Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Problem with Diversity

As a class we discovered a new problem in America.  Some minorities are being hired not on their merit, but their race.  In some cases the only reason minorities achieve job positions is to be tokens.  Organizations pushing for the advancement of minorities create forced diversity.   
            This week in my American Studies class we have been discovering the wonders of TV tokenism.  TV tokenism is the strategy to keep organizations like the NAACP of the backs of television networks, by placing token minorities in their programming.  After learning about this phenomenon, it opened my eyes.  While browsing Netflix I found that almost every show I saw fell into the exact characteristics of the token shows we expounded upon in class.  "Arrow", a superhero drama and my recent Netflix obsession, was exposed to me in a new dark light.  I noticed Green arrows sidekick is a token minority.  The side kick is a well-dressed black men who is constantly reeling in the white main character.  The sidekick, Diggle, has a prestigious army background, but we don’t learn much about anything else in life. 

            This is an example of a Token character, a two dimensional minority who is shown in a positive light.  "Arrow" whose main characters are based on a white family, does not have much diversity besides the sidekick.  The network executives place tokens in the show as “main characters”, but in reality they receive significantly less screen time.  Forced diversity in America is being executed incorrectly. 

         Diggle is pictured here talking to Arrow about the predicament Arrow is in.  The sidekick is almost never pictured alone in a shot.  There always seems to be a white person in the frame.  Diggle, is the token minority.  The network executives can say "Look here is a black, veteran, high positioned, well dressed man."  

Je Suis Charlie

        Recently I was browsing a website and I noticed many political cartoons and drawings with the quote "Je Suis Charlie".  This translates from french to "I am Charlie"  This is in reference to the terrorist attack on the writers of Charlie Hedbo.  Back in 2001, when the twin towers fell Americans had a blood lust for violent retaliation.   America waged war on terror and changed many of our policies.  America let the terrorists win.  However, after France faced a gruesome attack they handled their retaliation differently.  The reason why the french writers were targeted is because they picture the islamic prophet muhammad in a cartoon, practicing their freedom of speech.  In retaliation they did just that,  french cartoonists and writers made uplifting pictures to stick it to the terrorists, picturing muhammad on the front cover of the magazine holding a sign printed "Je suis Charlie."
         The way France handled the attack brilliantly better than America did to 9/11.  Thousands of people filled the streets of Paris, and writers and cartoonists united to keep their freedom of speech in retaliation to the attack.  The way America handled its terrorist attack was the opposite, and America sunk to the level of these evil people.

This is the cover of Charlie Hedbo the issue after the attack.  The writers and fellow french are not letting the terrorists win by practicing their freedom of speech.  The cover pictures mohammad which is against the principles of islam. 

This political cartoon is showing how France stood up to the terrorists.  The side with the gun is the terrorists using physical forced and the side on the left using the force of speech.  France took the higher road by noot using violence like America sadly did.