Tag: interracial relationships

October 29, 2007 / / Uncategorized
June 6, 2007 / / Uncategorized

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

[Warning: Long post. You might want to grab a snack…]

BET has been dead to me for a while now.

I would have to say I stopped watching BET in high school. With the occasional channel flick to check out music videos, nothing on BET interested me. Not 106 and Park, not BET Nightly News. Nothing.

So imagine my surprise when my best friend called me up and told me to turn on BET, like ASAP.

“They are talking about the state of black marriage!” she yelled, then hung up the phone.

I flipped over to the channel, fearing the worst.

On BET’s Meet the Faith, host Dr. Ian Smith hosted an honest and forthcoming discussion about marriage in the African-American community.

From the tone of the panel to the how the subject matter was covered, it is obvious that we have a long way to go.

The show was set up with two short segments – one black woman’s testimony about marrying outside of the race and an attorney’s venture into blind dating, along with BET personality Cheming interviewing people on the street about their thoughts and feelings about marriage.

The main event, however, was the panel discussion. Ian Smith hosted the discussion, and the featured guests were Dr. Tiy-E Muhammed (billed as an Author and Relationship Expert), Lauren Lake (a legal analyst) and Thomas Lopez-Pierre, Owner of the Harlem Club.

Automatically, I am put on edge. What kind of conversation happens in a 2-on-1 setting? One would at least imagine you would put an equal number of guests when discussing matters of gender.

Some key quotes from the discussion (and a little bit of my reactions) are as follows:

“Black men don’t want a partner, they want wives.” — Lopez-Pierre

It should be noted that Lake jumped all over him for making this assertion. Lopez-Pierre went on to argue that a partner indicates an equal. While I could not catch everything he said (which is why I can’t quote this part), he stated that having an equal or a partner basically means he has to respect the time of his partner, which would mean he would need to do things to help out like make dinner, or clean the house, which is something he refuses to do. Ergo, he wants a wife – not a partner. Lopez-Pierre talks about his relationship with his wife as an example. It is interesting to see where he draws the distinction – a partner is someone you have to pay attention to, a wife is a person who accommodates her man. This perspective is revisited later in the broadcast. Read the Post Know Your Place, Woman: BET’s Meet the Faith on Black Marriage

May 17, 2007 / / Uncategorized

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I’ve always liked reading personal ads. Even when I was a little girl, I would check out the back of the paper in hopes of finding a boyfriend for my widowed mom, and in the meantime, made an attempt to figure out what was going on in the minds of grown-ups as they searched for someone with whom to live “happily ever after.” There were certain acronyms and terms used in the ads that I didn’t quite understand at a young age (i.e. NSA: no strings attached or BBW: big beautiful woman), but for the most part, I thought I had a handle on what I was taking in at my elementary school reading level. It wasn’t until I became a bit older that I began to notice an interesting trend: personal ads are riddled with messages, some more subtle than others, on how people feel about race, ethnicity, and nationality.

With the emergence of the internet, I abandoned the paper and began perusing online ads, some of which read more like military code than personal descriptions: “SWF BBW in NYC seeks 30 – 35 y.o. D&D free S or D H/W/B/A/M for NSA BSDM ASAP in area codes 10003, 100019, and 10011. You must host. Pics? STR.” While these types of ads make virtual bulletin boards appear cluttered, others are well-written, funny, romantic, and/or so outlandish that they are hard to ignore. Sites like Craigslist became popular resources for finding any and every thing, from apartments and pets to jobs and vacation rentals. The personal ads were no different. Considering the privacy feature of anonymous posting in order to protect one’s identity, the personal ads serve as e-snapshots of candid thought—inside peaks into what the people I encounter on a daily basis may think of themselves, but, more importantly, how they view the world around them.

I checked the CL personals about as often as I checked for apartments, or, in other words, every five seconds, even though I wasn’t really looking for anything heavy duty in the love department and happened to be quite satisfied with my Brooklyn 2-bedroom and its 14 month lease. Reading the personals was a perfect way to find a little piece of reality TV-esque drama without all the heavy editing, good lighting, and stage makeup. The ads were frank, the boards were frequently updated, and the content never failed to amuse me, but behind all the fun, there was an underbelly of racism. This came as a bit of a surprise considering that so many of the CL posters were young, educated, and lived in diverse and densely populated urban environments—all oft-cited demographic factors in the commonly held belief that racism is on its way out. Though politicians, institutions of higher learning, and Ward Connerly would like for us to believe that the United States is on its way to becoming a colorblind utopia, a simple examination of Craigslist personal ads proves quite the opposite.

In the world of online dating, where a user name, masked email address, and optional photo sharing means freedom to speak ones mind in complete anonymity, users frequently abandon political correctness and resort to exotification, stereotypes, and blatant racism when referring to racial/ethnic “others” in their attempts to choose a mate. While some ads include the user’s thoughts on race in more subtle ways, for example, simply stating a racial “preference” (still, arguably, a sign of prejudice), others are more obvious in their descriptions—ranging from the utilization of explicitly racist phrases or terms to describe his/her own background and/or the background of the person being sought to downright exclusion a la Jim Crow style (“No -insert race here- need apply”).

