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Race Representation in USA


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#1 kirant

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:27 AM

This has been bugging me for ages.  I just really haven't wanted to started a topic on it since Facebook is a no go (I've got a couple of friends on there who are kind of blindly on their own side.  Letting them meet on such a discussion is akin to never having a life for a next week as I try to stop the next murder case). 

 

So...here's a bit of a mix of getting this off my chest and honestly asking Americans about this. 

 

What the hell is up with race debates in the USA?

 

This starts on so many levels but the issue that broke the back for me was this #OscarsSoWhite thing going along.

 

I'll leave this article here for you to peruse as it really does have a lot of information that bugs me in relation to this.

 

http://www.economist...1/film-and-race

 

Long story short for those who don't follow anything related to this: 20 actors and actresses are nominated for "best performance" award each year.  In the last two years, no actors of any visible minority got the nomination.  So Twitter angrily storms off and starts mocking this by the hashtag above.  A whole host of what Americans define as "black" celebrities, such as Will Smith, have taken to the airwaves too complaining about this.

 

Now, this is when things get a little strange in my mind.  The article above does an excellent breakdown of what races get nominations and at what rate.  The article shows a trend that actors and actresses defined as black by the article do not really under perform.  They win at approximately correct rates to the proportion of individuals in the SAG (Screen Artists Guild) and populace.  In fact, the real "losers" in the acting awards are Asian and Latino actors.  Especially Latino.  In all aspects after their SAG representation, both have minimal leading roles (identified as top three billing by the article) and even fewer nominations. 

 

(If you're curious, the last Asian winner (and female nomination) was Rinko Kikuchi (2006), the last male nomination was 2003 (Ken Wantanabe) and the last one before those two?  1985 :blink:.  If memory serves, there's been no Asian nomination for a leading role)

 

(That isn't to lighten issues in the film industry though.  It's amazingly well shown in the data that they could only find two "black" women directors, making directing a very strange place too.  Another forum I visit posits that the issues there are more global as many minority directors get their start in their native country and work their way into Hollywood.  Many individuals seen as "black" don't have a strong film industry outside the US, where it's still fairly dominated by an "old boy's club".)

 

But at the same time, I hear nothing about this disparity...especially since it's one that's been ongoing far before this online campaign started.  Is this common in the US where minorities not identified as "black" get shoved to the side?  I get that there's extreme tension between the "mainstream" USA and "black" citizens.  I have relatives who still distrust the Canadian government for banning Chinese immigration.  I hear stories about how some Japanese individuals still distrust the American and Canadian governments for their internship of Japanese civilians during WWII.  But it's still strange to me that these narratives such as this never play out. By all means, the Latino SAG groups should be just as concerned, and probably more so, for their lack of major roles and so forth.

 

I love the Honest Trailers for a short version of my post (describing Fantastic Four):

 

Make a Mexican woman wear a blonde wig and blue contacts to play Sue Storm and no one bats an eye.  Cast a black guy as The Human Torch AND EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MIND

 

So...tl;dr: what gives with this seeming racial dichotomy in the US?  It almost seems as if all I hear about in news and stories is the "white vs black" debate when it comes to race.


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#2 Mercurius

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:09 AM

It's mostly a matter of publicity. There's the history to back up the stigma too, but awareness is much more relevant than that. In American schools, they will tell you all about African-Americans, what horrible things were done to them, how they fought back heroically against oppression, etc. (Jews get talked about too, but only in the context of Nazi Germany.) This greatly heightens the level of pity they have for them (think about all those "starving children in Africa" ads even though there are plenty of starving children elsewhere, maybe even much closer) and in a way, African-Americans take advantage over this fact to get up and be as loud as possible over when tragedies involving them happen, they also believe they are under the greatest threat from the privileged, after all. They know people will listen to them, so why not get it all out?

 

There's also that they have simply been here in large numbers for a long time to add to said awareness, and while it's not okay to hate on someone's race...it's totally okay to hate on immigrants. People don't really care when you're being racist to a minority that doesn't have anyone to back them up either, one of my Chinese friends had to deal with a whole lot of shit back where she used to live in America because there were very few other Chinese there. (eventually her family moved to Canada in some town where the Chinese population is high.)

