BYU Black History Month: Dave Ackerman = Attention Monger

Some of you may have seen this video.


Although it pains me to write this, because even acknowledging Ackerman is giving him exactly what wants, this video needs to be talked about.

There are so many things wrong about this that I’ll just make a list.

1. This kind of ignorance is not uncommon. As this article points out, “[Ackerman] probably could have gotten those answers on most college campuses around the country,” and any urban street for that matter.

2. In the editing room it is very easy to take footage and make people appear any way that you want – ask anyone who works in reality TV.

3. He asked leading questions that were designed to be inflammatory. “Would you feel more comfortable dating a black guy who acts like a white guy or a white guy who acts like a black guy?” There is no way to answer this question without sounding racist.

4. If you ask someone to do an impersonation of course it is going to be stereotyped. THAT IS WHAT AN IMPERSONATION IS. Also students in the video were simply regurgitating stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the media. If you pay attention you will notice mainly quotes from popular MAD TV skits like Bon Qui Qui or Can I Have Your Number. Who then is to blame, the students or the media?

5. Ackerman himself is perpetuating the stereotype by painting his face black and wearing the cloths that he did.

6. Why is Ackerman surprised that only 3 people commented on that fact that he wasn’t black? Anybody could tell that he wasn’t. The people thought it was a joke and were just playing along. And since they thought it was a joke they were more likely to stereotype because the media has taught us that stereotyping is funny. (See point number 4)

7. Finally, want to talk about ignorance? How about the way that Ackerman introduced the video on his facebook page? I quote, “Black History Mumf is hur! What does whitey know about it?”

Ackerman tries to defend himself at the end of the video by saying that he is fighting ignorance with ignorance.

Clearly he hasn’t learned anything from black history either. I cannot imagine Martin Luther King Jr. being anything but appalled by this video. The Civil Rights Movement was not about sensationalism or about embarrassing others. I want to make it clear that ignorance of any kind is sad. But trying to fight ignorance with more ignorance is disgusting.

Ackerman just wants the page views and in spite of myself I have given them to him.

Ignorance is a personal responsibility. If you really want to fight it, do yourself and the world a favor by learning about Black History.

Stop Ignoreance

Also my wife said I should write this as Bob Seymour so that people would not get mad at me. 🙂

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Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Craig

     /  February 9, 2012

    Bravo! Thanks for putting it in words better than I could. Hopefully this response goes further than his video.

    Reply
  2. AMEN! You expressed so many things I was thinking. Thank you.

    Reply

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