over is their hair (Patton). I was in middle school at the time I requested to have my hair straightened, I claimed I was sick of “young” hairstyles: braids, ponytails, etc. To my surprise, when my hair was straightened it wasn’t silky straight like a white girl’s, and I didn’t understand. I didn’t want to go to school the next day because it didn’t play out like I had hoped. I was told it didn’t lay like I wanted because it wasn’t “trained”, but the more I straightened my hair the better results I’d get. So now that I’m not foolish and young, I wish I had my original curl pattern but it’s damaged and I have to start over. White beauty ideals don’t only hurt us in the long run mentally, but physically as well.


It’s a common theme in my house that if my hair looks too “whacky” then I’m not stepping foot in public. I can even recall my aunt okaying me to stay home from school if it was too bad. I’m sure every black girl has had an experience similar to this – whether they didn’t have time to finish braiding their hair, or they sweat in their sleep and their hair poofed up at the roots, or their hair simply looks too wild and “ethnic”. My aunt told me that when she was young and having a bad hair day, she ditched school and saw a play in order to avoid embarrassment. It’s hard to imagine a white girl not feeling comfortable in her own skin because almost everything the media does is to back up their existence and to bash others. Hair is so important in our society that I often have to ask my family if my hair looks too big before I go to work. And not too long ago I had faux dreads in at an interview and I feared how they’d take it, I didn’t want it to affect my chances.


Common standards of beauty include long, curly or wavy—not kinky—hair that looks feminine and different from men’s hair (Patton). We follow this Eurocentric trend now, which leads young black girls to think negatively about their natural beauty. But it didn’t always used to be this way. These Eurocentric ideas of beauty stem from slavery and colonization. Before this, history shows us that Africans loved their hair, loved the versatility of it, and loved being creative with it. But centuries later once slave owners impregnated their slaves, a preference for lighter skinned black women with “good” hair emerged (Patton). This created the struggle black girls face today in trying to obtain unrealistic standards. Every year, black women spend $225 million dollars on hair products and services. We only account for 13% of the population, and yet we spend three times as much as white women do on their hair care (Patton). Hair has always been an important factor to black girls, but the desired looks have been recently altered.


Overall, media has a huge impact on everyone. I highly believe that representation matters. There are so few role models for young black girls that in comparison to young white girls, I feel that they’re missing out on so much. There really are no black children’s shows for today’s generation. I grew up on The Proud Family, That’s So Raven, and Sister Sister and I feel they really enhanced my childhood. Not only did I feel important because the main characters were black, but they often times showcased other ways of life and I got to see life from different perspectives. If the content of the media changed to include others more often, society would be more accepting. Preschool girls wouldn’t have to shoot down young black girls for wanting to be Hillary Duff for Halloween, for example. It’s common knowledge that any kid wants something they can relate to, and that’s exactly why these producers are keeping POC out of the spotlight. Their plan is to hurt them while they’re young so that by the time they’re old enough to realize what’s happening it’ll be too late for resistance. And the cycle never ends.


I’m sure we’re all aware of the Supreme Court case “Brown vs. The Board of Education”; this was the case that made separate but equal outlawed because it’s impossible to be equal if you’re segregated. So in my opinion, to segregate the media, to only showcase one kind of lifestyle, to make the population see one race as the “norm” – we haven’t progressed that much. “Segregation damages African American children’s self-esteem” (Bergner), so really how hard is it to even the playing field in terms of the entertainment industry?


 Sources: Bergner, Gwen. “Black Children, White Preference: Brown v. Board, the Doll Tests, and the Politics of SelfEsteem.” N.p., June 2009. Web. (Bergner, 2009) Fuller, Abigail A. “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES DIFFERENCE MAKE? WOMEN, RACE-ETHNICITY, SOCIAL CLASS, AND SOCIAL CHANGE.” N.p., 31 Oct. 2004. Web. (Fuller, 2004) Harringer, Jennifer A. “Body Size Stereotyping and Internalization of the Thin Ideal in Preschool Girls.” N.p., 15 Oct. 2010. Web. (Harringer, 2010) Moscowitz, Leigh, and Micah Blaise Carpenter. “Girl Zines at Work Feminist Media Literacy Education with Underserved Girls.” N.p., Winter 2014. Web. (Moscowitz & Carpenter, 2014) Patton, Tracey Owens. “Hey Girl, Am I More Than My Hair? African American Women and Their Struggle With Beauty, Body Image, and Hair.” N.p., Summer 2006. Web. (Owens, 2006)

6

The founding members of The Young Lords party grew up in the NYC projects as the children of working class, Puerto Rican migrants. They were known for their proactive social protest and community activities like burning garbage piles and taking over a church to run a free breakfast program.

