Viola Davis on Racism in Hollywood

Viola Davis on Racism in Hollywood


On September 20, 2015, actress Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama. Davis began her speech with a Harriet Tubman quote: "In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can't seem to get there no-how. I can't seem to get over that line." She used the bulk of her acceptance speech to call out the TV industry for its lack of diversity, stating, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."

The only thing that stands between women of color and "anyone else" is not only opportunity, but that is its own conversation. However, Davis is exactly right when she calls out the under-representation of women of color on television. According to The Guardian, "There is a major discrepancy between the actual population within the US and the representation of that population on TV. Minorities account for more than 40 percent of the US population, and yet they are significantly under-represented in the television industries. According to the report, minorities remain under-represented nearly six to one in broadcast-scripted leads and nearly two to one among cable-scripted leads."

Although we have seen a rise in the presence of black actors and black directors in Hollywood, the films struggled to find financing from the big movie studios and rely instead on independent producers, black investors, and even crowdfunding to get made. Despite America’s changing demographics, Hollywood’s most powerful industry leaders have been slow to respond to a demand for movies that reflect cultural and racial shifts that have long been underway.

Hollywood's reluctance to fund films like "Selma," "Twelve Years A Slave," and "Lee Daniel's The Butler" demonstrates racism not only within the entertainment industry, but also within society. Because television and entertainment are so ingrained in our society, the implications of a lack of diversity within the entertainment industry are ever-present.

Thanks to women like Viola Davis, Hollywood is now being challenged for its lack of diversity. Important change is often radical, but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. And thankfully, in order to satisfy both the storytelling process and audience demand, studio heads are finally waking up.

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Illinois Republicans Just Gave A Neo-Nazi A Major Platform

As if having a raging racist for President isn't enough.
views defines a neo-Nazi as a person who belongs to a political organization whose beliefs are inspired or reminiscent of Nazism. We learned about Nazis in school; they were the notorious villains of the story who came to life in a terrible, disgusting way. We learned their absolute hatred for any other race besides their own, insomuch that they murdered those they hated.

It is always a bit of a surprise to me that people who believe in this kind of hatred still exist today, simply because it seems impossible to hate someone that much. Yet society is still plagued with them, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, they’ve been given a microphone to express their views.

The villains that many minorities fear and continue to fear are alive and well, spreading their narrative around like wildfire, destroying everything they come in touch with.

And Illinois just made one of them extremely comfortable in one of the most powerful state positions.

70-year-old Arthur Jones became the Republican nominee for Congress in Illinois on Wednesday, upsetting many who had vehemently campaigned against his placement. Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman seemed to have fought the hardest, saying Jones isn’t a “real Republican” but rather a “Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse”.

While Jones disregarded the accusations of being a Nazi, he has been an active participant in the white nationalist movement for years. He ran for mayor of Milwaukee with the National Socialist White People’s Party and runs a campaign website that features a page that disregards the Holocaust completely.

While many continue to make excuses for Trump and his entirely questionable feelings toward minorities, Jones is a Nazi through and through.

Allowing a Nazi into a position of power like Congress invites many dangerous ideals and actions into society, similar to the rise in White nationalism following Trump’s win.

After Trump’s win in the Presidential Election, hate groups have increased by four percent and white supremacist terrorism has seemed to have erupted. The largest white supremacist demonstration, Charlottesville, brought terror to minorities as it seemed the villians were trying to “take back their country”. Trump has not only refused to denounce ties with white supremacists such as former Klan leader David Duke, but has also had the audacity to surround himself with advisors that have direct ties to radicalism.

Whether you choose to see it or not, almost every shooter that has destroyed communities of schools and concert goers was a white nationalist seeking to somehow purify America. The second you hear about a shooting or a homeland terrorism attack, the first thought that pops into your head is a white nationalist.

Giving yet another Nazi a massive platform to continue to spread this kind of hatred will make things worse. We step back into a history that offers no mercy for minorities, a history that seeks to purify the natural diversity of human nature.

While nearly everyone agrees Nazis are bad news, not everyone agrees to truly recognize it. We’ve become a society that shames those who simply want validation and equal treatment. We disregard it as over-the-top and too much to ask for.

The only way to fight this hatred is recognizing what is going on and taking action about it. Don’t elect neo-Nazis, for one, and don’t perpetuate the narrative that they are harmless. Choose to love, choose to be good, fight the better fight. It’s really not that hard if you put your mind to it.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Sun Times

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You Shouldn't Take Part In March For Our Lives, And Here's Why

You’ll be surprised why.

There are zero reasons. We are marching for gun reform to ensure that everyone in this country is kept safe and that another tragedy like the Parkland shooting never happens again. 17 lives were lost which is 17 too many.

Please take part in history and march on March 24th. Be part of the change. In the meantime sign the petition, call your local legislators, and whatever you do, don’t stop talking about it.

Cover Image Credit: March For Our Lives

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