An AP article yesterday contains a video cartoon created for the African American Policy Forum about white privilege and the need for affirmative action. It was shown at Glen Allen High School in Virginia, but the Henrico County School District decided to stop showing it after too many parents objected.
I'm not sure why they objected; I found the cartoon to be wonderfully educational.
The video is titled, "Structural discrimination: the unequal opportunity race." As the title fades, we see two whites and two people of color in the starting blocks at the beginning of a track race. The starter's pistol goes off, but then a stop signal appears in front of the two darker-skinned runners. The two whites start racing, while the darker runners are not allowed to start. The words "slavery," "broken treaties," "genocide," "manifest destiny," "trail of tears," "Dred Scott," "segregation," "Chinese exclusion act," and "Japanese internment," appear on the screen, accompanied by some snappy music.
(I hadn't realized that people of Chinese and Japanese descent are now eligible for affirmative action.)
Meanwhile, the white runners continue around the track, and somehow the race turns into a relay. An older white man tosses a large baton with a dollar sign on it to a younger white runner. The baton grows increasingly large and the words "wealth disparities" appear onscreen.
(Now I know that whites don't have to work for their money, but merely inherit it.)
Finally, after the whites have lapped them twice, the runners of color are allowed to start. But a rain cloud suddenly appears over their lanes, drenching them, and the word "discrimination" appears.
(I now know that people of color have to get better grades than whites in order to get into the same colleges.)
Then a bunch of rocks are placed in the path of the runners of color, they stumble, and the words, "Poor schooling" appear.
(I had naively thought that the poor state of the schools in certain areas had mostly to do with the nature of the unruly, undisciplined, uneducable people who live there.)
Then one of the runners of color fall into a pit, and the word "underemployment" appears.
(I hadn't known that this problem never afflicts white people.)
Then a moat with sharks swimming in it appears and the words "standardized tests" appear.
(I hadn't realized that the Chinese exclusion act and the Japanese internment had so completely shut down Asian-American's ability to do well on the SAT's generations later; I had foolishly thought that the ability to do well on these tests correlated with IQ.)
Next, a cage falls down near the dark-skinned female runner, and one actually falls down around the dark male runner. The cage containing the young man then floats into the air, and words "school to prison pipeline" appear.
(I had been completely blind to this method of incarceration; I had mistakenly thought you had to commit a crime first.)
The young woman, continuing on her own, sees a sign saying, "rest area." She goes in that direction, and sees some nice-looking houses, but then the gates swing shut in front of her and the phrase "housing discrimination" appears.
(I had mistakenly thought that buying a nice house was a question of having enough money to afford one, and that it was illegal to not sell a house to someone because of his race. No wonder Kobe Bryant and Oprah Winfrey still have to live in the ghetto.)
The young woman continues to run on, but then we hear sirens and a nerdy-looking white holding a clipboard saying "drug testing" on it stops the woman runner, and the words "racial profiling" appear.
(At this point all I could think of was Marion Jones.)
Then the black girl runs into a brick wall with the words "dead end" on it. She collapses against it in despair and the words "shortened lifespan" appear.
(The statistics showing that people of Asian descent have an average lifespan of 85, Hispanics of 82, whites of 78, and blacks of 74 must be wrong.)
By this point the music has turned more dirge-like.
Some workmen appear and build a moving walkway, of the type you see in airports, and the white runner appears again, moving fast without having to even walk. He is holding a drinking cup inscribed "Yale," with a scarf blowing in the breeze behind him. He looks proud, and the word "privilege" appears.
He is whisked past the young man of color, who is still in his cage, and the word "wealth" appears. He then passes the white girl, and the words "old boy network" appear onscreen.
(Whites achieve success without even having to work for it.)
Then, the white boy breaks the finish tape in a triumphant pose.
A construction crew then appears, as if to knock over the brick wall behind which the black girl sits.
The sentence "Affirmative action helps level the playing field" then appears.
I'm sure you'll find the video as educational as I did.