I’m not certain who is being defined as we in this question, but if it is in reference to people in general, I say absolutely not. I have learned in my own experiences, as well as in my studies here at Gaylord, about the extreme and often times destructive power of the media.
Race and gender differences are, and always have been, a point of difference and disrespect. Historically speaking, our society is much more tolerant and respectful; but this is no reason to think we are at a point where we can stop getting better. By teaching and learning about the narrow-minded, stereotypical material the media continues to disseminate, eventually the vicious cycle will end. The spread of technology and availability of information have made it easier than ever to put an end to racist/sexist ideas in the media.
The only way this will stop is if enough people educate themselves to see through these falsities. We have too diverse of an audience for the media to be putting out the kind of content that is available today.
For a long time growing up, I felt like I was different than the other kids who would make racist jokes or talk degradingly about someone who looked/talked/acted different than themselves. I accredit a lot of this to the way my mother raised me. But at certain points in my life, I have joined in these practices, more because it was easier to than not to.
This leads me to believe that there are not enough classes out there for people to understand how media influences peoples’ thoughts and beliefs. All of us have grown up with certain stereotypes needing broken. It is a matter of learning the truth and spreading that message to the important people around you.
I envision a time 100 years from now, if humans are still around, where people make jokes and laugh about how ignorant/racist/sexist of a society we live in today. Even then, though, I am sure they will not be beyond the point of needing a class to analyze race, gender and the media.
Talking heads on cable television love to discuss topics of race and gender!