Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Message in the Media

In celebration of writing my blog consistently for over a month now, I’ve decided to lighten things up a bit while still discussing some pertinent issues.

During President Obama’s campaign, and since his ascendancy to the Office of President, I keep hearing the phrase post-racial. The first time I heard this phrase mentioned as a synonym for “a black man is now president, the United States is no longer racist. I think we can put that discussion to rest and move on,” I laughed. Out loud. A lot. I think only people who are not black could make that statement. A large number of people in this country are still racists, still don’t know anything about black people or what they do “know” they get from stereotypes. Even now some are plotting ways to undermine our current president merely because he is black. Not exactly the way to be post-racial, people.

Anyway, my fabulous boyfriend alerted me to a new show that aired this week on TLC. He knows that as a former Director of Program Development for a local production company, I spent my days pitching TV show concepts to major cable networks. He thought I’d really enjoy TLC’s latest – Guess Who’s Coming Over. This show is Wife Swap meets Black and White (remember that short-lived show on Fox Reality?). And while I give the show kudos for addressing the topic of racism, ignorance, bigotry and prejudice, I feel the show does what we’ve done for hundreds of years in this country – it glosses over the hard stuff. In the first episode a young, black urban young man meets a country redneck. I was proud that the brother kept his cool when the Mr. Git ‘er Done got on his nerves, but I also feel like some outstanding opportunities for honest, open and yes, difficult dialogue were missed. I kept wanting the show to dig a little deeper and get a little grittier – not sensational, just make everyone involved do more hard work. But hey, it’s a start. It’s funny, the whole time I pitched TV shows, I was told some of my concepts were too “earnest” now I’m seeing that at least Guess Who’s Coming Over could be a bit more real instead of Reality TV.

Speaking of real… The next item gives me hope for America. Please tell me you have seen the YouTube video for The Red House furniture store. This is one of the greatest commercials of all time. It is honest. It is funny and it makes a great point. Black people and white people buy furniture. LOL.

So in the spirit of this week’s post – take someone of another race to lunch and commit to having an open, honest and productive discussion about race in America.

See you next week!

Oh, I’m curious. Why is there no content on TLC’s Guess Who’s Coming Over page?

1 comment:

  1. Gay, would you like to come to lunch with Kate and I some time next week?