I examined New York Craigslist personals for a week straight, mainly focusing on the basic m4m, f4m, m4m, and f4f ads as the prevalence of racist epithets/hate speech was so common in the “casual encounters” and “rants and raves” sections that I’d have to write an entirely separate article to cover them. In order to find data, I simply typed in a group (i.e. “Asian,” “white,” “black”) in the search box and let the magic happen. Here were some of my favorites (organized by search term) from my early set of results (please ignore the typos…I have left them in their original form):

  • WHITE: “I’m looking for a nice all American woman…Tell me about yourself and what you do, etc. I’m not picky about age, older is fine with me. White Irish or Italian is my preference, not into Latin women. . .”

Hmmm . . . an “All-American” woman who is of Irish or Italian background. . . Can anyone say “contradiction”? Is he not just saying that “All-American” equates to white, and that “Latin women” are nowhere close? Read the Post Craigslist Personals: Desperately Seeking Diversity Training

January 15, 2007 / / Uncategorized

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

On episode 12 of Addicted to Race back in January 2006, Jen and I counted down the top trends of the previous year, 2005. They were: DNA tests, hate crimes, celebrities talk about race, how can I be racist? I’m in an interracial relationship!, blackface is back, race still black and white only, more products for mixed people and families.

I figured I’d continue that tradition by breaking down the top trends in race and pop culture of 2006. Thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas. Here are some honorable mentions that didn’t make it into my list as stand-alone items, though you’ll see that almost all will be mentioned as part of other items: non-apologies, anti-PC movement, comparing races, un-PC humor, all things Africa, black and gay half-brothers on sitcoms.

And by the way, be sure to check out Rachel’s Been There Done That List of Unfashionable Racial Issues and I’m So Hot I’m on Fire List of The Most Fashionable Racial Trends of 2006 .

So here we go with numbers 10 through 8 of my list. Check back tomorrow for 7 through 4, and Wednesday for the top 3.

10. Race-swapping undercover experiments
9. Hipster racism
8. The continuing obsession with interracial relationships

10. Race-swapping undercover experiments

TV during the first quarter of 2006 was all about undercover experiments, so much so that I actually wrote a post about it in late February. (And the queen of undercover experiments was undoubtedly Miss Tyra Banks.)

Not all of these experiments had to with race:

  • Tyra Banks goes undercover in a fatsuit to examine prejudice against overweight people
  • Journalist Norah Vincent goes undercover as a man and writes the book Self-Made Man : One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back
  • Tyra Banks dons “trashy clothes, a latex nose and a wig to disguise herself as a sexy dancer and took a secret film crew into a strip club” to expose the “sleazy world of strippers and pole dancers.”

But a great many of them were all about race:

  • The most notorious example was the reality series Black.White. on FX, in which a white family put on blackface and a black family put on whiteface to see what it was like living as a different “race.” As you can imagine, it was festival of racial stereotypes in which nobody learned anything constructive about anything.
  • Tyra Banks sends a black woman (who on a previous show declared she hated black women) out in whiteface to try and get at “the root of her hate.” She also sent the black/white mixed writer Angela Nissel (whom I interviewed on episode 24 of Addicted to Race) on dates “both as a black woman and as a white women to see if they treat her differently.”
  • Even Oprah got in on the race-swapping fun when she entered “The Human Race Machine” to see “what she looks like white? Asian? Hispanic?” Ugh!

Sometimes the race-swapping wasn’t done in an undercover fashion, but simply by putting a black person in a white community or a white person in a black community (because you know, those are the only two races that count on TV).

  • Dr. Phil did a god-awful episode about race in which he forced a white racist to spend two whole days with a black family in an effort to “cure” him of his racism. You can my rant about it in episode 13 of Addicted to Race.
  • Trading Spouses did an episode in which the Josephs (a black family from Harlem, NYC) and the Gibbons (a white family from Mendon, Massachusetts) swapped spouses.

Read the Post The 10 biggest race and pop culture trends of 2006: Part 1 of 3

December 22, 2006 / / Uncategorized

by guest contributor Stella Q

my boys tbs I am warming up to My Boys, a by-the-numbers, sitcom-ish TBS series about PJ, a cute tomboy navigating life as only a twentysomething can. The gimmick is that her friends are exclusively guys (all white and straight) with whom she talks sports, plays poker and generally hangs out. Her best (and only) girlfriend Stephanie is her polar opposite–a girly, high maintenance African-American woman she met in J-school. (Still not clear what said best friend writes about, but our tomboy is, of course, a sports writer.)

Read the PostInterracial awkardness on TBS’s My Boys

December 7, 2006 / / Uncategorized