Mixing It Up

Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Author: sarmiena

How are we being represented?

The film we watched in class mentioned how some Trinidadians felt as if they were not represented in the particular shows women from the country participated in. The women chosen were always light-skinned, even though majority of the people living in the country had a much darker skin tone. Seeing the clip reminded me of other similar scenarios. For example, the thought some young colored-skin girls have when they’re looking to owning a Barbie. They won’t find a Barbie that resembles them. Lately, the company has been trying to diversify the looks of the Barbie, however to do so, it should take into consideration the particular characteristics that are often disregarded. Similarly, soap operas are very popular in the Mexican culture. For years, Mexican soap operas have been in the making. However, ever since, the protagonists have always been light-skinned. If you trace back on how many have aired, and out of those how many have casted dark-skinned people, especially women, as protagonists you’ll probably find two or three. Growing up I always wondered why that was, especially looking at my family and the people in my community and seeing mostly brown skin. Society all over the world has constructed the idea of light-skinned people being ideally beautiful. It is crazy to think that this occurs in countries where the majority of the people have colored skin.

The Fight Continues

When I first read the article by CityWorldNews, “Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 240 Million Undocumented Whites”, the first thing I thought about was the controversy on immigration now. That article talks about Native Americans offering amnesty to the illegal whites in America. In my head, the article was describing the current ongoing fight of Dreamers to attain citizenship. It is ironic to think that it could have been whites asking for an amnesty, but today it is mainly Hispanics fighting for citizenship; fighting for rights in a country they’ve lived and worked for years. This past week thinking a lot more about colonization, made me realize we’re demanding citizenship from people who originally didn’t own the land, from people who believed their customs and skin color were superior to the indigenous people living here. Today, the fight for an amnesty is much more than obtaining rights, it is also proving to the country that we’re valuable and that our ethnicity doesn’t define our intelligence or work ethic. It is exhausting and frustrating dealing with this struggle, but we will stay determined to soon end the ethnical-race hierarchy that was created years ago.

Lack of Diversity

To this day, I do not understand why there is still a lack of diversity in American popular culture, more specifically, the film industry. Sure, there are diverse backgrounds represented, but most of the times these people aren’t given lead roles. The United States is a country where people of all identities contribute socially, economically, and politically. Statistics show that Latinos buy 1 in 4 tickets every single weekend. In 2016, Latinos also bought 21% of movie tickets, but in 2016’s top 100 films, only 3.1% of speaking characters in films were Latinos. Similarly, black actors and actresses aren’t rare in films, however they still don’t often obtain lead roles as much as they should. This past weekend, Marvel’s FIRST black superhero film, Black Panther, premiered. It has been a success, and it has been so hyped up for the reason that it is rare when a black person is the face of a movie. Not only did it star a black person, but Ryan Coogler also directed it. Coogler was also Marvel’s first African-American director. One film isn’t going to solve any racial issues or satisfy the need for diversity, but with more films like these, we’ll get somewhere. However, it should not be once a year when a person of color is given a lead role.

 

Pallotta, Frank. “Black Panther.” (n.d.). Black Panther is heading for a blockbuster weekend. Here’s why that matters. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/media/black-panther-opening-box-office/index.html.

Moreno, C. (2018, January 22). Gina Rodriguez Slams Hollywood For Lack of Latino Leads. Retrieved 18, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-hollywood-latino_us_5a65fdbce4b002283004d524.

Not His Celebration

In the New York Times article, it is mentioned that President Trump has pointed out that the unemployment rate for black Americans has been the lowest since 1972. Trump has used Twitter to state the fact, but he does so in a way to brag that it is because of his presidency and policies that the rate has lowered. Trump has addressed this racial issue as if it is one of his main concerns to help increase the black employment rate. Meanwhile, there is no mention of any other race. It is as if only two races exist in the United States. I personally believe no one deserves credit for the recent statistic, but the hardworking people obtaining the jobs. In addition, it is quite clear that the unemployment rate for blacks has been in the work for years due to past history, however there is no need for Trump to act as if it is a celebration that he is responsible for.

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