 

Meanwhile, for other minorities it's like:

Asians : oh those people, yeah they are just there and make our games and stuff, man I totes wanna fuck dat sweet little pussay she got bruh, ya hear? all them bitches nice and quiet and all, not like those ugly feminists and shit

 

Middle Easterners : OMFG TERRORISTS FUCK YOU FOR RUINING AMERICA WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU

 

Mexicans : y u steal our jobs, fuckin' uneducated punkz cant even immigrate rite

 

Anybody Else : ...what even is that guy?

 

(that's how it is where I live anyway)


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#3 ^Leo^

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 11:48 AM

the black community has quite the history of being loud about oppression(or even perceived oppression as the case may be. If anyone is curious I can give an example), so they are the ones that get heard. The Latino community is trying to keep quiet because as far as they are concerned most Americans are just looking for a reason to get rid of them. As for why the Asian community doesn't say anything...i don't really know. I haven't ever been to an area with an Asian community before, so I haven't really spoken with anyone to get an idea of what they think.

 

i think mercurius probably summed it up pretty well though. Where i live it's pretty interesting though in that the people you see out in town will try too hard to be accepting of other races, cultures, ideals, etc. Because they're "internet youths" and have been taught for their whole lives that it's good to feel that way. Actually not a bad place to live imo except for the fact that it's in Texas, and hot as hell.

inb4 "it's a dry heat". STFU IT'S. 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE



#4 Fire Blazer

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 04:18 AM

I don't know. We're a messed up country and we're super big and not unified to boot. That diversity is a strength and weakness: 50 states and all sorts of people and all sorts of ideas and ideals and other crap. >_<'

 

But the white vs. blacks things is definitely the biggest here. I feel like they make 80% of the population, though I can't prove that. Also have to consider the history and just "how things ended up". Can't erase the past or its consequences: I don't have any statistics or anything and am too lazy to show them, but I'm sure they'd point out that there's more than a dichotomy or what have you in our heads and the like.

 

Bleh. I don't like these topics in part because it's just too confusing and too intellectual, and thinking about it too much makes my head hurt. Basically, I'm lazy and can't be bothered to reflect too long on a problem I know there is no real answer for. Or I'm just stupid, think what you like


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#5 Blue Leafeon

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 07:05 PM

Whenever I see something on the news, it usually just boils down to one thing: some person got offended about something for some stupid reason. And it just makes me want to stay inside my house and never speak to another living individual (in person) ever again.

 

I honestly feel as if America has taken to being offended at every little thing they can possibly get offended at. It's just not the minority or the majority, it's EVERYONE. People of all religions, of all nationalities, of all races, of all sexual orientation, of all sexes... If people would just cool their jets, put aside their own pride and see past their own noses, they might just realize that this world doesn't revolve around them.

 

I think that's the real root of this racial discrimination business. It's not really about prejudice or discrimination anymore. It's about people wanting to be offended over every little thing, for their own selfish reasons.


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#6 kirant

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 03:36 AM

In American schools, they will tell you all about African-Americans, what horrible things were done to them, how they fought back heroically against oppression, etc. (Jews get talked about too, but only in the context of Nazi Germany.) This greatly heightens the level of pity they have for them (think about all those "starving children in Africa" ads even though there are plenty of starving children elsewhere, maybe even much closer) and in a way, African-Americans take advantage over this fact to get up and be as loud as possible over when tragedies involving them happen, they also believe they are under the greatest threat from the privileged, after all. They know people will listen to them, so why not get it all out?

I would suspect that this is a natural consequence of schooling in any nation.  Canada gets little, if any, of the USA history.  We get a year or two of Canadian history and that's it.  Americans only get involved when it's involved in Canadian history (that is, the rise of the Canadian militia during the War of 1812, Canada as the destination of some US slaves, etc).  It's certainly a given that the slave movement and its relation to the Civil War certainly gives a major reason to discuss it.

 

I would hesitate to go all in on the "Starving children in Africa" thought though - There are third world nations elsewhere but a great deal of it certainly focuses on the middle Africa area.  Really, it's certainly easy to say that it's the continent in the most dire straits economically and efforts probably are most likely to pay off there.

 

There's also that they have simply been here in large numbers for a long time to add to said awareness, and while it's not okay to hate on someone's race...it's totally okay to hate on immigrants. People don't really care when you're being racist to a minority that doesn't have anyone to back them up either, one of my Chinese friends had to deal with a whole lot of shit back where she used to live in America because there were very few other Chinese there. (eventually her family moved to Canada in some town where the Chinese population is high.)

