Opinion: We’ve Come Far

The days of mad mobs and lynching and Montgomery strikes are over, run over by the civil rights movement. If validation of racial equality is required, glance at the presidential power- half colored, half white. American.

But despite the cheery assertion of racial equality, blinding joviality fogs the notion that the -ism- racism, classism, sexism- exists, dangerously lurking beneath implicit barriers.

We remain segregated, and voluntarily so. The projects of Compton remain predominantly African American, and Beverly Hills a swath of white. And despite their proximity to colored and the lack of regions, neither muddles the mixture, allowing certain colors (and classes) in, eschewing non-Blacks with fear and crime.

In the West, Asian populations are received as intellectual coolies, Hispanics Gringoes. Both are typecasted immediately: the former a quirky intellectual, the latter a family of ten.

Assimilation, appearing to proselytize, reveals society’s inherent differences through television portrayal. Children shows are incredibly susceptible to this principle.

Behind the Anglo-Saxon actor or actress follows the goofy, often inept, Latino, Chinese, or black sidekick. Many sitcoms cast the racially disadvantaged as needing the superior White man.

We remain segregated and yet have come far. Bill Cosby revealed the strength of a Black community. Hispanic and Asian stars slowly inch onto the mainstream.

We have treaded far, but the steps of hypocrisy still hound us. Inherently, invisible, racial stereotypes still nefariously pervade our minds, secretly assaulted. To go further, drop the preconceptions, the expectations and pause to see the world.

All colors.


This opinion was written by Randy Shun. The views of this author do not reflect the views of the Temple City Voice or its staff. This was published in the Temple City Voice on May 1, 2009.


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