am gonna let you all in on a little secret.
People often associate with people like themselves.
Oh, you knew that already? Perhaps you can tell that to the
There is a group out there called Children Now who
produced a study regarding the diversity of television
programming. Not all of television programming. Not all of
prime-time programming. Just the first hour of prime-time
television. Step back and think about that for a moment. They
got funded, to watch 7 hours of television and to report the
number of shows that had more then one race regularly
represented. Am I the only one that finds this exercise silly?
The president of Children Now, Lois Salisbury, said.
"Prime-time programmers appear to have forgotten that
America's children, in all of their diversity, are a big part of
the evening viewing audience." America's children in all of
their diversity? Can someone tell me what the hell that exactly
Gee Lois, if you wanted to do something equally as useless but
more interesting you could have conducted a study that showed
how many time the word "the" appeared in the first 10
minutes of prime-time programming.
What amazes me here is, that not for one-second, did the
researchers ever consider that diversity in real life is far
lower than represented on television. Let's be honest about this
here. Many people work at jobs that do not have people of a
different race working there. Although you couldn't tell it by
watching television, every workplace does not contain one token
flaming homosexual that provides comic relief. Television is not
real life, it's not even a reasonable facsimile.
I guess that for some folks, television is the utopia that can
never be reached in the real world. Where black men and white
men, Jews and gentiles can all gather together in harmony and
work at a job where nobody actually has to do anything. (a
little off topic here, but have you ever noticed that the only
time you see people actually working on television it usually
involves them working late? You have to wonder if that sexual
encounter in the copy room was not the most productive use of
What we often forget, is that television is nothing more then a
bunch of folks playing pretend. Idiotic celebrities that portray
idiotic characters doing idiotic things. The television shows
that do well are usually those that can connect with us on a
realistic level. A television show like ER can be culturally
diverse and be successful, because the staff in Emergency Rooms
are usually culturally diverse. Shows like Friends can be
popular and not be diverse, because people do not pick friends
like they are painting a rainbow. Although many white people
will be quick to say "I have a lot of black friends"
whenever the topic of race comes up, I have seen very few people
that can back this up. It's not a racism thing, it's just the
way people gather.
Don't believe me? Let's experiment.
a big party and invite only two people (acquaintances
preferably) of a race different from yours. Get a stopwatch. Now
time how long it takes until you see them together. Chances are
it won't be too long. While some may attack me for being
insensitive here, it is not a racist thing. It's human nature.
We associate with those most like us.
Let me just say, that I have no black friends. It's sad that I
feel somewhat ashamed in saying that. I shouldn't. I haven't
excluded anyone. It's just that I have a very limited circle of
people I associate with. They are all people of backgrounds
similar to mine. I am not saying that I will never have a black
friend, I just haven't met one with similar likes and dislikes.
Life works out this way sometimes. I wish it were different.
I could go out and recruit a random black person to be my
friend, but the only thing that does is make me a phony who
wants a friend only because of the color of their skin. To me,
this is worse then exclusion, this would be insulting. People
are individuals, and I refuse to use someone as a way to make my
circle of friends "diverse."
As far as television goes, the Children Now group found that
only 13% of first hour prime-time shows were culturally diverse.
They are astounded because 67% of the shows in the last hour of
prime-time were representing more then one race. Well, this
makes sense, first hour sitcom shows are usually placed in the
context of families or groups of friends and the last hour
dramas usually involve some kind of profession. Seems pretty
Much like in the real world, there is a push to homogenize
television. To make sure every show neither offends anyone, nor
leaves any race unrepresented. An agenda to have every show
contain at least one white person, one black person, one
Hispanic person, one transgendered and possibly three or four
people of unidentifiable race. How they could do this is beyond
Would My Three Sons be as funny if the kids were named Billy,
Juan and Xing-Zu and raised by Uncle Charlotte in drag? (OK,
maybe....that was a bad example)
Truth be told, television is getting really bad as it is.
Perhaps a totally homogenized prime-time line up would force
most of us to shut of the television and start talking to each
Sometimes a good thing can arrive via silliness.
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