Racial Harmony Achieved By Casting Of Black Actor As Teen Computer Whiz

In This Section

Race

Fraternity Members To Undergo Racial Sensitivity Hazing

EVANSTON, IL—In the wake of a controversial video depicting two individuals in the fraternity’s University of Oklahoma chapter leading a racist chant, Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials instituted a new national policy Wednesday requiring all membe...

Media Stumped On How To Handle Missing Mixed-Race Woman

WASHINGTON—Struggling to find an appropriate response to a delicate situation, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they remained stumped on how exactly to handle the case of missing mixed-race woman Alison Johnston.

Tips For Being An Unarmed Black Teen

With riots raging in Ferguson, MO following the shooting death by police of an unarmed African-American youth, the nation has turned its eyes toward social injustice and the continuing crisis of race relations.

White Male Privilege Squandered On Job At Best Buy

HAMILTON, OH—Despite being the beneficiary of numerous societal advantages and having faced little to no major adversity throughout his life, local man Travis Benton has spent the last four years squandering his white male privilege on a sales floor...

Zimmerman Found Not Guilty, Technically, But C’mon

SANFORD, FL—More than 16 months after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in an altercation at a Florida condominium development, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was found, technically speaking, not guilty of murder Saturday, bu...

Romney Receives 20-Minute Standing Ovation At NAAWP Event

HOUSTON—During an address Wednesday to the National Association for the Advancement of White People, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lengthy standing ovation from the group of 2,000 Caucasians who had gathered to hear him sp...

I'm Totally Dating A Black Chick

Hola, amigos. What up? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but things got crazy, if you know what I mean. I got sacked from my job...

Imus Suspended For 2 Weeks

After radio host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" on his radio show, CBS suspended him for...

Voting Rights Act Extended

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate approved a 25-year extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protected the voting rights of African Americans. What...

June 13, 1967

National Guard Mobilized For Integration of Negro Into Supreme Court

Scholarships Going To Whites

Colleges are now considering white students for fellowships and scholarships that were previously available only to minorities. What do you...

Race Riots In Australia

This week saw race riots raging around Sydney, Australia, after white supremacists stormed the beaches and beat suspected Arabs. What do you...

Rioting Continues In Paris

The French police have taken 22 young people into custody after more than a week of riots in a northeastern suburb of Paris. What do you...

Blacks Disapprove Of Bush

Polls conducted by NBC have Bush's approval rating with African-Americans at 2 percent with a 2 percent margin of error. What do you think?

Racial Profiling Okay?

A recent study shows that most Americans do not have a problem with racial profiling by law enforcement officers. What do you think?

June 13, 1967

National Guard Mobilized For Integration Of Negro Into Supreme Court

I Can't Stand It When Jews Talk During Movies

Do you have a pet peeve—some little thing that drives you completely bonkers? For certain people, it's the sound of a Jewish person dragging her fingernails across a chalkboard. For others, it's when Jews don't signal before making a turn. Me? I can't stand it when Jews talk during movies!

Study: Reality TV, Reality Unfair To Blacks

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a study released Monday by the Center for Media and Social Research, the reality-TV genre is unfairly biased against black people. The study revealed that reality is unfair to blacks, as well.

Oscar Host Chris Rock

Chris Rock will host this year's Academy Awards. What suggestions did event organizers have for the comedian?

HMO Targets Blacks With 'Rapping Good' Health Campaign

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Advertising executives say they have hit upon an ingenious new way to target blacks: Mount a campaign that co-opts their own language and musical style. "Many blacks enjoy 'rapping' music," said Briggs & Adams Advertising president Sherman Roe, who developed the campaign for HospCare HMO. "And what better way to tap into their market than by 'rapping' good health to them?" Roe's campaign employs the use of a black teenager doing a "rap" for good health. Billboards of the campaign have been put up in black neighborhoods, and radio and TV ads have aired on black-oriented stations in the area. Roe predicts area blacks will, as a result, be "'rapping' happy with their HMO service."

