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real-housewies-of-atlanta-feat (1)

Real Housewives of Atlanta: Reality TV Still Sucks

I’ve been thinking long and hard about doing an article about what everyone’s talking and tweeting about. I even did an article on my own blog about the whole issue from a somewhat analytic point of view. Yet, I feel the need to speak candidly about how I personally feel about the latest news in the wide world of ratchetness in the ever expanding world of reality TV.

By now, you’ve heard about the latest edition of the Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) reunion. Explaining what went down by detail is – in my opinion – unnecessary. But the news circulating the globe is the throwdown that went down between Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore, a fight – I came to find out – that was a couple of years in the making.

I wrote in my original piece that it’s human checking out a brawl between two or more people. We see some drama going down; we want to know what happened. And we want to see fists fly. My issue is that when it comes to mainstream programming, why is it seem almost imperative to ‘have’ black folks act degenerative on national TV?

Let’s be real. The media in general helps reinforce a lot of negative stereotypes about us black folks. From constant talk shows where white males reveal the paternity of some black woman’s child to local and national news where crime is the most likely of places, besides the reporters, to see stories about black people, we’re nothing more to the mainstream media than a race of largely hypersexual, irresponsible, violent loudmouths with tacky hair dos and bad grammar.

real-housewies-of-atlanta (1)I’ve never been a fan of such shows like RHOA or any program where negative black stereotypes rake in big ratings. I think RHOA went over the limit with the fight heard around the world for many of its fans, some of whom are black themselves. A lot of folks thought that fight was taking things too far considering that this may be their wildest and most violent season yet, and they’ve voiced their opinions on whom they can’t stand, even if certain ones were once admired and respected in another lifetime.

But some of those fans see nothing wrong with it. They argue that reality TV makes fools out of anyone. The argument here is that when it comes to black folks acting up, it is indicative of who most of them truly are. But there is a more serious issue to it all.

There is research to confirm that media portrayals of black people can not only influence the mentality of those who watch them, but can also have real world consequences for black folks. This kind of thinking can influence how black folks are treated and how black people see themselves. The worse-case scenario is that it could lead to imprisonment or death.

Should the blame rest entirely on the cast of the RHOA? No. Yet, I know a lot of people will blame the hell outta them. The network heads over at Bravo TV, especially Andy Cohen himself, must be held accountable as well, probably largely so since they promote this kind of “entertainment”. But let’s not put all the blame on RHOA or any one show, for that matter. The TV executives who promote negative stereotypes of black people more so than any other image that shows the humanity and complexity of blacks like they do with white folks must be held accountable. The people, especially those with kids who let them watch as well, who tune in to watch this kind of exploitation are also responsible. And yes. The brothas, sistas and crazy ass negroes behind and in front of the camera need a wake-up call as well.

ColorofChange.org is calling for a serious change in RHOA’s “violent portrayal of black people. But there are other shows that need to be tackled as well. Personally, I hope they go after Maury and The First48 next.

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Mental Health: Karyn Washington Should Not Be Dead

April 13, 2014 • Culture, Gender • Views: 1545

The U.S. lapse in judgment on mental health issues have come to the forefront relentlessly over the past week or so. Let me give a couple of examples: The Shooting At Fort Hood: A shooting spree occurred at several locations on theFort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas On April 2, 2014.

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Girl, 8, “Kicked Out” of Christian School for Looking Like a Boy

March 25, 2014 • Culture, Gender • Views: 2139

I’m not the religious type, and I understand that parochial schools have different rules and standards relative to a state funded public school. However, I think it’s unfortunate that some of the rules written and enforced at parochial schools are an extension of what I see as bigotry.

