by Carmen Van Kerckhove, originally published at CarmenVanKerckhove.com
I really enjoyed yesterday’s discussion panel, organized by Diversity Woman magazine. The panelists were spirited and passionate. We talked about everything from the role that women played in this election to the state of diversity in corporate America.
At one point, moderator Chiqui Cartagena asked me if I thought there was enough diversity in front of the cameras when it came to political pundits during this election season. I said that though there was a bit more diversity than in the past, ultimately, most of the faces we saw analyzing the news were still old white dudes.
But then my fellow panelist Paula Madison brought up an excellent point. She said that she was more concerned about diversity among the actual decision-makers who shape the news and hire the anchors, than with the diversity among those in front of the camera. She shared some of the abysmal statistics that demonstrated just how few people of color were in management positions in newsrooms and TV stations all around the country.
It reminded me of a friend of mine, who was one of many producers who worked on CNN’s recent series “Black in America.” She shared with me some of the difficulties she faced in trying to tell the authentic stories she wanted to tell, and how she was met with resistance every step of the way.
It also reminded me of my interview with Don Lemon on CNN about Jesse Jackson’s use of the n-word. Lemon asked me if I thought Jackson “got a pass” for using the word because he was black, and just kept pounding away at the rather remedial question. “Did he get a pass?? Did he get a pass??” It was pretty clear to me that this wasn’t a question that Lemon himself was interested in, but he probably felt pressured to ask it because that’s the way his managers were shaping the story.
Remember: Diversity means nothing without power. It’s all well and good to have people of color in the most publicly visible positions of your organization (news anchors, company spokespeople, etc.) but ultimately those people won’t be able to do the kind of work they want to do unless they are supported by management. And the less diverse the management is, the less in touch they’ll be with issues that concern people of color.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- Michelle Sujai on An Open Letter to Tyler Perry
- Bryan on A Few Thoughts On Star Trek: Into Darkness
- Fred Tsui on Scandal Roundtable 2.22: “White Hat’s Back On”
- Kristen Reynolds on Scandal Roundtable 2.22: “White Hat’s Back On”
- anedumacation on The Mindy Project‘s Rishi And The Call For More PoCs In Charge
- Book Review: Storm Warning by E.A. O’Neal
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 5.23.13
- Meanwhile, On TumblR: In Defense Of Beyoncé–Again
- Amitabh Bachchan In The Great Gatsby: Is Desi The New Jewish?
- Scandal Roundtable 2.22: “White Hat’s Back On”
- Race + Higher Ed: Fear Not, Suzy. You’re Still #1!
- Table For Two: Star Trek Into Darkness
- Watch: Fruitvale Station Has A Trailer And An Opening Date
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black blackface celebrities comedy culture diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity international interracial relationships latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes tv Uncategorized white youtube