Discrimination In Do The Right Thing

891 Words 4 Pages
Rap and Hip-Hop began as a way to celebrate cultural unity and history through the African American Culture. Unfortunately, Rap and Hip-Hop and the frustrations and political advocacy it conveys through music and films have been associated with violence and incompetence in society (Blanchard 1999). This stigma has affected the way that African-Americans are seen in cinema and how they are treated in their professional lives. The documentary, Do the Right thing relates the prejudice African Americans face in the corporate world in Musing New Hoods because of the negative stigma established in American cinema, the conflict created by “guiltsploitation,” and the lack of trust and support from major corporations.

The portrayal of characters
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The negative image established in cinema explains the guilt felt by some African-Americans if they choose to go against their culture (Sheybani 1992). The New York Times article articulates this point by adding that, “the myths of virility and glamour of street culture, propagating the view that the only true black culture is that of poverty and rebellion against the white system, that the true black man is the "bad" homeboy” (Sheybani 1992). African-Americans feel guilty going against street culture. The character Mookie, in Do the Right Thing is lazy at work and does not think about a future for his son or his girlfriend, Tina (Lee 1989). His actions represent the way he avoids the guilt that he would feel if he were to get a good job or leave the neighborhood in the future (Sheybani 1992). The Article, Musing New Hoods by Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. addresses this important and conflicting aspect about the opportunities that African-Americans avoid in order to be loyal to their culture. He continues to address the idea of “guiltsploitation” or feeling guilty for going against one 's culture to move up in social class (Ramsey 311). An idea introduced by Henry Louis Gates and the different message that is received by society from the underlying message surrounding African-American films (Ramsey 311). The portrayal of African-Americans in cinema creates an identity that some Blacks feel is necessary to uphold …show more content…
African-Americans still struggle to make their mark on corporate America. Many offices don’t respect African-Americans regardless of their background. For example, Dr. Saunders, a doctor of education reiterates the struggle he faces every day, “I feel I’m always proving myself” (Byrd 1993). As an educated intelligent man he struggles to receive acknowledgment and respect from his coworkers (Byrd 1993). This prejudice, whether it is on purpose or not, shapes the way corporate America reacts to men and women of color. They don’t want this negative image associated with their brand (Blanchard 1999). Vivyen J. Ray, a New York-based director of HR for the Gannett Company, explains her frustration, “The limitations are blatant. I can’t say that I will one day become the C.E.O of this company. I can see myself only going so far. There is a definitely glass ceiling” (Byrd 1993). The struggle to climb the corporate ladder is linked to the portrayal of African-Americans in cinema and the negativity, violence, and incompetence associated with their culture in these films (Byrd 1993).

African-Americans are represented as violent or inadequate in the media industry. This negative image has shaped a sub-culture that associates guilt with achievement and prejudice as the norm. African-Americans are still fighting for equality as they prove to be competent on a professional

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