Tag Archives: research

Confronting Racism Raises Self-Esteem

by Guest Contributor Jenn, originally published at Reappropriate


New America Media posts a story about a study that looked at methods for coping with racism. Scientists surveyed nearly 200 Filipino Americans, and found that 99% of those surveyed had experienced at least one form of everyday racism in the last year. More importantly, those who reported the incident to authorities, or who directly confronted the perpetrator, experienced reduced anxiety and heightened self-esteem in the wake of the incident.

Coming up with a plan to respond to racism may foster a “you can do it’ attitude, a sense of empowerment that buffers against distress and feelings of victimhood,” Alvarez says. Coping by confiding in friends and family was found to increase men’s psychological distress and lower their selfesteem. The authors believe this surprising finding suggests that seeking social support may not always be helpful — particularly if talking about racism implies that the situation is unchangeable or if it causes a person distress by having to relive difficult experiences.

“What’s striking is we found that racism is still happening to Filipinos,” Alvarez says. “Therapists need to look beyond the frequent portrayal of Asian Americans as model minorities and help clients assess what their best coping strategy could be, depending on their resources, what’s feasible and who they could turn to for support.”

In a way, these findings are not surprising. From my own personal experiences, choosing to ignore a racist incident or being denied the opportunity to respond leads to a great deal of personal anxiety and private recrimination. I re-play the incident over and over in my head, trying to come up with different ways that I could have dealt with the situation differently. But, on the other hand, it takes a great deal of courage to confront someone about their racism.
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The Life of Films: Black People Watched “Traitor”! Sophisticated Urbanites Heart “Milk”!

By Guest Contributor AJ Christian, originally published at Televisual

The New York Times has an interesting interactive feature out that maps the top 50 rentals for 2009 based on the Netflix queues from a dozen US cities: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Milwaukee, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Altanta, Seattle and Denver. The list is a bit skewed because these are all fairly cosmopolitan areas — Benjamin Button and Changeling are at the top of the list — though that probably reflects what I assume is Netflix’s popularity in urban and suburban communities to begin with.

The list reminds us films have long lives. The press focuses almost solely on opening weekend box office returns and forgets films go to the rental market, DVD sales, pay-cable and OnDemand. Often these venues are great for films that couldn’t get people in theaters but are nevertheless intriguing or enjoyable. Movies by and about minorities sometimes can find audiences unwilling to shell out $6-$12+ for ticket (the gay film market has operated for years on this assumption).

I was surprised to see Traitor on the list — in the middle, but still before many popular Hollywood films. Traitor, a Don Cheadle-starrer about an alleged terrorist who may or may not secretly be working for the United States, made a paltry $27 million in theaters, just $23M in the U.S. Don Cheadle doesn’t have the Box Office pull of a Will Smith or Denzel Washington, despite his role in the Ocean’s Eleven films. Yet in the rental market, it seems black communities have taken a small liking to the film. The New York Times‘ map has it markedly popular in Atlanta — with a strong presence in the middle class/Morehouse area inside the perimeter — in D.C. and in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy in New York.

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