Over the past few years, I’ve noticed an increase in negative reception towards anything “Black related”! Whether it be a video about Black History on a gaming channel or a video dedicated to all things Black on the platform that usually doesn’t cover that kind of stuff. One look at the like/dislike ratio and it tells you all you need to know! People are getting fed up with it, but why?
I could go the easy route and claim “it’s racist bigots who hate anything Black people” and call it a day, but I’m not going that route! Yes, let’s not pretend that there aren’t a good amount of people who genuinely hold negative beliefs towards Black people, they exist and it’s an obstacle that we face every single day but there’s more to this than what meets the eye! It’s complicated and even I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the right words to convey my thoughts but I’ll try my best.
In my opinion, and from my observation it appears that people are getting tired of being lectured, made to feel bad, or made to feel forced into content that doesn’t feel organic. Yes, Black people are under-represented in the media, but the approach that a lot of media outlets have taken hasn’t been the correct way to organically represent them without it feeling forced. OK, hear me out! Modern society agrees that racism is bad, yes? And diversity is the right way to go about things, yet what the media is doing is continuing to divide people. Having a segment dedicated to just Black people, while preaching about inclusion comes off a tad bit hypocritical and distasteful. Yes, Black people have had it the worst, however, exception, unfortunately, can not be made it seems! There have been other groups who’ve had it bad too and although we try to make a segment for them too, it’s far in between. Again, not trying to minimize what Balck people have gone through, just highlighting how people will think.
It even worse when it’s forced down people’s throats. Look, I get that we want to highlight Black people more and show the world we exist in a positive way, but just like anything, there’s a right to do something, and there’s a wrong to do something. Unfortunately, for some people, by simply highlighting Black people, they feel that it’s automatically the right way and refuse to hear criticism from anyone! Which doesn’t help Black people in the long run, and could increase the animosity towards anything with Black people in it. Don’t believe me? Well, I’m creating a webcomic that featured a Black protagonist. The first comment I saw was someone (an idiot) call it SJW crap! Without even realizing that it’s a brand new IP. It’s happening to almost everything that has any relation to Balck people. And if not addressed quickly it could lead to more problems.
It’s ironic though that Black people have spent so many years trying to get people to look past their skin, yet now we emphasize it ten-fold.
If you subscribe to a gaming channel or any media-related entertainment channel and you usually never talk about real-world issues, the truth is, you’re not interested in something that discusses race and racism bluntly unless you actively engage with it. Shoving it down people’s faces with a proper approach will only lead to them resenting it more, and it won’t pan out well for Black people if this keeps up! In my opinion, the best way to display and showcase diversity is for it to be done in a passive method. Nonchalantly expressed without it being the core focus. In a weird way, to bring diversity to the big stage, you gotta make it an after-thought! An example, do you think people watch MKBHD because he is a BLACK tech content creator, or because he is a TECH content creator? It’s the latter folks, they watch him because he does such an amazing job, and just so happens to be of the Black race. That is natural exposure without it being forced. Yes, I know what I did was Tokenistic Fallacy, but I made it with good intention. If we can get more people like MKBHD, without promoting his content because he/she is black but because of their content, that I believe would have a better and positive result for Black people.
Of course, I understand that MKBHD, like many others, has faced challenges and walked a different reality because of his skin tone, however, just him focusing on his craft and being present has shifted people’s perspective on Black people. Yes, I know that they’re many Black creators that go unnoticed, but that’s just the reality. It’s progress, although not favorable in its current pace, nevertheless its still progress. The reality is this world runs on value. If you want people’s time, you gotta provide some value. Your skin tone in this world does play some factor in one’s success, but it is not impossible to defy the odds or even creating odds that favor you. You just gotta work harder and try to get out of the mentality of blaming your skin tone too much.
In the end, it’s the principle that we need to uphold if we ought to make a permeant change in society! So, for example, the idea that Blackwashing is ok and whitewashing are bad needs to go! The idea of attacking white people and thinking it’s ok needs to go! The idea of making it seem like it’s white vs everyone has got to go! The idea of having an award ceremony dedicated to a single race definitely has to go! Otherwise, we will not make any progress and it will only lead to more push back.