Monday, February 26, 2007

Equaliteed Off, Part 2

Greg Braxton of the Los Angeles Times wrote a piece that appeared in Part 2 of the February 26th Newsday decrying the portrayal of interracial couples on prime time TV. In his drivel- er, article- he says that the interracial couples shown don't accurately describe the realistic trevails that they go through.

I am completely flabbergasted by this turn of events. I myself have always attempted to keep an open mind about people of different ethnic backgrounds, despite having some less-than-tolerant influences in my early life. I have spent my life learning that, despite what I've been told at an early age, people should be viewed by the content of their character, not by their color, religion, sexual preference, or politics. I judge people based solely on two factors; their character and their intelligence.

So after years of training my mind to ignore what the racists around me have been preaching, am I to understand that racial equality is NOT to be expressed in our television?

I am an avid fan of Heroes. Jeph Loeb is a talented writer, and I am familiar with his work from a host of comic books from Marvel and DC Comics. When I began to watch this eagerly anticipated show, I can honestly say that in seeing Tawny Cypress' relationships with both Santiago Cabrera and Milo Ventimiglia, I never noticed that they were interracial couples until I read Greg Braxton's article in today's Newsday. I KNEW they were interracial, but I never NOTICED it until someone made a big deal out of it. And isn't that the point behind the entire conflict that has been raging in America since the days of the Civil War? Non-white people have been trying for DECADES to be recognized as equals, to live in a world where people are not judged by the color of their skin. Loeb portrays this; he shows us not one, but TWO interracial couples (Ali Larter and Leonard Roberts being the second, and REALLY, it's two and a half if you consider that Tawny's character dates TWO people outside her own race) that exist without racial stigma, and now Broxton has a problem because he's not waiving a flag REMINDING us that they're interracial?

When is it enough? I fear very much for the future of race relations when someone like Jeph Loeb attempts to show all races as being equal and is scolded because he doesn't show the "realism" of racial tension.

Note to Greg Braxton; this is a show in which a man can paint the future. This is a show in which a man who can manipulate space and time by squinting really hard. This is a show in which a girl can survive her own autopsy, slap her chest back together and watch the skin knit itself back together. You're upset because it glosses over the realistic struggles interracial couples endure? But I guess it's okay that Adrian Pasdar can fly? Hey, Lost doesn't accurately portray the struggles that people stranded on deserted islands have to endure, but then again, if it did, I probably wouldn't watch it.

I think you need to pick your battles a little better. It's TELEVISION. Entertainment. Fiction. Use your own super powers of writing to do something worthwhile. You are worried about the right cause, but picking the absolute wrong angle of attack. There is so much more wrong in the world than a writer trying to show a world that doesn't deliniate by color.

Eventually, White American Males like myself will be the minority in this country, and I am okay with that. It's part of the price we pay for being the home of the free. But when that happens, will there be provisions that companies have to hire a certain percentage of white people? Will NFL teams and NCAA college athletic programs be required to interview white coaching candidates? Will there be a white history month? Probably not, and there shouldn't be.

Because things like that are RACIST. So long as they exist, and so long as there are people like you to rattle everyone's cages, there will never be racial equality, no matter how much Jeph Loeb* or myself wish there was.

*I do not know Jeph Loeb, nor do I speak on his behalf. I'm sure he is a wonderful person on top of being a top notch writer.