We all know that racial intolerance still exists but it’s another thing when it stares you in the face. Samer Shalaby, a civil engineer, was met with opposition when he showed plans for a new Mosque to be built on land that is privately owned by the local Muslim community during a community meeting in Spotsylvania, VA. The video content may be offensive but this is the world that we still live in. Click here to see the video.
There has been a lot of controversy on twitter about Taylor Swift’s new music video. Many people are upset at the portrayal of 1950’s colonial Africa. They are disturbed at the fact that even though it is a video about Africa, there seems to be a lack of people of color.
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Is it too ambitious to address racial tension in a dog food commercial? Pedigree and their marketing agency, BBDO, doesn’t think so.
Recently, we have seen a resurgence of ethnic representation on network TV shows across major stations. Shows such as Scandal, Empire, Jane the Virgin, and Fresh Off the Boat have gained major success this past year. “Awkward Black Girl” creator Issa Rae raises the question if the increase of people of color on television is driven by the industry taking notice of the lack of racial diversity or is it driven by money? Read more here.
Mike Epps partners with AOL Originals and takes it to the streets to address racial stereotypes. Titles like “Black People Love Fried Chicken” and “Asians Can’t Drive” give you an idea of where Epps is going with this. “Some racist jokes are based on truths and others on stereotypes. The show examines the source, and at the same time, we get a good laugh out of it,” say Epps. Click here to see the first five episodes.
It’s been said that Queens, NY is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. With that comes authentic cuisine from around the globe. Travel Channel‘s Bizarre Foods, hosted by Andrew Zimmern, dedicated an episode to some of the more interesting dishes you may not be able to find at your local strip mall. If you want to experience food from countries without having to have a passport, take a trip to the borough of Queens.
Geena Davis has teamed up with ARC Entertainment to launch a new film festival in Bentonville, AK and will champion women and diversity in film. It will also be the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, TV, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. Click here to read more.
Three county government workers are reprimanded over one of them making a noose and joking about it in jest with a co-worker. This is clearly no laughing matter, but many of us joke around, and often times, at the expense of others’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. How do you deal with the insensitivity of others? Click here to read more about this incident and see video of local news coverage.
Leave it to Saturday Night Live to put a spin on racial diversity with a skit called “Whites.” Click here to view skit.
Last week, the Trans 100 list went public, celebrating those who have raised the public profile or made a difference for transgender people. This list was read live two weeks ago, at the Trans 100 gala in Chicago. The event also featured keynote speeches by author Janet Mock and Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black.
Cox’s speech hinged on the saying, “Hurt people hurt people” and the “revolutionary action” of trans people loving each other, and touched on issues of oppression, kindness, and healing. It’s a powerful, emotional speech, especially when she speaks of the crowdfunding effort for the documentary about CeCe McDonald, a transgender activist who served 19 months in a men’s prison after defending herself from an attack in 2011.
“So often, trans people are told that our lives don’t matter,” Cox says. “Particularly black trans women. And tens of thousands of dollars were raised for this woman CeCe McDonald to prove that our lives do matter.”