The Young Lords began as a Puerto Rican turf gang in the Lincoln Park, Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park in the fall of 1960 and as a civil and human rights movement on Grito de Lares, September 23, 1968. During Mayor Daley’s tenure, Puerto Ricans in Lincoln Park and several Mexican communities were completely evicted from areas near the Loop, lakefront, Old Town, Lakeview and Lincoln Park, in order to increase property tax revenues. When they realized that urban renewal was evicting their families from their barrios and witnessed police abuses, some Puerto Ricans became involved in the June 1966 Division Street Riots in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. They were officially reorganized from the gang into a civil and human rights movement by Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, who was the last president of the former gang and became the founder of the new Young Lords Movement

Latinos of all shades and hair texture came together, not phased by the petty discrimination rife within their community. The Young Lords grew into a national movement through the leadership of activists like Angela Lind Adorno who met with Vietnamese women, Omar López, David Rivera, Field Marshall, Dr. Tony Baez a leader in Bi-lingual, Bi-Cultural Education and Richie Pérez who established the Puerto Rican Student Union (PRSU) in a number of college campuses and high schools.

The Young Lords’ supported independence for Puerto Rico, all Latino nations and oppressed nations of the world and also neighborhood empowerment. This is clear by the original symbol with a map of Puerto Rico and a brown fist holding up a rifle and the purple lettering reading, “Tengo Puerto Rico en mi Corazon” (“I have Puerto Rico in my heart”). They saw themselves as a people’s struggle, a vanguard connected with the masses and it is why they began in Chicago fighting against the displacement of Puerto Ricans from Lincoln Park. While the national symbol and YLO (Young Lords Organization) appeared on buttons, the New York chapter began the local “Garbage Offensive”, which was an organizing vehicle and city-service concern. The Young Lords also addressed the local issues of police injustice, health care, tenants’ rights, free breakfast for children, free day care, and more accurate Latino education. The urban renewal campaign was framed by the Chicago office as the modern day land question, since Emiliano Zapata, who said, “all revolutions are based on land”

Young Lords Party

13-Point Program and Platform:

1. We want self-determination for Puerto Ricans–Liberation of the Island and inside the United States.

For 500 years, first spain and then united states have colonized our country. Billions of dollars in profits leave our country for the united states every year. In every way we are slaves of the gringo. We want liberation and the Power in the hands of the People, not Puerto Rican exploiters.

Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

2. We want self-determination for all Latinos.

Our Latin Brothers and Sisters, inside and outside the united states, are oppressed by amerikkkan business. The Chicano people built the Southwest, and we support their right to control their lives and their land. The people of Santo Domingo continue to fight against gringo domination and its puppet generals. The armed liberation struggles in Latin America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism.

Que Viva La Raza!

3. We want liberation of all third world people.

Just as Latins first slaved under spain and the yanquis, Black people, Indians, and Asians slaved to build the wealth of this country. For 400 years they have fought for freedom and dignity against racist Babylon (decadent empire). Third World people have led the fight for freedom. All the colored and oppressed peoples of the world are one nation under oppression.

No Puerto Rican Is Free Until All People Are Free!

4. We are revolutionary nationalists and oppose racism.

The Latin, Black, Indian and Asian people inside the u.s. are colonies fighting for liberation. We know that washington, wall street and city hall will try to make our nationalism into racism; but Puerto Ricans are of all colors and we resist racism. Millions of poor white people are rising up to demand freedom and we support them. These are the ones in the u.s. that are stepped on by the rules and the government. We each organize our people, but our fights are against the same oppression and we will defeat it together.

Power To All Oppressed People!

5. We want community control of our institutions and land.

We want control of our communities by our people and programs to guarantee that all institutions serve the needs of our people. People’s control of police, health services, churches, schools, housing, transportation and welfare are needed. We want an end to attacks on our land by urban removal, highway destruction, universities and corporations.

Land Belongs To All The People!

6. We want a true education of our Creole culture and Spanish language.

We must learn our history of fighting against cultural, as well as economic genocide by the yanqui. Revolutionary culture, culture of our people, is the only true teaching.

7. We oppose capitalists and alliances with traitors.

Puerto Rican rulers, or puppets of the oppressor, do not help our people. They are paid by the system to lead our people down blind alleys, just like the thousands of poverty pimps who keep our communities peaceful for business, or the street workers who keep gangs divided and blowing each other away. We want a society where the people socialistically control their labor.

Venceremos!

8. We oppose the Amerikkkan military.

We demand immediate withdrawal of u.s. military forces and bases from Puerto Rico, Vietnam and all oppressed communities inside and outside the u.s. No Puerto Rican should serve in the u.s. army against his Brothers and Sisters, for the only true army of oppressed people is the people’s army to fight all rulers.

U.S. Out Of Vietnam, Free Puerto Rico!

