Prior to tonight, Bong Joon-Ho called out the narcissism of American Hollywood while claiming the Best Foreign Language Film prize at the Golden Globes. “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he said in his acceptance speech.
This is a truism many of us familiar with non-American film already recognize: amazing films are made around the world, and (whether in America or abroad) in languages other than English. Indeed, some of my earliest memories of of fantastic films are Chinese-language films introduced to me by my parents. And yet, only rarely do non-English films (even American-made ones like“The Farewell”) get recognized or celebrated by Hollywood — a trend that underscores the many ways that non-white films are still Other-ized.
Representative Ayanna Pressley speaks at a podium during a press conference as Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib look on.
By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya
After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset primary win against
the establishment Democrat in New York’s 14th Congressional District,
I contacted my Democratic Socialists of America chapter to see how I could
help. Prior to Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, I had hesitated in officially joining
the DSA. I believed it offered little for black and brown communities like mine.
However, watching clips of Ocasio-Cortez speaking on issues important to
working-class black and brown people while knowing that she was endorsed by the
DSA, forced me to rethink my previous assumptions.
Ocasio-Cortez, and others like Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida
Tlaib also forced my colleagues and students at Rutgers University to reassess
what they may have thought about politics. More students are now receptive to
discussions of socialism and feel emboldened in positively changing the U.S. political
system. My own family members and friends have become obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez
and those like her — they read whatever they can about them and share clips of
them on social media.
However, as I’ve continued to help organize around issues like housing with our Central Jersey DSA chapter, I also recognize the limits of electoral politics in significantly improving peoples’ lives, especially for black and brown communities. After all, in New Jersey, we have Democrats dominating the State Assembly and a Democrat as Governor — and yet, living and working conditions for many black and brown residents continue to deteriorate. Therefore, it is necessary to reevaluate the role of electoral politics in building socialism. I argue that when examining electoral politics, we must center our analysis on black and brown people in the U.S. Doing so reveals that electoral politics shouldn’t be summarily dismissed, but ultimately, our goal must be to build constituencies among people of color that remain independent of either political party. Only with this strategy can we apply pressure to policymakers — regardless of their partisan affiliation and campaign promises – to better the lives of black and brown people.
Actor Danielle Brooks as Taystee in Netflix's Orange Is The New Black (Photo credit: Netflix / Orange is the New Black)
By Guest Contributor:Rachel Ko
50,000 people a year exit incarceration only
to enter immediately into homeless shelters; legal restrictions and
discrimination against individuals with criminal records are often to blame. As
has been well-documented, the incarceration rate for African Americans is more than six times the incarceration rate
for white Americans. African Americans also make up more than 40 percent of the homeless population, despite
representing only 13 percent of the general population.
though general statistics don’t simultaneously track the effects of race on
incarceration and homelessness,
anti-Black racial stigma amplifies the measurable social impacts of both.
Individuals released from prisons are more likely to be re-arrested for
misdemeanor offense they commit in order to survive on the streets, but many
scholars have failed to sufficiently connect recidivism, homelessness and
more successful representation of these connections is the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black. Through Tasha
“Taystee” Jefferson, a compassionate, intelligent, and likeable African
American character, Orange
is the New Black sheds light on the lack of rehabilitative resources
and support systems that cause re-incarceration of individuals suffering from
poverty. Taystee’s story shows us that crime is not a single action; rather, it
is a series of events and complex social factors.
When I first wrote my article about BTS coming to the American Music Awards, I was excited to see this famous K-pop group that I’d heard so much about. I was happy that they would have the chance to perform on a major international stage like the AMAs. I believed that this appearance would serve as the biggest stepping stone yet for K-pop’s eventual domination of American airwaves. As I wrote on Twitter after BTS’ performance (and after I saw the crowd whipped into a frenzy), this must have been what seeing the Beatles for the first time was like. BTS has been on a roll since their big AMAs debut. They’ve hob-knobbed with R&B it-boy Khalid, and they have released a track featuring Desiigner and Steve Aoki,”Mic Drop”. Everything’s going well; or, it’s going well for BTS, anyways. The rest of K-pop, however, still hasn’t really “made it” in the States. While one might speculate as to the many reasons why K-pop has failed to penetrate the American music landscape — language barriers; stereotypes about Asian performers held by music executives; general American disinterest towards international music that isn’t British or Canadian — one major reason deserves more discussion: K-pop, as a whole, has a race problem.
This story was updated on October 17, 2017, October 18, 2017, and October 20, 2017 with new developments. Please scroll to the bottom for updates.
Charlyne Yi — the award-winning actor, comedian, writer, and musician best known for her role as a series regular on House, her voice acting work on Steven Universe, and her starring role in Paper Heartwhich she also wrote — took to Twitter earlier this week to describe her first encounter with writer, director and actor David Cross.
In a series of four tweets, Yi — who is mixed race Filipinx and Korean American — describes how when she first met Cross, Cross made fun of Yi for her appearance. When she didn’t respond, Cross reportedly said: “What’s a matter? You don’t speak English?? Ching-Chong-Ching-Chong.” Cross went on to mockingly challenge Yi to a karate match.
At the time of the encounter, Cross was over forty years old, and already an established comedian, writer and TV and film actor with several stand-up comedy specials already under his belt. Yi was a veritable newcomer to the comedy and acting scene, and was only about twenty years old.