I was a fan of Stacey Dash a very, very long time ago when she took on the character Dionne Davenport in “Clueless”. I also loved her as Amber Evans in “Mo’ Money” with Damon and Marlon Wayans. But today, I am not a fan of her political tactics or her political sentiments at all. Sometimes, I feel like Stacey could be doing this for attention, other times I feel like this is just some mid life crisis she could be breaking through. But I Don’t Want To Spend This Much Time On Stacey Dash. How About You?
This past week Stacey was involved in a very fervid conversation about the diversity (or lack thereof) with this year’s Oscar nominations. She also took in reference to Mr. and Mrs. Will Smith advocating the boycott of the Oscars. Yet her biggest (or most relevant) Point during that discussion, was her notion to get rid of BET, the BET awards, the NAACP Image awards and Black History Month all together. Here is what She said:
“We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you are only awarded if you are black. If it were the other way around we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard. Just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. You know, we’re Americans, period. That’s it.”
I am going to address the rest of this post to you Ms. Dash, because I am trying to see where you’re coming from. I genuinely am. But I don’t think you truly understand what you are advising. You are proposing that we get rid of programs, companies and services that acknowledges our achievements. (And Our accomplishments are abundant, might I add.) But how is this suppose to do make us equal? When we never been seen as equal. We are not equal, Ms. Dash! And we aren’t the ones causing the segregation. It’s always been in existence and it is still to this day. Black Entertainment Television was created to add diversity to TV. To give us an opportunity to depict our culture to the world. BET was created in part of other stations, such as MTV not airing music videos by black artists. And it took Michael Jackson and his god-gifted talent to break that barrier, once and for all. But we all recognize that. This certainly isn’t anything new. This is simply a point being made once again. You want for us to get rid of Black History Month, when it’s BHM that is taught to us as children, that we can make a difference in this world like those before us. It is Black History that we have to infuse in the youth of today because they are listening to people (like yourself) who is inadvertently telling them that their history doesn’t matter. But it doesn’t end there. What’s next after that, Hispanic History Month? Women’s History month? What about the other nationalities who feel that it is in their right to observe their own respective culture? Should we get rid of “Telemundo” and “Univision” and all the other minority networks too? Or are you just concerned with BLACK networks? A network that granted you a job (on more than one occasion) When no one else would. You alleged that we are separating ourselves from other races as though you didn’t learn different in school? We both grew up in the Bronx, Ms. Dash, so I know you can not believe all that you are stating.
When has the Academy Awards/Oscars ever been diversified? The very first award show was in 1929, it wasn’t until 10 years later that Hattie Mcdaniels won the supporting actress for “Gone with the Wind”. It wasn’t until 15 years later Dorothy Dandridge was nominated for leading lady as “Carmen Jones“, however it wasn’t until four years after that Sidney Poitier became the first Black Actor to win an Oscar for Male leading role. It took over 38 years before another Black actor won that award. That was Denzel Washington. That year, Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win for female leading role. Diversity? Where? You have been in this business a long time. 34 years to be precise, according to your Wikipedia page. And You have sustained a lot of favorable roles, But was never nominated for an Oscar. Do you really think that was fair? Ms. Dash, I need for you to understand something. Too many times in history, we were told (both directly and indirectly) we were not welcomed, “our kind” was not needed, but we didn’t roll over and die. We went out and made our own. Night clubs, restaurants, companies, stores, Networks, TV shows, etc. We created the things that we were entitled to, but was denied of. And for you to state that we should simply get rid of it all, will do nothing but bring us right back to square one. A promise of our “40 acres and mule” that we were never meant to be given. I don’t know if you’ll read this. Perhaps not. But from one black woman to another, what you are saying is breaking my heart.