9. We want freedom for all political prisoners.

We want all Puerto Ricans freed because they have been tried by the racist courts of the colonizers, and not by their own people and peers. We want all freedom fighters released from jail.

Free All Political Prisoners!

10. We want equality for women. Machismo must be revolutionary… not oppressive.

Under capitalism, our women have been oppressed by both the society and our own men. The doctrine of machismo has been used by our men to take out their frustrations against their wives, sisters, mothers, and children. Our men must support their women in their fight for economic and social equality, and must recognize that our women are equals in every way within the revolutionary ranks.

Forward, Sisters, In The Struggle!

11. We fight anti-communism with international unity.

Anyone who resists injustice is called a communist by “the man” and condemned. Our people are brainwashed by television, radio, newspapers, schools, and books to oppose people in other countries fighting for their freedom. No longer will our people believe attacks and slanders, because they have learned who the real enemy is and who their real friends are. We will defend our Brothers and Sisters around the world who fight for justice against the rich rulers of this country.

Viva Che!

12. We believe armed self-defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.

We are opposed to violence–the violence of hungry children, illiterate adults, diseased old people, and the violence of poverty and profit. We have asked, petitioned, gone to courts, demonstrated peacefully, and voted for politicians full of empty promises. But we still ain’t free. The time has come to defend the lives of our people against repression and for revolutionary war against the businessman, politician, and police. When a government oppresses our people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one.

Boricua Is Awake! All Pigs Beware!

13. We want a socialist society.

We want liberation, clothing, free food, education, health care, transportation, utilities, and employment for all. We want a society where the needs of our people come first, and where we give solidarity and aid to the peoples of the world, not oppression and racism.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

The Young Lords were a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups. The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the “Divide and Conquer” divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. But it is now documented that it was primarily due to police infiltration by informants and provocateurs, and planned and shaped by the ongoing undercover work of the FBI’s COINTELPRO

The leaders were framed, beaten, given high bonds, imprisoned, harassed, and discredited. The entire Chicago leadership was forced underground in order to reorganize itself. Tactics against the movements included negative rumor campaigns, pitting groups against each other and the creation of factionalism, distrust and personality conflicts. In Chicago, COINTELPRO created an official anti-Rainbow Coalition component. Members were interviewed in public view in front of the church. The Red Squad was also parked 24 hours a day in front of the national headquarters. Other harassment included inciting quarrels between spouses and between members and allies. The founder and chairman, Jose Cha Cha Jimenez not only was indicted 18 times in a six-week period for felony charges such as assault and battery on police to mob action; he was kept in the county jail, or in court rooms fighting the charges, and received constant death threats. 

While the Young Lords advocated armed strategies similar to those advocated by the Black Panthers, it was as a right of self-defense and rarely arose. It did after the shooting of Manuel Ramos and the implications of police foul play in the circumstances surrounding the beating death of José (Pancho) Lind, the supposed suicide of Julio Roldán in the custody of the NYPD and the fatal stabbings in Chicago of the United Methodist Church Rev. Bruce Johnson and his wife Eugenia, who pastored in Lincoln Park at the Young Lord’s first People’s Church in Chicago. 

The documentary Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, produced by Young Lord Iris Morales, aired on PBS in 1996. Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, documents the period from 1969 through the organization’s demise in 1976. The Young Lords represented another cycle of militancy, write Andres Torres and Jose Velasquez in The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices From the Diaspora, a collection of personal narratives from activists of the period. 

In 2015, The Young Lords was the focus of a new art exhibit organized by The Bronx Museum of the Arts called “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York.” It is on view at three different cultural institutions in New York.

Well, that escalated quickly…. (Donald, you do realise that the children were actors too, don’t you?)

Television and Movies - Manipulation

You may watch such a television show about how uplifted and unlimited you can be, while subliminally you are being hit with a frequency that keeps you from original thinking. This subliminal keeps you immobilized and holds you in a “survive, arrive, be-on-time, be-silent, go-to-work” society. Television also promotes inactivity and a sedentary, obese life. Look around you. Wake up, humans!

Most of the subliminals on television are done through technology that was developed in conjunction with off-planetary beings. The use of subliminals to upset human consciousness has become a worldwide program. If you think about the houses that have two, three, and four televisions in them, you must agree that this has been a very successful marketing program. Some people who know about the subliminals on television feel that they are immune to them. However, the effects of television are so permeating that no matter how clear you say you are going to be, you cannot counterbalance what the technology is presently doing to your vibrational frequency.     

We have said that there are entities who feed off your emotional bodies. Think about what a clever tool television is for them. All over the world, billions of humans are emitting emotional juices into the atmosphere based upon what they are watching on the tube. They don’t have to have too many wars anymore to get you all riled up - they can simply make movies!

Barbara Marciniak - Bringers of the Dawn