The �other� is someone different from the norm and difference is a compelling theme in the area of representation. Race is always an issue of the other that is not white. People of colour i.e. Blacks and African Americans are regarded as race and ethnic groups but the white and the English are not. Non-white people who do not have the same beliefs, values, skin colour and religion with white people are homogenized as the �other�. It stigmatises the unfamiliar and strange culture by trapping blacks, for example into a binary structure of stereotype. �People who are significantly, diffeent from the majority �them� rather than �us� are frequently exposed to a binary form of representation. They seem to be represented through sharply opposed, binary extremes � good/bad, civilized/primitive, repelling-because-different/compelling � because strange � and exotic� (Hall, 1997 p. 270). A good example of Halls argument is Lucas Johnson in Eastenders who is portrayed as a religious, responsible, family man and a violent murederer who killed his wife�s ex husband, his ex-wife and tried to kill his own wife. In the scene of the fight between Owen (Denise�s white ex-husband) and Lucas, there is a close up to Lucas face, to show the anger in him, the same close up is used when he shows affection to his wife and family and when he preaches to the church. Representation in this series is around the �other� who is good i.e. religious and bad i.e. a murderer. But in the light of the preferred meaning, there is the meaning in respect to race and the �other� stereotyping black males as violent. Stereotyping commonly involves the attribution of negative traits to persons who are different from us. There is a repertoire of stereotypical figures in Eastenders, portraying black characters as drug dealers and addicts e.g. Paul trueman was introduced to drugs by another white character, Chelsea Johnson was also involved in taking drugs, Lucas� ex-wife died from taking drugs. Stuart Hall pays attention to representational practices to portray difference and states that �stereotyping reduces, essentializes, naturalizes and fixes difference� (Hall, 1997 p. 258). It reduces the other who is considered �out of place� to a simple, monolithic characteristics without considering the differences between these groups. People have opted to define themselves as being different to another, rather than opting to accept to learn to understand that which is different. Stuart hall�s debates on race, ethnicity and identity define the �other� as different, homogenizing non-white culture as �other�. Eastenders stereotype of black characters as criminals also suggest that black characters are the other whose values and skin colours are different.
The �other� are marginal groups who are excluded from media representation because of the difference in skin colours. (Dwight. E. Brooks and Lisa P. Hebert, 2006 p. 298) states that �The representation of �difference� through the body became the discursive site through which much of this racialized knowledge was produced and circulated�. Skin colour is a signifier of discrimination within black communities, where lighter-skinned black people have more advantage in politics, advertising, TV, music industries than dark-skinned black people. Media representations of light-skinned black people provide stereotypical prescriptions of what an authentic black person should look like. Supremacist colour-coding identifies dark skin with primitiveness and ugliness, as a result dark-skinned black people now exploit a particular type of look through skin bleaching as part of a strategy for gaining access to the world of white privilege and to be attractive to men. In the media, we see mixed race people and light-skinned people portrayed in the media to represent black people. For example, Barack Obama represents an interesting figure culturally, racially and his story of being born to a white American mother and a Black African father was fascinating to the American public. This was shown in the CNN presidential live debate amongst the democratic party, where he was asked �Are you black enough� (CNN, 2007). The �other� i.e. the black blood in Obama is always questioned by the news media rather than emphasising his policies. He was accused by African American community of �white-washing� himself as he often avoided discussions or narratives of race that were controversial. In the interview with Steve Kroft who is white, he asks �Kroft: You spent most of your life in a white household? Obama: Yeah. Kroft: I mean, you grew up white. Obama: I'm not sure that would be true. I think what would be true is that I don't have the typical background of African-Americans . . .Kroft: You were raised in a white household? Obama: Right. Kroft: Yet at some point, you decided that you were black?� (The Guardian, 2007). Some suggest that it was at least in part Obama�s mixed race and his light skin, that allowed him to have the success he had and to be easily consumerable by a broad audience. Through his skin colour he was able to work the �white supremacist� status to his advantage. This is what Bell hooks calls the �commodification of difference�. Light � skinned black people have unfair advantage over dark skinned black people as have more privilege because of the colour of their skin. A light skinned black woman is more likely to be portrayed at the front page of magazines e.g. Glamour, Ok!, Vogue Magazine than a dark-skinned black woman. The acceptance of Barack Obama, Beyonce, Tyra Banks by the American media and public defines the �other� as dark-skinned black people who are disadvantaged in media representation because of their skin colour that does not conform to the skin colour of white people. Nowadays, more and more people of colour are represented in the media � news programs, soaps, reality shpws to celebrate the success of black people. Eastenders first all black episode receive a huge amount of viewership. According to Daily Mail (2009) �BBC�s first ever all black episode of Eastenders watched by 8.4million viewers�. It addressed racism in Britain in 1950s defining the �other� as black people whose skin colour was different from white people and was therefore treated differently. This also shows the �commodification of difference� where the representation of people of colour are used as a strategy to gain viewership. Although there has been an increase in the representation of black people but it is often because of the subject of sport. The other is a spectacle for consumable purposes of dominant groups. Black people are portrayed in stereotypical fashion as physical rather than mental beings.
