by: Nicollette Roland
“I think it’s ludicrous. We have to make up our minds; either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards, and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard […] Just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. We’re American, that’s it.” – Stacy Dash. Move over Raven-Symoné, there is a new “American” in America! Make sense? Let us rewind a little bit.
Among the long list of controversies and injustices going on in America, it seems that the Oscars wanted to add themselves to the list, making influential people like Jada Pinkett-Smith to speak out against them.
The nonexistent presence of the African- American community to be recognized by the Oscars this year was the cause of events that would eventually lead to an issue much bigger. After nominees were announced and the African American community noticed the lack in diversity, Pinkett decided to create a ‘call-to-action’ video speaking out on Hollywood’s injustice, asking people to stick together and boycott the award show. Along with her, Will Smith and Spike Lee announced they would be boycotting this award show.
“Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” Pinkett said.
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful,” she said. “So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”
Of course there are different ends of the spectrum, even if you are part of the African American community of arts.
While being interviewed, Stacy Dash was asked about her thoughts on the boycott of the Oscars and Dash gave her full uncensored opinion. She believes that there is no controversy and the only thing making the world separate is BET.
Even though Dash started her career through BET music videos and modeling risqué for hip hop magazines, she believes that having a television channel that caters to black people promotes segregation.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if the BET network promotes segregation then so does CMT, the Telenovela channel, the Korean Channel, the children network channels, the cooking channel, and so on.
It is fine to recognize yourself as an American even if you are black, but during this time of injustice, inequality, and hate in America; who will recognize black excellence if we ourselves don’t?