All Articles Tagged "racism"

Here’s Exactly Why Black Students Are Snubbed In Gifted And Talented Programs

February 4th, 2016 - By Danielle Elaine
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Royalty-Free/Corbis

Royalty-Free/Corbis

Not too long ago, a writer by the name of Alia Wong, wrote an obvious piece on Race Relations and the Education System for The Atlantic. In her article, the writer poses the question, “Why are there so few Black children in gifted and talented programs?,” and goes on to cite key points that have been studied, analyzed, and published for years; points that Black, and other minority educators, parents, and students have already known: stereotypes rule the classroom.

These stereotypes are largely specifically targeting Black children. In addition to combating negative perceptions projected on to them by school faculty, and educational tracking, they are also charged with the task of deflecting negative perceptions from their peers.

Like every other institution in America, the educational system was not built to serve all those matriculating equally. Wong cites a Vanderbuilt study, in which 10,000 students in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles were observed over time. In the study, 91 percent of educators were white and presented what researchers called, “racialized teacher perceptions.”

Would it be a leap to decode “racialized teacher perceptions” as just plain old racist? Clutch your pearls, because I said it. A large number of white teachers are racist. To sugarcoat the issue with a sweet, and palatable title for an institutional status quo, speaks to the volume of the issue.

Despite the empirical truth, laid out by research data, Vanderbuilt researchers take care with the fragility of white comfortability by not only creating a new and rosy title for racism, but also plainly stating, that their own research should be taken with a grain of salt, as ” their study isn’t definitive about what’s causing the underrepresentation.”

Much like recent news over Blacks being snubbed at the Oscars, Blacks in the classroom are no different. Variables by which Black students learn, and communicate have yet to be seen as viable means of expression and cognition. We are not overwhelmingly represented in any arena of  notable excellence because we are innately viewed as being incapable of being excellent.

As a mother, having just received my two-year-old daughters’ daycare assessment, I struggle with these very same issues. Knowing how my daughter is perceived, knowing that despite her high level of intelligence, ability to understand context in conversation, and express sarcasm, these are not intellectual qualities valued by a predominately white spearheaded institution.

Unless Black students are learning, advancing and regurgitating information by institutional guidelines their academic performance is seen as subpar.  We shouldn’t be asking why Black students are not in gifted and talented programs, but rather why are teachers not receiving culturally inclusive training on interacting, and assessing student performance.

 

Stacey, Right-Winged, White Folks Will Never Accept You, No Matter How Much Racist Rhetoric You Spout

January 20th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Fox News

Source: Fox News

My memories of high school are faint, to say the very least. But I will never forget the one day these two boys, one White and one Black, in biology class were standing around our lab station telling ridiculous jokes.

The White boy, laughing before he could even deliver the punchline said,

“How do you get a group of Black men to stop having sex with a White woman?”

The Black guy grins and then asked,

“How?”

The White guy, still laughing, says,

“You throw a basketball at them.”

And to my shock and horror, the White and Black guy both fell out laughing. These two buffoons were my lab partners at least for that day. The White boy wasn’t my concern. The Black guy is the one who disgusted me the most in this situation.

And I let him know.

“Why are you laughing at that?”

“Because it’s funny.”

“You think it’s funny that he just insulted you and everyone who looks like you?”

“It’s just a joke.”

I can’t remember how much longer the conversation went on or how I eventually ridded myself of those two fools. I honestly haven’t thought about that particular incident in years. But today, in hearing Stacey Dash’s comments about Jada Pinkett Smith, BET and Black History Month, I was reminded.

While you might think Dash represents the Black guy laughing at the racist jokes, her recent comments show that she’s the one delivering them, waiting for her band of racist White folks to laugh and pat her on the back for a job well done, an ignorant, hate-filled speech properly delivered.

Fox News makes a great habit of asking Stacey Dash about Black issues. So it was only a matter of time before they got her take on Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott of the Academy Awards.

As expected, it was a doozy.

“I think it’s ludicrous because we have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you are only awarded if you are black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.” 

Fox News host Steve Doocy said, “So you say there should not be a BET channel?” 

“No, just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month,” Dash replied. 

