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Mainstreaming Racial Equality

February 26, 2016

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how when Hip Hop was just a product of African American culture it was considered misogynistic, and too urban, but as soon as it became embraced by young White suburbians as well as other cultures, it became “mainstream!”

Now every White talking head on ESPN makes a “spot on” reference to “Drake” or “Lil Wayne” while doing sports highlights, and it’s completely embraced. Thank you, Stuart Scott!

The concept of how some subcultural things can become accepted once they are embraced by the establishment can work for both the good as well as for the bad. Just consider how scandalous it was once to have a sex tape being made public or the revelation that a singer/actress has nude photos out there for all the world to see.

These things were once taboo, but now you’d be harder pressed to find an actress, athlete or entertainer who isn’t posting weekly nude selfies or celebrating a divorce or losing weight by posing for a magazine in her underwear or nude! It’s so normal today that we are desensitized to it.

Hell, listen to the actors themselves normalizing how authentic they want to be in playing their roles. They push the envelope so far that they normalize simulating sex scenes and being naked with costars all while their spouse and children are at home, but it’s normal work for them right? As if these were the only types of roles they could play?

But my point is not necessarily on their choice to take off their clothes, (that’s next week’s rant). My point is the fact that we’ve made sexually explicit material so mainstream that I bet we’ll have unsimulated sex scenes in more mainstream (not foreign, independent) Hollywood films very soon.

It’s not only amazing that we’ve made many of these things “mainstream” but it amazes me that as a society we dare to believe that the social acceptance of women, objectifying themselves all in the name of entertainment is being “spun” into some sort of form of “empowerment!”

Regardless of where you stand on that matter can you see my thought process when it comes to how we as a society can help for the good or the bad when it comes to making a statement on what we are willing to make “the norm” in our society?

In the midst of the Oscars so White controversy, and many A-list minority artists considering boycotting this year’s Oscars, I’d like to submit that just like how it took White America embracing Hip Hop for it to go “mainstream” perhaps it will take Hollywood’s Mainstream White Alist talent boycotting the Oscars for real change to take place of this issue?

I’m not devaluing the significance nor the statement it would be for Big name minority artist to band together and no-show the Oscars, but when you consider the fact that they’ve already been excluded in consideration for nominations in recent years and exclusively this year how would a minority alone boycott change this particular Oscar nominating committee?

When White America, particularly White artist, show solidarity along with their minority brethren in the midst of this disparity I believe only then could we see effective, longstanding change to this systemic form of racism.

As a culture, we’ve mainstreamed porn, sex tapes, nude selfies, and Reality TV, why not mainstream concepts like racial and gender equality? I can’t wait for these concepts to start trending!

When all races and cultures understand the fact that it takes an effort from all cultures to achieve racial equality, then we will finally see an end to the very appearance of racial inequality.

I say again, minorities boycotting alone does nothing for the long term as long as others who witness these injustices, but maintain the status quo and make self-serving comments while allowing the same people who devalue minorities to bestow both honor and accolades upon them.

As long as our society allows this to be a “minority issue” I don’t believe this situation will ever completely go away, but I’m hopeful that my plea will catch on someday. I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes –

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke


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