Why Mainstream Media Must Diversify For 2020 Election
Cory Booker recently announced his inevitable withdrawal from the presidential race, which once again solidifies the reality of an all-White group of contenders with the lone candidate of color, Andrew Yang, dangling for dear life.
But let’s keep it real, the top competitor vying for the premium opportunity to dramatically defeat the yellow-haired oaf in the Oval Office, will end up being a privileged White man or White woman, and that’s the guarantee that doesn’t at all reflect the Black and Brown faces dominating this evolving society.
The precise reason why Trump has had a winning streak with the white supremacist anthem of #MAGA, is based on the fear-mongering that caters to the impending doom of extinction. White folks who buy into the racist rally cry, are basically exercising their survival instincts during a challenging time, when non-Whites are influentially demanding prominence.
Not too long ago, the Oscar nominations became public, and the uproar over the reactivation of #OscarsSoWhite bluntly reveals the depth of The Academy’s disdain for forced inclusion.
It’s also a testament to the inflexibility of this historic white establishment, that’s solely committed to producing the assembly of White ingenues, and the maintenance of white narratives without mandated interruptions to the standard default.
White Hollywood doesn’t mind delving into Black stories, but the caveat is the freedom to minimize the pain for White viewers, as was depicted in theatrical hits like 12 Years a Slave, Hidden Figures and the controversial Green Book.
It’s about the compulsory inclusion of imaginary White characters, who are the strategically placed “Saviors” designated to soften the blow of tough scenes that are even worse in real life.
That’s why the Emmy’s discarded Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, and that explains why the Oscars willfully ignored Jordan Peele’s Us, and his gorgeously complex leading lady, Lupita Nyong’o.
The media-at-large is woefully guilty of sweatily playing both sides, while enjoying the benefits of barely making an impactful progression when it comes to the pending topic of healthy inclusion.
Diversity has been tossed around like a ping pong ball for more than five years, and when you thoroughly examine the statistics, it’s remarkably disheartening to be faced with the dire results.
It used to be that women and people of color were vastly underrepresented, but that’s no longer valid because white women are actually doing quite well.
As discouraging as it is to reconcile the traitorousness of the media when it comes to flooding prominent newsrooms with Black and Brown talents, especially at a time when it’s needed the most, we certainly can’t feign surprise at the glaring evidence of another form of white supremacy.
In this case, the signature moves aren’t subtle. And that was profoundly obvious when CNN’s media guru, Brian Stelter, spent a whole hour hosting a special episode of Reliable Sources by paying homage to the past decade’s notable contributions to news media, but failed to get a valued perspective from a expert of color.
All of Stelter’s distinguished guests were White men and White women.
And that was a jarring misstep, particularly from the standpoint of being a Black woman, who felt excluded from a national conservation, that would’ve greatly benefited from the point of view of someone who looks like me, who could’ve shed light on the specific issues that come from operating under the regime of a White nationalist.
Mainstream cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, etc., like to portray their organizations as progressive truth-tellers, that honorably follow the righteous path that Fox News proudly avoids for the sake of uninterrupted worship and attention paid to Donald Trump.
But as the 2020 election fast approaches with the absence of a strong candidate of color, there’s the clear and present danger of how the messaging on the campaign trails will sorely lack the warranted coverage that can only be conducted by talents of color, who are instinctively invested in the answers that matter.
Populating brightly-lit roundtables with Black and Brown visitors isn’t nearly enough to satisfy the requirements of diversifying the pool of star anchors, who possess a level of persuasion within the realm of stimulating conversation, that highlights the authentic experience of being a non-white resident in Trump’s America.
The blatant obsession with all-things Trump with the weekly analysis of his most outrageous tweets has fueled an incoherent news cycle, that feeds the cravings of the privileged population, who have nothing to lose in this period of sheer terror from the deadliness of a White president.
It’s 2020, the year that presents the sky-high stakes that can’t just be regulated to the exploits of young White ambitious superstars on the rise, who are duly competing with White established reporters, who are tasked with commandeering roving venues of activity.
It’s absolutely unacceptable and criminal to confirm that nothing has changed in the arena of formatted inclusion in media, since the horrific real life events of the 2016 election.
If we’re not going to have the pleasure of cheering on a presidential candidate of color for the upcoming 2020 cycle, the only thing that will compensate for those glaring discrepancies, has to be renowned media organizations, making the pledge to adequately diversify their newsrooms to prepare for the incoming turbulence.
CNN and MSNBC have developed the shared pattern of retaining the services of talents of color who are conveniently programmed in the less visible slots compared to their more illustrious White counterparts.
If there’s anything Brian Williams, the disgraced former NBC News anchorman proved beyond a doubt, it’s the endearing falsehood that the “most trusted face of US television news” has to be an impossibly handsome and amiable White male, who successfully markets fabrications until the price is too high.
Lester Holt is now flourishing in the same illustrious position that Williams was ousted from, for lying about his ‘near-death experience’ while covering the war in Iraq in 2003. And watching Holt’s commanding presence in the role he was born to embody is striking when you consider what led to his career ascension.
Black and Brown talents in media deserve to be feted for the uniqueness they offer in this volatile climate that they are more than capable of interpreting for loyal audiences, who desperately hunger for that flavor of nourishment.
We shouldn’t be the replacement for White people who behave badly, and we shouldn’t have to beg for what needs to be offered on a silver platter, based on the uniqueness of our qualifications, and how it profitably translates.
So far it’s clear that the awfulness of 2016 is on cue for repetition, and maybe like the staunch obstinance of The Academy, the biased white media, would much rather dominate the messaging for entertainment and the thrill of keeping Trump — front and center.
If that’s the case, we definitely have to consider the next frontier for the protection of black narratives across the board.
The supremacy of whiteness is unkind, but our erasure isn’t an option.