Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've addressed this question multiple times,

but some people can't take "institutionalized racism" as an answer:

Why is the Universe full of White people? by the angry black woman.

...maybe SciFi channel just sucks ass. I think that might be the case.

What else can you say about a network that allowed the guy who made the Earthsea movie turn all of the people white except for that one guy? On Stargate the black people are all slaves, but the white people might be slaves or they might be rulers or they might be accountants. On Atlantis they gathered together scientists and military folks from countries all over the world, and yet the only person of color from Earth is the one military guy. All of the other black folks come from another galaxy. From backwards, tribal planets no less. Oh, except for that one Asian chick in that one episode...’s very easy for those who don’t have to think about race (read: white men) to say that ethnic minorities should stop counting how many ethnic minorities are represented in the media they watch (not to mention how they are represented) and just enjoy the fact that there are some. That’s just ignorant, people. Ignorant.

White, heterosexual men have the luxury of being able to turn to 99% of the channels beamed into their TVs and see themselves portrayed in a manner that makes them comfortable and happy. Most white women, do, too. Minorities of most any stripe do not have that luxury. This is especially true of ethnic minorities. Why do we ‘bean count’? Because we can. That’s not flippancy, that’s a fact. I can look at my TV and count the number of black people I see because there are so few of them and they tend to stand out in the sea of whiteness. I’m getting sick of it, myself. How about the rest of you?

I will continue to address the rest of the comments (Thank you, readers!) in the section under my previous post, Don't ask, don't tell....


MarkH said...

My first try at blog posting but I'll learn fast I hope. My Online Airline Tickets Source site depends on it! But for my real income I still have Montana Land for Sale and Big Sky Country in general.

Being a "white guy" in Idaho I go for days - sometimes weeks without seeing anyone that isn't white. True story. So, when I turn on TV at night I don't notice the "mix" of colors, it never occurs to me.

Bianca Reagan said...

I'm confused by the first paragraph, but okay.

Thanks for your insight, markh!

Irwin Handleman said...

If you won't listen to me, maybe you'll listen to Bill Cosby (this is a portion of a speech he recently made):

"I heard a prize fight manager say to his fellow who was losing badly, “David, listen to me. It’s not what’s he’s doing to you. It’s what you’re not doing. (laughter).

Ladies and gentlemen, these people set, they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have fifty percent drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. (clapping) No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.

Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic and lower middle economic people are [not*] holding their end in this deal. In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. (clapping) In the old days, you couldn’t hooky school because every drawn shade was an eye (laughing). And before your mother got off the bus and to the house, she knew exactly where you had gone, who had gone into the house, and where you got on whatever you had one and where you got it from. Parents don’t know that today.

I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? (clapping) Where were you when he was twelve? (clapping) Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don’t know he had a pistol? (clapping) And where is his father, and why don’t you know where he is? And why doesn’t the father show up to talk to this boy?

The church is only open on Sunday. And you can’t keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you (clapping). You can’t keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you (clapping and laughing). God was there when they won all those cases. 50 in a row. That’s where God was because these people were doing something. And God said, “I’m going to find a way.” I wasn’t there when God said it… I’m making this up (laughter). But it sounds like what God would do (laughter).

We cannot blame white people. White people (clapping) .. white people don’t live over there. They close up the shop early. The Korean ones still don’t know us as well…they stay open 24 hours (laughter)."

Bianca Reagan said...

I look to Mr. Cosby for sitcoms and pudding pops, not elitist social commentary. As if bad parenting only exist in poor black communities. What a crock.

Irwin Handleman said...

I guess you won't agree with anything that isn't "blame the white man". But to ignore the problems in the African American community and just blame everyone else and play the victim role, well that's not going to get anyone anywhere.

And I know I'm not allowed to talk about it cause I'm white, and everyone is scared to talk about it, but maybe that's part of the problem.

As for Cosby, I'd rather be elitist than ignorant.

Bianca Reagan said...

I'm not ignoring any problems. Also, I am a victim of institutional racism and other forms of bigotry. We all are, including you. Ignoring that fact is wrong.

You are allowed to talk about your feelings, and I am listening to you.

Additionally, it is possible to be both elitist and ignorant. Simply look at the people in the White House.

Bianca Reagan said...

I just realized something else. Having babies out of wedlock, dropping out of high school, going to jail and avoiding church has nothing to do with this post, or with why I am discriminated against. Unless someone snuck into my room while I was sleeping and stole my eggs, I don't have any children; I graduated second in my high school class and cum laude from my university; my main experience with the prison system is reruns of Andy Griffith and Law and Order; and I don't go to church because I'm not into organized religion. None of that has anything to do with why I can't see myself and my people--all of my people-- accurately represented in my books, television shows, magazines, newspaper and movies.

My post and my complaints have nothing to do with the problems inside the "African American" community, problems that are also present in white, Latino and Native American communities as well, often because of poverty. I was talking about media representation. How are you going to blame black people for being ignored by mainstream media when they don't run the mainstream media? I don't understand how I personally could be the cause of my own oppression. Even if I did have a trifling baby daddy, so what? That has nothing to do with the fact that ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW are all filled with shows with almost exclusively white casts.

