Friday, December 26, 2014

That's So America


Many of you have heard about Raven Symone's interview with Oprah. What the focus has been is that she is a homosexual.  What many neglect to focus on is her comment that she isn't African American...well maybe that's not entirely true. For months, I've been trying to figure out a way to talk about this topic. And find a time to sit down and write about it. Now I see no better time.

When will an actor be just that? Not a black actor, gay actor, once impoverish actor, and whatever other label you can think of. When will a woman, just be a woman? When will a baby be a baby and not a mixed baby? There are so many adjectives s we use when all we should be saying is the noun. Besides Raven, White Collar's  Matt Bomer addressed this in an interview I read a while ago. He's an  actor. Now he's categorized as a "gay actor". 
"What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title—whether it's 'black actor,' a 'gay actor' or 'anything actor,'" Bomer said. "Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that's not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are. I hope the media and the press catches on to that because it's time to move out of 1992."

Sometimes I wonder if this goes against the EEOC. Do these celebrities feel harassed or discriminate against because of their skin color, age, gender, sexuality?

"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit."

I guess you can say many of us aren't discriminated against because of our pronoun, but maybe America is so acclimated to the way things are that we don't notice. For example, we are all conditioned to notice and acknowledge race. We go on the defensive or offensive rather quickly. When phrases like "That's gay" is used, you see the true colors of those around you. Americans like labels. Makes them feel comfortable. Fortunately, as the times are changing, more and more people are embracing their labels. It's unfortunate at the same time; that means people like Raven or Matt who don't want to be labeled, are going to be.
Maybe its time to change this. I don't need to be a young black woman entrepreneur, eventually I can just be an entrepreneur. 

Tell me what you think.