Media tagged Race & Ethnicity

CNN: Debate on the N-Word

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In this segment, CNN host Don Lemon leads a panel discussion on the use of the "n-word" by talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger."Dr. Laura," as she is known on the air, gives advice to callers about relationships and other social problems.  On August 10, 2010, a caller who self-identified as a black woman married to a white man, criticized Schlessinger for her use of the "n-word." Schlessinger responded that the caller had "too much sensitivity...and not enough sense of humor" and defended her use of the term by comparing herself to "black comedians." Lemon's guests include Jill Merritt, founder of the Abolish the N-Word Project, John Ridley, writer and commentator, and Tim Wise, a white anti-racism activist. All three guests agree that the problem of racism in the U.S. goes far beyond simply using the "n-word." Lemon speculates that discussion of the term--who can say it, when, and where--may actually distract people from the systemic forms of racism that persist in society. Wise observes that whether or not the term should be used is something for black people to sort out and that white people should not be involved. Merritt rejects all uses of the word, arguing that it is fundamentally racist and cannot be recuperated or stripped of its associations with history and violence.

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Coca Cola "America the Beautfiul" Ad

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Coca Cola aired this “America the Beautiful” advertisement during the 2014 Super Bowl football game. First published in 1910, the song, "America the Beautiful," brandishes sentiments of America’s vast geographic landscapes “from sea to shining sea,” and has remained a potent artifact of American nationalism. Traditionally, "America the Beautiful" is sung in English — the language in which the lyrics were originally composed. However, in this rendition, Coca-Cola employs the hymn as a means to unite America’s diverse ethnic landscape; the lyrics are divided amongst seven different languages: English, Spanish, Keres Pueblo, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese French, and Hebrew. As the ad visually traverses different American landscapes (the Great Plains, California surf, city environments, the Grand Canyon and other distinctly American settings), people of different ethnicities are pictured.

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CVS ad - Asian American family

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This 2009 ad for CVS pharmacy features an Asian-American mother and her twin boys. The mother speaks of the financial value she gets from CVS's 2 for 1 plan, especially with her twins. The content of the commercial is hardly notable or unique -- and that is exactly why it drew praise from some segments of the Asian American community, who praised its portrayal of a "normal" Asian-American family.

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Dark Girls trailer

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This trailer from the 2011 documentary filmDark Girls,directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, raises issues of racism within the black community. The clip features interviews with several women who recount feelings and experiences connected with prejudices toward their own dark skin color. Notions that lighter skin tones are associated with beauty, intelligence, and respectability while darker skin tones are associated with ugliness, stupidity, and exoticized sexuality are explored and linked to divisions among black people stemming from slavery in the United States.

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Dave Chapelle-Wayne Brady

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This clip comes from an episode of Chapelle’s Show in which Wayne Brady has taken over as host. Chappelle returns, demands his show back, and refuses to co-host with Brady due to the fact that the two “do different things.” To illustrate, Chapelle flashes back to a clip of the two hanging out a few months back. The remainder of the clip depicts Chappelle and Brady driving around and getting into all sorts of trouble, comedically instigated by Brady. Over the course of the evening, Brady pulls up outside a club and shoots several people, drives up to a group of his “hoes” to collect money, forces Chapelle to smoke PCP, breaks the neck of a police officer, and shoots Chappelle in the leg. The clip reverses the persona typically embodied by the family-friendly Brady, and is a response to the characterNegrodamus’previous quote, “White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.”

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