This 2015 video addresses the everyday experiences of adopted and/or mixed raced individuals who look different from their parents or families. The video shows a diverse range of adopted or mixed race people talking about experiences such as the misunderstandings and confused comments they experience, people trying to place identity categories onto them that they do not fully identify with, issues of belonging, what it is like growing up in families where your parents or other family members either do not look like you or have a different heritage than you, and the ongoing development and negotiation of their identities. For example, one of the women describes what it’s like to grow up as a Black woman with White parents and a White brother, a man describes raising mixed race kids and teaching them about race, ethnicity, and their Central American and Indonesian backgrounds, one woman describes her upbringing with Danish and Indian parents, another describes Mexican and Scottish parents, a man describes being adopted from Peru by White parents, and another man describes his Filipino, half Black, and White siblings, all of whom were adopted by their White parents.
White Chicks (2004) is a buddy cop movie written and produced by Marlon and Shawn Wayans, who also star in the film. The plot largely revolves around whiteface drag, as the Wayans brothers, who are African American, play undercover FBI agents disguised as white women. They are going, says the trailer, “where no black man has gone before.” Although the film reviewed extremely poorly, it fared well at the box office has remained popular on broadcast cable.
This 2015 video from MTV News weekly series Decoded satirically parodies White people “whitesplaining whitesplaining,” the term used to describe the act of White people patronizingly explaining or defining to a person of color what should or shouldn’t be racist against people of color. Through a series of interactions between Franchesca Ramsey and a range of White characters interrupting and talking over her and each other, this video shows what “whitesplaining” and White “mansplaining” can look like. The White characters include friends, partners, a man from a “diverse” neighborhood, a man with dreadlocks, a professor of African American studies, a woman with a “talking stick,” a woman with an Oprah shirt, Rachel Dolezal, and references to these characters being “in the know” because they saw movies likeTwelve Years a Slaveand read articles about race inThe Atlantic. The clip ends with one of the characters stopping everyone from speaking and once again defining whitesplaining to Franchesca and telling her that she wouldn’t put up with it if she were her. Franchesca responds that she doesn’t know what to say right now, and the group of White characters all say, “you’re welcome.”
This 2015 video from Refinery29 explores a trend within the world of fashion to use Navajo and other Native American designs in products that are made by and marketed to non-Natives. It critiques the use of Native aesthetics by people who do not understand their meaning, even if they see themselves as honoring Native Americans. The video showcases the work of Navajo, or Diné, designers creating a combination of traditional and contemporary fashions and jewelry. It shows how these designers are collaborating to build a creative community. They use their work to resist and remix what they see as harmful appropriations of their culture, while emphasizing their right to represent themselves.
Published in July 2015, this AJ+ video is a compilation of interviews with people discussing why we are and still need to be talking about race, racism, and racial inequities in the United States. The people interviewed are shown answering questions about what racism looks like, how it has changed, and what can be done to push back and move forward. Opening with a man encouraging us to say that #BlackLivesMatter, topics discussed are first hand experiences with housing discrimination, fear and lack of safety due to racial profiling by police and law enforcement, stereotypical media representations, everyday interactions with bosses, friends, and strangers, broken educational and prison systems, symbolic racism, cultural appropriation, colorblind and post-racial discourse, white supremacy, and persistent cycles of privilege and oppression. AJ+ is a digital news, politics, and current events channel by Al Jazeera Media Network.