Sasheer Zamata: SNL’s Black, Female Unicorn #diversity #race #gender @thesheertruth

This week Saturday Night Live announced that Sasheer Zamata joined its cast. Zamata is SNL’s first black female cast member since 2007.

Most people are thrilled with Zamata’s appointment. But everyone is making a huge issue out of her race and gender, as though that played a significant part in her landing the gig. This does her a great disservice; it puts her talent firmly at the bottom of a list of traits that are part of, but do not encapsulate all of, who she is.Sasheer

Yes, it’s notable that she’s black and female, and yes, it’s notable there hasn’t been a black female on the SNL cast in many years. But there’s a reason SNL didn’t have a black woman on staff, that their organization is not more inclusive – they didn’t want one. Continue reading “Sasheer Zamata: SNL’s Black, Female Unicorn #diversity #race #gender @thesheertruth”

Recognizing Unconscious Bias, the Link to Racial Profiling

Okay, can you tell that they had to glue my feet to the floor to keep my upright this day? I was so weak from a cold, it was truly pitiful. My nose was running, I had a huge sweater on so I wouldn’t shiver on camera. Good night! LOL Continue reading Recognizing Unconscious Bias, the Link to Racial Profiling

Santa Claus Doesn’t Have to Be White @craftingmystyle #diversity

Slate culture blogger Aisha Harris found herself in the middle of a little kerfuffle recently over Santa Claus, of all things. Harris wrote a piece suggesting the traditional white Santa might better serve the world today as a penguin. Before you go off the rails, she makes a valid argument – kids love cartoons, and penguins are popular and media friendly – having an animal as the symbol might in fact be more inclusive.

Black SantaOf course, when Fox News picked up the story, it became something decidedly less inclusive and more divisive, which completely misses the point. If ever there was a reason why diversity work must continue, Fox News is it. The station – specifically Megyn Kelly  – doesn’t seem to care in the least about accuracy.

For instance, Harris never said it was racist to have a white Santa. She simply pointed out that society’s longstanding default habit of stamping certain things white just because doesn’t make sense anymore. Continue reading “Santa Claus Doesn’t Have to Be White @craftingmystyle #diversity”

Dear Lily Allen: Point Not Well Made

Okay, so a friend hipped me to Lily Allen’s new single “Hard Out Here.” I watched the video because my buddy gushed over Allen’s supposed statement for the piece, one of empowerment and a kind of middle finger to the music industry for trying to force women into skinny, cookie cutter molds.

I get that, in theory. Allen said the video was intended as a light-hearted commentary on the objectification of women in modern pop culture. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she meant well. But the trick is, to understand someone actually has to listen to, and think about, her lyrics. If you don’t, and you just look at the video – which I’m afraid is what usually happens with a lot of pop music videos – you don’t get the point.

Without those lyrics – and really, who’s going to be listening when those glorious brown bums are defying gravity and having liquids poured over them – essentially she’s doing the same thing as other music artists who feature a preponderance of scantily clad, overly sexualized women – she’s using them to get attention. Continue reading “Dear Lily Allen: Point Not Well Made”