Let's talk about the Academy Awards for a moment since racism is yet again being brought up in a place where there is none.
First thing's first. Yes there needs to be a change in the members of the Academy. The Academy is a group of people who vote in the awards for each category, if you're an actor you vote in the acting categories, if you're a director you vote in the directing categories. However every member of the academy gets to vote on Best Picture.
With that said we have had African-American nominees and winners in the past for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director and many Best Picture winners and nominees featuring African-Americans. For the 2011 Oscars we had Octavia Spencer winning Best Supporting Actress, along with Viola Davis being nominated for Best Actress. For the 2013 Oscars we had Lupita Nyong'o winning Best Supporting Actress, Chiwetel Ejiofor being nominated for Best Actor, and 12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture. Last year for the 2014 Oscars we had Common and John Legend winning for Best Original Song.
The fact that we have not had any African-American's nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, or Best Director or any category really is not the problem here. The members of the Academy are not racist. This is not the problem though.
The Academy does need to be more diverse in its members though. Most of the Academy is comprised of old white men. Now this isn't racist, it's just an oversight if anything. During the 70's the Academy was bringing in young people to give a fresh perspective on film. We need to do the same again and think for culturally. Not just African-Americans, but China, France, Japan, Asia, Africa, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Israel, all of these places that have different views on film. They need to be brought into this spectrum.
I will say this though, even if you diversify the Academy, you could still expect to see just white people nominated for a particular category. I hear people saying that because there are no African-American nominees that the Oscars is racist. Come on... even if they were just shoehorned in (which is wrong) simply to be a nominee, if they lost then the Oscars would still be racist in these people's minds. When it isn't racist.
We need to stop trying to shoehorn racism into something that isn't. Instead of making a statement, ask why. Questions push us further than outbursts. Which is something that film is very good at doing.
I am eager to see the Academy Awards this year and to all of these people whining about racism being a part of the Oscars. You have just given Chris Rock a lot of material to work with.