Personal Philosophy Stolen From Martin Luther King Jr.

Washington "completely ripped off" his personal mantra from civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. "Ron's always saying how if someone doesn't have a cause worth dying for, then that person's life isn't worth living," Duncan said Monday. "Nice try, Ron, but you can't fool me. You totally stole that whole idea from Dr. King." Duncan said he hopes King's estate "nails Ron's ass for plagiarism."

Zambia Elects Black President

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA—In a historic triumph for Zambia's African-African community, Bilikisu Adewale, a 49-year-old black man, was elected president Monday.

Anti-Racism Laws Mutate Racism Into Newer, Stronger Form

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a report released Monday by the Center For The Study Of Human-Morality-Legislation Attempts, the passage of anti-racism laws in recent decades may have caused racism to mutate into newer, stronger forms, undermining federal efforts to control the spread of the disease by spawning new strains of "super-racism" impervious to traditional treatment methods.

East St. Louis Rated 'Number One City In America' By Poverty Magazine

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL—The December issue of Poverty magazine, featuring its annual "Top American Cities" poll, hit newsstands Monday, and for the second year in a row, East St. Louis topped the list. "East St. Louis dominated our poll yet again in 2004, topping such categories as unemployment, hubcap availability, and liquor-stores-per-capita," Poverty editor Felicia Banks said. "The city's educational system also rated high, boasting a student-gun ratio of 1:1." Rounding out the top five, in descending order, were Flint, MI; Newark, NJ; Compton, CA; and Gary, IN.

Recently Mugged Friend A Racist All Of A Sudden

CHICAGO—Ever since being mugged by a black man, 28-year-old Caucasian Mark Weisner has become a racist, friends reported Monday. "I used to be more trusting, but I learned my lesson the hard way in October," Weisner said, alluding to the mugging. "Now I'm a lot more cautious around certain types, if you know what I mean." Weisner added that he has "no problem with Asian Americans."

Republicans Urge Minorities To Get Out And Vote On Nov. 3

MIAMI, FL—With the knowledge that the minority vote will be crucial in the upcoming presidential election, Republican Party officials are urging blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to make their presence felt at the polls on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Black Guy Doesn't Talk About All The Times He Didn't Get Discriminated Against

DETROIT, MI—Renald Boyd, 27, of course doesn't mention all the times he wasn't discriminated against, sources reported Tuesday. "I had the lease all set up through an agent," Boyd said. "But then, when I went in to sign it, the landlord suddenly started acting all weird and said he had to run out for a minute. We sat there for an hour before the agent got him on the phone, at which point the landlord said he was looking for a 'quieter type.' This country is insane." Boyd naturally failed to mention that the real-estate agent worked with him with no hesitation, and that the taxi he took away from the real-estate agency was only the second one that he'd attempted to hail.

Good Cop, Bad Cop Both Racist

LOS ANGELES—Despite occupying opposing roles in a good-cop/bad-cop dyad, LAPD officers Frank K. McGrew, 51, and Bob West, 36, have one thing in common: They're both extremely racist, 77th precinct sources reported Monday.

I'll Have You Know I Have Several Black Friendsters

Me, prejudiced? Of all the slanderous, hurtful, and untrue things you could say! I may have had a somewhat sheltered upbringing, but I'm extremely tolerant of all kinds of people. I would never pass judgment on someone because of the color of his skin. Look, I'll have you know I have several black Friendsters.

Personal Philosophy Stolen From Martin Luther King Jr.

BIRMINGHAM, AL—According to Jeffrey Duncan, 43, his friend Ronald Washington "completely ripped off" his personal mantra from civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. "Ron's always saying how if someone doesn't have a cause worth dying for, then that person's life isn't worth living," Duncan said Monday. "Nice try, Ron, but you can't fool me. You totally stole that whole idea from Dr. King." Duncan said he hopes King's estate "nails Ron's ass for plagiarism."