“You know, we’re Americans. Period. That’s it.”

“Are you saying there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a White History Month?” Doocy pressed.

“Exactly!” .

The way Dash hit every single racist, privilege infested argument, you would swear she was teaching Resolved Ignorance. Those words about Black History Month and segregation are the very same ones uninformed or flat-out racist White people across the country love to tout, knowing good and well, with the exception of slavery and Martin Luther King, there is little to no Black History taught in the public school curriculum. And BET and The Image Awards are born out of the fact that our films, as the Academy Awards showed in 2016, are still not receiving the recognition they deserve. If Sylvester Stallone could be nominated for an Oscar, Stacey Dash deserves one too for her role as Dionne in Clueless. Lord knows, it’s her one of her few contributions to society.

But if you ask me, Stacey Dash knows exactly why networks like BET exist. As the network so aptly reminded their Instagram followers, she certainly took their money, probably in response to the fact that she couldn’t get any love from the mainstream.

 

I don’t know if the statements represent Dash’s true beliefs. It seemed like she was being spoon-fed throughout the broadcast.

But whether they represent her true feelings or she’s only saying what she thinks her White bosses and their White audience want to hear. She’s “the Black friend” who laughs at racists jokes and lets her White friends say “the N-word” because Hip Hop is to blame.  It’s very clear she’s being used as a pawn. And pawns are often the first ones sacrificed in an attempt to preserve the empire. And Fox News is an empire. Stacey Dash, the Johnnetta come lately, is not high on their priority list. After all, there are plenty of right-winged, fairer skinned folk who will say exactly what she just said.

We saw that in the way they suspended homegirl with a quickness when she cussed on television, speaking about President Obama.

She can look to Michael Steele or Hermain Cain and even Dr. Ben Carson (because he’s clearly on his way out) to see the ways in which the party has dismissed and disregarded right-winged African Americans who thought they had an “in.”

I don’t know what Stacey Dash hopes to gain from all of this. More acting opportunities? Exposure? Perhaps she just wants people to talk about her. And if that’s the case, she’s certainly accomplished her goals. But in the meantime it reeks of desperation. Fox News knows it, Hollywood knows it and so does the Black community. Once Fox finds their next token, I don’t know where Stacey will find herself but it certainly won’t be in the good graces of the people who only sought to exploit her Blackness in the first place.

How You Can Help With The Flint Water Crisis

January 19th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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flint water crisis

Source: AP Images

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Every week, the news cycle seems to detail another way in which Black people, either domestically or abroad, are under attack. This weekend, news was abuzz with the latest developments about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

You may be wondering what the water crisis has to do with Black people. Quite a bit.

52 percent of Flint’s 100,000 residents are Black. And 40 percent of people live below the poverty line.

The change came about in April 2014 in an attempt to save money. The state decided to switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River until the new supply line in Lake Huron was ready. The only problem is the Flint River was and still is known for being unclean. Since the switch in 2014, residents have been complaining about the quality of the water, from the way it looked, smelled and tasted.

According to CNN, researchers from Virginia Tech said the water was highly corrosive and a class action lawsuit alleges that the water hadn’t been treated for corrosion in accordance with federal law.

Even though the city switched back to the Lake Huron supply in October, it was too late. The damage to the lead pipes and to the city’s citizens had already been done.

Many of you know the damage lead can cause. Children are suffering from skin rashes having bathed in the water for more than a year, some people are reporting hair loss. And heaven only knows what’s going on internally when the lead is literally eaten away at the pipes. Lead has been known to cause brain damage, behavioral problems, anemia and kidney complications.

Governor, Rick Snyder, who has been in position since 2011 and is the one responsible for all of this, has declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard. President Obama has also declared it a state of emergency on the federal level.

People have likened the poisoned water, knowingly being given to the citizens as a type of genocide.

Recently, in his address to the state, Governor Snyder said, “To begin, I’d like to address the people of Flint. Your families face a crisis, a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented. I’m sorry and I will fix it.”

Well, it’s just too little too late.

Who knows how long it’ll take before the water supply has been completely rid of the contaminated water. While Gov. Snyder attempts to clean up his mess, there’s something we can all do to help.

