Video: Unequal Opportunity Race

SHORT TAKES: February 20, 2016

by Kathy Scarbrough


This link takes you to a statement from the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) discussing how their four- minute video called the “Unequal Opportunity Race” has been censored by a high school in Virginia and called a “white guilt video” by Fox news.  It seems that the AAPF has hit a nerve!!

If you are anything like me, you’ll want to see the video:

I think its quite good.  However, it takes on structural racism a whole lot better than it takes on systemic male supremacy.  A joint statement by the AAPF and the National Association of Ethnic Studies, the producers of the video, says “While the four-minute video does not pretend to map all inequalities, it does point to class, gender, and other advantages that further enhance the opportunities of runners who are not encumbered by race.”  But the only sex based advantages we see in the video pertain to some of the privileges white men receive.  It is not true that all black human beings have exactly the same impediments thrown at them: black women experience structural sexism that black men do not, and  experience some of the same impediments that white women face.

It would have been nice to see that SOME barriers are felt by both the black and white female runners.  For example, how about making that run with a baby in your arms (maybe as a result of limited access to contraception or abortion or lack of affordable childcare)? How about some commentary on how few fathers are equal co-parents, a situation that forces many women to do a “double day”?   That is to say, many women work two full time jobs: outside the home for a paycheck and then inside the home doing most of the cooking, cleaning and parenting.  How about the impediment of lack of flexibility at work when children are ill?  How about stumbling over a little sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment?  What about the threat of beatings and rape?

Even considering these limitations, the video is pretty good and we encourage you to share it.  It’s meant to stimulate conversation and it certainly succeeds in doing that!

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