The �other� is a threat to the national culture of the West. The contemporary preoccupation with the �other� represents a concern for personal identity in a time of fears of �aliens� perceived as threatening familiar life patterns. During the late 1960s and the 1970s centred on immigration, this took the form of the �alien presence� in Britain and the �threat� to the national culture. Subsequently, the images of black people as criminals and a series of problems for white people prevailed. Said accounts the �orient� as the other of the west. Said�s notion of �orientalism� is the �discourse through which the west constructs the otherness of the Turks, Moroccans, Indians, Japanese, etc. all reduced to the same stigmatizing stereotypes, and this gives itself an identity in opposition to �them� � (Said, 1978 p. 50). The politics of representation of the middle east are the product of a historic reinvention of the image of the �other� i.e. Islamic society is still understood in terms of the west�s oriental history and not in the context of followers of a religion that shares much with Christainity and Judaism. Strategies have been implemented to manipulate images of Arab people to respond to the needs of the imperial power e.g. stereotypes of Saudi Arabians as violent, invading the country as a form of assistance to keep peace but mainly for economic benefits. Staging �difference� became a strategic move to sustain a power � knowledge relationship between the west and its �other�. �Symbolic representation marks �difference� leads us, symbolically to close ranks, chore up culture and to stigmatize and expel anything which is defined as impure, strangely attractive precisely because, it is forbidden, taboo, threatening to cultural order� (Hall, 1997, p.237). U.S attention is on the Islamic people of the middle east and the understanding of the mainstream seems to be that these Arabs are �other� people, people not like �us�, people who have strange values and beliefs. They define themselves as superior race compared to the orientals. Said (1978, p.21) argued that �the western media represented Islamic people as irrational fanatics led by messianic and authoritarian leaders�. After the attacks of the September,11, 2001 and the American invasion of Iraq, the images of middle easterns as fanatics and violent have been intensified through a well structured network of western TV and film depictions. In Hollywood film that portrays Arab people, we see many Arab bodies lying around. A host on Fox news claims �All terrorists are muslims and It was only one religion that planned the attack of 9/11� (FOX NEWS, 2010). This host was using these racist terms comfortably and this was shown on a national TV channel without an apology been made. According to another correspondent on CBS News, who commented on the attack of Okhlahoma city he states �It has terrorism written over it and this was done with the attempt to inflict as many casualties as possible, that is the middle eastern trait� (CBS NEWS, 1995). We can see that Arab people are stereotype by the media as the enemy of the west. There are threatening and demonizing figure of the Islamic terrorists emphasised on the front pages on newspapers whenever there is a fight for freedom in Arab countries. In the news report of the war in Libya there are images of people waving their feasts, publicly holding guns on the streets, faces covered with Palestine scarlves. All these threatening images created by BBC News gave an impression of Islam as an evil religion and Arab people as violent who were ready to kill their authoritarian leader in the name of Allah. After the death of Princess Diana, Sunday Times (1997) had a headline �A Match made in Heaven?�. The meaning to this headline could be that this white woman from the norm has been taken over by this dark religion i.e. Islam, with Prophet Mohammad managing this. The western imagination of the middle east bears little resemblance to the reality. The western media have adopted the view that the west is angelic and Islam is the devil incarnate through the stereotypes of Islam and Arabs. Said�s discussion on orientalism and how the orient has been represented in western media shows that the �other� is a threat to the western culture. The news reports on terrorism and Princess Diana shows that the �other� is the enemy of the west.
The stereotype of the �other� has an effect on the self identity of an individual. The media�s representation of Black males as criminals, gang members and drug dealers has an effect on the actual lives of Black people. They may have low expectactions of themselves. Black directors like Ronan Bennette, who produced Top Boy conformed to the representation of Black boys as drug dealers and gang members rather than correcting these stereotype that dominant groups have created. The media defines race for us by challenging, perpetuating or supporting racist views in the media, in other words it is central to what came to represent our social identities. Stereotypes distort how the �other� is seen by other racial and ethnic groups. Black neighbourhoods are portrayed in the media as the ghetto where crime occurs, this has contributed to the increased police activity in the urban areas these young black men reside in. It can also be argued that the media�s stereotypes of Black males as potential deliquents has contributed to persistent stop and search system by the police of black youngsters. Baker (2008, p.250) states that �In the Stuart case in Boston, the police, at the instigation of the actual (white murderer), interrogated and searched as many Black men as they could in a Black neighbourhood, a measure unthinkable in White neighbourhoods, which are rarely seen as representational sites of crime�. The result of the media stereotyping Arabs as fanatics and violent could lead to people thinking that Arab people are extreme and islam is threatening, trying to kill Americans as a result of images provided by the media. �The �new racism� in Britain relies on cultural differences that exclude black people from being fully a part of the nation�. There are racist discourse that excludes Black people from being part of the English community because they are not white and there are racist comments like �Go Back Home�. This comment is problematic because the �other� is excluded as it doesn�t conform to the values and beliefs of the norm, consequently it has contributed to tensions between the �extreme� norm and the �other�.
