Salon.com published an article by Jeremy Adam Smith that talks about diversity and media. Excerpts below, click the link to read the entire thing!
a series of four 2009 studies found that people who watched shows that featured negative nonverbal behavior toward blacks became more prejudiced themselves, as measured by tests of implicit bias — this was especially true when viewers didn’t recognize the behavior as negative. It seems that TV can indeed subconsciously induce racism.
So how can show runners correct for that? The research is overwhelmingly clear: job one is to confront the fact that racial difference exists. The new science of racism reveals that our brains do indeed seem to react negatively to people of different races — exposure of just milliseconds to a black face can cause white folks’ amygdalae to light up with fear
As researchers have developed new and creative ways to induce racial nightmares in brain scanners, they’ve found that the prefrontal cortex — that’s the newest, most human part of the brain, the one responsible for long-term planning and intentional thought — is able to tell the oldest, least human part of the brain, the amygdala, to calm down. In other words, people can outthink and unlearn subconscious prejudice.