Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sometimes the enemy looks like us

Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Hatchett (above), the list goes on. The one thing these courtroom t.v. hosts have in common is they exploit the ignorance of poor and uneducated black people.

The worst offender is Judge Hatchett. She is the Black equivalent of Maury Povich.

The scenario is almost always the same. A young Black woman and Young Black man enter the courtroom. Judge Hatchett declares that the woman is suing the man for paternity. The Judge questions both until it is revealed that the man may not be the father because the woman was sleeping with other men while she was being intimate with the young man. Then the DNA test. At least 8 out of 10 times the man ends up not being the father. So, the obvious implication, the women is loose, she sleeps around. What kind of woman doesn't even know who the father of her child is? Well according to this show, Black women.

Although White people appear on these shows too, the majority of the guests are Black. As we talk about derogatory media images it seems that more and more Black people are participating in exploiting our image. How can we protest Viacom and not Judge Hatchett and Judge Joe brown and all the others. Everywhere we turn there are examples of media stereotyping with Black people seemingly at the helm.

Black people have always been the victims of debasement by the media in America. Now it seems that for the right price Blacks are willing to participate in demeaning Black people too. Whether it's BET president Debra Lee, Judge Hatchett or Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus), the effect is the same as when White media companies defile our images.

There are attacks on all fronts. Sometimes I just want to tune it out. I want to ignore the media in general because I know it means me no good. But how does one ignore the media in 2007? It's everywhere, hundreds of thousands of outlets, new technology everyday.

This battle will go on I think until African Americans tune out what is referred to as mainstream media. About a month ago I cancelled my cable. I was feeling like a fool giving money to Viacom every month so they could produce Flava Of Love and all the junk on BET.

Every time you pay your cable bill a small portion goes to Viacom. Then multiply that by 25 million or so African American households with cable and that's a lot of money.

As long as we continue to give our money to the Viacoms of the world and as long as we don't hold people like Judge Hatchett accountable, it's just going to be more of the same. Next year this time there will be more protests, and the year after that and so on.

The slogan for a group of people who have been protesting outside of BET president Debra Lee's home is Enough is Enough. I agree.

Read more on this subject; What About Our Daughters - How Long Could You Live Without Cable? 381 days?

Mes Deux Cents - Why I Cancelled My Cable T.V.

5 comments:

Jackie said...

I absolutely hate Maury Povich, and Springer. I never really thought about the judge shows or knew they did the paternity test thing. This is all irresponsible TV. If these people have so many sexual encounters they don't know who's the daddy, they are also having unprotected sex. These shows never mention HIV/AIDS and other STD's. Makes me nuts.

Mes Deaux Cents said...

Hi Jackie,

It's all for ratings and profit, they don't care about STD's.

The other judge shows are not nearly as bad as Judge Hatchett, the others don't often do the paternity tests, she does them contantly.

Ehav Ever said...

Before left America for Israel, I only watched the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. At the time I wasn't paying for the cable, and I spent most of my time on the net. Yet, I had plans on not wanting cable at all. Now that I am Israel I decided to not get a TV or cable.

In terms of the images I think the problem boils down to one of morality more than race. People who are obsessed with power, status, and money will do anything and portray anything to achieve those goals. In any case I think TV is a distraction to keep people from going out and being socially active. That is the reason I got rid of my TV. I no longer wanted to waste my time on something that was going to be worthless because most of the people who control the programming have a lack of morality, it would seem.

I grew up seeing the images I needed see of postive people, from all cultures, based upon what my family established for me. My family made sure that images that I needed to see to live in the real world were there for me. Sometimes that meant moving to the right areas, sometimes that meant inviting over only the right people, sometimes that meant traveling to a different part of the world.

In the end when segments of society chooses to live by a lack or moral fiber that is when it is up to normal people to provide the image to the young.

Mes Deaux Cents said...

Ehav,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you, however I think race plays a major part in this. Recently Bill O'Reilly (radio/ tv commentator) made some telling comments about how people who have little contact with Black people view us. He visited a Black owned restaurant in Harlem and said he was suprised at how civilized the Black patrons were. He also made it clear that this reaction was because he only saw the oppisite portrayed in the media about Black people.

To be clear, I really don't care what Bill O'Reilly thinks of us, however when the person sitting on the other side of the human resources table interviewing a Black applicant holds these same views because of their exposure to the media, it's a serious problem. A problem which impedes our collective growth and success.

It sounds like you had a wonderful family that truly cared about you. You are very fortunate.

Read Bill O'Reilly's comments here;
http://askthisblackwoman.com/2007/09/25/bill-oreilly.aspx

Ehav Ever said...

I may have lost my earlier post. I believe that racism is the result of a lack of moral fiber. People like Bill O'Reilly suffer from such things. If you look hard enough at his personal life, which he likes to try and keep private you will see exactly what I mean. People who give O'Reilly false images to work off of are just as flawed. The logic of those who are racist is flawed, thus their morality is also lacking.

Racism is real, but I was always taught it can be fought. One way is to raise children who stand strong on a moral platform and never submit to immorality. Second, form communities of like minded people and pool resources. My grandfather, Tarshish Ever, was a firm believer that a personal must develop themselves with a skill, hone that skill, and know the nature of their environment. That is why wherever I worked I always made sure to leave a good example of what a Israeli, Sephardic Jews, African American, person could be.

Also, with the internet and blogs the images can be broadened. I have never allowed someone to place a stereotype on me, no matter who they are. I also stopped supporting the people who help perpetuate stereotypes.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron