I got together with Nadia Misir and Derica Shields for an AIAC Roundtable to discuss why Mindy Kaling went batshit when she was asked, at the recent SXSW, why there are no other characters of colour in senior positions of authority (ie. other doctors) on her show, The Mindy Project. After saying that such inquiries about diversity are “insulting”, she reminded reporters that she is a “fucking Indian woman” with her “own fucking network television show”. Kaling, who is generally non-confrontational on most political issues, defended her creative decisions this way: “And I’m like, oh wait, it’s not like I’m running a country, I’m not a political figure. I’m someone who’s writing a show and I want to use funny people. And it feels like it diminishes the incredibly funny women who do come on my show.”
In the Netherlands, many people convince themselves that racism is something that exists elsewhere–in South Africa, for example, or in the United States. For this is a ‘tolerant,’ liberal nation. To maintain the facade, often blatant acts of racism are downplayed, rationalized or swept away. As an exercise, see some of the comments on our Facebook page whenever we post something about racism in the Netherlands.
Liberalism regards the individual as the ultimate social and political agent, endowed with a number of rights. The ideology also acknowledges that individuals live in societies and are not totally autonomous. Consequently it also recognizes a number of societal obligations the individual should fulfill in order to co-exist with others.