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I recently sat down to watch television with my family and was shocked to find that NBC was promoting ‘The Wiz’ by highlighting that it had an “all Black cast”. My question is a simple one. How is this not racist? I guarantee you that if white people had a show with an all white cast; everyone would be up in arms. (A Random White Man)

Thank you for your question ‘A Random White Man’, it is a valid one that many whites have at this present moment.

Let me first say that ‘The Wiz’ with its “all Black cast” is most certainly not an act of racism. To understand why this is not racist, you must first understand that the vast majority of events that focus upon Blacks were created in reaction to whites’ refusal to allow African-Americans to participate in their parades, pageants, plays, and sporting events.

I find it interesting that whites will cry racism or ‘reverse racism’ during such moments. I am particularly amused by your decision to play the victim and would like to ask you the following question. Where were your cries about racism when The Wizard of Oz was performed by an all white cast? Did you condemn the makers of Cheers, How I met Your Mother, etc. for their all white casts?

Let me be clear on this matter, whites have every right to demand the presence of people who look like them on both the stage and screen, particularly when they are exposing their children to the content. I just ask that they give others that same right. Unfortunately many whites refuse to give other races the same consideration.

The irony of this situation is that the catalyst behind the production of The Wiz was born out of white prejudice, discrimination, segregation, and racism.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III is not only a Content Editor for African-American News and Issues, but also a graduate of THE Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (Africana Studies), Master of Arts (Africana Studies), Master of Arts (History) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (History).

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