Here is my latest for TIME, “Chris Rock Should Know that Racism isn’t Black and White”.
Below is a segment of my piece. For the rest of the article, please go to TIME.
During Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue Sunday night, he addressed the exclusion of black actors in this year’s nominations and argued that the Academy Awards needs to give black people a chance. But it isn’t just African Americans who are often excluded in Hollywood—Rock failed to mentioned Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans or other people of color.
Rock’s entire monologue was black and white. If we are truly going to tackle racism, we need to avoid talking about it in binary terms. And if Hollywood is supposed to be a representation of our larger society, invisibility of all people of color should cause an uproar. In the battle against racism, to ignore other affected groups can serve to further white supremacy and white privilege.
Rock was working so much in the white-and-black binary that he did not recognize his own racism when he brought out the Asian children and made jokes about math and child labor. Rock introduced three Asian children on stage as “bankers.” He took it even further when he said: “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.” Can you imagine if a non-black host had pulled African Americans onstage and cracked jokes based on racial stereotypes?….
Read my other co-written TIME piece with Rev. Jesse Jackson. “Pope Francis Reminds the World to Care about Poverty”.
This piece is reposted on Huffington Post.
Will be on BBC Radio today at 11 EST to discuss this very topic. Check out BBC World Service and listen in.
Oscar host Chris Rock has been criticised for a joke he made at the awards ceremony at the expense of Asian-Americans. Was there anything wrong with him making it? We also hear from Nigeria where #NoBankingDay is the top trend on Twitter. A boycott is being called of banks in protests against what some customers say are “excessive bank charges”.
Listen to it here.
Grace Ji-Sun Kim is an Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion. She is the author of Embracing the Other; Here I Am; Christian Doctrines for Global Gender Justiceco-edited with Jenny Daggers; Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style” co-written with Joseph Cheah;Reimagining with Christian Doctrinesco-edited with Jenny Daggers;Contemplations from the Heart;Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Spirit;The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other; and The Grace of Sophia. She is a co-editor with Dr. Joseph Cheah for the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series, “Asian Christianity in Diaspora”.