Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I am a Part of the Problem... Sometimes

As much as I love my people, as much as I hate seeing negative images of our people, I've got to be honest. I am not 100% vigilant against all of the evil, negative stereotypes that the media puts out about blacks, women, or black women 24/7. I may never be 100% all the time. I doubt anyone is. Or, if they are, I couldn't deal with them. They would be pointing out the bigotry, hatred and lies constantly and my self-diagnosed adult ADD won't allow that.

But I digress.

My point is this. I can admit--neither proudly or ashamedly--that sometimes I am a part of the "problem." I watch Real Housewives of Atlanta. I watched Real Chance of Love (first season; I've gotten worn out on these dating shows). Although I may not watch BET (save when they show reruns of The Game) I will occasionally sit down to watch a Tyler Perry movie.

Know why? Sometimes I just want to be entertained, dammit. I laugh at crazy, stupid people regardless of their race. And yes, I will laugh at ig'nant black folks just like I laugh at ig'nant white, Asian, Latino, etc. folks. I'm an equal-opportunity asshole. Doesn't being the watch-person for all things racist and wrong get a bit tiresome? I'm not knocking it nor saying it's not important. Thing is, I deal with it daily. I'm well aware that things are not all kumbayah between everyone. But sometimes I want to escape; not deal with it when I'm not dealing with it.

In my opinion (and remember, this is just Tori D.'s word so it really doesn't count for much) watching a show doesn't reinforce stereotypes. The way you live, the way you act, the way you conduct yourself; these things determine whether you feed into the stereotype.
So although I would like to see more positive images of black women on television, I strive to be the positive image for those who watch me.

But this is just my lil opinion. What are your thoughts on the matter?


Citizen Ojo said...


I had to stop watching those shows because the more people that watch them....the more shows they keep making. It's unfortunate but people actually think all black folks act like the individuals on these shows. Have you noticed anytime there is a black character in a mostly white movie (i.e. romantic comedy) they are alwasy the sassy girl. Or when we are in movies where the black male is the only black at a Prep School they are from the hood? Think about it.

Tori D. said...

Citizen Ojo,

Thank you for your comment, and I definitely see what you're saying. I am quick to point out when Black actors/actresses are cast in stereotypical roles and there are some movies/shows I refused to watch because of this. However, as of late I've noticed a lot of criticism of people who may watch shows like RHOA as being "part of the problem" with the portrayal of Blacks in America. So my post is just to say that if my guilty pleasure makes me part of the problem -despite the fact that I volunteer to work with young black girls/women as a mentor & positive role model, despite the fact that I don't behave like those characters I happen to watch, and despite the fact that I aspire to bring about equality and positivity for my people- then so be it.

This is not to say that I feel shows like this are an accurate portrayal of Black people. But the portrayal of these people (those on the show) may be accurate for them. It is accurate for some. It's not pleasant, but it is damn entertaining. So does me enjoying the show make me hypocritical? I could see how some would think so... I dunno, may I just have more growing and learning to do.