Basically, send water…or money to buy water or filter systems.

But you want to make sure you’re sending it to people who will make sure it is distributed properly. Here are some suggestions:

According to MSNBC, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is serving as a central distribution point.

You can donate money to the United Way.

And there are some people in the city, with an organization called “Water You Fighting For” that helped to outline worthwhile organizations.

They list organizations like Bottles for Babies, which has opened a Go Fund Me page. 

According to CNN, there are several churches who are accepting water and donations.

The American Red Cross is doing the same.

And there’s also an organization called Flint Child Health & Development Fund that helps children who were exposed to this poisoned water.

There are plenty of ways to help.

You can watch Melissa Mays detail the situation in the video below.

“It’s Quite Sad” Samaria Rice Responds To LeBron James’ Lack Of Response Over The Death Of Tamir

January 8th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Samaria Rice Responds To LeBron James

Source: AP Images

Just a few weeks ago, while many of us were enjoying the holidays, a hashtag sprang up on Twitter: #NoJusticeNoLebron. It was created in response to the fact that prosecutor Tim McGinty failed to indict the officers for the murder of Tamir Rice, folks wanted LeBron James to sit out a game.

The logic was that since LeBron returned to Cleveland, to play, the same city where Tamir Rice was shot and killed playing with a toy gun, he should take a stand on the issue. Especially, after he wore that “I Can’t Breathe” shirt when we learned that the officers who choked Eric Garner to death would face no criminal charges.

Some thought the request was unreasonable, saying we shouldn’t expect athletes to speak up for us.

Regardless of what side you fell on, people wanted to know what LeBron thought about the notion.

This is what he said:

For me, I’ve always been a guy who’s took pride in knowledge of every situation that I’ve ever spoke on. And to be honest, I haven’t really been on top of this issue. So it’s hard for me to comment. I understand that any lives that [are] lost, what we want more than anything is prayer and the best for the family, for anyone. But for me to comment on the situation, I don’t have enough knowledge about it.

I caught a little bit of it from my folks on the side saying that you guys might ask me about it, but I have no knowledge. I’m not much of a social media guy. I’m on it, for sure, but I’m not always looking at what’s going on in it. 

First of all, I think I’ve been very outspoken about what I believe in. What hits home for me, what I am [knowledgeable] about. There’s been so many more issues that’s gone on that I haven’t spoken about.

There’s been the San Bernardino massacre, there’s been guys going in movie theaters, shooting up movie theaters, there’s been other issues. Those are not something that … I don’t have much knowledge of so I don’t speak about it. So for me … if I feel like it’s something that I have a lot of knowledge about [I’ll add my voice to the issue], because I don’t like to speak when I don’t know about it.

But I think the most important thing that we all need to understand, the most important thing, this issue is bigger than LeBron. This issue is bigger than me; it’s about everyone. And gun violence and tragedies and kids losing lives at a young age, some way, somehow we need to understand that that matters more than just an individual.

For us, the response was disappointing to say the least.

You don’t have to be up on a story to know that a 12-year-old boy shouldn’t have lost his life at the hands of the police. Particularly when, he committed no crime. He was simply being a little boy, outside playing with a toy gun. LeBron, having been a young, Black boy in Ohio at one point or another, a young boy who likely played outside in the parks, he should have been able to identify. To say he hasn’t kept up with the story, to me, was worse than him remaining completely silent.

Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother, shared the same sentiment.

In an interview with Roland Martin, for News One, Samaria said:

“Well, I think it’s quite sad that LeBron hasn’t spoken out about my son. I’m not asking him to sit out a game. I know his kids have to eat too. But you can at least put a shirt on or something. Some of the other athletes, some of them have been saying something. Some of them haven’t. I think they should just make a statement. I’m not asking anybody to quit their job. But make a statement for us Black people out here. It’s just sad that nobody’s saying anything.”

Facts.

In the day in age, where protests from athletes, particularly the protest from the football players at the University of Missouri, have proven effective, it’s unfortunate that LeBron, someone with increasingly more power and influence than these students, basically said he didn’t care enough about Tamir’s death to read just one news story and find out what happened in his own city.

