Do you ever get tired of the onslaught of “enlightened” television and movies that tell us what a bunch of bigots and homophobes we are? I do. I was sitting at work yesterday waiting on my next client when I happened to catch an article in emPeople Magazine/em about the new reality series emBlack. White/em. which is similar to emWife Swap/em except that the families swap races rather than wives. br /br /Apparently, two families each with a teenaged kid, one black, one white are made up to look like the opposite race and the cameras follow the families in different settings as they experience being a different race. The a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11394595/”show is described as being about exposing /athe subtleties of racism:br /br /blockquoteCutler, whose documentary films and TV series include the acclaimed “The War Room” and “American High,” was joined by Ice Cube, the rapper, actor and producer, on the project proposed by FX Networks President John Landgraf.br /br /His hope for the project was to “expose the subtleties of racism, the layers of racism,” the musician told The Associated Press. “Everybody thinks of a Klan man standing with a shotgun, yelling, ‘Keep it white.’br /br /“Everybody is worried about the guy with the black power, leather jacket on, Afro … worried about those kind of people and not really knowing that racism is not just the obvious,” Cube said.br /br /The series’ timing is notable, with race brought into renewed focus by Katrina and the disproportionate suffering it caused for blacks in New Orleans. But “Black.White.” was conceived before the hurricane, Landgraf said./blockquotebr /br /It is disappointing to me that the show seems to take the predictable road of how bigoted whites are:br /br /blockquoteIn black makeup, Rose gets the brushoff when she applies for work at stores in a white area. One shopkeeper glances in a drawer and unconvincingly announces she’s out of job applications.br /br /Sitting in as a white woman on a focus group discussion on race, Renee Sparks is shocked to hear a young college student relate how he was cautioned to wash off the handshake of a black person.br /br /“I thought, here it is, 2005, and people are still teaching their kids this,” Sparks said in a recent interview with reporters./blockquotebr /br /In the emPeople Magazine /emI read at work, the article on the show mentioned that the black father was angry with his son who did not realize how prejudiced the world was. The son commented that he did not see prejudice against him in his world with the father insisting that he did. Is this helpful? In what way? To prepare his son for all of the horrible things that are to come as a result of being black? I think the way that Condi Rice’s parents prepared her for the world is a much better psychological tactic to take. In Dick Morris’s book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0060839139tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Condi vs. Hillary : The Next Great Presidential Race,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0060839139″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/Rice told emEbony/em magazine, “Our parents really did have us convinced that even if I couldn’t have a hamburger at Woolworths, I could be President of the United States.” She was taught to “blast through the barriers.” She adds: “What’s the alternative? Decrying the barriers? I tend to think that societies move largely through the force of individuals breaking barriers.”br /br /Well, I don’t see shows like emBlack. White/em. breaking barriers as much as decrying them. This does little to further race relations and emphasizes victimhood, rather than self-sufficiency. But if this emphasis makes producers and rappers feel better about themselves, then obviously, it is worth it.
March 10, 2006 - 6:47 am