Have you ever sat around watching some of the new reality TV shows and wondered if we could do better? Why are the worst images being put on television, often leaving black people embarrassed and humiliated?
These messages are not harmless, since it is basically a conscious decision by mostly white executives to market the ugliest and most pathetic parts of being black in this country. The images are women tend to be the worst, showing grown ups fighting over every little issue, engaging in sick levels of materialism and acting like buffoons in order to keep a man. It also promotes unhealthy relationships, which we see replicated all around us.
These images are being marketed to little girls, which is also changing their behavior. Some of the videotaped fights, like the famous video of Sharkeisha, the girl who sucker punched another girl and kicked her in the face, are leading to the wrong kind of Internet fame, degrading black culture, especially among young women. Then, there are other hurtful stories, like the one about the women who got into a fight in a parking lot and dropped a four month old baby onto her head.
A group, led by Dr. Venus Evans-Winters, has put together a petition to challenge these images. Their petition, which you can sign at Change.org, is demanding accountability for the way that black women are being portrayed in mainstream media.
Here is some of what the petition has to say:
Black girls and young women are often targets of slanderous and misogynist attacks in social media. Many more girls’ self-esteem and reputation are being destroyed, due to negative messages and images of Black girls and young women in online spaces. Negative images of Black girls in social media are threatening to destroy their education and futures. We all must end the predatory violence, objectification, and electronic assaults against our nation’s young Black women. They are our future mothers, sisters, workers, and citizens. We all owe them protection and the right to their full humanity.
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