I can see that.  There's a great theory of "The Other" which deal with the notions of minority and majority populace.

 

Vancouver?  Toronto?  Those have some pretty huge Chinese populaces. 

 

I'm curious what she thinks of Canada though.  It might be an interesting to see the contrast in populace.  In particular, I would have to wonder how a minority heavy city (ala San Francisco) would compare to, say, Vancouver.  It might highlight fundamental differences between Canadian and American cultures.

 

 

 

the black community has quite the history of being loud about oppression(or even perceived oppression as the case may be. If anyone is curious I can give an example), so they are the ones that get heard. The Latino community is trying to keep quiet because as far as they are concerned most Americans are just looking for a reason to get rid of them. As for why the Asian community doesn't say anything...i don't really know. I haven't ever been to an area with an Asian community before, so I haven't really spoken with anyone to get an idea of what they think.

Which is interesting too in my mind.  One must wonder if it's an ideological issue.  Jewish individuals at one time had a situation similar to the "black" and "Asian" populace as untrustworthy individuals.  A combination of hard work and continual defiance of the expected norm eventually changed stereotype (where we now get the stereotype of "Jewish people control" and the like).  I feel much of the East Asian populace walked a similar path from "unskilled, uneducated laborers" to the "hard working tech experts".  In specific, there was an old phrase of "Chinaman's chance" to describe a situation with little chance.  It arose because of the fact that East Asian workers on transcontinental railroads got the worse jobs possible.  Setting unstable explosives, being lowered over horrifying conditions...chance of survival were terrible, so they had a Chinaman's chance of surviving.  At least, that's how I heard it.  Either way, the stereotype and prejudice against the East Asian populace existed and changed greatly in the years since. 

 

I feel the "Latino" and "black" communities are trying two different approaches.  At one end is the "black" culture, crying out for equal grounds.  Which, correct or incorrect, is certainly one approach to achieving what their perceive as equality.  The other approaches these previously walked paths.  A slow defiance of expectations.  A demand of respect not by vocal statements but by action.  It's almost what I'd call a submissive defiance since there's nothing strange about what they've done.  They would simply outwork or outmaneuver the expectation.  Chinese, for example, often spent many, many years keeping their noses down and working the worst conditions while continually looking for opportunities to improve.  All while sending virtually all the money they earned back home so that they could afford their family a better life (be it immigration to North America or just doing better in China, the sick man of Asia at the time).  And I think we're seeing a similar trend by the Mexican and Caribbean immigrants in the United States, where they work tougher jobs but are willing to put in all the effort to make it happen.  it's why I think some American politicians are running scared...they have a fear, justified in their mind, that immigrants will come in and steal jobs from what they perceive as the traditional United States.  It's a well worn path and I will imagine that this sort of demand for recognition will receive attention as they continue to defy the old stereotypes. 

 

The other path, the path of visceral and vocal descent, is one rarely walked.  I would hesitate to put a connection to Woman's suffrage but it's the only modern equivalent I can think of.  The Arab Spring situation in Egypt was interesting but I'm not sure if it really makes a good comparable either.  I can't say much about the outcome other than it garnering a hell of a lot of media attention.

 

i think mercurius probably summed it up pretty well though. Where i live it's pretty interesting though in that the people you see out in town will try too hard to be accepting of other races, cultures, ideals, etc. Because they're "internet youths" and have been taught for their whole lives that it's good to feel that way. Actually not a bad place to live imo except for the fact that it's in Texas, and hot as hell.

inb4 "it's a dry heat". STFU IT'S. 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE

It's actually an interesting notion.  I've worked in a company with a strong connection to Texas (heavily based in College Station).  Every Christmas party with them was always a very friendly and cordial affair.  It's much closer to the old Southern friendliness stereotype rather than the Tea Party stereotype that floods conversation today.

 

Granted, I also live in "Texas North", so I guess I've heard the same stereotypes all my life and know how to spot them.

 

(I still hate that stereotype by the way)

 

But the white vs. blacks things is definitely the biggest here. I feel like they make 80% of the population, though I can't prove that. Also have to consider the history and just "how things ended up". Can't erase the past or its consequences: I don't have any statistics or anything and am too lazy to show them, but I'm sure they'd point out that there's more than a dichotomy or what have you in our heads and the like.

