Now, I love nothing more than being American. As Americans, we can freely express our views and opinions without fear of government reprisal. At the same time, we are not free from the criticism or repercussions of enjoying that right to free speech. Today, I’m going to enjoy that right by inviting Stacey Dash to enjoy a nice warm cup of STFU!.
From the UK Daily Mail:
Stacey Dash criticized those who have come out against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the complete absence of non-white acting nominees at this year’s Oscars – and called for the elimination of Black History Month and the cable channel BET.
Dash called Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee’s plan to boycott the Oscars ‘ludicrous,’ and then took things a step further.
‘We have to make up our minds,’ Dash said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
‘Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET [Black Entertainment Television] and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you’re only awarded if you’re black.’
She then added: ‘If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.’
First of all, Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week. If you really want to get rid of Black History Month, then integrate the telling of Black American history into the everyday history teaching. Get beyond teaching about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks. There are numerous Black Americans that contributed to the fabric of this country to make it what it is today. Also, quit treating slavery as something that shouldn’t be discussed. Until we decide to learn, teach, and pass on ALL our history, we’ll continue to need months designated to teach about individual groups and their contributions to this country.
Next, BET (Black Entertainment Television) is owned by Viacom. The very same Viacom that owns MTV and other media outlets. Not only does Viacom own BET and MTV, they also own numerous other channels as well. BET came about because of the lack of Black artists being promoted or played by MTV long ago. Even David Bowie recognized that in the early days of MTV and called them out about it.
Had MTV decided in its early days to seek out and highlight the true diversity of American music instead of “narrowcasting”, BET might not exist today.
Finally, let’s discuss the differing award shows, which is the basis for the entire debate. I didn’t realize it until seeing an old Eddie Murphy Oscars presentation video from the 1988 Oscars that, at that point, Blacks were averaging one Oscar win every 20 years. I’m certain there were quite a few movies made over that time that were worthy of recognition although the Academy begs to differ. He calculated that the next Black win would be around 2004 and Whoopi Goldberg won in 1990.
Anyway, back to the awards shows. If the major award shows recognized great achievements without bias, there would be no NAACP Image, BET, or any other awards show to highlight minority achievement in the arts. It’s all about the free market. If you do not provide the necessary service, someone else will come along and provide it for you. I don’t fault Will Smith and others for being upset over the slights they perceive. At the same time, I don’t really get into the award shows because I noticed that trend long ago.
What the Academy seems to think is important movies and roles don’t usually coincide with what I personally believe. I view their awards and recognitions in the same light as I’d let my dentist repair my car. So, for Ms. Dash to get upset over what the free market has accomplished rings a bit hollow to me, especially since she’s a self-acknowledged conservative. If you don’t like what the free market is producing, then work to change the market. That’s what Robert L. Johnson did when he founded BET and what others did when they established the things they did when the markets excluded them. And as far as you saying that these things need to be gotten rid of… Here’s a drink to you. Enjoy.