Monday, February 8, 2016

Golden Oscar's Black Category

White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans or Blacks to simplify, especially with some like Whoopi Goldberg saying they are just plain American, but in order for me to differentiate in a post about race... are the largest American racial minority amounting to 13.2% of the population.

Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to 17.1% of the population, making up the largest ethnic minority. For more on that see, race vs ethnicity.

13.2% of Americans are Black? That's hard to believe because much of the time it feels more like 30% or 40% with all the news coverage. Of course much of that may have to do with other issues like 24 hour news cycles and news trying to sell advertising, the bane of news media. Even if the overall numbers of Blacks aren't that large, their issues surely are. I'm just surprised the number is so low.

I only mention this because of the recent noise about the Oscars being too white. All of this is a complex subject, but I will try to keep this brief, or it could go on at length. Consider also how this somewhat has to do with any racial minority (or minority in general) in any country anywhere in the world.

Statistically, it's possible if not reasonable for there not to be nominations other than whites. I don't find it despicable as some are in speaking out about this. Unfair? Possibly.

In 2014, Blacks were 13.2%, in 2010 - 12.6%. So, really? Well, apparently so. That just makes it look less horrible.

I was thinking in my ignorance that it was about them not getting nominated, not that they simply do not exist in the Academy. That somehow whites weren't voting for them, not that there weren't enough Blacks to vote for themselves. If there are just more white films, it just makes it harder for Black films to get voted up, it's in the numbers. It must mean we need more Blacks and Hispanics in the Academy.

Let's face it, the winners being chosen has a hell of a lot more to do with who wins than quality.

Yet you have to consider the numbers nationwide, too. Who is paying for the movies that are being watched? It makes me wonder at the anger over the Oscars in there being no Blacks being nominated. Though I can see how it could happen, considering just the statistics and the stats of the Academy.

"Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, the LA Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, Latinos even less at less than 2%."

Here's my point.

Perhaps we need a category for best picture and actor\actress in the black category.

Blacks do win Oscars and I'm not saying eliminate them from that potential mainstream avenue. If however, they had their own category, this could simply never happen again. In that vein there would always be a black actor Oscar every year. Until it starts not happening anymore in the mainstream categories wherein we could then delete that special category and perhaps give it to Hispanics and Latinos.

Then the Hispanics. 2014 - 17.4% (2010 - 16.3%). Wait. So there's more Hispanics? So where is the outrage there? Was a Hispanic nominated? Did I miss someone? I'm very confused. Then why don't we have a Hispanic category same as I mentioned above for Blacks.

Do we need one for Latinos now as well as Blacks? Then do we need one for Asians? What about Indians (no, East Indians, not First Nations or "Native American's" (a term I never much cared for)? I don't think we need to get carried away with this.

After all Blacks have a special case in America and with the talk from the UN about reparations for slave descendants, so maybe we should have a special Black category? That way we guarantee not only that they do not get left out at Oscar time, but they are guaranteed to have at least one, best film, actor and actress, and maybe more if they are nominated in the primary categories.

I agree that something has to happen. With numbers on both minorities below 20% each this is simply going to continue to happen. Unless we do something proactive to end this. Baby steps, one step at a time and this could be a first step, a first reasonable and welcome step.

Okay, have at it.

Just know that I only mean well in what I just said. I'm actually on everyone's side. Certainly though I'm not on the side of racists. I am just trying to understand the situation, learn from it and open a discussion and one of the best ways to do that is to suggest a solution. Because you can't fix a solution unless you first have one to consider and modify, or suggest a better suggestion over the initial one.

Talking about a problem after all requires first recognizing the situation, the problem, evaluating it in finding the parameters of the issue, proposing a solution however bad it might be as a starting point, all in order to have something to discuss about it. That, is how we get around to fixing it.

Okay I've done my part. Now it's up to you.

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