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The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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7th Viva Technology Conference In Paris - Day 3

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Maybeand I’m just spitballing here—but maybe the anti-woke movement is really just more pro-white, anti-POC racism. Take the subject of racial diversity in Hollywood for instance.

Maybe white people are only calling Hollywood “woke” because, in their minds, W.O.K.E is an acronym for “Whiteness Over Knee-grow Entertainment,” or something to that effect.

Maybe the truth is white people are so used to seeing themselves overwhelmingly dominate the entertainment industry that when the pendulum swings even an inch in a direction that prioritizes racial and cultural diversity, all they can see is reverse Jim Crow for white Hollywood and the implementation of woke supremacy. In other words, white privilege is a hell of a drug, so much so that white people go into withdrawal when they see anyone else enjoying the representation they have always enjoyed, and, apparently, taken for granted.

On Monday, billionaire white man Elon Musk bemoaned the 2024 Academy Awards by declaring, “Winning an Oscar now just means you won the woke contest.”

Now, let’s be fair. Perhaps Musk aka Phony Stark aka Apartheid Vador aka The X-Terminator aka The Twitter Throttler (I made most of those up) simply meant that the liberal bias within the Academy excludes conservative-leaning content from getting its shine. Maybe Musk simply wants to see the Oscars promote more patriotism and less activism, or maybe he wants to see less politics in Hollywood altogether.

Nah, I’m just messing with y’all—he was complaining that too many non-white people were winning.

In fact, once it was pointed out to the Tesla CEO that far more white people won awards than anyone else this year, he immediately conceded that he was “wrong,” and suddenly all was right in his Caucasian world where white supremacy is the natural order of things.

That’s right, folks, Musk was educated on the fact that the Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress and Best Director categories, among others, were overwhelmingly dominated by white people, and the Woke Boogieman that haunts his nightmares retreated back under his bed and allowed him to rest at ease.

So, you know, maybe he’s just racist.

Musk called it “surprising” that white people won the most sought-after categories offered by the Academy, but why? With the exception of the predominately Asian blockbuster Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, which won Best Picture and Best Director, white people won all of the same categories last year. In fact, there hasn’t been a single Oscars presentation where the winners and nominees weren’t overwhelmingly white. So, what the hell are we even talking about here?

Hell, less than a decade ago, #OscarsSoWhite was trending on social media for the umpteenth consecutive year because Black people and people of color could see clearly the reality of overrepresented whiteness that white people are naturally blind to. (They say, “I don’t see color.” What they really mean is they recognize the absence of color as the default for social and cultural normalcy.)

Here’s the thing: White people call it “race pandering” when whenever classically white characters are replaced by actors of color in remakes and adaptions, or generally whenever non-white faces are represented in abundance in traditionally white spaces (TV, film, broadcasting, advertising, etc.) But the demonstrable truth is that no racial group in the Western world has been racially pandered to more than white peoplenot even close.

Here’s what I’ve written about this previously:

When white people talk about what many of them call “forced diversity” in Holywood, I like to point out a little thing I call “forced whiteness.” Forced whiteness isn’t as simple as changing the race of a character from the race in the source material. Forced whiteness is the systematic racial gatekeeping that has ensured white people will always be placated and will never want for representation. It was an uphill battle for movie studios to become confident that they could sell a movie with an all-Black cast—because white people needed to see themselves on the screen. It continued to be an uphill battle for anyone to consider that Black leads and predominately Black casts in big-budget action films could be a thing—because white people needed to see themselves on the screen. So, for the vast majority of the history of our entertainment industry, and even now, actors of color have been boxed out of the virtually limitless buffet of diverse roles and acting opportunities that white actors have always enjoyed—because white people needed to see themselves on the screen.

As in all things DEI-related, white people assume merit is the reason white people have always dominated all media platforms up until the last handful of years.

But the truth is white actors, directors, producers, writers, showrunners and filmmakers have always dominated the Academy because the Academy is largely made up of white people and whiteness relates to whiteness. So, white movies are the best movies and white actors are the best actors because white gatekeepers relate to the white experience.

White domination in Hollywood has never been about talent. White creatives have historically been the only ones afforded virtually unlimited opportunity to showcase their range of talent in the mainstream, in fact. It’s really all about how talent is viewed through a lens of whiteness. That’s what anti-wokeness is really all about, and the Elon Musks of the world are going to whine and flood the culture with white tears until that standard is restored.

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