Representation is a marketing ploy.
Representation sells television ads.
Representation sells hamburgers.
Representation sells chicken meals.
Representation sells action figures.
Representation sells dolls.
Representation is a marketing ploy.
Any representation that does not find its roots hugged by communities, families, histories, and cultures of those being represented not just at the superficially culturally level but more importantly at the political, social, spiritual and economic levels is exploitation. Even if a movie about Chicago’s Black on Black crime epidemic is produced, written, and directed by world renown talent, if those it centers in fiction are not direct beneficiaries and guides of its plots, it is exploitation.
I do not have to go outside of my community to find persons of my own experiences. I do not need to purchase a magazine owned and distributed by TIME-Warner in order to see Magical Black Women. I wake up with one every day. I do not need to see a face that looks similar to mine, but not mine on a movie screen to feel as though I could do that, too. That is not representation, that is delusional mediocrity.
Watching demeaning portrayals of US Black Women in fictional storylines for drama shows aired on the same station and company that paid the killer of Mike Mike Brown is not representation. It is always exploitation. It is farcical to call it representation when a show depicting a such a despicable posture that the actress portraying the character questions and laments the award she gets for portraying that role. Furthermore, how is it that the number one Black show on television is also on the same station that hosts the 2016 Republican debates and the Whyte guy that called college aged basketball players, “nappy headed hoes”? How Sway?
There is a malicious idea growing. There is a malicious idea growing in the mind. There is a malicious idea growing in the mind of US Black people. There is a malicious idea growing in the mind of US Black people that is causing them to believe respectability of status in symbol form will trickle down to US Blacks like manna from the Heavens. The election of President Barry Obeezy did not save Trayvon Martin’s life. The election of President Barry Hussein Obeezy did not save the life of Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley Jones. The election of President Barry Hussein Obeezy did not save Mike Mike Brown’s life.
Representation has not changed the mentality of the United States’s racist one iota. Begging Whyte people to put US Blacks on their television shows and in their movies has not reversed the cycle of poverty and hypersegregation for those Blacks locked in generational impoverishment.
Emily L. Hauser, writing for The Week, defines “representation” as, “the importance of marginalized groups being able to see themselves reflected in the culture in which they live.”
…genuine representation — the kind that makes a teenager bob his head or a grownup squeal in recognition — is the stuff from which true democracy is made.Emily Hauser, The Week
Ms. Hauser discusses “genuine representation”. I have two issues. I dislike when Whyte folks speak for other groups, how is that for “representation”. Secondly, I fear a country where the loudest academics conflate corporate media outlets with Governmental establishments bound by policy. Television stations and movie production companies are not bodies of elected officials. They are not regulated by the same rules that help us enforce diversity due to the diversity of the US tax base. While I am willing to discuss dynamics regarding post-consumeristic or consumeristic impacts and restructuring of democracy, it would have to be in a less than disingenuous after-the-fact presentation.