All Articles Tagged "exclusion"
I know I might be in the minority here; but I really love NBC’s “The Voice.” The contestants are some of the most talented I’ve seen on the current singing competition shows and I really like the coaches/artists. When I first started watching the show, I just knew that Adam Levine or maybe Christina Aguilera would be my favorites. What I found though was that Adam was cool but Christina worked my nerves. There were times, last season after all her team members had been eliminated, that she outright pissed on Adam’s team member Melanie Martinez, referencing the set design over her vocal talent.
Ironically, the coach I most enjoyed on the show turned out to be country singer, Blake Shelton. I’d never heard of Blake before the show. But his country accent and the banter between he and Adam Levine quickly made him very endearing. If you’ve ever seen the show you know that homeboy is hilarious. Long story short I never thought I would relate to an ole country boy as much as I enjoy Blake Shelton. But on Monday night, my boo Blake said something that gave me pause.
He was giving a speech explaining why America should keep voting for his contestant, 16 year old, Danielle Bradbery. He said: “She is exactly the girl that you would think she is, an all American girl.”
I cringed. And playfully imitated Blake’s accent, “an awl A-murr-i-can gurl.” I embellished a bit further: “wit her blue ahyes (eyes) and blawnde hurr.” For a second I had to ask myself why I was clowning Blake. I love Blake. But that comment rubbed me the wrong way. It only took me a second to pinpoint the resentment. It was just another way in which American black women, and really all women of color in this country, are reminded that we’re not really blended into the fabric of America. Sure, our passports might say American but I’ve never heard a woman of color be described as “all-American.” When black girls or women go missing we don’t get mainstream media attention. “America” doesn’t see themselves in our missing. When a black mother loses her son at the hands of trigger happy police, that officer is not punished, or not punished sufficiently, and laws are rarely put in place to prevent it from happening again. “America” knows that a black life wasn’t worth that much to begin with. When black women are shown on tv, they’re angry or hypersexual. “America” knows that that is who all black women are. And that woman couldn’t possibly represent what “America” is about.
I’m not mad at Blake and certainly not at Danielle either. The girl is talented and is, after all, American. And I’m sure Blake didn’t understand the weight of his words. My own issues made me shutter a bit; because if we want to be technical and historically accurate, a real “all-American” girl would be a Native American. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full-blooded Native American girl, more less heard her described as “all-American.” But we all know how that story goes.
Blake is not wrong for using the phrase it’s just a saying that’s a bit isolating and outdated. But I’ve figured out a way to help him out. I’m just going to start calling girls, minority girls, black, Asian, and Latina, all-American girls. America has been a melting pot for quite some time, so it’s only fair that the word be applied more liberally and inclusively.
Have you ever heard the phrase “all American” girls applied to girls or women of color? When you hear people use it does it make you feel a type of way?
There was already plenty of controversy surrounding the lack of black women in the George Lucas Tuskegee Airmen film “Red Tails,” but now a school district in Dallas is catching heat, and possibly, a case for sending about 5,700 fifth grade boys on a field trip to see the movie, and excluding girls.
According to a teacher, the trip was a part of black history month, and the film was chosen because it was something that boys would be interested in, as the movie is about historically significant African American men. Of the choice to exclude girls, Independent School District spokesman Jon Dahlander, said:
“There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie. Girls stayed at school but principals were given the option to show them ‘Akeelah and the Bee.’”
Title IX funds were used to cover the cost of the nearly $60,000 field trip, which included $32,000 for the cost of movie tickets and an additional $25,000 for bus rentals, not to mention paying substitute teachers to instruct the girls who were still in the classroom. Title I money is used for educating low-income students, but because Title IX prohibits schools that get federal money from gender-based discrimination, outside groups are questioning whether the provision has been violated.
The American Association of University Women told the Dallas Morning News that the field trip was a case of “separate but unequal,’’ and a statement by the Dallas district’s board of trustees saying that they thought boys would enjoy the combat movie more than the girls doesn’t do much to to nullify that stance.
I actually think sending black boys to see the film as a way to instill pride as African American men would’ve been a great idea, but the fact that the district didn’t even think that deeply and made the trip more of a “boys play with guns, girls play with barbies” situation, makes it hard to justify the exclusion of female students. What year is it, 1950?
What do you think about this “Red Tails” field trip? Should the school district be held accountable for excluding girls from seeing the film?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(CNN) – South African activists are staging a “Poor People’s World Cup” to protest the exclusion of poor communities from the FIFA tournament. The Cape Town-based Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) says it is staging the event because most South Africans are not benefiting from the official World Cup. It says poor people can’t afford match tickets and claims traders are being stopped from trading near stadiums, and that people were evicted from their homes in the run up to the competition.