No, but seriously.
I’m at the point where I’m constantly noticing random POC in TV shows. But they’re always
1) random “in one scene and will never be seen again” types or
2) the token POC who seems to just be there to be there or
3) recently there’s been a trend of POC in TV having affairs with other white characters.
The last point strikes a strange cord with me. The short answer is just, as a black woman it’s hard to see the first black people I get to see on TV exclusively dating nothing but white people. Yes black people who date non black people are real and yes that is their choice but I can’t ignore that the only way I can see Meagan Good Kerry Washington and even Mindy Kaling on TV is when they’re in relationships with white men. And now I’m watching House of Cards and *spoiler alert* the one black male character I know of so far is *surprise* in a relationship with white woman.
Let me be clear, the reason why it makes me uncomfortable goes beyond the surface. From the way I see it, this relates basic stereotypical notions of black sexuality in the white gaze. Who is the sexual conquest in these situations? What tropes do the writers draw from when they make these connections? It’s not just the affairs that bother me, but the context and execution.
Because I’m basing this off my experience of binge watching House of Cards today I’ll based my explanation off the show. In season 1 I felt like there was a lack of female characters talking to each other in a way that didn’t either 1) discuss other men and 2) pit them in competition with another.
Now I’m beginning to see more female relationships, but relationships across POC Are actually non-existent. There seriously needs to be more work done about this across all TV. I can’t continue to settle for the random background POC who never show up again.
While I will admit that it brings me brief joy to see a random woman with glorious natural hair to walk into a scene, it makes me angry to feel grateful for the silver screen version of table scraps.
This POC bechdel test needs to happen soon and I’ll be excited when it picks up. I’ll continue to thinking about what it means and how to make it real..,
It’s funny when people act like black men are exceptionally bad - or womanizing. Or are the only people who buy into hyper-masculine tropes. Black masculinity is just always the most demonized, placed on display, used as a scape goat in the media. I can look at ANY man and say that I just see someone who wants to sleep with as many women as possible - but black men always seem to hold a place as the MOST barbaric of them all.
I don’t know how you can stop your point f view. For one, stop buying into the racist idea that all white men are good and all black men are evil. It wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge that black and white aren’t the only two races that exist. I don’t understand what good wanton to end up with a white man will do if he treats you like shit at the end of the day.
Do you not have any black male friends? Or do you just evaluate them on how perfect of a husband they aren’t? Do you have any male friends? Cause in pretty sure you do and you become friends with them because you actually it to know them. Actually get to know black men instead of just observing them as museum exhibits before you sit there an say the only ideal mate is a white man.
This was basically “how can I stop being racist?” I don’t know how to knock racist conclusions out of your head… You gotta do that on your own…
And that’s even if black men even wanna with you. Because if you have this “I’m trying so hard to find value in black men” chip on your shoulder NO ONE IS GOING TO WASTE TIME ON YOU ANYWAY.
The two “experts” overlook the fact that the idea of localized “interculturalism” began in academic and political circles, with the promotion of individual and group exposure to other individuals and groups taking root in countries including Canada, Spain, and Britain. Whilst it’s easy to see how the method could yield great results if gradually applied to communities truly and entirely “ghetto-ized” by culture or race, it is difficult not to think of the flurry of news reports earlier this year which connected immigration with unemployment, pointing to the intersection of social and economic problems within the identity debate.
The program appropriates interculturalism as a hook and is forced to flatten out the identities of the eight complex and rounded individuals into racial and religious differences in order to create a decent dramatic story. The eight chosen inhabitants represent one of the range of stereotypes that dominate the race discourse–from the bearded devotee Rashid to the retired racist middle Englander Jens, the Muslim woman Sabbiya, and the young skinhead Damon.
The “documentary” steers us through a heavy-handed narrative of drama and conflict over the house budget, meal-times, and bedrooms, before commonality and understanding begin to dawn. An example is Rashid’s desire to pray at the mosque in congregation, which conflicts with the group’s timetable, until he agrees to compromise and pray individually whilst remaining with the group; a sight which moves feminist Mara to tears.
The two-part program contains many such moments which seem genuine and uncontrived. But the focus on emotional drama means that any attempts to subvert stereotypes are clumsy and obvious, from Rashid’s rugby-playing background to mixed-race Audrey’s dislike of Asians. Most reaction to the program has come from Bradfordians angry at the patronizing way in which the city is approached, with a weighted focus on its racial problems.
Oh look, it’s a good thing I am typing this instead of, you know, actually YELLING at Newsweak.
Here is the thing: I can understand Sofia Vergara’s words, where she is coming from. Have I “used” the Latina stereotype to my advantage ever in social situations? Yes, probably. I mean, nobody is free from the social context where interactions take place. However, no amount of “making fun of our stereotypes” is ever going to fix stuff like this (from the article):
It’s a quality that DeGeneres poked fun of recently in a behind-the-scenes video for their first Cover Girl shoot, calling Vergara’s accent “phony” and claiming “to be sick of” Vergara’s struggles with the English language.
I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve had to smile politely while people made fun of my accent. We will only be truly free to embrace these stereotypes when we don’t have to deal with reactions like that. Meanwhile, no, I resent the fact that Newsweak implies we should all “exploit” it to our advantage.
This even extends to the “Angry Black Woman” steretype. While I GUESS there are some instances where I can use it to my advantage/ as leverage to get my way. There are even instances where I can make light of it as it applies to my own life. Yes, we all know that stereotypes are everywhere and are a “normal part of life.” But when black women (and in this case Latina women) are only represented through these tropes and NOTHING ELSE - they begin to chip away at the ability for WOC to actually get taken seriously in a professional/serious environment.
There’s a difference between “stereotype embracing” and MOCKERY. We like to pretend its a fine line, but really, it’s not.
I don’t begrudge anyone getting their due attention and diligence when they go missing. The coverage they receive more often than not helps in their eventual recovery, or at least leads to finding the parties responsible, and by no means is that a bad thing. More troubling is the lack of that kind of attention leveled on the missing African Americans. After all, we make up a a third of all missing persons cases in the United States, while being only 12 percent of the population.
The stories Find Our Missing features don’t make for less compelling television — can you imagine the uproar America would be in if the media caught wind of a kidnapped, disabled, white five year old? — and they don’t lack substance or quality. Why isn’t Ann Curry talking about Hassani or Pamela? Are we still seen as such an Other in this country that the heartstrings that tug at Elizabeth Smart’s name won’t also tug for Hassani Campbell? Or is it that kidnapping and mysterious disappearances simply aren’t seen as crimes that happens to Black people? Gang, drug, sexual, and domestic violence are ‘our’ crimes, and the media struggles to break away from that mold when giving coverage to stories of the missing.
It’s almost as if they’re confused when a comfortable, middle class black woman goes missing with no hints of the average ‘Black crime’ elements involved. (The common perception that there are ‘no black serial killers’ certainly helps explain the difference in the amount of national coverage Anthony Sowell received in comparison to other recent serial killers like Dennis Rader in yet another case involving several missing Black women in the Cleveland area.)
When it comes to shows profiling crimes and criminals, you’re more likely to see a person of color starring on Lock Up than you are on Dateline, and that’s one of the reasons I’ll be watching Find Our Missing every week. If given a platform and the exposure it deserves, I firmly believe that the program can help solve some of the cases it features.
Even if the cases aren’t solved, at least they’ll get people thinking and remembering that there aren’t just the white women disappearing in Aruba to worry about.