The Militant Minority

An original version posted on 9/7/2004 as "The Always-Mad Minority"

Anyone reading this however who tends not to agree with my views would probably respond saying "you're always mad, you make your race, ethnicity, class, etc. such a big deal. You're not happy with any of the media's portrayal of minorities. If they're living in the suburbs, they're too white, but if they're living in the slums, they're too stereotypical. There's no pleasing you."

To anyone who tells me this, here's my response:

I don't go around looking to instigate trouble or find issues of race. Issues of race are usually standing in my way. A lot of obstacles I face around race revolve around breaking into social communities, networks, and circles, a lot of the powerful ones dominated by white folk.

For example, I couldn't help but notice how white conferences for these academics were. There have been plenty of times when I felt out of place because I was like the only young ethnic male in a sea of white people. For the most part, as an adult with a university degree about to get another one, I can choose to do whatever I want to do, go where I want to go, and who my friends will be without facing much ramification.

However, it's a bit hard fitting into certain communities without a trail of people you feel comfortable with. If doing new things out of the norm are a bit challenging for me someone who doesn't necessarily follow a crowd, then I can't imagine it being much easier for crowds of people to follow.

To the question: Yes, I will probably remain on-guard about the representation of people of color in the media, simply because most of the time we tend to be judged not by personality and good traits but by stereotypes. We'll be judged on the street, in job interviews, either in our faces, and/or behind our backs.

Being mad about minority representation in the media will be an issue until minorities are represented equally in the media and elsewhere. "Represented equally" in this sense means that minorities in the United States have the same sphere of influence as white folks to the point where people of color are judged as individuals for their actions and verbs, not necessarily their adjectives and "qualities."

Being treated equal will largely be accomplished by a combination of getting more people of color in the media, in academia, in politics to the point where reaching any of these positions in society isn't an anomaly or so weird.

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