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Segregation and Integration


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Segregation and Integration

 

In New Rochelle today I ate at a Pizza Hut in a "black area." I went there years ago and everyone there was black. This time, there were blacks and whites...progress, right? Well, the blacks were all seated near the door and the whites were all seated in the back end. They were actively segregating people based on ethnicity. An Indian family walked in, throwing the segregators a major curve ball.

 

"Where do we put the Indians, in the black side or the white side? Hmmm, they look black, but they are like whites too..."

 

The Indians, not fitting in with either black or white stereotypes, were placed in the middle of the restaurant as a buffer between "the races." Why in this day and age do we do this? Do people really care if white people are eating near them or black people? Hell, we only came for the buffet, sit us down and let us commence shoveling!!! Instead of being put into the back of the bus they put us in the back of the Pizza Hut. The waitress did not seem to dislike us or anything...maybe the establishment there believes they are doing people a favor. Are we?

 

Did black people like being told where to sit on a bus, for the sake they do not intermingle with whites or vice versa? That is just plain stupid and people lack the mental faculties to make such connections in their minds.

 

However, people love being segregated. Think about it. Watch a baseball game and on the bench the few black players sit with other blacks, the whites sit with the whites, and the latin players sit in between, much like the buffer provided by the Indian family in the Pizza Hut. Whites like to live in white neighborhoods and the same with blacks and other ethnicities. Of course, there are the people who like to "make a statement" and seek an integrated neighborhood as if black neighbors are a novelty (see http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com).

 

There are the people that claim that big evil corporations railroaded people into set areas, but one has to consider the socioeconomic reasons people live in certain places. Rich people tend to want to live with other rich people, poor tend to have to live with poor, immigrants want to live in immigrant communities where they can adjust, whites want to live with whites because they fear "crime" and blacks tend to want to live with blacks. Do you think it is by accident that there are places like "Spanish Harlem", "The russian district of Brooklyn", and the ever expanding Chinatown? When the new immigrants came, they went to their German Towns, little Italies (like Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and such), and so on. People want to be with other people more like them because they do not want to feel alienated and they might even fear those different from them.

 

However, is this right? Should this fact of life determine where I sit on a bus or in a Pizza Hut for that matter? In a "color blind" society, one would be seated wherever with no regard to ethnicity. So yes, integration is a good thing. People should not fear those different from them, everyone should agree with that.

 

So the integration issue comes into play. No, I am not going to talk about busing, though it can have positive impacts for the disadvantaged when they are put into better schools or when different cultures are exposed to others. I will talk about the imaginary integration the media would like to convey to us.

 

Watch a movie, TV show, or commerical and chances are there's the "token black guy or girl." They are never the main character, they give the protagonist "jive" and "with it" advice, they are "hip" and "sharp as a tack", and highly sexual. Wow, this kind of integration fights prejudice, doesn't it? No, it does not, it adds to stereotypes and minoritizes blacks.

 

If I were an Alien intercepting American television, I would come to the conclusion that the society is almost entirely white, and there are some blacks that live amongst the whites, but they never dominate the whites and in mixed ethnicity offices or groups of friends, there is always an extreme minority of black people.

 

Is this what we want to convey. Yes, numerically blacks are a minority, but is it right to show a bunch of white people and for the sake of diversity throw a black person in the mix? All one does is further minoritize the black community.

 

Other problems arise too. On TV society is almost entirely western European or black. Where are the Italians, Asians, or Latino guys? The only place you could find them are in mob shows, karate shows, or Telemundo shows. So, in an attempt to show "diversity", the media just shows a tidal wave of whites dominating the few blacks...and no one else exists.

 

Then it gets even weirder. In an Old Navy commercial, they show white parents with a white and black kid...What the hell? In reality, this does not exist.

 

The media's attempt at integration is almost as perverted as the segregation that truly exists in society. Shows like Martin or Friends are true in a fashion. Blacks hang with blacks and whites hang with whites...segregation does exist. However, the amount of stereotypes, inconsistencies, and impossibilites that are only negative is staggering and is just another sad example of almost an broad intepretation of institutional racism.

 

If the media wants to show some integration, they need to show more bi-ethnic couples...at least sometimes. When I was a kid in first grade a black girl in my school (Adrian Blount) was friends with my brother and she said, "Me and Corey are going to get married when we grow up." I cannot say this is word for word and I think she was speaking of my brother, but after all these years, one must forgive me for my bad memory...Anyway, I said to Adrian, "You can't do that." She asked, "Why not?" and I said, "Because you are black."

 

Why did I think this? I distinctly rember thinking that it was illegal for blacks and whites to be married. Her parents were both black, mine were both white, everyone I knew had same colored parents, and what I saw on television had the same. I did not think it was wrong, I thought it was just not allowed. Thinking back on this, it shows me the role television has in shaping young minds. Television should not convey stereotypes, because people will start believing that they must fit to them. Females will believe they should be passive, guys will believe they should take the initiative, whites will believe blacks should be minoritized, and everyone will believe that we should be seperated from one another. Television should either be truthful statistically and if it is not, it should show "different" people is an equal matter, instead of the dorky, race councious white person and the jive, sharp, and minoritized black person.

 

I have no problem with a show that has just the one black friend or one white guy...I have a problem with the fact that this is all the media finds acceptable. If they want to give us a positive lie, at least do not use stereotypes concerning people of different socioeconomic classes and have some biethnic couples. Otherwise, segregation will only continue because stereotypes are what set us apart, and they will only be perpetuated.

:hat http://www.xanga.com/craigramblings

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i pretty much agree. But, I really dont care too much about television's token black guy, etc. Frankly, television does not portray real life (in most instances).

 

Yes, as a YOUNG CHILD, tv might have led you to believe that blacks cant marry whites. But, as you grew older and matured, you realized that tv is NOT the real world.

 

What you say is true. But, I mean, tv really isn't too much of a big deal.

 

But, the Pizza hut thing, the voluntary segregation, etc.....true true true.

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