You're not wrong.  The number I typically hear, if you add those two ethnic groups, is about 75-80%.

 

Whenever I see something on the news, it usually just boils down to one thing: some person got offended about something for some stupid reason. And it just makes me want to stay inside my house and never speak to another living individual (in person) ever again.

 

I honestly feel as if America has taken to being offended at every little thing they can possibly get offended at. It's just not the minority or the majority, it's EVERYONE. People of all religions, of all nationalities, of all races, of all sexual orientation, of all sexes... If people would just cool their jets, put aside their own pride and see past their own noses, they might just realize that this world doesn't revolve around them.

 

I think that's the real root of this racial discrimination business. It's not really about prejudice or discrimination anymore. It's about people wanting to be offended over every little thing, for their own selfish reasons.

One wonders if it's the era of internet.  It's easy to spot a significant change in the way we as a continent have handled things in the last 10-15 years.  I mean, the internet likes to react.  It likes to overreact.  Every little thing.

 

But this also doesn't explain much about why other groups don't raise as loud as fuss.  I mean, "Latino" groups are approximately the same population size in the US but you don't hear their protests or revolts as often.  Unless that would suggest a social difference where these groups are unique outliers which aren't entirely concerned with racial discrimination. 


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#7 Fire Blazer

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 07:22 PM

 

You're not wrong.  The number I typically hear, if you add those two ethnic groups, is about 75-80%.

 

w00t, I didn't guess a statistic and be completely wrong.

 

Sorry, this is all I can really afford to type right now


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#8 Mercurius

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:51 AM

I'm curious what she thinks of Canada though.  It might be an interesting to see the contrast in populace.  In particular, I would have to wonder how a minority heavy city (ala San Francisco) would compare to, say, Vancouver.  It might highlight fundamental differences between Canadian and American cultures.

Main things I remember her mentioning during her first week there is bullshit currency conversion/inflated prices, it being too cold(and freaking out at those guys who go around shirtless in the snow), almost everybody not Asian being Caucasian, a lot less obese people, and how easy it is for her to fit in because nobody has any respect for America lol. I didn't really ask her about anything since I feel like going anywhere sufficiently modernized isn't really going to feel that different aside from some weird little things like Japan's thing with sorting trash.

 

 

As for why the Asian community doesn't say anything...i don't really know. I haven't ever been to an area with an Asian community before, so I haven't really spoken with anyone to get an idea of what they think.

 

Where I live, there are mainly 4 kinds of young(the old ones rarely bother with anything political that isn't politics of their home country) Asian-Americans:

  1. The immigrants who don't have a sense of inferiority toward the majority race in America(hence AZN PRIDE), and understand why Caucasian people are racist to them, because hey, they're racist to them too. Comes with the territory. Most of the time they won't even consider that they're beneath someone foreign to them and treat everyone else fairly politely and as equals, but when they band together without any outsiders they are fully willing to talk shit about other races. The only time they will really lose their shit is when an outsider assumes that Asians want to be like them, or when one of their kind(women, mostly) are in a relationship with one of the outsiders. Usually these are recent immigrants (within 5 years ago) and are men, the ones that are women will be very cold-hearted towards anyone not of their initial nationality too, because they want to avoid the image of being someone's bitch. In other words, they just straight up make themselves at home.
  2. The immigrants who lacked the strength and camaraderie of the former group that feel like everything would have gone better for them if it wasn't for how Asian parenting sucks and they had European features. They are the kinds of guys who go around saying that the reason they can't get girls is because the only thing girls care about are men with big dicks anyway. These immigrants have usually been in America for a long time in a place without many other Asian-Americans or somewhere where the race diversity is really high in general, really hate feminists, are super into competitive games and brag about how much better they are than others in them, and they're always men.
  3. The women who want to get away from Asian guys because everybody keeps talking about how Asian guys are sexist, abusive, entitled, etc. Usually the place where they realize people of other races are just as bad is when they get into the workplace, where everybody that isn't a girl talks shit about their race and gender(if an Asian is talking shit about them, just gender) because they hate how hardworking Asians keep taking their jobs and find it ridiculous that even the women are doing it now. Then they just turn bitter over everything. They're the ones most likely to get into political debates due to their realization of how inferior their position is and are extremely high-maintenance because they are trying their hardest to seem respectable even when most will look down on them, including their parents and other men of their own race. Usually they just want to be left alone, so don't go anywhere but home after their business outside is done with. But, at the same time, they're the most lonely and dream over having a great boyfriend that will help them get through all the bullshit in life.
  4. The ones that were born in a place in America with a high Asian populace that couldn't give a shit about race dynamics if they wanted to. They're the internet youth type you know about except they don't really try that hard, it just comes naturally to them, they can barely even imagine it being otherwise. There's something amazing about these kinds of people because they don't ever seem to actually realize the majority race looks down on them. I feel like there's more women of this type than men but there's a lot of guys like that too.

