ethn101

This article is truly telling of who actually holds all the power in Hollywood. Yes, those movies were amazingly shot and well-acted, and they star black actors who are even nominated by the Academy. Despite claims to say that this may be changing the film industry, every nominated movie that starred a black actor in this year’s Oscars actually only included them in order to serve to the white man. Two of the four movies were about slaves, which continues to be a selling point to the audience. While they are humanized and attempt to tug at our heartstrings, Whitaker served the white President his entire life, while Ejifor was freed because of a white freeman. InĀ Captain Phillips, the white ship captain manages to save his entire ship from black pirates who are portrayed as incapable and uneducated.

The problem will continue to exist today, especially with the dominant white Academy. Since they are the ones who nominate the movies that make it to the special awards night, these are the films that gain the most exposure. This makes it even worse on minority actors/directors/producers because this long-term rule in the media by the whites will only deepen the audience’s whitewashing. When these dominant ideologies are manifested in the media long enough, they start to become the norm. This makes it even more difficult for avante-garde films to become mainstream, since the public is alienated by these roles held by minorities. In order to subvert this hegemony, more minority actors should be cast in roles with actual substance, not only to reaffirm the hierarchy that favors whites. A positive result of this would be: first, showing that these films are up to par with Hollywood standards (once they escape the burden of representation), and, second, the Academy will soon start to include more minorities. These would prevent any bias toward white filmmakers or any films that reproduce the notion of the “Other.”

ethn101

ethn101:

A perspective from Macklemore on white rappers in the realm of hip-hop.

I am surprised to hear Macklemore rap on such a sensitive topic about his own race. He does manage to list all the advantages he’s been allocated just because he was born into it, but that’s all he does. Macklemore does little to actually subvert the social construction that has made the black race an “Other.” However, I can see how this can be a difficult thing to rap to, especially with the history behind hip-hop and rap culture. It did start to really grow, in my opinion, with Tupac and Biggie, but I think this musical genre should not be welcoming to only one race. Macklemore is suggesting that only black people can be good at rap and that it belongs to them, but I see this as stereotyping.

Especially with the connotation with the rap culture in the media today, there has been a negative impact on their racial group. People are often associating hip-hop and rap with hypersexualized music videos whose content only triangulates three things: money, sex, and drugs. Then there are people who say that these artists are uneducated, which indirectly targets the black community as their image has always been associated with this genre of music. I agree with Macklemore to say that music is music, but this genre in particular has been historically criticized to the point that people don’t want it to consider it “music.” Have you ever heard of people saying, “man the music today sucks, I wish I was born back when there was Elton John, etc etc.”? Well, that type of time travel would be when there were no advances in civil rights and black people would have been even more systematically oppressed.

ethn101

Hunger Games Controversy: Rue is Black

ethn101:

http://hellogiggles.com/rue-is-black-and-racism-is-still-an-issue

I hate to admit this, but I’m guilty of this too. I tend to skim when it comes to descriptions of characters and when they had hired a black actress as Rue, I was definitely shocked. I was initially shocked, however, because I was glad that the producers had hired a black actress in what would have been a white role in order to diversify the cast. When I reread the book later, I had learned that it was actually the entire district that was black. Now that Collins had explicitly made them that way, there should have been no criticism from the fans toward the physical appearance of the character. Hearing that the negative responses were geared toward the discrepancies of how people imagined Rue versus the actress - instead of her skill - I am extremely appalled.

The series itself conveys a message of coming together, regardless of upbringing, in order to subvert the institution that has made the Capitol in power. If this is not a allegory for the constructed social hierarchy today that aids whiteness, then the theme of the books has been lost amongst the readers. I feel that it is truly a slap in the face to Collins to make apparent that an actress does not fall under the category of “white,” consequently making her one of the peasants in the districts. In Hunger GamesĀ terms, the fans are only reaffirming the construction that continues to keep the Capitol in power, while the other 12 districts exist only to serve them.