"Racism still alive, they just be concealing it."
Never Let you down - Kanye West
Was reading an article on the new TV 'reality' show Black White created by Ice Cube. Remember Fox had/has a show called Wife Swap where families basically swap moms well this new show, apparently starting in March on FX, could be alternately entitled race swap.
The premise is one familiar to anyone who has read John Griffin's Black Like Me where a white dude somehow, on purpose, dyed his skin to appear black and used that to try to find out what it was like to be a black man. This show however doesn't use dye it uses Hollywood makeup artists to change the skin color of two families, one white and the other black, so that they can pose as the opposite race and experience what its like to be someone else.
And of course given its a reality show, both families have to live under the same roof for a given amount of time so we can watch some exaggerated interaction.
Sigh! Although the producers talk a good game with quotes from Cube like he hopes that the project "will expose the subtleties of racism, the layers of racism" I really cant see this show as anything more than your typical reality TV fodder which will play up the extremes for increased rating share.
Trivialize racism by reducing it to a reality TV series we can laugh and joke about at the water cooler why don't we. Ok so maybe we should be discussing racism at the water cooler and this is a good way to get a discourse started or so it may seem but in reality, well sorry in my opinion, racism really isn't that good at the water cooler cause some folks just never ever get it.
Oh well maybe I'm being too harsh, maybe there is a point to getting racism out in the open Hollywood reality style. Maybe it'll make discussion of racism cool.
Naa this show will gloss over the essence, stick to the predictable, the trite and the already known giving us a bunch of stereotypical behavior from both sides while introducing new hip phrases and trends into the public lexicon. Get ready for the n word debate, the typical so-called 'hip hop' behavior, the purse clutching, and the like while the deeper attitude issues get ignored.
Its good to read during Black History month that we are preparing to trivialize racism but maybe trivialization is the only way to start discourse who knows.