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measuring racism and black directors


Nov 29, 2007
Basic Beliefs
I was thinking about ways to measure racism in society. Not a question of if it exists or not. But rather, how much is it a problem. Since it's feelings involved, and politics, we need to use a proxy.

I thought a good proxy could be non-African black film directors not making movies about racism, being black or Africa.

My reasoning is this. Any minority will have it's identity defined, to a large extent, by the majority. Focus is on their otherness. While the norm aren't defined so much in opposition to other things, but rather just is. They define themselves.

Making a movie requires a lot of effort and money. Even cheap films are a big gamble. Which, by necessity, makes the subject matter rather crude. It's a way to distill what people are able to say and it will resonate with a large crowd.

Yes, white directors make films about being white and whatever growing up in their neighborhood was like. Write what you know, and all that. But there's plenty of movies by white directors which have little or nothing to do with those topics. Like most horror and science fiction movie. Or most historical dramas. I can think of a long list of these.

But I can't think of a single movie by a black director that isn't about racism.

I suspect it's a failing on my part, and that these do exist.

If they don't, then how should we interpret that?

Are there other proxies that are better to use?

For this thought experiment I would like to tease out race from class. There's a lot of things associated with poverty that isn't necessarily racism. Like getting killed by cops in USA. It's impossible to say how much of that is racism, and what is the result of poverty driven crime. So it's a bad proxy for racism specifically.
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