Morris O’Kelly: “All My Babies Mamas Must Be Stopped”

by Morris O’Kelly

Some fights you must fight… on principle alone. This would be one of them.

This fight is about having standards, knowing when television programming has in fact gone too far or finally found the basement. The effect and impact of stereotypes can not be denied, from the generalities of racial profiling to the specifics of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Russell Davis; to each time a police officer questions me as to where I purchased my sports car or “why” I’m driving through any given middle-class or affluent neighborhood.

Stereotypes and their impact can not be denied. Ask Muslims and Sikhs about how the world changed for them after 9/11. Ask Latinos in Arizona after SB1070. What also can’t be denied is the disproportionate impact of stereotypes by way of televised imagery with respect to race. Fair or not, the actions of Honey Boo Boo Child and her mother do not serve as a proxy for white women and children. Nor does the sex-tape, jump-started career of Kim Kardashian impact or fuel any long-held negative perceptions of Armenian women. Not all stereotypes are created equal and not all television has equal impact.

The reasonable person is able to distinguish reality television from reality in the world. But then again, there are still millions of people who think Benghazi is a colossal conspiracy and our president is not a U.S. citizen.

Let’s stop underestimating the power and prevalence of stupidity, stop overestimating the common sense of most people. Let’s also stop denying the influence of reality television on both the participants and viewers.

To the issue at hand…


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