#Oscarssowhite: Why is Inclusion So Important to Us?

#Oscarssowhite: Why is Inclusion So Important to Us?

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By now the world has heard Ms. Stacey Dash’s comments about getting rid of BET, the NAACP Image Awards, Black History Month, and pretty much anything that has to do with recognizing black people. She definitely knows how to get under people’s skin. But is she right?

Dash’s comment was prompted by Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith wrote a passionate letter online about how everyone should boycott the Oscars this year, due to the lack of diversity amongst the nominees.

At first, I was on board. Then I thought about it. I don’t watch the Oscars, ever. I find the Oscars to be an evening of boredom, filled with pompous people sitting in a room thanking everybody but God for their achievements. Watching movies and actors I’ve never even seen or heard of receive a golden statue for subpar and mediocre performances is not my idea of perfect Sunday night. It was in that very moment I realized, why is everyone up and arms about this right now?

In the 88 years this award show has been aired, lack of diversity isn’t new. Every year we get mad about the absence any people of color nominated. But why?

For centuries, blacks have fought for equality in this country. Why are we so consumed with the idea that white people need to accept us? Who made them the standard of excellence? Why do we need their approval or acknowledgement all the time?

What really bothers me is that some of these black actors/actresses and entertainers beg to be accepted by White Hollywood, but turn their nose up on the BET Awards and other black award shows. In 2014, Lupita Nyong’o received an Oscar for her role as (of course) a slave, in 12 Years a Slave. She made sure she showed up and sat right in the front row. It was amazing to see her win. But a few months later, she won a BET Award for that same performance and didn’t bother to show up. That same year, Beyoncé “performed” at the BET awards via satellite. She rarely attends the show.

Because the white folk aren’t acknowledging these black actors, we as black people are expected to be up in arms and ready to fight, yet they can’t even show up to the one award show that takes the time to recognize their accomplishments. I don’t think so.

Stacey said something that made me think oddly enough, “…either we want segregation or integration.” Segregation is definitely not the answer, but in order for there to be integration white people have to be open to it, instead of being hidden racists. We only create our own because they shut us out. Will it be the end of the world if they don’t include us? No. We have done fine by ourselves in the past and we can continue on recognizing our own. #wegoodoverhere