You can watch Samaria’s full interview with Roland Martin in the video below.

Wisconsin Mother Has Perfect Response For That Racist “Black Doll” Video That Went Viral

January 5th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Response For That Racist %22Black Doll%22 Video

Over the weekend, we told you about the disturbing prank this woman played on two, little girls, the children, presumably her daughters.

In case you missed it, the woman instructs the girls to open a present from the aunt and uncle. When they find out it’s a Black doll inside, the eldest girl looks around confused while the younger one throws the box away from herself and immediately starts crying.

While any decent parent would take the doll and explain to her daughter that she appreciate any gift she receives and ask her why she’s so against having a Black doll, this mother bursted out laughing, like she was encouraging the behavior and the younger one’s disgust.

The video spread like wild fire. And apparently, the original poster didn’t take too kindly to the response because it has since been deleted.

But the impression it leaves is a lasting one.

And instead of being angry and going on about her life, this mother in Wisconsin, decided to counter that hate and negativity, with a more positive, loving message.

She posted the following video on her Facebook page.

The video was sweet but it’s Katie Nachman’s words below it, that really send the strongest message

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Yaaassss Katie!

I love this post, not because we need White folks’ acceptance, approval or endorsement. I love the video and the words that follow it because Ms. Nachman gets it. She’s not rainbows and Skittles and kumbaya, looking at society through colorblind lenses. She understands the world is a different place for people of color. And instead of trying to ignore that unfortunate fact, she’s seeking to address it, from childhood, where it usually starts. Parents are the biggest influence in the life of children. They subsequently shape who their children will become, for better or worse. And these two girls in the video are fortunate to have someone who not only understands the injustices and racism in our society but who is also willing to fight against them.

“Not Today White Satan NOT TODAY” This Black Woman Handled Her Racist Coworker Perfectly

January 4th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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This Black Woman Handled Her Racist Coworker Perfectly

Source: Twitter

Every week, on Thursdays, we publish our “Working While Black” column where we detail the instances of racism, prejudice and micro aggressions Black people experience at the work place. But today, we stumbled upon a working while Black piece that just couldn’t wait until Thursday.

ToraShae, whose handle is BlackMajiik on Twitter, told a story that went viral just a few days ago. You might have heard about it by now because it was brilliant. It all started with a promotion and a new coworker “Mayonnaise Monster” who pretends he can’t be bothered to learn or pronounce her Black name.

What he didn’t know was that ToraShae, wasn’t going to take the insult lying down.

See how it all unfolded in the story below.

Absolutely brilliant!

BLM Protest Highlights Racism At The Philadelphia Mummers Parade

January 4th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Black Lives Matter Mummers parade

AP Images

Two activists were arrested last Friday during a protest aimed at disrupting the annual Mummers Parade, which took place in Philadelphia on New Year’s day.

According to the Facebook page listed for the event, the protests were part of ongoing actions organized by The Philly Coalition for REAL Justice. Organizers were hoping to use the local parade, known nationally for its colorful costumes and elaborate floats, to highlight police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the need to end the deportation of illegal immigrants, raise the minimum wage and provide more adequate funding for public schools in Philadelphia.

But as the couple of dozen or so activists made their ways down the parade route they were immediately met by a wall of officers, dressed in blue, who, according to various witnesses, harassed and blocked their protests.

When it was all said and done, Asa Khalif and Philadelphia school teacher Megan Malachi, who are also members of the Philly Coalition for R.E.A.L Justice, were handcuffed and detained for disrupting the parade. Also temporarily detained was a local reporter.

“We couldn’t really go out into the parade because of the barriers,” said Nichole Maxwell, a local activists who was a part of Mummers protest action. “Plus everywhere we went the police were right there. So there wasn’t even the opportunity to walk out into the parade.”

The protest was the final nail in what was supposed to be a novel year of diversity for the annual parade now in its 116th year of existence.

According to the Philadelphia Metro, two Hispanic groups, an African American drill team and “drag queens in heels” would be strutting for the first time in the country’s oldest folk festival.

But what started out with good intentions, strutted quickly down that path to Hell.

