Some of my favorite shows come on channels like the different Discovery Channels, TLC, Food Network, HGTV and Animal Planet. I just love those Meerkats. Anyway, I was looking at a show that I do watch often called Little People Big World and thought about the fact that this show and pretty much every other on these channels was about whites, featured whites or had white hosts. Now I am sure that they have little people who just happen to be of color, yet by watching this show you would never know it. They not only don’t have any on the show, they don’t chronicle any the way they do others on the show. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out how a little person of color has to deal with life having two things to be discriminated for, being small and of color?
I know that people wonder why this even makes a difference to me; it does because with all the people out here on these Blogs saying that blacks should stop whining and work hard and they will benefit from society just the same as whites. Now am I to believe that there is NO hard working or interesting blacks out here that might deserve or be interesting enough for a show. So I guess hard work doesn’t help in this case. Since how hard does one have to work in order to fall into a job where you are just telling people about someone else’s dirty jobs, not much I am sure. It seems all one would need is a great personality and an ability to communicate well. And I would hope that people aren’t saying that no other race besides the white one can produce people with these characteristics as that would be extremely condescending.
Are these channels racist or are they just clueless to their black viewers? Yet, when I visit their websites they prominently show advertisements with black faces smiling brightly. So it is clear that they understand they have black viewers so I am forced to acknowledge that they are discriminating. They won’t give us a television show, yet they WILL sell to us indiscriminately. White mindset people won’t understand why this is a big deal and undoubtedly say that there aren’t any shows featuring blacks because the blacks didn’t do anything that would get them a show or we or other minorities just aren’t interesting enough. Interestingly enough I heard this exact argument when another Blogger asked why only white women are shown on network news when missing and a white commenter said that it was because the white women’s stories are so much more interesting than any minority would have. But, in fact half the shows on there could be hosted by anyone, black, white, Asian etc. I watch the show Little People Big World, now were there NO equivalent black family, how about Hispanic little people or Asian little people?
Are there no black or other minority people that own tattoo parlors that they could chronicle? Why don’t they have black people or more minority cook’s who are able to lead a cooking show on the Food network? Unfortunately what is being portrayed to blacks of all ages who watch these channels is that they are not worthy of doing any of these positive shows yet we will undoubtedly be over represented on some trash like Hot ghetto mess or America’s most wanted or some other show that might as well be called Black on Black crime at its finest. And yet here we are, and I am as guilty as the next person, watching these channels, keeping them going by giving them higher ratings with my viewing.
Asking are these channels racist, of course, they are just propagating more white privilege by pushing the white mindset on those in the minority communities. Even if they did put a black person or other minority on these channels it wouldn’t matter since this person would be just another white person with whatever ethnic skin tone they are being portrayed as. What I mean by this is that the black person they pick will be so assimilated that they will seem like a white person in black skin. I understand that this is the only type of blacks who make it on television set aside for the mammies and buffoons that make it in big Hollywood.
Yet as we can all see that these channels are overwhelmingly blatantly white you will still have people telling me and others that racism is dead or that it is pointing out racism that won’t let racism go away. Now I don’t know about them but I don’t think that by me pointing out the lack of minorities on these channels it makes them hire even MORE whites while ignoring the blacks and other minorities until it’s time for advertising. Yet will any of my complaining change anything for these channels? Since these are the same people who are operating on this theory of a color blind society as long as we don’t complain that the only color being represented is white. So until we are all respectful enough to realize that whatever race I identify with is not the ONLY race that matters then maybe we will be able to have all people represented when we sit down with our families and turn on the television.