Is Racial Diversity a potential weapon of racism?

Hello True Believers 🙂 I know the title already has some of you up in arms, and I’, sure I’ll get called a racist, and there will be a lot of rebuttal, but I’m prepared for it.  Hell, I welcome it.  That being said, let’s have at it.

So I’d like to open with a piece from an article on

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/22/oscars-2016-charlotte-rampling-diversity-row-racist-to-white-people

about the Oscars and it goes a bit like this:

Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling has claimed the current campaign to boycott the 2016 Academy Awards over claims of a diversity deficit is racist to white people.
 
Rampling, 69, is up for the best actress prize for her role in the British drama 45 Years, from director Andrew Haigh, where she will compete against Room’s Brie Larson, Carol’s Cate Blanchett, Joy’s Jennifer Lawrence and Brooklyn’s Saiorse Ronan. Asked for her take on the current furore over all-white lists of nominees on French Radio network Europe 1 on Friday morning, the British actor did not mince her words. “It is racist to whites,” she said.

firstly I would like to thank Charlotte for being so honest and stepping up and making this statement.  It is greatly forgotten that racism is a TWO WAY street, and she has reminded all of us of this.  She also echoed my previous comment about the actors not being good enough.

So to start on my title statement, let me tell you what I think.

First of all, I am all for diversity where it makes sense.  I agree that in any event/forum ethnic and cultural diversity is a must. I don’t think however that diversity should factor into contests as far as it applies to determining the winner. Let’s use the Oscars as an example.  there were many actors of color that could be nominated.  There were many white actors that could be nominated. In each category they choose 5. This means the odds of getting nominated are small, so your performance needs to be top notch.

Here is what happens when you include diversity into this mix.

First, you select an actor of color for a category based on a diversity mandate. So that actor may not have given the best performance, but is nominated to fill a required “diversity” level.  This means that someone who was truly deserving and did a better job will not get that spot.

Second, as a person of color, should you be ok with getting the win or nomination for just being of color? Does this really speak to your talent? Don’t you actually want to earn it? As a performer are you really okay to let another of your craft be passed on because a mandate had to be filled?  If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then you are the racist one.

Racism is defined as: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

Isn’t this exactly what the rant by Jada Pinkett displayed?

I further add an example of how racism exists and is propagated by those who are not white.

The BET Awards.  Hell, BET in general. This is a venue that is created for black people to enjoy black actors and events.  Now I don’t have an issue with this, but doesn’t the exclusion of white people from this venue make that a racist act? It’s not like there is a White Entertainment Channel that caters to only white people (God forbid) and I’m sure CBS, ABC, NBC, WGN, etc have all had shows with people of color on them, and don’t discriminate. Hell, Redd Foxx and Cosby were on TV long before BET was a bad idea in someone’s mind.

How many white people have been nominated/won a BET Award?

I apologize for the rant, but the recent issues from people of color in Hollywood has really got me raving.

To be clear here, I am not racist, I have many friends of color.  I have an issue with any race using their race as a method in which to garner favor they would otherwise not have gotten, or stating they did not get something based on their race, when it is clearly not the case.

Will Smith has said “This is about children sitting down to watch the show and see they are not represented.” Well wouldn’t a good way to represent these kids be to go to the awards and be seen? Do you need to be nominated to be represented?

Let’s look at Smith a bit further. The thoughts are he should have been nominated for Concussion. Smith has been nominated  twice for an Oscar in a career that spans more than 30 films. If we look at a guy like Denzel Washington, he had a little over 50 movie credits, which garnered 6 nominations and 2 wins. Even though I haven’t seen Concussion, based on his ratio of movies to nominations, and the other actors that could have been nominated, I’m not surprised he wasn’t.

At any rate, I will digress, but leave you with one thing….  If folks want equality, and don’t want to be judged based on color/gender etc, then don’t use these things as a means to an end to get what you want.

I’m Out.

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About Anthony Arsenault

I was born on a cold October day in 1975. My love for words became apparent to my family at a young age, when I took to reading, and always had to have a book. This love for books continued on, and soon I was putting my own words to paper. I was always a fan of creative writing, and often impressed my grade school teachers with my fantastic stories. At the age of 15, I wrote a poem called "Abused" for a grade 9 poetry assignment. The power of the poem brought the administration of the school to class room with a barrage of questions. Four years later I entered a contest sponsored by the Canadian Chamber of Contemporary Poetry. Of thousands of contestants, i was in the top 200, and had my poem "Bob" published in their anthology “Scaling the Face of Reason". This was my first true accomplishment, and my first published work. Since then I have been writing, and Have had a few articles and a poem entitled " A Letter to my Unborn Child" published by Parents for Parents Magazine. I am still writing, and recently published my first e-book, The Common Man's Guide to Women as Told by the Common Man, and a book of poetry called "Words Flow Eternal"
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