First there were “concerns” raised by some Mummers traditionalists on social media prior to the parade about its new emphasis on diversity and the impact that diversity would have on the Mummers culture. In particular one brigade member told the Philadelphia Inquirer: “They’re creating a tradition that’s not really our tradition.”

Then there were reports of racial and anti-gay intimidation during the parade including one spectator who told the Inquirer that he was punched in the face and called homophobic slurs. Then there was the questionable use of brown face and taco-dressed people during one of the parade’s performances.

And finally a viral video, which features members of the “Wenches” of Finnegan Brigade waving signs that mocked Caitlyn Jenner while Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” played in the background. Also in the video, a member of the Wenches could be seen yelling “F— the gays!” at parade spectators.

Maxwell said that she is not at all surprised by the reports. In addition to the police she said that protestors also had to face down slurs and even flying cans and garbage from some of the parade’s more spirited spectators. Those incidents, she said, were mostly ignored by the police.

“This is why we wanted to be out here. This is what the Mummers represents. You don’t just have the regular white racists, you have the South Philly racists. You know, people who are deeply entrenched and comfortable in their racism,” she said.

To understand Maxwell’s point further is to understand the history of the parade itself, which is rooted in a predominately Italian and Irish, low-income part of the city. As noted in this 2013 article from the Philadelphia City Paper:

The history of the Mummers, particularly the comic brigades, is entwined with the blackface minstrelry popular in the mid- to late 1800s. But the roots go back further, before South Philadelphia was even officially part of Philadelphia. It was a poor satellite town of immigrant laborers and free blacks, and its poorest neighborhood was a swampy, near-rural shantytown known for its garbage-fed pig herds. This was the Neck — the birthplace of Mummery.

The early history of the Mummers is inexact, says Christian DuComb — who teaches theater at Colgate University, wrote his doctoral thesis on racial impersonation in the Mummers and until recently was a member of the Vaudevillains NYB club — because nobody wrote it down. “Most of the Mummers’ own history is oral; it’s a working-class tradition, and the working class hasn’t always had the resources to write its own history.”

While the early days are fuzzy, one thing’s clear: In the 1830s, rowdy bands of proto-Mummers shooting guns off like Yosemite Sam started showing up at holiday time in arrest records and in the diaries of irritated rich people in Philadelphia proper, the area now called Center City.”

Blackface was banned from the parade in 1964. However many critics say that the attitudes behind the practice are still very much part of the festivities. For instance, the B. Love Strutters were criticized in 2009 for its anti-immigration theme Mummers performance, which featured strutters dressed as “illegals” dancing around President Barack Obama as he held up a sign that read “Illegal Aliens Allowed.” The performance also featured Geno’s Steaks owner Joey Vento who mocked the national attention he received for his “When Ordering ‘Speak English’” sign that used to hang prominently outside of his shop.

And in 2013, the parade was again criticized for allowing the Ferko String Band to perform a tribute to Blackface performer Al Jolson entitled “Bring Back the Minstrel Days.” Although the performers forwent the burnt cork, it did include props of “four large, big-lipped, wide-grinning, top-hatted prop heads.”

In a statement released over the weekend, the five presidents from the traditional Mummers Division condemned the “hate and bigotry” and said that those who were involved would be banned from participating in future parades. The presidents also wrote: “For any ethnic theme performed by a club, it will be required that the club have as advisors and/or participants members of that ethnicity to guarantee respect. These names will be made available to Division President, and to the media upon request.”

It’s definitely a sign of progress for a parade that is desperately trying to rebrand and maintain its relevancy in a city that is rapidly changing and weary of such outward examples of intolerance.

Watch The Disturbing Reaction These White Girls Have When Given Black Dolls For Christmas

January 3rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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While 2015, a year of much turmoil for those of the black community, we should be looking to the new year as a clean slate. However, a video of one families gift-opening has gone viral and it’s ridiculously disturbing.

In the 43-second clip titled, “Parents Give White girls black baby doll,” we see just that. Two young white girls are given gifts from their Uncle Seth and Aunt Cynthia, but upon unpackaging weren’t too happy to see that the goodies that awaited them were black baby dolls. Apparently, white kids aren’t used to receiving dolls that don’t look like them. Shame, much? Try growing up a young black girl that didn’t really have the option of having a baby doll that looked like her.

