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Found 4 results

  1. This is an interesting moment: I just this minute realized that Keith Haring was white - although I haven't thought about this much, I think I always assumed he was black (also, I always assumed he was British). Is this subtle racism? It wasn't malevolent, but it's fascinating to me because I have no clue why. And you know what else? As I'm typing, I think I might have assumed Banksy was black also (I don't think I've ever pondered it until now). Maybe this is all because of Basquiat? Or maybe covert discrimination is so deeply ingrained that it has insidiously flowed into me? Every tagger that I've personally known has been white, so I'm not quite sure why I thought Haring wasn't. Point to ponder, Cool Disco Don PS - If this was truly a surprise, and I'm not convinced Sotheby's didn't know about it, then it's about the best prank I've ever seen:
  2. This has troubled me for many years, so I'm just going to put it out there, without much comment. I find it terribly sad that our Jewish actors, actresses, and others in Hollywood found (and still find) the need to make the U.S. public believe that they aren't Jewish. When our Jewish entertainers decide to stop changing their names in order to pander to middle America, that will be a sign that we're living in a post-racist society; until then, this is essentially the free market dictating behavior, and I find it sad, pathetic, and infuriating. If this falls under the eyes of any Jew who has changed their name for public acceptance, I'm really sorry you felt the need to do this. However, the one thing you are absolutely not allowed to do, going forward, is to pressure gays and lesbians to come out - you've lost that right. --- Note: I had originally posted a video, which quietly went through a large list of Jewish entertainers who had changed their names not to sound Jewish, but after watching the entire thing, I didn't like what I saw as the motivation behind making the video (quite frankly, it seemed anti-Jewish), so I deleted it. However, there are many examples on the internet, for example, this list on IMDB which is not limited to the Jewish people. Peace to all, Rocks
  3. I have such mixed feelings about this film. I am glad I watched it. "The Birth of a Nation" is a well made, sweeping tale of the Civil War and the Reconstruction era that followed. It is beautfully shot and well acted. The battle scenes are compelling and well constructed. It is also the most racist thing I have ever seen. No book, film, television show or any other form of entertainment I have witnessed comes close to this level of racism. The film is three hours long, and it is divided into two sections. The first part ends with the assasination of President Lincoln. There is racism in the first half, including white actors in blackface portraying black characters, but it is the second half that takes the film's racism to unbelievable levels. I think it is important to see this film to realize how far America has come in race relations, and to contemplate how far we still need to go. Simply refusing to see a film such as this because of the blatant racism is denying this part of our history. Yes, it is an ugly part of American history, but racism existed, and still exists, and this movie brings home that message in a way that will make comtemporary viewers squirm. Roger Ebert wrote an excellent review of the film. In it, he compares "The Birth of a Nation," to another D.W. Griffith film, also starring Lillian Gish, called "Broken Blossoms." Ebert prefers the latter, which prompted me to watch two silent films from the early 1900s on the same night. I also preferred "Broken Blossoms," and highly recommend seeing it. And I recommend watching "The Birth of a Nation" as well. It was the first film screened at the White House, by President Woodrow Wilson. It is historically significant. It is also downright difficult to watch at times, particularly because D.W. Griffith did not see himself as a racist, and sadly, neither did the American moviegoers who embraced this film and its message in 1915.
  4. When I was younger, I felt that Affirmative Action was wrong - that it was just perpetuating the problem of discrimination. Now that I'm older (wiser? kinder? softer?), I see legitimate arguments for both sides. In particular, I see people of color having been financially penalized for centuries, and white people having profited and having accumulated wealth because they had what is essentially free labor. Do we owe black Americans financial compensation for what we, as a society, did to them? Perhaps in the form of Affirmative Action? Even if it means costing a more-qualified white person a job and giving it to a less-qualified black person? (I'm not saying "give it to just anyone," but there are plenty of black people who, even if they aren't *the* most qualified, are still very worthy of placing into a position.) And yes, it sucks that a more-qualified white person has to get the short end of this stick, but their ancestors got the long end of the stick for hundreds of years, resulting in wealth that has passed down through families. I've actually *taken* affirmative action on this website: I wrote the local chapter of the NAACP, and asked them how to increase black membership, which I very much want to do. (I never heard back from them.) I tried, and I'm willing to try again, but I don't know what to do. My views have changed on this subject over the years. I firmly believe that black people (I hope I'm using the correct terminology here - I honestly have no idea) have gotten shafted for so long that it has created a culture of lower-class (I'm talking lower financial class) citizens that would not have been lower-class had their ancestors been given a fair chance. Let's get real: not only weren't they "given a fair chance"; they were *slaves*, for God's sake. Do I feel personally responsible for slavery? Hell no. Do I feel like as a society, white people have reaped financial benefits from oppressing black people? Hell yes. The question is: What to do about it? All intelligent, thoughtful discussion, on both sides of this issue (and yes, there are at least two legitimate sides to this issue, with lots of gray area in between), is welcome and encouraged, and I look forward to reading your thoughts. Issues such as this need to be addressed head-on, without fear of retribution for discussing them. There will be no censorship of thoughtful opinions or viewpoints. Without actually "knowing," I know that this website has a very low percentage of blacks - I hate that fact, and want to change it, but I don't know what to do. I honestly don't see this issue as being political in a "conservative vs. liberal" sense; I see it as being moral. I'm not sure what's right, and I'm not sure what's wrong. I'm not sure what's fair, and I'm not sure what's unfair. All I'm sure of is that I want everyone to have an equal chance in this world, and that hasn't happened in the past.
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