by Gray Graham
I wrote this in response to someone asking me if I was going to watch 12 Years A Slave. No matter how many times I say it I can't seem to get enough Black people to understand the realities of the world when it comes to how we are portrayed in film, TV, and other arts. While it is true that actors just play characters and often times these characters are often just bad caricatures that feed a negative stereotype, Black actors continue to accept the roles because in many cases that is their only means of earning a living at their craft. Most are numb to the harm that their roles cause and they wish to only be seen as actors in a color-blind world which of course does not exist.
So therefore when you have a situation like what happened with People on Twitter last night with a tweet that they sent out during the premiere of How To Get Away With Murder, some black people become outraged.
Now let's look at the situation for a moment. How many times have you seen a publication, writer, movie, or TV show make fun of an actor by switch the roles that they have or are playing. I can think of a meme years back of Hugo Weaver switching between the elf king Elrond from Lord of The Rings and Agent Smith from the Matrix.
Shows like Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, and Mad TV have made an entire career out of doing this. So what happens when they do this with a black actress who best known role is that of the help, you have a bunch of overly sensitive people on Twitter getting mad. Twitter probably unlike other social media leans heavily to the Left. And not just normal Left but far, far Left where they leave the rest of us behind 140 characters at a time.
This is probably one of the things that makes Twitter a terrible platform to engage others because if you have a different opinion then you are most likely going to be block by that person especially if the person has a verified account. Twitter is a giant echo chamber unlike any other.
Things are not going to change in this country in regards to race until two things happen. The first thing is for people to stop letting their subconscious prejudices get into the way of making decisions. This is the driving force behind why so many minorities and women feel the way that they do. The second is for people to stop trying to crucify and punish for life people when they do something that they find offensive. Everything that a person does is not because they are a racist, sometimes it is just because you are too sensitive and they don't understand why you are.
Art is just a reflection of life and that life at the moment is not too pretty. So if we want to be portrayed better or if we want to be able to laugh at ourselves, we are going to have to change the world that we live where everyone is treated exactly the same and we all know that will be a long and painful process. This is a case where two groups of people apparently do not understand each other so instead of just getting mad maybe we can spend some time trying to get to know each other better.