Monday, October 8, 2007

“Focus on Race: Interracial Dating”

A clipping from the Tyra Banks show:

Tyra Banks show

“Focus on Race: Interracial Dating” It premiered on the Tyra Show October 9, 2006. The recap for the show is at

Tyra has been known for showcasing topics that many other talk show hosts steer away from. Well on this showing of the Tyra Show it was a continuation of her “Focus on Race” topic. This time she was referring to interracial dating and how many people perceived interracial relationships as well as how those who are within the relationship feel about others people’s perceptions and comments. For one portion of the show, Tyra had a focus, which consisted of a group of people whom were all in an interracial relationship. People stated that the black woman should not date a white man because it sends her back to slavery times when it was ok for white men to have their way with the black women. It was said that the White woman was with the black man only to “rebel against her parents.” Even though these people were in their own interracial relationship they still had their own perceptions of the other couples and why they were together. Also, on the show she had guests on that discussed how they felt about people of their own race making comments that refers to them as being a “sell-out.” But the thing I found most interesting on this segment of the show was the fact that even within the gay interracial community, they too experienced the same trials and tribulations as those of the heterosexual interracial community in regards to relationships. She had on the show an Asian and White couple and they talked about how whenever they went out to gay clubs or functions other people would look at them funny and label them as being, according to the Asian man, a “Potato Queen.” The Asian man stated that many people would say that he hated himself and who he was which was why he was dating a white man instead of a man within his own race. But he stated that he was happy with whom he was and that he was just in-love.

This segment of the Tyra Show reminded me slightly of Johnson’s article, “Privilege, Oppression and Difference.” Within this article Johnson had discussed how “the real illusion connected to difference is the popular assumption that people are naturally afraid of what they don’t know or understand.” (13) With this come stereotypes which are nothing more than thoughts or ideas society places upon a group/race of people so in their minds they have a better understanding of how the groups of people are and know what to expect from them. The same applies with these interracial relationships. Many people think that people date other races because they are not happy with their own race, that they are ashamed of it or simply that they expect to obtain something from their partner. But the one thing I have found particularly interesting is the gay community disliking or rather having a problem with interracial relationships. It had seemed to me they would be much more understanding of the being casted out by the heterosexual community that they would accepted just about anything that was outside of the norm since that is where they sat. Even though has not been something that has been discussed in class I find it to be a very interesting topic and something we ignore or play blind to because it doesn’t affect the majority of the nation. It is like the privilege theory Johnson has stated in article stating that until we are faced where we no longer have the privilege is when we realize rather value and better understand the privileges we do hold.

I love the Tyra Banks Show and attempt to watch every episode if possible and if I am not able to watch the re-runs late at night. Like I stated before, Tyra discusses topics which I have found many other talk shows hosts to ignore or steer away from. Tyra and her show is something that people of ALL RACES and AGES can watch and enjoy and understand but mostly importantly leave with some kind of message or better understand of how other races, genders, and just basically people in general feel about each other. This segment like many other ones is really great to learn from and to accept people for who they are and the choices/decisions they make.

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