Musings: Race in reality and the media

Musings: Race in reality and the media

Hello all!

A lot has been happening, and I am sure that just like me, you have thoughts on the issues that surround us, whether you are in the Caribbean, the States, or wherever you are. This post is just what it is titled: just a Dely thinking of a few things. What you read below is an unstructured write out of what I’ve been thinking. If you’re interested, keep reading!

If you have been following the news, Derek Chauvin, the officer guilty of killing George Floyd, has been officially found guilty on all counts. While I am grateful that finally someone is being held accountable for their actions, there is this level of sadness I still feel — George Floyd is still gone. A black man is dead. Yes, his killer will now serve time for this egregious act, but this victory in accountability does not bring his life back. What has happened is what the justice system is expected to do, yet hasn’t done from since its inception. It’s like rejoicing when a father is involved in his kids’ life. These are things we expect because that is their role. Yet, we’ve seen that the justice system has failed black and brown people for centuries. I hope that this turn to what is actually expected from the system will set a new precedence in the justice system, in the police department, and also in our society in general. This is what should always happen when someone breaks the law, especially those who are trained to uphold and safekeep it. Yet, even in the midst of the Chauvin Trial, there have still been incidents of police brutality against unarmed and innocent black people. While we are awaiting the justice of one, we mourn the injustice of others. It is the most sorrowful and frustrating limbo to maneuver. It is exhausting. It is traumatizing. Yet, the revolution must go on. We still fight. We still educate. We still stand up. We still collaborate and organize. We do what we need to to not only survive, but thrive, and help each other.

This leads me to my second thought: the portrayal of the traumas of racism and other black stories in the media. Art is a therapeutic and effective way of expressing life as one knows it. It is a way to educate and entertain through varying genres and mediums. And black people deserve to tell their stories in the way they feel best portrays them. We see films such as Judas and the Black Messiah, or shows like Snowfall, and Lovecraft Country, that capture what was before or the culture we live in today, in fiction and non-fiction. There are also more films recently that portray the issue of police brutality and the miscarriage of justice. Films like When They See Us portray the true stories that have haunted our past, while movies like Two Distant Strangers and Get Out follow a fictional depiction of real-life traumas.

There is magnanimous significance in allowing artists the creative freedom to express themselves. These stories matter and need to be seen by wider audiences, especially those outside the black community to have a worldwide understanding of what is happening. Artists should not be silenced, however disturbing the material may come across, because unfortunately, this is the reality of a lot of people in America. However, last week I watched Two Distant Strangers, a short film of a black man experiencing a Groundhog day of being killed by a cop. While the film deserved all its accolades for masterfully telling a story, it was very hard for me to watch. It spoke to what we all feel: a staggering hopelessness that continuously repeats itself, seemingly to no end. It portrayed the feeling of helplessness: no matter how the situation is addressed, black lives are still being taken, or placed in jeopardy.

I wish that there could be some balance to the stories Hollywood allows to be aired. It seems that the only black stories that are allowed are those that follow the traumatic experiences of our people, or those that are heavily stereotypical. When will we have stories that are fantastic, magical and explore different avenues other than the ones we’ve seen time and time again? I loved the movie Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey for this very reason. For the first time in a long time (if not ever), we see the jolliest of movies with an unambiguously black and brown cast save for one or two people, and it was such a fun, family movie. I wish there were more black shows with similar premises to Bridgerton or Game of Thrones, or the same vibe like the old black sitcoms with a modern twist. Are there shows like this already? Yes, sure. There’s Insecure, Black-ish, Grown-ish, etc. Do I believe there are enough? Nope. I think that we need more black stories glorifying the beautiful and joyful, and even mundane aspects of our lives, just as much as we have the chance to tell our sad stories. I think we need more black fantasy and whimsical stories, more black animation, more black movies and series with the storyline that is totally out of this world and make believe, like sci-fi films or fantasy. I’m not saying they have to follow the same rubric of storytelling or share similar story points. What I am saying is that our stories cannot be confined and boxed into highly specific categories when that is not all we experience, or even want to see. After being grateful that you arrived home safely and alive, enduring microaggressions and racism all day, the last thing you want to do is watch a show that reminds you of that. Sometimes, you want to watch something that brings you joy, intrigue, or excitement, with people who look and speak like you.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

These have been two of the many thoughts I have been having amidst all that has been going on, and felt impressed to randomly share. I promise you, the other thoughts aren’t as somber! Nevertheless, these are important topics that need to be talked about. What do you think? Whether you agree, disagree or feel ambivalent about it, feel free to express that down in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you guys think. As always, this is a safe space, so absolutely no disrespect will be tolerated. Like, comment and subscribe to be alerted for future posts.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you on my next post, Raving My Faves: April!