The Affirmative-Action Decision

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the right of universities to keep admissions policies that incorporate race largely intact. What do you think?

U.S. Continues Proud Tradition Of Diversity On Front Lines

CAMP COYOTE, KUWAIT—With blacks and Hispanics comprising more than 60 percent of the Army's ground forces in Iraq, the U.S. military is continuing its long, proud tradition of multiculturalism on the front lines of war. "Though racism and discrimination remain problems in society at large, in the military—especially in the lower ranks where you find the cannon fodder—a spirit of inclusiveness has prevailed for decades," Gen. Jim White said Monday. "When it comes to having your head blown off by enemy fire, America is truly colorblind."

White History Year Resumes

WASHINGTON, DC—Scholars say there is a remarkable wealth of documented white history to explore this coming March through December.

Well, I Think Michael Jackson Looks Nice

I don't understand why some people have to build themselves up by tearing other people down. Everywhere I go these days, I hear people making nasty comments about Michael Jackson's appearance. Well, I think Michael Jackson looks very nice.

This Racist Propaganda Practically Writes Itself!

All my life, I dreamed of writing racist propaganda, but I was always too scared to try. I came up with every excuse in the book: I lacked the necessary education, I wasn't a good enough writer, I didn't know enough racial slurs. But then, one day, I gave it a whirl, and you know what? It was easy! The hateful rants just poured out of me and onto the page. I'm telling you, this racist propaganda practically writes itself.

Strom Turns 100

On Dec. 5, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) turned 100. How did he celebrate the milestone?

Orphanage Director Pushing Asian Orphans

AMES, IA— Plagued with a surplus, St. Joseph Orphanage director Ann Rath has been pushing Asian orphans to prospective adoptive parents. "This is Mi Ling—isn't she pretty?" said Rath, introducing Bonnie and Paul Fisher to one of the 40-bed orphanage's 27 Asian children. "Or, if you'd prefer a boy, we have Tan Dinh. He's crazy about baseball." The Fishers, who were hoping for a Russian girl, told Rath they would "think it over"—the fifth time a couple has done so in the past week.

Missing White Girl Drives Missing Black Girl From Headlines

CORVALLIS, OR— Becky Van Gelder, an 11-year-old white girl from Corvallis, was abducted from her home Monday, bumping 10-year-old Chicago black girl Tyesha Washington from the nation's newspaper headlines. "When a child is harmed, we all lose a small piece of our collective innocence," said USA Today managing editor Donna McCutcheon, who moved the Washington abduction to page 23A to make room for Van Gelder on the cover. "Especially when it's a young blonde girl like Becky."

White Person Waved Past Beeping Walgreens Security Barrier

CHICAGO— Caucasian shopper Bryce Glynn, 34, was waved through a beeping Walgreens security barrier Tuesday after the store's alarm system was activated by a CD purchased at a nearby Sam Goody. "Go ahead," said cashier Maria Ordonez with a casual waving motion. "You're fine." As Glynn volunteered to open his shopping bag to show its contents, the security guard at the store's entrance declined the offer, insisting that he exit unchecked.

Polish Rapper Under Fire For Use Of The Word 'Polack'

DETROIT— MC Krakow, a popular Detroit-based rapper of Polish descent, came under fire Tuesday for his use of the word 'Polack' on his new album World Warsaw III. "When MC Krakow casually uses the P-word, it dredges up decades of hurtful portrayals and cruel jokes for our people," said Sandy Serwacki, president of the Polish Anti-Defamation Society. "In just the song 'Ten-Inch Pierogie' alone, he uses the word 27 times." In an official statement, MC Krakow defended his use of the word: "When I say, 'Y'all be my Polacks,' or 'Yo, what up, Polack?,' it's my way of taking the word back. Our people need to re-claim and embrace 'Polack' with pride, just like Eminem did with the word 'faggot.'"

