Saturday, April 29, 2006

Media Criticism: Hate Becomes a Commodity

One of the plagues of human history has been the belief that there are certain people or groups of people who don't share the same moral status as everyone else, when it comes to the kind of treatment they receive. These individuals and groups are society's scapegoats. Traditionally, they have been subjected to symbolic violence, in which they have been depicted in words and images and other forms of expression in degraded ways. Beyond that, they were often subjected to physical violence, as well, depending on the society and the scapegoats in question.

The list of individuals and scapegoats who have been forced into these roles is legion. They are the innocent and the guilty; the mad and the sane. They are Jews, blacks, Christians, pagans, heretics of all sorts, political critics and criminals, saints and scientists, et al.

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