Imajen has long been a champion of diversity in media in general, with a particular dedication to adding depth and range to the overall image and perception of Black people in film and media. In recent weeks, following two high profile cases in which law enforcement officers were brought before a grand jury, related to deaths involving black men, and not indicted, the all too common (if not expected) aftermath of riots, destruction of property, protests, and marches has ensued.
A number of issues have been raised, mostly by media sensationalists in search of ratings and revenue by strategically scraping, superficially against the festering American sore known as “racism”. However, the greatest learning opportunity available in recent times is falling through the cracks.
Americans in general, but Black people specifically, that have been following the mainstream media outlets, and even social media, are being led into the weeds. People are presently focused on only those things that are directly in front of them, and are losing sight of the big picture.
Destroying property, and looting businesses, is criminal activity, and does not help ANYONE. Protests and marches, without a focus and agenda, and MOST IMPORTANTLY a key political ally/representative, does not help anyone. Honestly, when was the last time that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the like, got anything done for anyone besides themselves? Imajen is all for Black empowerment, but let’s keep it real, those Kats are not it. Boycotts? Whether for a day or a week, in the end, that model does not truly support change for the overall betterment of the Black community. Not to mention that people nowadays have short attention span, and most do not possess the will, discipline, and dedication for a sustained boycott. -You’d need at least 4-6 months of a boycott for anyone to even notice, let alone care enough about it to effect change.
People in power positions do not relinquish that power voluntarily, they must be properly motivated to do so. A quote by reknowned Japanese swordsman and military strategist Miyamoto Musashi(Book of Five Rings) are words to live by. -“Do not ask for that which you do not have the ability to take.”
America is all about the Benjamins, the almighty(albeit not so almighty these days) dollar. If/when Black people begin to harness and focus the energy generated by ongoing, cumulative frustration and anger with the staus quo, and convert it into the motivation to collectively generate and control our dollars, we will see real change.
A practical example of this can be taken from the recent scandal involving executives from Sony Pictures Entertainment, stemming from racist emails that have come to light as a result of their system being hacked. Though two executives, cochairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin, currently are under scrutiny because of their racist banter related to President Obama’s assumed taste in movies, they will not face any inter or intra company punishment or reprimand. The two culprits have the full support of the parent company, Japan based Sony Corporation.
Now, consider the threat of a cohesive, unified Black community, with a buying power – projected to reach $1.1 Trillion dollars in 2015, blacklisting(no pun intended) Sony Corporation and its ENTIRE product line. In this scenario, such transgressions would be held in a far more serious light by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Corporation and all other would be Corporate offenders standing on the sidelines.
What types of movies and television programming would we begin to see released, if the Black community held production companies accountable? What types of news features would we see, on the advertiser-supported mainstream news stations?
There is the saying that the love of money is the root of all evil.
I offer for consideration, another saying, that to control our money is the root of all control and advancement.
It means control of our images and how we are portrayed, perceived, and subsequently how we portray, perceive, and treat ourselves and each other. It means control in politics and how we are represented.
The power of change is at our fingertips, within our own control.