Arab-American Third-Grader Returns From Recess Crying, Saying He Didn't Kill Anyone

ROYAL OAK, MI—Eddie Bahri, 8, a Lincoln Elementary School third-grader of Iraqi descent, tearfully denied accusations during morning recess Tuesday that he was a terrorist who killed a bunch of people. "I did not kill anybody," Bahri told classmate Douglas Allenby. "And my dad didn't, either, okay?" Also implicated in the Sept. 11 attacks was 9-year-old Rajesh Soonachian, a Lincoln Elementary fourth-grader of Indian descent.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Originality

Pop Culture

Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

Racial Harmony Achieved By Casting Of Black Actor As Teen Computer Whiz

BURBANK, CA—The long-standing economic, political and social divisions between blacks and whites in America at long last ended Monday with a TV producer's casting of a black actor in a bit part as a teen computer-whiz archetype.

Actor Darrell Goodwin, who was recently cast in a bit part as a teen computer whiz on a new NBC series, ending racism in the U.S.

Though racial equality had, throughout U.S. history, been seen as little more than a distant dream, TV producer Fern Blochner—co-producer of such popular daytime teen "dramedies" as Crestwood Daze and Chillin' Out In Study Hall—made that dream a reality when it came time to cast her newest series, My Home Ate My Dogwork, airing Saturday mornings on NBC.

"You wouldn't normally think a black kid would be running a high-school computer lab, but we have one doing just that," Blochner said of her show, whose uplifting and dignified portrayal of black youths in America is being widely credited for the sudden flowering of racial justice and harmony across the nation. "Our casting decision boldly defies the societal stereotype that black people are not smart enough to run high-school computer labs."

Shortly after the airing of the premiere episode of My Home Ate My Dogwork—in which the computer-whiz character is clearly visible in the background in no fewer than three separate scenes—the barriers of poverty, crime, and lack of equal access to education that have kept America's blacks at a disadvantage came crashing down.

"I'll admit, I was a bit shocked when I found out I got the part," said Darrell Goodwin, the 17-year-old actor who plays the computer whiz. "I thought to myself, 'The computer lab... run by a black kid? How could this be?' Then I realized that the casting decision deliberately defied society's racist expectations, expectations that I myself had bought into by doubting myself."

Though Blochner and her associates said they had reservations about the controversial casting decision, particularly regarding how others in the traditionally white entertainment industry would react, they held fast to their conviction that the teen computer whiz should be black.

"We were worried that institutional, internalized racism on the part of industry executives might manifest itself in the form of opposition to our casting decision," Blochner said. "But we stood our ground, and, as a result, such closed-mindedness is now a thing of the past."

Blochner said she came up with the idea to make the computer-whiz character black while doing background research for the show.

"We wanted our show to be as accurate as possible, so we spent some time at New Trier High School in the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka to ensure authenticity," Blochner said. "But after a few days at the school, we noticed a disturbing and unfair aspect of the upscale high school's student demographic: There were no blacks."

"We were very concerned that the high school had no black students, and that none of the students at the school had ever known any blacks, and that there were no blacks living anywhere within the neighborhoods zoned for the school," Blochner continued. "We said to ourselves, 'This is unfair!' and were determined to change reality for the better. So we decided that in our fictional version of the school, we would put in a black kid, and we'd make it seem like he's smart, too."

Noted sociologist Edwin Hull explained how the producers of My Home Ate My Dogwork were able to bring about racial equality in the U.S.

"By boldly envisioning a world in which African Americans possess the socioeconomic wherewithal not only to attend a high school like New Trier, but actually to run the computer lab therein, this television program created a 'positive media portrayal' of African Americans," Hull said. "This proactive portrayal of a positive African-American role model boosted the collective self-esteem of the nation's African-American community, thus establishing racial harmony at last."

Hull noted that this strategy was similar to the one used by the 1998 Environmental Media Awards, at which episodes of Baywatch and The X-Files featuring pro-environment themes were credited with last year's spontaneous healing of the ozone layer and the return of several dozen long-extinct species to the global ecosystem.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More