chapter  5
Is Carlos Mencia A White Wetback?: Mediating the (E)Racing of U.S. Central Americans in the Latino Imaginary
ByMARITZA CÁRDENAS
Pages 15

This chapter discusses the role of news media and introduces key analytical concepts. Mainstream news is an important site to examine racism because, as many argue, post-Jim Crow racism is often subtle and symbolic. Color-blind racism is noted as an ideology that upholds an unequal racial hierarchy using seemingly race-neutral terms. Abstract liberalism is the belief that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities regardless of race. Minimization of racism is the idea that racial discrimination is no longer significant in minorities' lives. The chapter examines how coverage by FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and USA Today works to disseminate some of the important frames of color-blind racism, while also buttressing notions of the American Dream, and Mexican and Indian American racialization. Throughout the coverage, usually within the same story, aspects of liberalism individualism, egalitarianism, and meliorism were present in conjunction with the minimization of racism.