A counter-public sphere is inventing opposition interpretations of a group’s identities and positions in the society in response to the dominant public views (Kampourakis). The common opinions of the community often isolate the formed groups that thwart this exclusion. One of the issues that have led to the creation of counter-public spheres is racism. Discrimination against minority communities, in this case African-Americans, is a societal issue that has existed for decades and led to the creation of certain stigmas and stereotypes associated with these people. Counter-public spheres regarding this subject have become rampant with the aim of breaking these misconceptions.
The contemporary counter-public Color of Change has approximately 4 million members and addresses injustices and challenges raised against the black community(Color of Change). It works to find the means and ways of breaking stereotypes often associated with the Blacks and stopping people from benefiting from such prejudice. For example, many people believe that most African Americans are criminals. The organization also wants to change how the media and Hollywood movie makers portray black citizens, which contributes to further deterioration who they are as a people and culture. Color of Change organizes rallies called black brunches where its members can meet with people who they educate and equip with the knowledge to assist the black community to further boost their image and engage in the electoral process to help clean the muddied image of them. Therefore, the aim of the counter-public is to make the Whites accept that the Blacks should enjoy the same privileges and rights.
One of the historical issues that affected the minority groups and still exists today is the hindrance to participate in particular activities even though these people have the same rights with the white population (Loury). For example, the Whites in the workplace have more chances for promotions compared to the Blacks; moreover, the latter even can get menial jobs because of the color of their skin. African Americans experience informal pressures that further marginalize these people from the rest of the society. However, the people who are piling on these informal pressures will say that the Black community is responsible for its marginalization. The media does little to help make a positive picture of the black community. Television sensationalizes negative news regarding black people, which empowers the white community with their racist’s rhetoric against the Blacks. Therefore, the black community still faces discrimination in workplaces and in the public eye.
From the days of the Civil Rights Movements, black people are still fighting for their place in the society that keeps eluding them either by external or internal forces. Some of the historical ideas of arguments were meant to provide black people with their fundamental rights such as the one to vote. These ideas or arguments worked since such wishes were granted. Decades later, it would be hard to expound on their argument since it bases on the fact that everyone is human regardless of skin color and, therefore, should not be discriminated against for this distinguishing factor. One concept that can be taken advantage of not only to resolve some of the challenges faced by the black community but also to help one group understand the predicament the other is cross arguing. It has one positive attribute that is its symmetrical mutuality of operations (Liu 311). It means that both opposing parties are present and can bi-actively participate in arguments that will lead to the fruitful results. Instead of one group sharing its struggles on a different platform and the other group voicing their opinions from another, they can both actively participate at the same time and find the ways of solving this challenge and understanding the other’s point of view. These opponents think negatively about each other. Instead, they should be involved in the day-to-day activities of the counterpublic group to see what they are fighting for and how they are doing it. Villainizing them can only lead to further isolation, which will not be beneficial for either group. Both structural and formal changes and efforts are necessary to cope with this issue. Lawmakers need to pass laws to protect the black community and other minority groups from the tyranny and discrimination that they face from the white society. Informal efforts such as peaceful rallies and awareness campaigns are also essential to help bring the community together through spreading knowledge.
Color of Change is working to address some of the challenges faced by the black community. One of the ways the organization is achieving its aim is by getting into partnerships with people in the public eye who can help spread the word regarding the challenges faced by this community and the necessary affords to assist them. Its members are involved in the Hollywood culture to change the media portrayal of the community by showing them how rich the black culture is and how some of the stereotypes are acting as a barrier of success towards these people (Color of Change). When it comes to the hindrance of access to some opportunities, Color of Change deals with this challenge by holding rallies that can not only educate people but also empower them to do something about this blatant form of discrimination. The organization recognizes that it will take a concerted effort from all related actors to end or reduce the discrimination against people of color.
Color of Change is a counter-public sphere whose aim is to break the stereotypes assigned to the black community since such prejudice promotes further marginalization of the group and slows down their progress. The dominant public views the Blacks as pariahs and lazy people, the idea which Color of Change group is combating through holding educative rallies and encouraging people from the black community to participate in the electoral process to enable them to have leaders that can pay attention to their struggles instead of the way the world perceives them. Counter-public spheres are important in today’s world where opinions influence the behavior of people towards a certain matter.
Color of Change. “Color of Change Helps You Do Something Real about Injustice.” Colorofchange.Org, 2018, www.colorofchange.org/. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018.
Kampourakis, Ioannis. “Nancy Fraser: Subaltern Counterpublics.” Critical Legal Thinking, 6 Nov. 2016, critical legal thinking.com/2016/11/06/nancy-fraser-subaltern-counterpublics/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018.
Liu, Yameng. “Justifying My Position in Your Terms: Cross-Cultural Argumentation in a Globalized World.” Argumentation, vol. 13, no. 3, 1999, pp. 297-315. Springer Nature, doi:10.1023/a:1007866519621. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018.
Loury,Glenn C. “An American Tragedy: The Legacy of Slavery Lingers in Our Cities’ Ghettos.” Brookings, 1 Mar.1998, www.brookings.edu/articles/an-american-tragedy-the-legacy-of-slavery-lingers-in-our-cities-ghettos/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018