Black Shows Matter

By: Michael Miller

Many avid ABC viewers are probably familiar with its giant selection of family comedies.  Modern Family, Blackish, The Real O’Neil’s, Fresh Off the Boat, and The Goldberg’s are just a few of the channel’s giant hits.  ABC has broadcasted the stories of a variety of families and the diversity of their shows resonates with viewers.

ABC—with the expertise of Shonda Rhimes—is trying to extend the platform of TV to encompass many racial groups, which is something to be applauded.

However, an article recently published on TV Page that ranks the most and least diverse television program is infuriating.  TV Page ranked Blackish as one of the “Least Diverse Shows” on TV and made the comment: “Did you not read the name of the show?”  TV Page’s article demonstrates just how much of a need there is for shows like Blackish.

Blackish is not trying to add diversity to their individual show;  rather, it adds to the entire spectrum  of  TV offerings. They have the bigger picture in mind.  TV Page has completely missed the purpose of Blackish.  By misinterpreting Blackish into a show embodying reverse racism and black supremacy, TV Page degrades the show and completely overlooks the purpose of a show like Blackish.  And the same exact degradation is occurring to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The phrase “Black Lives Matter,” or even the phrase “All Lives Matter,” has been all over the news and social media in light of recent shootings, fueling debate about whether the movement is discriminatory itself.  Both these statements should be a no brainer; of course the lives of every human being matter.  However, the difference between the two movements is their intent.

Black Lives Matter is a movement created to bring attention to the largely undiscussed issue of police brutality.   Time and time again, black men in America have been unlawfully shot, choked, and killed by police officers due to preexisting prejudices and stereotypes.  These shootings—murders—are a result of discrimination and distrust between communities and law enforcement.  This divide is extremely nuanced, but it all boils down to the disparity that African Americans still face every day, over a century after the Civil War.

The All Lives Matter movement is a response to Black Lives Matter.  The problem with All Lives Matter is not the statement itself, but the intent.  This movement is used to devalue the message of Black Lives Matter, a message calling for equality and social change.  This shameful movement is branding Black Lives Matter as an Anti-White group, and nothing could be farther from the truth.  Black Lives Matter brings light to the fact that the lives of minorities are continuing to lose their value in the eyes of American society.  All Lives Matter is doing the exact same thing that TV Page is doing to Blackish.

Unlike TV Page, Blackish has been able to perfectly criticize America’s racial issues.  Even with Blackish’s mainly African American cast, they showcase a more diverse group than most other TV shows, and I look forward to seeing the rest of season two.

 

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