#oscarssowhite – Shannon in Kansas City

Gold Trophy ca. 2000

#OscarssoWhite is a trending hash tag that is meant to bring attention to the lack of diversity in the work that the film academy recognizes as excellent.  All of the nominees for acting awards that are nominated are White.  To this I say so what.  Hollywood is not special.  I think that people perceive Hollywood to be liberal and progressive but if you pay attention to the work that they put out and recognize as excellent it is clearly seen that they have a very narrow scope of how they view people of African descent.

The film industry is a vehicle that White people use to affirm themselves.  Hollywood is there to tell White stories.  Even when they tell stories about a person or group of people that are not White they still manage to make a White person the protagonist of the film.  Good examples of this are “Dancing with Wolves” starring Kevin Costner and “The Impossible” starring Naomie Watts.

Most industries that create celebrities i.e. movies, films, music, fashion are White affirming.  They put White people on a pedestal and tell the masses how beautiful, talented and brilliant they are.  This happens even when they mimic Black culture.  Sometimes the object of the admiration and attention deserves it but other times their fame is a product of social media hype and gossip magazine stories.  The only exception is athletics and that’s because it is mostly objective.

I’m sure there are Black actors that deserved to be recognized for their work this year but did not get the proper accolades.  But that is what happens to Black people in the American work force at large.  It’s happened to me more than once.  The American work force affirms White people and I am not White.  Sorry, but I don’t have time to feel bad for Idris Elba or Ice Cube’s son.  They are certainly better off than I am.

Black Americans really need to grow up and stop being so surprised by racism.  This country has never seen us as equal and it may never.  Please stopping begging for acceptance.  I feel that the desire to be validated and accepted by mainstream culture is one of the biggest burdens that Black Americans face.

Art is a subjective thing and there is no way to argue what is worthy of recognition and what is not.  To complain about the Oscars lacking diversity is a petty, first world concern.  People of African descent live with a lower quality of life than their peers in almost every category.  That is true of Blacks that live in industrialized prosperous countries as well.  Let’s set our priorities straight and let pampered actors have their evening to themselves.  My life is not going to be changed in any way if Idris Elba wins an Oscar.

http://www.tmz.com/2016/01/18/jada-pinkett-smith-academy-oscars-video/

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