And who are you, or anyone for that matter, to judge poor black people? What are you doing to better your own community and to contribute to the people around you? Those alien rape jokes aren't exactly promoting world peace.

Irwin Handleman said...

I respect your responses and would say that getting educated and working hard, as you and I have, is the most important thing. However, when you point the finger at "the other", in your case "white people", instead of the people like you who aren't doing the things you're doing, well that's just wrong. It's so easy and I'm sorry, lazy, to just cry about institutional racism. I'd like to hear some crying from you one time about the lack of parenting or education. You never mention that. I guess you don't realize it, but that has a lot to do with this post.

Let me tell you a story:

I write on a television show. Last season, the call went out: there MUST be a black writer on staff this year. This came down from the white powers that be at the network, as well as our Jewish executive producer. That's right, big bad whitey.

The search began. After requesting black comedy writers from every agency in town, getting recommendations from people on staff, we found three qualified writers. Three.

And we hired none of them. Why? Because they were asking for too much money. They were all high level people, and way too expensive for our cheap ass show.

Now, if you would've put out a similar call for white comedy writers, we would've been interviewing qualified idiots like me for weeks. Why the difference? I don't know. But we tried.

So maybe what Bill Cosby said does have something to do with this post.

Bianca Reagan said...

irwin, the first sentence of your last comment is nicest thing you have said to me on my blog in a long time. However, the rest of your sentences suggest that you missed my point.

First, I'm not blaming "white people" in general for anything. Second, apparently it's not "so easy" for me to "cry about institutional racism" since you seem to think institutional racism either doesn't exist or it isn't such a big problem. Third, whose "lack of parenting or education" are you talking about?

Fourth, your story about your search for black writers has some holes in it. If your show is so cheap, why did you go to agencies for writers? Cheap writers, i.e. the ones without credits, don't have agents because of the Catch-22s of the entertainment industry. You shouldn't have been entertaining high level writers in the first place. Moreover, I have seen your show. Not an entire episode because I couldn't sit through more than five minutes at a time.

There's a reason your bosses required a black writer for the show. It's the same reason they have a brown host delivering those "jokes." There's also a reason you could only find three black writers to consider your offer, and a reason those writers were asking for so much money: if you're selling your conscience down the river, you had better be getting paid.

Irwin Handleman said...

Ouch! Insulting my show, you really stung me there. Congratulations, you've just raised your debating level from "nonsensical" to "Joe Rogan fanatic".

But seriously, I'm not going to trade insults with you, cause I'm actually confident in my arguments. What I really would like to do though, is apologize.

I've acted dumb. I have this naturaly instinct when I see someone who is young, naive, possibly living in a bubble, to want to help. I have the urge to want to try and talk some sense into that person, make them see basic truths that they might be missing. However, you can't help someone who doesn't want to see, who doesn't want to hear, and who doesn't want to open their mind. So I'm sorry for wasting our time.

But let me add that judging from your statements about the TV business, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. And I hope in the future, you would try to actually educate yourself about it before trying to comment, cause you sound silly. But since this is a blog, I guess that's par for the course.

Finally, I apologize again but I just have to say this: for you to insinuate that Carlos is some kind of brown skinned pawn in the white man's game, well, wow. This is a guy who grew up in the poorest part of Los Angeles, started with nothing, busted his ass for 20 years going to crappy clubs all over the country, earned a huge, loyal following of die hard fans, and got his own show because of it. They didn't want to give him a show, but because of how big his fanbase is, they felt they had to. For you to pretend like his place on TV is some kind of black helicopter, CIA/AIDS conspiracy, then I don't know if you could even be considered a fringe extremist. I think the actual term for you would be "loony".

As for me, I'm going back to where I belong, with the people who aren't bat shit crazy. Good luck to you.

Bianca Reagan said...

Good luck to you too! :)

Nenena said...

Hi, here via Feministe.

I just wanted to say, after having read through the entire comments thread, hats off to you for your awesome responses to the concern troll. You articulated a lot of things that I wish I had been able to say when people have showed up on my blog to pick fights with me. Thanks for speaking out.

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, nenena, and welcome!

It's easier for me to articulate pointed responses, rather than to say, "go away, you're mean." This is especially true when I can tell that the commenter's anger and frustration comes from an unacknowledged ignorance of the situation. I know that in his own way, irwin thought he was trying to help. But like many people of his gender, he needs to put on his listening cap and reflect on the situation before he interjects his opinions so vehemently.

Jay Smooth said...

You were far more gracious here than your antagonist deserved. I'll stop myself there so as not to disrupt the graciousness. :)

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, Mr. Smooth, and welcome!

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Amen, nenena and Jay Smooth. Just exactly what I've been thinking for days/weeks. ;-) Bianca, your grace and strength are really awe-inspiring! I'm serious!

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, catherine! You're super.

Goddess Cassandra said...

Ick, finding out that he worked on "Mind of Mencia" was just the icing on that stupid cake.