Any Progress on Racial Discrimination?

New York Times/CBS polling in 1995 showed only 15 percent of whites believed the criminal justice system was biased against blacks, compared to 51 percent of blacks. By 2015, that number had risen to 44 percent of whites and 77 percent of blacks.

The painting below was one of the first European portraits that contrasted a white aristocrat woman’s formality with the wild and exotic ‘natural’ look of a black woman.

Dido_Elizabeth_Belle

The film “Belle” was inspired by this painting which was commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice of England and the great uncle of the cousin pair. The protagonist, Dido Belle, was born in the West Indies and was the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of the Lord’s nephew. She was found living in poverty by her father and entrusted to the care of the lord and his wife. The fictional film centers on Dido’s relationship with an aspiring lawyer in a court case of slaves thrown overboard from a slave ship and the owner filed with his insurance company for the losses. The Lord ruled on this case in England’s Court in 1786, in a decision leading to the abolition of slavery in Britain. “Belle” is a beautiful film of courage and wisdom against discrimination and injustice.

#OscarsSoWhite is 2015’s first discrimination-inspired hashtag in Academy Awards history. Just when that dark chapter in American race relations in 2014 appeared to be over, the Oscars came along and reignited another chapter with the the whitest pool of nominees in 17 years.

Yet in Oscar 2014 “12 Years a Slave” won the best picture , best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay based on the 1853 slave narrative memoir by a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. It was the first time Hollywood conferred its top honor to the work of a black director and the supporting actress is also a new black star.

Best Supporting Actress 2014 for Oscar

Interestingly, the Editor and Publisher of American Book Review wrote an article about how a white American submitted a poem to almost 50 journals (40 in his own name and 9 with a Chinese pseudo name) and only one journal accepted the poem submitted under the Chinese name, it was then referred to “Best American Poetry” and selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition.The editor later found the white poet’s real identity but still decided to publish the poem. American Book Review’s publisher ended his article with
“Tis but thy name that is my enemy,” (The editor of Best American Poetry might say to the white poet.) and “MY enemy, too,” (the white poet might well reply).

In the book “Captivology”, the Thai-American author also mentioned how recruiters immediately disqualify resumes with foreign names resounding the experience of Muslim youth in France.

“Man who does not ignore what he should ignore, but ignore what he should not ignore , that is true ignorance.” Chuang Tzu.

(He refers to discrimination of the disabled and emphasis on it is the body that should be ignored but integrity that should not be ignored. In the cases above, it is ethnicity that should be ignored and not excellence.)

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