Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Systemic racism in Hollywood

Cynthia McKinney denounces today at BAR how racist terminology is continuously used among the invariably white Hollywood managerial elite. But the real problem, as I see it, is not a matter of mere language, sometimes equivocal, but the racist practices that effectively work as a glass ceiling against African American managers and producers:

It is the contention of Leonard Rowe, perhaps the best-known and most successful of all Black concert promoters, that the regular use of these words by powerful Hollywood executives is a telling indicator of Hollywood's pervasively racist attitudes toward Blacks, an attitude that produced illegal trust-like business practices that essentially made Black concert promoters extinct.

How could these particular Hollywood executives do that?

According to music industry veterans, once a Black entertainer "crossed over" to a White audience, Black concert promoters were almost never allowed to promote that entertainer again. Moreover, according to Rowe, not once was a Black concert promoter allowed to promote a White entertainer. According to Rowe, this collusion to fix profits effectively denied the Black community the spin-off economy associated with concerts and concert promotions, and the multiplier effect of dollars turning over in the Black community.

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