One day, years ago, it suddenly struck me that the corporate mainstream media seemed rather obsessed with racism. It may seem strange to say this now and here, given that the obsession with racism is so blatantly obvious. But it must be remembered that to people who do not visit websites like this one, the racism-obsessed discourse of the anti-racists who run the media is nowadays so pervasive and ubiquitous, and has been so thoroughly legitimated, normalised, and mystified by establishment institutional platforms, that the pathological abnormality of it has become invisible for the average citizen. This is a phenomenon associated with what Marxists refer to as “false consciousness”, awareness of which often necessitates an event traumatic enough to trigger a re-evaluation by the individual of his accepted reality.
For years I marvelled at how one could not switch on the radio, open a newspaper, or watch a factual television programme without the words “race”, “racism”, or “racist” being mentioned at least once. When one thinks about it, and tries to imagine oneself an observer visiting from another world or another epoch, one cannot help but see the West as gripped by some form of dementia.
Last Summer I decided to quantify the matter, and set up a Google Alert with the terms “racist” and “racism”. From that day forward, I was daily bombarded with links to news articles mentioning either or both of those terms.
On average, Google offered me 35-40 news items, each more ridiculous than the next, with which to treat myself to bout of anger, if I so desired.
During the last couple of months, however, I noticed a sudden drop in the anti-racists’ output: suddenly, the news items were down to single digits.
After collating the data earlier today, this is what I found:
It seems that the decline began on day 120, in mid November. The downward trend was broken by two rallies: one peaking on the second week of December and another around mid January. On 21 January output collapsed, and news items mentioning “racist” or “racism” have only occasionally risen above 9.
Has the mainstream media grown bored with racism?
Or did Google change their algorithm?
Google Trends reveals an increase in news items containing the word “racism”. Indeed, the upward trend begins in the final month of 2007, enjoying three huge spikes between April 2009 and July 2010.
Interestingly, however, searches for the term “racism” peaked in the first quarter of 2005 and have steadily declined since.
More interestingly still, if we use the Google Trends data, it seems that the decline in Google searches for the term “racism” coincides with a rise in news coverage of incidents involving racism.
We often hear from the media that racism is on the increase; we have, in fact, been hearing it for years, so (if we are to believe the reports) it must have been constantly increasing throughout those years. Yet, irrespective of whether there has been an increase or a decrease in related news items, it seems internet surfers are progressively becoming less interested in reading about it.
Is it because the internet-surfing citizen has become better educated, thanks to the efforts by the media, and better knows where to read about racism when he is so inclined; or is it because said citizen has had it up to his ears with the endless talk about racism, and the never-ending exploration and discovery of its hidden, ever-expanding, and constantly mutating forms?