While watching the “Wendy Williams” show on Wednesday, I was taken aback by a statement she made about Black people being the only race who doesn’t protest negative stereotypical representation on TV. The last time African Americans protested a television show was in 1998. The show was, “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer” that made light of slavery. The protests were so extreme that the show was taken off the air after just one episode. It makes me think that we as a people have really forgotten the power of protesting. Yes, we are protesting every day about the Trayvon Martin case, but there are other injustices taking place that put Blacks in a negative light.

When I have traveled to other countries, it always upset me when people assumed I was a particular way because of what they saw on television. Black women are often portrayed as loud, ignorant, full of anger, materialistic and man crazy. When I began to get offensive, I stopped myself because I realized that some people have no day to day interaction with African Americans so they take the portrayals that they see on TV as the truth. Who is to blame for that when, more times than not, Blacks are the ones keeping these shows on the air with high ratings?

Gone are the days of “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” or any other show that represented Blacks in a positive way. All these “reality” shows confuse those who aren’t surrounded by many Black people because they are labeled as “reality” instead of oversized exploitation of demeaning stereo-types. The real issue isn’t even the reality shows per se, but the fact that there aren’t enough uplifting Black shows to balance out the trash.

To be outraged by the killing of a young man who was stereotyped and racially profiled, but laugh at negative, stereotypical images every week is a bit…off.

We do have a voice and if we want to be respected in ALL aspects than we need to use it. Don’t limit the power of your protest.

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  • crmel

    I agree. It’s a mess.Blacks are selling their souls on TV just to make a dollar. I can’t even watch it. They are pitiful and ignorant. You can’t buy class.smh.

    • Tom

      When we’re laughing at people like Dave Chappelle and Tyler Perry for doing stereotypes that we’d get mad at if a white person did it, there’s a serious problem. Nobody gives us a worse name than the black community. If you think otherwise you’re only fooling yourself.

  • Leelee

    I agree that we need to see balanced images of ourselves on TV but I hope people don’t really think that these balanced images will change the way people see us. The reason people are so quick to believe these stereotypes is because they want to believe them. Newer, positive images won’t change that. Watching the Cosby Show didn’t stop people from crossing to the other street when they saw a black man walking down one. It won’t make much of a difference to the people who believe these things. And it’s not really ignorance if people refuse to grab the information out there. It’s prejudice, not ignorance. They don’t want to know any different. If I’m ignorant about things going on in the world, yet refuse to go to school, that’s all me and its intentional. So yes, you can blame most people, but doing so would be pointless. I want to see a variety of images for me not to change what someone thinks about me.

    • jamesw

      I agree with Leelee.In the movie hungar games you had a person say the black actress who played Rue,wasn’t realistic because they can’t picture a black girl being innocent.Basically black people are looked at as being bad,even when given a role that should put them in a positive light.

  • Shirl

    Chic Noir
    I respect your opinion and I get what you’re saying but during the cosby, living single etc. era I was still followed while shopping, stopped by police while driving… so I don’t think they changed others perceptions of us but it sure was nice to see successful black families and successful black friends I must admit. And you know what? I’m not even gonna call them successful families and friends because they were NORMAL black families and NORMAL black friends. Regardless of what people think they were the norm and not the exception.

    • pink

      Shirl: Thanks for the sensible comments. Some people just don’t get it. But you really put it in perspective.

  • MsZMC

    The truth is not as many people as we’d like to think have everyday interaction with people of color and if what they see on tv becomes their only source then we are in big trouble.

  • pink

    The notion that ALL black people act, and think the same is stupid as hell!! Does everyone in every other race white, yellow, or brown think, or act alike? I think NOT!!! No group is monolithic!! And for anyone that’s stupid enough to believe eveything they see on TV; whether it’s a sitcom, or reality show…..well that’s on their stupid “A”!!!