Love, Delz

Representation Matters: What it means to have Kamala Harris in the White House

Representation Matters: What it means to have Kamala Harris in the White House

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

2020 has been a year full of twists, turns and monumental events which always seem to leave us a bit dazed and slightly anxious for what’s next. One of the biggest events to cause much anxiety was the 2020 elections in the USA. While this blog is not affiliated with any political party, nor is the premise of this blog to discuss political affairs, I think it would be remiss of me to avoid the opportunity to write about something that is on my heart. After a very stressful week of constantly refreshing the browser and eyes peeled to news stations, Joe Biden was named President elect of the U.S with Vice President elect Kamala Harris.

[Disclaimer: this blog post is about a specific topic and has nothing to do with the party’s policies and their personal lives. I’m speaking on one thing and one thing only. I’d appreciate that if you leave comments, that they’d adhere to kindness and open-mindedness. No bashing or unsolicited political banter will be tolerated. Thank you ♥️]

However we feel about it, we can all agree that we’ve witnessed history seeing the first woman/first black/first South Asian/ first HBCU grad as the Vice President. Wow. I personally was struck in a way I’ve never been with the news of their victory. Finally, there was someone like me — a woman, a black woman, a multiracial woman — in a position of high authority, paving not only her legacy, but soon the legacy of a nation. Just her presence, her image, her input will influence many women of colour. Little South Asian girls and little black girls can look to her as a beacon of hope that one day, they too can hold such an office. They too can have thunderous impact while still poised with class. They’ll grow up to be women who aren’t afraid to politely but firmly command attention and respect: for their input deserves it. They’ll grow up to be women who work hard and still strive for their goals, amidst naysayers and skeptics.

It is a beautiful, unspoken lesson of equality and coming together.

There’s an idea floating around that with the propping up of black women such as Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams, along with The Squad (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley & Rashida Tlaib), we are fueling an agenda that dumbs down black boys and men, negating their influence and contribution to the victories that we’ve seen politically, and generally. However, I’d like to suggest that if you think that way, to maybe consider another perspective.

For many years, the little we did know about our history was filled with men of great minds and accomplishments. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du bois all the way down to John Lewis, Barack Obama, etc. We’ve had these leaders to look up to. For a long while, all people knew were Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. More and more, we are learning that many other women played an integral role in many civil rights victories across the globe, but because of patriarchy, were simply not recorded, and even overlooked.

It is not only little girls of colour that will benefit from seeing Kamala Harris in office. Little boys of colour can also look up to her as well and recognize how power, influence, justice and grace isn’t only afforded to men but women too. It is a beautiful, unspoken lesson of equality and coming together.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

We didn’t reduce to this narrative when Barack Obama took office. Obama was the vision of change and opportunity for BOTH boys and girls. Why can’t Kamala Harris or other phenomenal women be the same? She is the same. Boys everywhere can look at her and say, she looks like my mom, sister, cousin, friend. If she can, I can. Moreover, they can look at their peers and encourage them instead of putting down their talents and gifts because “this is a man’s job”.

Kamala Harris has given us a tangible grasp at opportunity the same way Obama has, but even more so, because apart from women of colour, women in general can see her as an example to strive for. Think of Kamala Harris as bearing an image of equality, opportunity, and freedom. Whatever you think of her, she is giving boys and girls, men and women everywhere a renewed hope.

What do you think about having more representatives of different races, beliefs and backgrounds in positions of authority?

Does it matter to you to see people who look like you or people who don’t look like you in those positions?

Comment down below!

Love, Delz