UW-Madison homecoming

The UW-Madison homecoming video which talked about diversity in the narration, lacked it throughout the video. Problems arose around the promotional video when a sorority member who had been filmed for this video posted saying they were not featured, and neither was any other large minority presences. The committee who made the video took it down shortly after posting it because of the comments they were receiving.

The video was just a little over a minute long and when I watched it, I think I saw around 5 minorities. I don’t know whether the lack of diverse people represented int eh video was intentional or just an overlooked accident, but it proved to be a big one. One of the hard things to look past is the committee asking a predominantly African American sorority to be part of the video and telling them they would be featured. In the post from one of the girls it says they filmed for about an hour. That is a lot of film to not get anything out of it. Obviously not everything you film will make it into the video but when your video is promoting how this is home and it is a diverse home; how can you not find one shot in an hour-long film session to feature.

When I first watched the video, my reaction was that the shots they used were not controlled ones. There were shots of the football team, crowds cheering, cheerleaders, and even some from the cycling team. Those are not things you can choose who is in the shot. I didn’t have a problem with video until it got to set up shots around the campus, with students doing random acts around popular destinations. That was when they had a large control over, who was in the video and what they were doing. From that point on it all seemed very dominated by white students. That is when they could have done a much better job of using different videos showing the diversity on campus.

League of denial

In the film League of Denial, it goes through the events of the discovery of CTE and how the NFL reacted to its discovery.  Dr. Bennet Omalu first saw this disease in long time Pittsburgh Stealer, Mike Webster. After the discovery the NFL denied a connection and shunned Dr. Omalu and his work. Later a group of doctors from Boston University discovered the same disease in other former NFL players. It was not until new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, did the NFL start to consider the game having a long-lasting effect on players health.

It was interesting to see the NFL continue denying the risks of the sport after so many brains were examined. I believe at one point it was 10 of the 11 brains examined had CTE. Though admittedly that is a small sample size, that really seems like a bad look for the NFL. By the end of the film in 2013 the doctors had examined I believe 57 brains of former NFL player, 56 had CTE. By 2013 the league was more open to the fact that there could be problems with taking repeated hits to the head though.

I think my biggest surprise was the NFL’s shunning of Dr. Omalu’s work after other doctors confirmed seeing the same thing. At first, I understand them not wanting this information out, but then even when other doctors working with the NFL confirmed Dr. Omalu’s work they continued to shun him. When he got the go ahead from Junior Seau’s son to examine his brain after death, only to have the league call the son and tell him that Omalu’s work was not trustworthy. That is shocking that they would continue to lock him out of that work long after others say the same thing he had.

Black press soldiers without swords

“Black Press Soldiers Without Swords” was a documentary explaining the major events of the creation and events of black newspapers in america. Some of the major ones they talk about is Robert Abbott’s Chicago Defender and Robert Vann’s Pittsburgh Courier. The Chicago Defender was the first large one to make a major impact. Abbott used the paper to not only help his fellow black men and women but also try to help fight the way african americans were looked at. One of the interesting things he did was write the race of the white men after their names like they would do to african americans in the white newspapers. He wanted to treat the white men the same way they treated black men in the media. He wanted to show they have the same power as them with their media. Which is an interesting thing because for so long the white men had all the power but now with not only the creation but the growth of the black newspapers they gained power for themselves. In a way it was the start for them to push to be treated more fairly, they were able to fight back in some cases. However, especially in the south, fighting back like this lead to lynch mobs and other harassments or attacks. 

The white man still believed they were superior and so they still tried discriminating on the newspapers. The black newspapers often didn’t have a way to get the money to keep the paper going. They could get some ads but not large ones from department stores and other brands like the white newspapers did. Black newspapers heavily relied on money just from distribution. Since they couldn’t get the ad revenue if their paper didn’t sell they often had to shut down the papers after a short time. The newspapers were always starting up and then shutting down, the people didn’t have a consistent source of information. 

I think one of the more interesting points talked about in the film was when they discussed the use of the paper to sway the people for so many things. Like the Chicago Defender wanting people to move to Chicago from the south and fulfill the need in the workforce. Another interesting use was when one of the papers called for black people to leave the Republican party because they felt they were being ignored with their needs.Though it was hard for the newspapers to grow, once they did and had a following they had immense power and saw in how the african american community acted.

Documenting hate

“Documenting Hate” was an hour long film about the actions and people connected to the Charlottesville rally in August of 2017.The film did a really good job of detailing what happened on August 11 and 12th at the beginning and then moving forward into who are some of the people that were there in those days. They talked to people on both sides, and a retired FBI agent who had worked with things of this nature when with the FBI. 

When they searched for people of the Rise Above Movement, it was interesting to see how none of them wanted to talk. The one I had in mind was Michael Miselis. When confronted them, very straightforward and fair, not hiding anything he wouldn’t talk to them. He instead denied their accusations, including when they tell him they had photographic evidence, and drives away in his car. I found that most interesting because if you feel strong enough in your opinion to physically harm someone on multiple occasions then I would think you feel strong enough to talk to someone about it. Though if he does say he was there doing those things legal charges could be brought up I suppose.

The rally started because people were saying a statue of General Lee from the civil war needed to be taken down. Then people who disagreed came in and that is when the physical altercation started. There was probably some prejudice thoughts on both sides. People who wanted the statue down probably thought anyone wanting it to stay up was inherently racist and bad people. People who wanted the statue to stay probably assumed the others were all democrats who wanted everyone change their way of living to help others, in a socialistic way of thinking. I think both sides had these thoughts coming in and rather than talking and listening they just yelled assuming they were right and let it go as far as physical attacks to try to prove their points right.