Wednesday, February 25, 2009


this is a bit off-topic as i like to post about issues surrounding portland oregon, something got under my skin bigtime tonight. so i must post about it.

as i flipped through the channels i stumbled upon CNN'S "Black in America" hosted by Soledad O'brien.
first of all, the title suggests it encompases black people as a whole-as if all black people are experiencing what they're reporting on. and if you don't agree, think about if it were called "White in America". one would assume that this is a show reporting on what it's like to be white in america. and if they constantly aired trailer park trash, pot smoking, uneducated white people, it wouldn't sit well with viewers because it's inherently understood that the entire white race doesn't live that way. even the most ignorant uneducated black person living in the projects watching that would know that. but flip it for a minute. what happens when some white hick redneck living in the sticks of texas watches the show "black in america"? i bet they believe that almost all (if not all) black people act the way they see portrayed on the show.

haven't we overcome? i personally felt like once obama had been elected, we had. sure, there will always be the low class, trashy, gang-banging, etc. black folk, but there are many, many successful, educated, articulate and hardworking black people in america. yet this show, in all the 3 times i stumbled upon it consistently reports on the downtrodden, gang-banging, poverty stricken, high-school dropout, single welfare mama-type black people.

why not report on the upper class black people in america? isn't that being "black in america"? in my cynical mind it appears to be some type of conspiracy to focus on the negative, to keep the bigots and racists believing that all black people live in the slums, uneducated, and so on. maybe it's just more interesting to report on black people like that. maybe a show on the upper-class wealthy black doctors, lawyers, and professionals living life like everyone else doesn't "sell". maybe cnn knows that people like to see negative reporting on black americans. maybe they want to keep the stereotyping alive and well.

you might argue there there are a lot of black people living poorly, lazy and ghetto. perhaps it's true. but how come the show, being called "black in america" only focuses on the negative? if that is what sells and they must do it, why not rename the show something to the effect of "poor black america" so that we know which blacks they're reporting on. Black in america. if we're black, we must be like the struggling people on the show. why must we all be lumped in that title? i know way too many black people who aren't even close to the type of people they report on.
Soledad is such a tool.


Anonymous said...

I agree with what you are saying. I'm suprised Soledad O'Brien didn't open her mouth to protest that news report as one-sided considering she is black. It's funny how the media likes to demonize black people and hispanic people. I remember when an Asian student in a southern college shot up some of his classmates. When it was on the news, a man talking about the incident (some sort of official) actually said that he wanted everyone to know that it does not reflect on the Korean community. It was like he was encouraging his fellow white viewers not to be angry or upset with Asian people. I guess it means that it is only ok to stereotype other minorities when some of their members screw up. It's funny. I have to give you credit for being able to take so much abuse as a black woman in society and still stay with your white husband. I have dated outside my race and personally couldn't take it. Do you ever feel like you are playing dumb to reality? you have to pretend people and society are 'rosier' than they are? That's how I would feel in an interracial relationship. You have to question who is responsible for creating these stories and what their purpose is. I have read on the internet that Jewish people control the media. Does that mean they hate all but white and Asian people? It would be nice if they just stuck to writing stories about themselves.

Jcanguy said...

Wow!!! falling in love with someone is not playing dumb to reality, its merely loving your partner and hopes the same love is being returned irrespective of what race he/she may belong to. I'm in an interracial relationship and do I not know that yes at times I may still get glare from people of my own race or the other race? But what am I going to do stay with someone jsut because society says so? Or try to be the agent of change and following your heart? And for the record Jews are bashed tremendous amount of times in the media and discriminated against maybe not as equally as black folks but they are still not considered up to par.

Anonymous said...

CNN was trying to bring attention to the African Americans that are suffering DUE TO the odds going against them because of their race. They weren't saying that all black people live like that or suffer in the same ways. They are just getting it out there in the open so that we as a country can fix those societal problems. Why would the show be about upper class black people...they do not need the help and attention that the lower class African Americans need. CNN does honor many successful black people...have you ever seen CNN honors people (black or white) for their accomplishments. I understand that you feel black people need to be portrayed on the media in a more positive light, and you're right. But i think this show on CNN is trying to highlight how many african americans have it harder than your average white guy. our goal is to close that gap, which is what CNN is ultimately attempting through this show.

errata said...

I know a man who says he's black, but his mother is white.

He marks all areas asking "race" or "ethnicity" as "African American".

His wife has a black father but a white mother as well, and she insists on labeling herself as caucasion, even though she is very very dark skinned.

She demands to be labeled white because she says, if her husband can say he's black, then she can say she's white.

She says, "I'm just as much black as white, just like my husband who is as much white as he is black".

And he always tells her to shut up she's crazy!

michael said...

LOL, I really could careless what white people think.

errata said...

Michael, that's nice you care,,,,

I could care less also, and some times I care more;

I've always found the caring goes up and down, more or less..

Anonymous said...

Errata, It depends on your 'phenotype' the girl could say shes white or biracial IF she looks it and not just like some other light-skinned black

errata said...

Yeah yeah yeah,,,,

Light skinned blacks and dark skinned whites,,,,

Phenotype, genotype, give me your liver, and your kidneys on ice!

I don't care what color you are, or what continental shift you're from, just make it match!

"racism is dumb; I only hate people who have type O negative blood!"

Tiffany said...

I don't think you seen the entire series. I believe it was a two part series and in some parts they had the struggling of African Americans but other segments showed us getting our degrees and making a difference in the community and being successful in whatever career path we choose. I actually respect CNN and their choice to air Black in America. It gives people that otherwise don't have the experiences with African Americans to see both sides. Yes there are some of us that are struggling being a single parent and their are others whom are extremely successful.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous post on Tue Mar 03, 11:07:00 PM PST

Look, I'm sorry but you have issues! Stop worrying about how some "red-neck in Texas" is going to perceive the CNN documentary, Black in America! You live in Portland, correct? Portland is not the only place in America! There are people who...let's just say act differently, in EVERY RACE!! Some of the series also talked about the lack of quality stores in some African-American neighborhoods, that carry quality produce. This is SO true in Chicago, Ill and if you haven't been outside of Portland, are TRULY CLUELESS to what's going on in other African-American communities. Maybe the serious rubbed you the wrong way but maybe it brought attention to some MUCH NEEDED changes in places OTHER THAN PORTLAND OREGON! What's your deal? In one of your posts you talked about not sounding bourgeois...but you sound bourgeois as h-ll. Maybe you should stay in Portland, because I don't think you would know how to handle yourself in a city that's a little more Urban.