Acquaintances find it strange and mournfully humorous that I was not allowed to watch most “black” television shows when I was growing up, and that I did not gravitate towards them once I was able to make to make my own choice. Having watched a few of the cult favorites such as “Good Times”, “The Jefferson’s” and “Sanford and Son”, I do not believe I missed anything.
You see, I have an extreme abhorrence to television programming that paints men, all men, with the broad brush of stupidity. There is nothing funny about an inept man. Michael Baisden was correct last week when he noted the dim portrayal of men in the media, particularly in commercials. I’m sorry that he is just noticing it. It’s been there for as long as Black folks have been alive (on television).
Here we are in the 21st century, our White House adorned by an African-American president and his family; people still insisting that the Huxstables were “unrealistic” while the airwaves commemorate the forward progress of the times with Curtis, C.J. and Calvin (House of Payne); Mr. Brown (Meet the Brown’s); Julius (Everybody Hates Chris) and Nick (Are We There Yet?).
Each of these men are an insult to the man I love, my father, my son, my brothers and all of the Black men who are taking care of their women and families with their authority and dignity intact.
The media would have you believe that your future purchases depend upon your memory of a man behaving like an idiot; that certain races of men don’t take care of their families or that men of color residing in two-parent homes are weak. The media is selling an idea; you, however, are not required to make the purchase.
I am not buying into the entertainment or comic value of this media insult. I also don’t believe in the likelihood that art is imitating life in this instance. I know too many strong and intelligent men to accept the absurdity of the television buffoon.
Some may suggest that I use my remote control to protest my displeasure. Thanks, I will. But I believe that good men are better served with the control that is my voice rather than with the control of my cable box.