This topic came up while I was watching Love & Hip Hop Atlanta last night. A few people took to their Twitter accounts to express their distaste in today’s television. They argued that reality television is making women look bad, setting African Americans back 50 years and negatively impacting our young children. To that I say, what a cop out!
As a race, especially, we have allowed ourselves to not only care more about what people think of us than we do ourselves, but we have allowed ourselves to be lazy in raising our children and then point the blame at everyone else. We live in a ‘pass the buck’ society. We don’t want to take any responsibility so we pass the blame on the faceless “reality tv”. Well, let me ask you, where was reality tv when kids were shooting up schools? When our young sons were out selling dope on the corner, where was the TV then? At some point we have to stop blaming television.
I’m not saying that things on television can’t be influential to impressional young minds. What I am saying is that you need to raise your kids so the television doesn’t have to. You can’t complain about Love & Hip Hop being a bad influence on children while subsequently tuned in to the premier of the third season. It’s too late to be shocked now. You can’t say Basketball Wives is making our young women more violent but continue to tune in week after week to see who Evelyn throws a champagne bottle at next. You can’t entertain it and complain about it at the same time. The true reality is, there are other things to watch on television. Discovery Channel and Animal Planet are just two educational networks that are great for the entire family. Why aren’t you giving their programming any ratings?
Let’s face it, you purchased the television, you choose what is on TV, and you choose to allow your child to watch it. Do I feel that these shows set black people back? Absolutely not. I don’t conduct myself in the manner that those people do. I don’t fight, argue or live recklessly. If anything, this makes me look better than the people you see on TV. If you are easily set back, you were weak to begin with. Do you think white people are sitting up watching Real Housewives Of Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives and then judging us? Maybe, maybe not. But that doesn’t define me. When I watch Real Housewives of New York, Mob Wives, Jersey Shore and the thousand other shameful reality shows that cater to them, I don’t think “Jeez, white people are violent animals!”. I’m sure they don’t care what I think anyway.
It’s time for us to take responsibility starting with what we allow in our own homes. It’s time to stop using words like “setting us back” and “making us look bad” when we are the only ones in control of how we look. Eliminate these thoughts from your mind and see how much further you can go.