By Donnie Wahlberg
My thoughts on BET, the Oscars and The Donald — and the reason that being colorblind in this country makes you blind to the experience of people of color. Note: If you don’t read all of this, don’t bother to comment.
Let me be clear before I start: I am a proud, Irish-Catholic white kid, with a last name that sounds Jewish, a Boston accent and a Boston Public Schools education.
Sound liberal enough? Actually, I’m a Republican — a political party that has a more diverse field of contenders than either the Democrats or the Oscars. Go figure.
But, while I may have been a big fan of “The Apprentice,” the former star of that TV show will not be the recipient of my vote for president.
Because, above all else, I’m an American. And if we truly want to be a country where the color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter, then we must first be willing to acknowledge that the experiences of people of a different skin color — and the wounds that may lie beneath that skin — really do matter. And that to be colorblind in this country is to be blind to the experiences of people of color.
Which leads us to this:
“… Well, what do we do with BET, Black Entertainment? Right?” Donald Trump said, referring to Stacey Dash’s response to the #OscarsSoWhite issue — she called for an end to BET in a recent interview with Fox News. “The whites don’t get any nominations,” Trump continued. “… I never even thought of it from that standpoint.”
(Let’s ignore the fact that BET is actually owned by Viacom for a moment — which only makes Ms. Dash and Mr. Trump’s comments all the more absurd.)
So Fox News plays divide and conquer versus #OscarsSoWhite, then Donald Trump weighs in with this incredibly ignorant response about BET, but none of the people that loathe him for his anti-Mexican/Syrian/Muslim/Female policies, make much of a fuss about it? He gets a free pass? How the hell does that happen?
The answer may say as much about us, as it does about Mr. Trump.
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