When one of the girls revealed that they were black dolls, both of their faces quickly read, ‘Whose idea was this?’ clearly displeased with their gifts. The individual, who we assume is the mother, asks on of the girls what’s wrong. “Nothing,” the girl replies. “Do you like it?” the mother asks. “Mhmm,” the girl says under her breath.

After an awkward moment of silence, the mother then bursts out in laughter. She then pans the camera to the younger girl sitting on the floor, and also asks her if she likes the doll. The young girl then breaks out in tears, crying, then flinging the doll in the mother’s direction.

There are many things wrong with this disturbing video. To begin, why is the mother laughing? Her daughter just broke out in tears and threw the black doll with disgust as if it wasn’t good enough. Better yet, what were Seth and Cynthia’s motives with this gift? Now, I can’t say whether this video was to be malicious or not –I’m leaning for towards hell yes– but all notions of cultural sensitivity were thrown out in this video, literally.

As a young black woman, who growing up had majority white dolls until they created darker complexions, this video is upsetting. It’s even more upsetting to know that young black girls feel like their skin tone is not beautiful and videos like this push that notion that has plagued the minds of black girls.

The video that was posted on Dec. 30 has already accumulated over 3,000 comments with all kinds of opinions, but mostly horrified at the fact that someone would post this for the world to see.

Interestingly, one user commented:

Then, if they were black girls with white dolls and they reject it, all those assholes commenting here would say: “It’s normal, they prefer dolls with the same colour, it’s self love!” “whites loving whites = racism” “blacks loving blacks = self love”

What are your thoughts?

“I Will Not Be Your Intellectual Mammy” Writer Stacey Patton Is Tired Of Explaining Racism And Black Rage

December 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Writer Stacey Patton Is Tired Of Explaining Racism And Black Rage

Facebook

With each unjust death, each decision not to indict, each heinous attack against Black people at the hands of a White person, it becomes increasingly more difficult to write about the incidents and our response to them. The rage we felt for Michael Brown, for Trayvon Martin, for Eric Garner, for Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd was the same thing we felt for Tamir Rice. Once when he was shot and killed and then a second time when we learned that there would be no punishment for it.

As a journalist, it becomes difficult to pour yourself out again and again when you feel like you’re saying what’s already been said. And it’s not about being numb. It’s about feeling too much anger. Some of our mothers used to say, “I’m tried of talking” and it’s that same sentiment we feel, whether we write articles or Facebook statuses.

Writer and correspondent Stacey Patton expressed that sentiment in a Facebook status that has gone viral on Facebook.

See what she had to say below.

Guess Who’s Pissed A Black Woman Has Been Cast To Play Harry Potter Character Hermione?

December 21st, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Remember when white folks were pissed Amandla Stenberg was cast as Rue in The Hunger Games? And then the Council of Conservative Citizens called the casting of Idris Elba as a Norse god in Marvel Comics’ Thor an “insulting multi-cultural makeover.” Or how Star Wars fans threatened to boycott The Force Awakens because John Boyega was given the lead role? Well, science-fiction fans are once again letting their inner racists show by causing a stir over news Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione Granger in the stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

In case you’re not familiar with the wildly popular series, up until this point, Hermione has always been played on film by Emma Watson so, on one hand, I get the confusion over this casting — confusion, not outrage. But the thing is, based on the book’s description of Hermione, it seems people should’ve been more mad at Watson’s casting for the part 14 years ago than they are Dumezweni’s today. Check J.K. Rowling’s response to the backlash below.

https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/678888094339366914

That point was lost on one fan who asserts the play has now “lost all credibility.” And there’s still plenty of drama to go around when it comes to fans who aren’t too fond of J.K. Rowling’s history of being ambiguous about the race of her characters.

hermione tweets

 

weets

I’m inclined to agree with ItsNasB because rather than letting readers connect with a character of color from the outset — and not letting a white actress be cast in the million-dollar movie franchise when it first came to theaters in 2001 — J.K. Rowling appears to be jumping on the diversity train simply because someone else had the balls to conduct it. You get no points for that in my book.