not quite post-racial
Thursday, March 4 2010
With regard to race, American society has definitely advanced. The president of the country has nameable ancestors in Africa, and a sizable fraction of the people who hate him do so for reasons unrelated to his race. Still, ours is a complicated patchwork culture, with regions as backwards and conservative as suburban Kabul. While our media culture has been reasonably enlightened about race for decades and about sexual preference for years, large swaths of our culture remain icked-out by an interracial kiss. Say what you want to about American Idol, but it provides a good window into that interesting place where backwoods America interacts with the comparatively-enlightened corporate media behemoth. Because while the Idol judges did a good job this season of stocking the contestant roles with all the diversity that is America today, the demographic that votes for contestants tends to be conservative Christian southerners. This accounts for all the "I pray before I perform" pandering we saw the contestants doing this week.
Tonight the south definitely rose again, evicting four minorities and leaving all of the white contestants in the game. Admittedly, all four of the contestants evicted today were weak, but there were weaker white contestants who should have gone first. This leads to an idea for a milestone of when America can truly be said to be post-racial: when the racial makeups of four-person eliminations from American Idol closely reflect the racial makeup of America as a whole.
Ray drove up from Brooklyn today and, after what was supposed to be a day of job seeking, ended up with a job as a waiter at New World Home Cooking (on 212 between Saugerties and Woodstock). The sudden end of his blissful unemployment came as something of an unwelcomed surprise, even if it did mean the end of financial uncertainty. It also meant he'd have to find some way to transition to more permanent Upstate living. In the meantime he'd be spending the night in our Gunther Room (the smaller of the two basement guestrooms, named after the goose-shaped lamp therein, whom Gretchen dubbed "Gunther"). The three of us went out for Indian food at our place in Uptown and then we bought beer and sundries at the Hannaford. Ray was with us when we watched American Idol tonight.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next