I’m a little late with last week’s media quickie post, but I couldn’t let last week’s juicy news cycle pass by unrefereed. So here goes:
Last weekend, DreamWorks hit the big screen with a double whammy. We saw their first 3-D animated movie with a black lead character, AND she had natural hair!
Without giving too much of the movie away, the storyline goes as follows: There is an alien invasion, and all the humans are relocated to a specific part of the world. The aliens’ intentions are to civilize the humans, but after one alien befriends the movie’s female heroine, Tip, he realizes it’s not the humans that need civilizing, it’s the aliens. The moral of the story? Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean that they need to be fixed; it means there’s something you can learn from them. And if you happen to be a social outcast, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you; it means you should embrace what makes you different.
This DreamWorks picture couldn’t have come at a better time. When racial tensions in our society are reaching old heights, DreamWorks gives us “Home,” a movie about two social outcasts from two different races (people and aliens) who join together in an unusual union to save the world. Kudos to DreamWorks for a job well done.
SN: It’s worth noting that DreamWorks’ first animated movie was “The Prince of Egypt” in 1998. Unlike the white washed cast in “Exodus: God’s and Kings” (released in 2014), DreamWorks chose to give its animated characters some color.
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been in the headlines for the past two weeks and has the LGBTQIA community up in arms. The Act is intended to ensure Americans have the right to exercise their religious freedom, thus allowing millions of “courageous conservatives” to act on their conscience when it comes to deciding whether or not they want their business/organization to serve gays and lesbians. For a clear, cut explanation of the law and the politics behind it, check out this NPR article.
Religion is tricky. Who am I to tell someone what they should believe? If, for instance, a Christian fundamentally believes gay and lesbian couples should not be married, should their food company be forced to cater a gay/lesbian wedding? With that said, at what point would Indianan’s discrimination law override its Religious Freedom Restoration Act?
The more I delve into this law, the more blue and red perspectives become a gray area of politics.
3. #UVA April Fools
Last week, UVA’s student newspaper, Cavalier Daily, thought it could get away with publishing a pair of stories for April Fools’ Day titled “ABC officers tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels” and “Zeta Psi hosts ‘Rosa Parks’ party.” The backlash that followed this poor editorial decision lead to the paper issuing this apology the same day and removing the satirical stories from their website.
According to the Cavalier Daily, it was attempting to “provide satirical commentary on important issues.”
By making fun of Martese Johnson’s misfortune, Cavalier Daily poured salt on an open wound that had not yet scabbed over. If Cavalier Daily wanted to contribute constructively to the conversation of race, the satirical articles should have been accompanied by a story that provided context behind the satire.
So while UVA’s student newspaper made fun of Native Americans and racist frat parties, a Duke student was busy hanging a noose from a tree in one of Duke’s plazas.
I’m not sure what is going on these days, but neo-racists are getting bolder by the minute.