Washington Post- A Virginia school district has banned the use of an educational video about racial inequality after some parents complained that its messaging is racially divisive. The four-minute, animated video — “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race” — was shown last week to students at an assembly at Glen Allen High School, in Henrico County, as a part of the school’s Black History Month program.
The video contextualizes historic racial disparity in the United States using the metaphor of a race track in which runners face different obstacles depending upon their racial background. It has been shown hundreds of thousands of times at schools and workshops across the country since it was created more than a decade ago, according to the African American Policy Forum, which produced it.
“The video is designed for the general public,” said Luke Harris, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum and an associate professor of political science at Vassar College. “We produced something you could show in elementary and secondary schools or in college studies courses.”
He added: “We found that the video has a huge impact on the people that we’re showing it to. Most of us know very little about the social history of the United States and its contemporary impact. It was designed as a tool to throw light on American history.”
But in Glen Allen, about 14 miles north of Richmond, some parents complained, calling it a “white guilt video.”
Henrico County Public Schools officials initially defended the video, saying it was “one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged.” But after the story began to spread nationally, school officials switched gears, labeling the video “racially divisive” two days later.
When I first found this video I went into it with an open mind. When I clicked play I was all set to decide for myself whether it was informative or racially divisive. A funny thing happened a long the way. It turns out it took me all of 60 seconds to stop caring about how polarizing the video was and start laughing. Here's the problem. I know that institutional racism is still in issue in this country. However, when the form of media that it is being presented to me on is a cartoon then I simply can't take it seriously. Hank Moody and Bojack Horseman are essentially the same fucking person, but since one is an animated talking horse I empathize with him far less.You know how people (liars) say they don't see color? Well, I am not that ridiculous, but in cartoons I can honestly say that I don't see race, color, creed, or species. If I did then I would have a pretty big problem with the fact that Skeeter (the turquoise character from 'Doug') was an obvious attempt at creating a non-black "black" character on the show. I consciously know all the bad things in this video happened to black people, but I subconsciously don't care because they were hilarious. If the white characters were the ones being forced into playing a prejudice game of 'Frogger' I still would have enjoyed it, because -above all- this video is fucking funny.
And let's be honest, this wasn't an educational tool or a white guilt video. It was a white shaming video. Being black in America is harder than being white in America, but it's not "stuck in a hole like a Chilean miner" harder. It's not "unexpected fall into a pit of sharks" harder. They don't call it a 'black cloud' because it only follows around African Americans. White guilt should be a thing. We have it easier solely because of our skin color and we should probably feel a little bad about that. Fair is fair. With that said, this video took that concept to absurd lengths. The white people running by the black people and mockingly shouting "bye, bye"? This fucking video made all caucasians look like the worst people ever. It's a good thing I don't take cartoons seriously or this high school's attempt to push an 'Affirmative Action PSA' as an "educational tool" might actually annoy me.