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Homeless Mother Arrested for Leaving Kids in Car During Job Interview

March 24, 2014 • Culture, Gender, Justice • Views: 3564

With many people unemployed, homeless and living out of their vehicles in America there’s really no telling how often something like this happens. As if being homeless with children isn’t tough enough, I imagine for many folks with similar situations like Shanesha Taylor the moral

rennie-gibbs-mississi-stillborn-baby (1)

Mississippi: Rennie Gibbs Faces Life in Prison for Stillborn Birth

March 23, 2014 • Gender, Justice • Views: 2946

Editor’s Note: I wrote the following post about Rennie Gibbs of Mississippi back in June 2011. Back then I was disheartened that this was a very little reported story. Since then, Gibb’s story has gained very little traction until now. Last week, ProPublica ran an update to this story

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The Rise of Lupita Nyong’o: Why She’s More Than a Fetish

March 23, 2014 • Culture, Entertainment, Gender, Media • Views: 2436

Lupita Nyong’o… the Mexican-born, Kenyan-raised, Yale educated actress and filmmaker took Hollywood and popular culture by storm, after her breakout role as Patsey in the film adaptation of the memoir and slave narrative, 12 Years A Slave. Making the red carpet rounds at various press junkets,

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Marlon Wayans vs. Lord Jamar: Gays Destroying the Black Community?

March 8, 2014 • Culture, Gender • Views: 2885

So as I’m perusing my Twitter timeline, as per usual, I see an apparently heated exchange between comedian Marlon Wayans and rapper Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian fame. Lord Jamar has been calling out those men who have decided to wear what many are calling a skirt, such as Kanye West who wore a

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Economics of Sex Teaches Us Five Lessons

March 6, 2014 • Culture, Gender, Video • Views: 1547

The economics of sex is an intriguing thing. Many of us love sex, must have sex, and cannot get enough of sex. However, the dynamics of the relationships between men and women make the situation tricky. For many years, there have been some discrepancies between what men want sexually and what women

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Melissa Ortiz and the Fallacy of the Argumentative Angry Black Woman

February 19, 2014 • Gender • Views: 579

Fallacy: a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.; any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound. It seems as if many of us that live on top of this majestic, rotating mud-ball tend to live through fallacies. Plenty of us take on

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Rush Limbaugh, James Sensenbrenner, & Michelle Obama’s Booty

February 14, 2014 • Gender, Politics • Views: 563

Count on Rush Limbaugh to throw tact to the wayside in order to jump on any opportunity to diss the First Family whenever he’s given air time. This latest edition of his anti-black democratic President venting is directed towards First Lady Michelle Obama, particularly at her posterior.

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Louisiana HIV/AIDS Patients in Obamacare Limbo Facing Discrimination

February 12, 2014 • Culture, Gender, Politics • Views: 402

Some time ago I wrote about how the refusal to expand Medicaid impacts poor people living in southern states. Unfortunatly, a very large number of those individuals are African-Americans. These are people who are unable to afford health insurance who or qualify for government subsidies under

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Black History, Black Women, & Sexual Empowerment

February 7, 2014 • Culture, Gender, Video • Views: 1267

Well Black History Month has rolled around again and for all intents and purposes it feels like it is devolving into a nonentity and afterthought on the minds of many – black folks especially. Wait, except for those looking for a reason to celebrate something or another. The more time that goes

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So, Apparently Black Women Aren’t Supposed to Do Yoga

January 29, 2014 • Gender, Race • Views: 2331

“A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous. Within

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Hood Feminism: For Those Who Fight The Power From the Lowest Rung of Privilege

January 28, 2014 • Culture, Gender • Views: 1595

I love political discussion, and one of things that frustrates me the most is when people hoping to reach a shared goal can’t find ways to work together to achieve it. I do a lot of writing on a blog dedicated to interracial relations. I enjoy the people and the majority of the topics, much

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Rand Paul Suggests Cutting Benefits for Unwed Mothers with Too Many Kids

January 26, 2014 • Gender, Politics • Views: 1095

From the looks of it, Mike Huckabee isn’t the only Republican concerned about the libido of women. As if we didn’t have enough bad ideas when it comes to social policy from Republicans, in comes Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) with his brand of what amounts to Social Darwinism intended to hurt