Most of the debates on race, ethnicity and identity assume that whites are �not to be raced� and talking about �race� would mean talking about people of colour e.g. Blacks, Asians. It is almost as if the white subject, suffers from being �left out� of what gets put in place to deal with the effects of white privilege. White people have been pinpointed to be the norm that has the power to dictate identities to or dominate the �other�. Dyer critiques the invisibility of whiteness and argues that the transformation and deconstruction of whiteness into a colour can help to conceal the power and privilege of whiteness. Dyer argues that �the point of seeing the racing of whites is to dislodge them/us from the position of power-by undercutting the authority with which they/we speak and act in and on the world� (Ahmed, 2004). He seeks to make the invisibility of whiteness visible. �This is a rainbow view of multiculturalism as a �colour spectrum� � (Lury, cited in Ahmed, 2004). The deconstruction of whiteness to contest the form of white priviledge is to conceal inequalities that structure the present and to show that white is �just� another minority, who can suffer discrimination just like everyone. Most of the discourse of race, ethnicity and identity define the �other� as people of colour and that white is the norm but the transformation of whiteness by Dyer�s debate shows that colour can be invisible, so it can also be the norm in certain areas e.g. Hip Hop, Sports, areas that are populated by black bodies. And white is the �other� here. So it isn�t necessarily people of colour i.e. Blacks that are the other, white people can also be the other, since its privilege has been contested by Dyer�s debate. Although, there are critcs on whether the transformation of whiteness can be attainable.
Theorietical debates provided by Stuart Hall, Bell Hooks, Edward Said, and texts from Eastenders and newsreports on race and terrorism shows that dominant groups use mass media representation of race to construct the �other� as different, stigmatising it as �alien� or a threat to maintain oppression, exploitation and to construct itself as the norm. The stereotypes of the �other� as deviant and abnormal influences self and social identity. Dyer contests the power of whiteness to show that white is �just� a minority. The discourse of the �other� makes us understand racism. The dominant group appoints the �other�, this is because the �other� is a minority and the �norm� is the majority. We should not allow ourselves to be consumed that light-skinned black people are more desirable than dark-skinned black people. Young (2000, p.427) states that �Our energies should be aimed at the system that constructs and produces us as racialized, gendered, classed and sexualized subjects in such a way that we are constantly placed in a hierarchy and presented to each other as natural enemies, forever in competition with each other�. The �other� is a fascinating subject, which is used in the regime of representation. Whether we are racist or not the �other� still catches our attention.
Ahmed, 2004. Declarations of Whiteness: The non-performativity of anti-racism. [online] Available at: http://www.borderlands.net.au/vol3no2_2004/ahmed_declarations.htm [Accessed 06 December 2009].
Baker, C. (2008) �Ethnicity, Race and Nation�, Cultural studies: Theory and Practice. London: Sage(3rd Ed).
CBS NEWS, 1995. 1995: Oklahoma City Bombing. [online] Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2683183n [Accessed 06 December 2009]
Dwight E. Brooks and Lisa p. Hebert, 2006. Gender, Race and Media Representation. [online] Available at http://www.wisecampus.com/uploads/notescans/GENDER,_RACE,_AND_MEDIA_REPRESENTATION.pdf [Accessed 06 December 2009].
Hall, S (1997) �The Work of Representation�, Hall, S. (ed.) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London/Thousand Oaks, CA/New Delhi: Sage.
Hall, S (1997) �The Spectacle of the �other� in Hall, S. (ed.) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage/OUP.
Mail Online, 2009. BBC�s first ever all black episode of Eastenders watched by 8.4million viewers. [online] Available http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1153903/BBCs-black-episode-EastEnders-watched-8-4million-viewers.html [Accessed 06 December 2009].
Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Stam and Shohat (1994) �Stereotype, Realism and the Struggle over Representation�, Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media, Routledge, New York/London.
Sunday Times, 1997. A Match Made in Heaven?. [online] Available at: http://www.clairedanes.com/print/times031697.html [Accessed 06 December 2009]
The Guardian, 2007. Is Obama Black Enough?. [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/mar/01/usa.uselections2008 [Accessed 06 December 2009].
Young, L(2000) �How do we look?: Unfixing the (singular) black female subject� in P. Gilroy et al (eds) Without guarantees: In honour of Stuart Hall. Verso:2000.
Youtube, 2010. All Terrorists are Muslims. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c06UapLlfnw [Accessed 06 December 2009]