There’s no question that racism exists in the United States. It exists in the corruption of police, the real estate market, and the exclusivity of the movie industry. This is an issue that desperately needs attention and action. But what is the best way to go about creating that action?
In last night’s Oscars ceremony, Chris Rock hosted an unforgettable experience that both highlighted the issue of race, and berated the audience. With jokes about lynching, Whoopi Goldberg mopping the floor behind a white actress who couldn’t act, and countless more racist jokes, the tides have turned.
The audience could be seen shifting in their seats. Some stars looked away from the camera while others laughed forcefully. It was cringe-worthy. Throughout the entire performance, there was pain felt. Not just the pain from every black person who hasn’t won an award, but from white people who didn’t know what to do when becoming the butt of racial jokes.
After shamelessly mocking the audience (The White People’s Choice Awards), Chris Rock then asked for money for his daughter’s girl scout cookies. As if the humiliation of enduring joke after joke at the expense of white people wasn’t enough, celebrities, not wanting to seem un-liberal, took out their wallets and handed over their cash.
Some may say this is justice. There has been so much racism against black people in the United States, that poking a little fun at white people, especially rich white people in the media, is well deserved. I disagree. If we are all to be treated with fairness and dignity, that includes everyone. (Even Asians, Chris Rock).
How feelings are expressed is one of the biggest factors in what constitutes change. Where we do it is only half the battle.