Beyonce Ended Racism in America?

Melinda Tommy | August 7, 2010

Beyonce Ended Racism in America? – Beyonce’s conduct as a business woman and as a brand along with the election of President Barack Obama to the White House have apparently given the world the impression that racism has ended in the good old U S of A.

A brilliant mind who goes by the name of Ellis Cashmore who is a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, England wrote an silly interesting piece for Yahoo saying that Miss Beyonce along with some other elements may have ended discrimination.

Here is the article:
She earns £48m/$78m, about the same as that of a medium size petrochemical company, and runs her own affairs like an industry. Beyoncé is, according to Staffordshire University Professor Ellis Cashmore, the most persuasive and influential celebrity in the world. Is the former Destiny’s Child frontwoman persuading Americans racism has vanished?

“Not only does she sell downloads, cds, ringtones, movie tickets, her own label clothes and any number of products, from cologne to television, but she sells a new American Dream based on an idea – that racism is over,” says Cashmore.

In his new article ‘Buying Beyoncé’, Professor Cashmore argues that Beyoncé’s most notable feat is in selling the idea that America’s centuries-old problem of racism has vanished. “When she serenaded the US President Barack Obama and his wife at their inauguration ball in January 2009, she achieved the unimaginable,” says Cashmore. “Here was a conspicuously successful black women singing to the first black president in history.”

Cashmore,believes Beyoncé is a symbol for a new age, though, he adds, a misleading one: “Despite the progress of the past few decades, the USA is still mired in its past. African Americans do poorly at school, live in the poorest housing, spend a disproportionate amount of time behind bars and, despite the election of Obama, are underrepresented politically compared to their size in the total population – more than 1 in 7 Americans are black.”

In his article, Cashmore documents the overall social position of African Americans and contrasts this with the position of Beyoncé and other A-list black celebrities, such as her husband Jay-Z, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys. “Their success can be interpreted by middle America as evidence that, in the land of opportunity, you can emerge from an impoverished background and live the good life.”

While I agree with his last comment that you can come from humble beginnings like Michelle Obama, Oprah and Tyra Banks and climb to the top of the social ladder, I must say a good part of his penetrating expose is erroneous.

Racism is well alive in America otherwise the Shirley Sherrod drama would not have taken place few weeks ago.

However great progress is being made but not because of Obama nor Beyonce. Things are getting better because of this generation’s willingness to accept other people no matter their race, sexual preference and religious beliefs.

Our generation has managed to do what the ones before them were incapable of doing-look beyond the physical appearance of the person in front of them.

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Category: Celebrity Gossip