#OscarsSoWhite is not an attack on meritocracy but rather an attempt to call attention to some of the structural barriers that are themselves an attack on meritocracy.

Executive Director Kat Murti reflects on #OscarsSoWhite and structural barriers to equality and meritocracy in the Charleston Gazette-Mail…

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Mammy in “Gone With the Wind,” making her the first ever black actor to win an Oscar.
Notably, the awards gala was held at a whites-only venue, and, though an exception was made for McDaniel, she had to sit at a different table from her white co-stars.

While it is true that quota-based systems rarely work well, and often harm the very people they are intended to help, analyzing demographic trends — such as the seemingly large gap in Academy Awards nominations by race — can help unearth deeper structural problems.

While it is true that quota-based systems rarely work well, and often harm the very people they are intended to help, analyzing demographic trends — such as the seemingly large gap in Academy Awards nominations by race — can help unearth deeper structural problems.

People should be rewarded for the hard work they do, not what demographic checkboxes they can tick off, but what some shortsighted advocates of meritocracy overlook is that, for centuries, government and cultural norms have kept a firm thumb on the scales…

…For a significant portion of U.S. history, the government prevented women, people of color, and other minorities from competing fairly against white men.

While the world has rapidly been changing for the better, many of the negative effects of that era continue to have an impact today.

Read the article…