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WEB POSTED 08-06-2002
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The psychological impact of media propaganda

by Harry Davidson, Ph.D.
—Guest Columnist—

(FinalCall.com) -- The fact that so many Americans were killed on Sept. 11, 2001 has touched the emotions of most people, blinding many to the fact that America is not on a noble quest to secure the world’s human rights. America’s mission is not to rid the world of tyrants or aide and comfort the sick and poor. Evidence of this includes the continued racial profiling and recent assaults on Blacks. There is plenty of work to be done at home. The only reason America is interested in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Central America is oil, military land bases and other resources.

However, most Americans have blindly incorporated the propaganda delivered into their homes. An objective analysis of media requires an understanding of the agenda it serves and role it plays. A small elitist group of exploiters manipulate mass opinion, in their best interest. America’s political and social system is based on capitalism. Under capitalism the resources and means for production and distribution are privately or corporately owned. Corporations elect and control government officials and governments. Twenty-three multinational corporations own over 80 percent of mass media. Their role is to influence the masses and create the perception of consent.

Oil is the primary contemporary source of wealth and power. The world’s largest oil reserves are in Central Asia and the Middle East. Those regional leaders that voice objection to American economic expansions are labeled "tyrants" and "terrorists."

America bares a legacy of "capitalistic economic expansionism" that dates back to her genesis. Indeed, America was founded when wealthy Europeans formed corporations that ventured out of Europe in search of the land and natural resources needed to make money. Racism, White supremacy and the notion of the "White Man’s Manifest Destiny" were employed to justify taking land and resources from the Native Americans.

The labor force needed to accomplish the goals of the new corporate elite included White indentured servants—who contracted free labor for a negotiated period of time in return for the opportunity to come to America to escape their subjugation in Europe—and enslaved Native Americans and Africans.

The American Revolution was fought to establish America’s economic and political independence from England. The Civil War was fought to save the union and to solidify economic power. Blacks were freed for dubious reasons having little to do with justice or equality.

The White masses, which were initially indoctrinated with White supremacy to justify slavery, were now granted pseudo membership into the White ruling class in order xto gain numerical dominance over Blacks and other minorities. The descendants of White indentured servants have suffered amnesia, confusion and denial regarding their past and delusions of grandeur regarding their future. They are the corporate media’s primary targets.

You can avoid the corporate media’s influence by:

  1. Objectively focusing on the reasons for unresolved conflicts and polarizations;

  2. Avoiding being programmed to reduce the number of parties in a conflict to two and personifying them as good versus evil (i.e., Yasser Arafat vs. Ariel Sharon or Saddam Hussein vs. Bush). The corporate-owned media seldom focus on the role of corporate-controlled governments or transnational companies;

  3. Taking note of the fact that they seldom explore alternatives for peacefully resolving conflicts. Instead, they use conflict as an opportunity to influence and control;

  4. Taking note of the fact that the spin media never explore the causes of violence—like poverty, government neglect and military or police repression; explore the goals of outside interventionists, especially big powers; investigate the forces and factors (often economics) that influence the violence. When America was attacked it assumed the role of the victim, while washing its hands of its sinful deeds throughout the history of the world;

  5. Being aware of the media’s failure to explore peace proposals and offer images of peaceful outcomes.

  6. Being aware of the media’s attempts to confuse cease-fires and negotiations with actual peace and concessions.

  7. Being aware of how the media focuses on granting rights that should already exist and rebuilding infrastructures that never should have been destroyed in the name of progress.

  8. Knowing that the whole world is not in agreement with the corporate-controlled media, nor do all Americans agree. Avoid the contrived polls. Seek alternative media source. Learn to reason and think for yourself.

Despite being exploited by corporate corruption, being robbed of their life saving, and suffering massive layoffs, many remain blindly loyal. These noble Americans continue to worship shallow rhetoric and symbols of "liberty and justice for all," while sacrificing their lives and those of their children.

Their noble sacrifices benefit the same corporate greed that once enslaved, indentured, and subjugated their ancestors. Corporate controlling powers exploit the American Black, White and minority working class while continuing to pursue their perceived "manifest destiny" by expanding their economic, political and military dominance over the world. This is the truth; anything else is propaganda and spin.

(Dr. Harry Davidson is co-chair of the National Association of Black Psychologists Legislative Education Committee.)

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