Monday, December 31, 2012

Baby Mommas To Spare—Reality Television Takes Another Nosedive

Well, I do believe I have seen and heard it all. I just read on Clutch Magazine about a new show the Oxygen network plans on releasing in the spring called All My Babies’ Mommas

The show is about—you guessed it—a man and all his “baby mommas.” According to the article, thirty-one year-old Shawty Lo has eleven children by ten different women, as well as a new nineteen year-old girlfriend, and they'll be on display on a television near you soon.

Tami Winfrey Harris, author of the article, “Black America is not Shawty Lo,” says that some black Americans have reacted to the news about the show with “black shame,” and she urges her readers to not “accept the stigmas that racism foists upon us.” In my case, girlfriend need not have worried, as doing so was the furthest thing from my mind.

It’s not that I’m insensitive to racial stereotypes. Nothing gets my goat more than the “angry black woman” stereotype, and if you find that to be ironic, so be it. But that stereotype, in my opinion, has one purpose and one purpose only—to make black women shut up, and I take issue with that. 

So when I read that Michelle Obama or Susan Rice or Rhonda Lee are “angry women,” okay, then I’m ready to react. As for Shawty Lo? Whatever. If he and his past girlfriends want to go on national television and tell their story, God love ‘em. I hope they get paid all the money they could ever need to support those eleven children.

While All My Babies’ Mommas might be a new-er low in “reality-based” television, we’ve been seeing this junk for years on Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, and so on, and I think most people realize these segments are designed to be salacious and outrageous and kind of trashy and as a result just don’t take them that seriously. 

As for those who are determined to take them seriously—proof that all black folk are “ghetto” and “no good,” well, I don’t think there’s much I can do about that—nor do I feel like trying.

To be sure, my lackadaisical attitude is not shared by all. Harris did not offer her advice in a vacuum. A commenter named Tay on Shadow and Act wrote, “This IS an un-acceptable embarrassment to the black community, not to mention for women in general.” 

Aamu_Grad wrote, “Please boycott this show!!! Every time we take 1 step forward, we take 2 steps back… Why don't these stations cast other races in trashy stereotypical shows???” 

Dunno, but if there’s shame to be had in this, I ain’t taking it on. Shawty Lo has his story, and I’ve got mine. 

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