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Review Reflects Social Construction of Today's Racism

RECEIVED Mon., Sept. 30, 2013

Dear Editor,
    In 2009, I read Marjorie Baumgarten's review of The Stoning of Soraya M. [Film Listings, July 31, 2009] and was horrified by her statement that the film was "a kind of dramaturgy that will be overly simplistic for most Western viewers." The implication that Western thought was somehow more complex than some "Eastern" way of thinking struck me as a despicable form of Social Darwinism.
    This week, her review of Baggage Claim [Film Listings, Sept. 27] again racializes an audience she judges as inferior: "Although there’s a strong likability quotient for everyone onscreen here, which ought to keep the movie minimally afloat among its target audience of black viewers starved for a new Tyler Perry offering, Baggage Claim should be left behind at the carousel."
    This is what the social construction of racism today looks like – distinguishing between groups and identifying them as lesser-than (in their taste or in their mental capacities).
    These types of statements should never be published in The Austin Chronicle, and the editors ought to do a better job of having them removed. As a proud Austinite, I am truly disgusted.
Melissa Adams
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