N*W*C* Plays off Racial Slurs
Race and racism is a topic that many people in America find difficult to talk about. But a group of actors from Los Angeles is doing just that in their comedic play N - W - C The Race Show. N - W - C, is an acronym for the racial slurs associated with African Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. The Race Show pokes fun at these stereotypes. But all joking aside they do have a message to send. For example, their skit, List Game gives you an idea of some of the things stereotypically associated with their ethnicity.
SKIT LIST GAME: List Game! Quick! List some stereotypes that are commonly name about your ethnicity. Go! Rice eater, bean eater, Watermelon! hahaha! Honda Civics, ooh 1987 Cadillac coupe de ville on dubs.
Three young actors who could not find work except stereotypical roles based on the color of their skin decided to write their own play. They want to educate people about stereotypes and the use of them.
AXIBAL: Allen Axibal
AGUSTIN: We have realized that by doing this comedy and when we put the stereotypes out there, it doesn't perpetuate the stereotype. Really what it does is that when people see these stereotypes again or when they think to themselves that they are about to laugh at these stereotypes, they understand oh my god it is ridiculous its just like they did it in the show. you know that's how ridiculous these stereotypes are. And i think it helps them understand.
AGUSTIN: We even deal with the race card. I mean have you ever seen a show that minorities actually talk about the race card and the positive and negative use on a race card.
SKIT RACE CARD: They're non-transferable. Well mine comes in handy for things like finding an apartment. Yes Ma'am i am extremely quiet and tidy. And since i work for the Jet propulsion laboratory I will have plenty of money to the rent you know what i mean? But I am nice and tidy too and also work for the jet propesion laboratory. Sorry! Race card's been declined! I knew I should have gone to pre-paid race card. Wait a minute wait a minute! Race cards aren't accepted everywhere. htat's right! Airport security, upscale housing, klan rallies....The race card! Sometimes good sometimes not. But one things for sure you can't leave home with out it.
Chris Chell is a graduate student with the office of Multicultural affairs and explains why he brought The N-W-C to the Tampa campus.
CHELL: Well I think that race is still an issue that exists in our day to day activities and i think that people still internalize the a lot of the stereotypes that are associated with the different racial groups.
GREGLEY: And it is a comedy you know what I mean it seems like it is very serious but we try to take very serious topics and make light of them. You know what i mean? so it is easy to relate. Just because the title is N W C the race show you know break it down how you like but i mean its not necessarily just about us its about people in general and its about one race the human race.
We're not the savior of culture and race. We just really hope to get the word out there to educate people.
Axibal: The general consensus though whenever we do a show, people really understand it they get it. You know it's about being human its about living your life and having to deal with identity and the way that you look.
SKIT LIST GAME 2: We don't talk to each other that way, because we don't see each other that way. People may label us, but we don't buy into that whole hate thing. And no one would if they really saw the people around them. LIST GAME! Don't eat rice Can't chew beans, hate watermelon.
Of the hundreds in attendance no one left early because they were offended. Many who attended left the play being more enlightened from seeing the show.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: My name is Tara Silva. I am a student at USF. I am a business major. As a Hispanic slash Irish person, I don't want to be stereotyped. I don't want to look at my race or my culture as a bad thing. I want to look at it as a good thing. And I think that everything that they said tonight is true and that you can take a lot form it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: My name is Parisha Zimmer and my major is computer science. Some people do not want to see this play but this reality is like that and they showed a reality.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: My name is Fanniq um I study here. My major is biology and i have a minor in public health. I really like it because I believe that, especially now a days we need to see these kind of shows to realize how wrong we are about humans as a group. We tend to make so many stereotypes. We tend to group people in A, B and C and I think that that is completely wrong. I really like this. I - I believe that many people are going to leave this room with a different idea.
BANKS: Dr. Kevin Banks, I am the assistant Vice President Dean for students here at USF. I thought it was very outstanding. And i like the caveat of saying there is only one race the human race. I think that it really lends itself to education. Going to this program tonight, it allowed people to get the point of view from both sides of the issue.
N - W - C The Race Show's message is one the actors believe everyone should hear. We are all apart of one race, the Human Race. The comedy while it informs is also entertaining. Skits from their play can be found on their website at n - w - c - live dot com. The topic and style of the play some of the material on their website may be offensive to some listeners.
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