Recap: Monday’s Tyra show on interracial relationships

by guest contributor Nina

tyra show interracial relationships datingSo on Monday I actually watched the Tyra show (which I never do I swear!) and I have to say, it was quite awful. Sure she focused on interracial dating, but other than having people in the audience stand up and verbalize their prejudices towards interracial couples on the stage, and have the couples defend their relationships, there was no depth at all. In fact I think she gave people more names to call those in mixed race relationships. I had never heard of the terms Rice Queen/Potato Queen that are used in the gay community. Thanks Tyra.

Then she had two women go on blind dates. A Korean woman who thought all Asian guys were nerds dated a Filipino. Uncomfortable! And a black woman dated a white man-and this was the worst since they had her take him to a soul food restaurant in a predominantly black neighborhood, and got shots of the patrons giving them the evil eye and the white boy asking how to eat oxtail. The show made me cringe.

But I got to thinking, what is the best way to do a show on racism and prejudice? Perhaps this would be a good Race Changers assignment. Clearly Tyra was not adept at handling this. If you saw the show I would love to hear your thoughts/comments. I reaize that many will say, what can you expect, it’s daytime TV. But should we let the media continue to dumb down important issues?

Brangelina and the Temple of Doom

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

brad pitt angelina jolie pune rickshaw maddoxAs we’ve discussed before on Racialicious, Angelina Jolie has been cast to play Mariane Pearl, the wife of the late murdered journalist Daniel Pearl.

They’re currently shooting the film in Pune, India and the crowds are going crazy:

The couple were chased by photographers, cameramen and reporters, forcing them to turn back after a 20-minute ride that took them past stores in downtown Pune, in western India.[...] Several traffic signals slowed their short rickshaw ride. At every red light, security men traveling in a rickshaw behind jumped out and surrounded the three-wheeler to prevent the media from snapping pictures of Pitt and Jolie.

indiana jones and the temple of doomIs there something familiar about the scene? It was nagging at me but I couldn’t figure it out, until one of the commenters over at Sepia Mutiny made the connection:

Ok, humor me for a second folks. In the picture where they are in the rickshaw don’t Pitt and Jolie look like Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Really. The part of Short Round is being played by Maddox.

See here. Re-make!

Bingo! Total 80s flashback! :)

Video of the infamous Gwyneth Paltrow and Jay-Z duet

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

About a week ago, Jay-Z did a special concert at the Albert Hall in London. When it came time to perform “Song Cry,” he teamed up with Gwyneth Paltrow, of all people. Behold the video of this totally bizarre duo. I guess now that Gwyneth is African, she has to show she’s got soul too.

English blog Hecklerspray has more background on the concert and delivers this verdict:

Forget that story yesterday about Screech from Saved By The Bell wiping his shitty fingers over a girl’s face; this is just about the most horrific thing we’ve ever heard all week.

I concur. Gwyneth’s shrieking is quite painful to listen to.

links for 2006-10-11

links for 2006-10-10

PBS ‘NewsHour’ not so diverse

by Jen Chau
PBS NewsHourEver notice how experts and commentators in the media are usually white (conservative) men? Yes, not so surprising/groundbreaking. Well, PBS’ ‘NewsHour’ is being blasted by advocacy org Fairness and Accuracy in Media for just this kind of lack of diversity. After all, there are people of color who know what they are talking about too! [sigh] :|

FAIR’s researchers found minorities used as sources 15 percent of the time, even though they make up 31 percent of the population. Hurricane Katrina sources, mostly victims of the flood, make up about half of those sources, he said.

In stories about the Iraq war, people who advocate a U.S. withdrawal were outnumbered by more than five-to-one, the liberal group said. Its researchers said they couldn’t find a single peace activist had appeared on “NewsHour” during the six months studied.

Those stats are crazy (but not surprising). And I love that the PBS spokesperson blames the heavy white male, Republican slant on the fact that we have a Republican White House and Congress. Too easy. Weak.

Is “Classalicious” in our future?

by Jen Chau
Have you wondered why our society doesn’t address class with nearly the same frequency as it does race? I have, but I quickly answer myself — clearly, issues of race and diversity have been done so much (not necessarily done right, though) that it’s easier for people to talk about race than it is for them to talk about class. No one wants to really think about those issues. In the same way that perhaps it used to be taboo for you to mention that (god forbid!) you had a parent of color, the modern day passing might just be about class (as in passing as someone who has more than $100 in savings. :|). I had a recent conversation with a friend where we were talking about this — and how it’s an unspoken thing, that you can’t necessarily tell who is who, that the distinctions of social class are much more invisible. And that’s another reason why race is so easy for us to talk about. It’s seemingly more obvious to us. Or so people think. :)

Slate gives a scathing review of Walter Benn Michaels’ new book, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality. Michaels argues that we need to talk about class and get off the race tip. But apparently, he doesn’t really make his case.

Here are some examples of Michaels’ rhetorical excess. Cultural differences, including those involving race, are “lovable,” whereas class differences “are not so obviously appealing.” Affirmative action is therefore “a kind of collective bribe rich people pay themselves for ignoring economic inequality.” It is absurd to focus so much on affirmative action because “there are no people of different races.” It makes more sense to talk about concrete things, such as paying African-Americans reparations for slavery, than it does to engage in symbolic politics in which nothing really is at stake: “No issue of social justice hangs on appreciating hair color diversity; no issue of social justice hangs on appreciating racial or cultural diversity.”

Michaels, as these examples illustrates, belongs to the “shock and awe” school of political argument. First, you say something wildly implausible in the hopes that its dramatic counterintuitiveness will make it seem brilliant. Yet in the United States in which I live, race is an obvious fact of life, conversations about it remain awkward and uncomfortable, and both supporters and opponents of affirmative action are sincere in their convictions. It is true that saying such things would make for a very unoriginal book. But at least it would be an accurate one.

Boo-yah.

All that said, I do agree that we need to discuss class a much more than we are. But unless someone otherwise convinces me, I don’t think we can necessarily forget about race in that conversation about class. Race and class are inextricably linked (at this time).

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World