The first two don't care about politics and the other two care very much about it, but do not feel as though being loud about it is going to have much meaning. The 4th type just doesn't realize they have less privilege than the majority race but the 3rd type just doesn't bother because they know the majority race isn't likely to actually listen to them the way they do for African-American outrage, and when they won't listen, all it will do is increase their disrespect for them. I've heard of there being Asian-American support groups, but I've never seen their names and only know of one girl that was interested in joining their efforts.

 

I'm the first type in spite of being one of the internet youths that's been here for a while. If I wasn't racist, I wouldn't get so pissed over how caucasians keep claiming that Koreans and Japanese want to be like them. I would just be an all-loving, accepting person who totally agrees with them because it doesn't make a difference either way. But instead I hate their guts and part of why I prefer the internet community so much is because our races are usually invisible / even when they're known it's not really relevant, as long as nobody goes out of their way to make an custom avatar in an online game that shares their racial features or something.

 

Whenever I see something on the news, it usually just boils down to one thing: some person got offended about something for some stupid reason. And it just makes me want to stay inside my house and never speak to another living individual (in person) ever again.

 

I honestly feel as if America has taken to being offended at every little thing they can possibly get offended at. It's just not the minority or the majority, it's EVERYONE. People of all religions, of all nationalities, of all races, of all sexual orientation, of all sexes... If people would just cool their jets, put aside their own pride and see past their own noses, they might just realize that this world doesn't revolve around them.

 

I think that's the real root of this racial discrimination business. It's not really about prejudice or discrimination anymore. It's about people wanting to be offended over every little thing, for their own selfish reasons.

It's because they realize the world doesn't revolve around themselves that they resort to using the voice of the group.

 

But wait, why is it being presented in a way that claims things should? Why not just complain because preferences aren't being met? Because people want to be righteous. It makes things feel so much more important. It makes them feel justified. They don't want to be just that guy who doesn't really have a reason beyond bias when the topic pokes at hot subjects, who can't do anything but just essentially say "I am disappoint." They want to think "objective" and oftentimes, political. "We aren't entitled, we just want what's good for the people!" (Oh yeah, definitely political.) It doesn't have to be a conscious way of framing their opinion, it's just what they find immediately suitable for the environment they expect to be in. Very few people care about listening to someone expressing themselves, so to get anyone listening they should involve others' benefit to have it become meaningful. It also tends to be a lot easier to get agreement following when framed this way because other people want to get in on the "We are in the right!" opportunity too, essentially strengthening the sentiment.

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#9 Blue Leafeon

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:59 PM

^ Touche.

 

The other approaches these previously walked paths.  A slow defiance of expectations.  A demand of respect not by vocal statements but by action.  It's almost what I'd call a submissive defiance since there's nothing strange about what they've done.  They would simply outwork or outmaneuver the expectation.

The fact that, at least in years past, latinos were mostly illegal (they couldn't afford to get into the US legally, or I'm sure many would have, since we're talking of the hard-working ones) the best route to pick was the one where they DIDN'T draw massive amounts of attention to themselves.

 

One wonders if it's the era of internet.  It's easy to spot a significant change in the way we as a continent have handled things in the last 10-15 years.  I mean, the internet likes to react.  It likes to overreact.  Every little thing.

I'm pretty sure it started with the media, long before the internet was a thing. Since the news stations etc make money off of views, they like to take "scandalous" things and just run with it for WEEKS. Remember Michael Jackson? I should hope you do, because we didn't stop hearing about it for well beyond a year, I'm sure.


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