The Tyra Banks Show isn't really that bad!

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While reading 'Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body,' by Siobahn Somerville, this week I was reminded of a couple of episodes from the Tyra Banks show (I know this show can be ridiculously stupid, but on occasion she comes up with some really good ones!). Somerville's article brought up questions of eugenics- race hygiene (the advocating of selective reproduction to keep the race pure) and she discussed how black people were believed to be "biologically inferior." I wanted to show you guys a clip from the Tyra Show about a family of white supremacists. Drew and Amy, the father and mother of three young children, are passing on their extremely racist beliefs to their children. Take a look!


Homosexuality was also discussed in Somerville's article. People thought of homosexuality as being some sort of disease or sickness. Although I would like to say this is a long forgotten belief of the past, unfortunately many people in the world today still see gay people and assume something is wrong with them or they are ill in some way. This next clip shows how far one priest at a church is willing to go to rid a sixteen year old of his "unclean homosexual spirit" by performing an exorcism on him.

I wanted to show these clips to the class to remind everyone how prominent these beliefs continue to be in our society. While we may read about eugenics as being part of the Nazi era and a thing of the past, obviously there are people all around us who live their lives around the idea of fighting to continue keeping their family line "pure." And it's the same with homosexuality. I would love to say that it is an old-fashioned view to look down on homosexuals as being "unclean" people, but as you can see, there are people all over the world who see it as a demonic threat that must be expelled from their bodies. I'm wondering if any of you have ever crossed paths with someone with extreme racist beliefs like this, or anyone who was against gays, and tried to discuss your point of view with them. How did you explain your opinions to them? How did you respond to theirs? Also, what methods can we use to educate people today?

3 Comments

I have a family member who is very against gays. He is an older man. He openly talks about how he hates Ellen Degeneres and he once even refused to let me watch a movie about a gay couple at his house. I've brought up to him many times how I feel that he has no argument as to why he doesn't like them. He is a very religious guy and always plays the religious card. I've given up with it just because I've realized that some people may find it safer to cling to what they know and what they are taught. I honestly feel that people like the ones in the clips find a safe haven in thinking that there is a "ideal" person. It's sad that there are people out there that can't accept the fact that everyone is different and that the world is changing. I feel that educating people about this issue has been increased in the past few years. Just this past week when Tyler Clementi killed himself after being bullied by his roommate for being gay, Ellen Degrenres did speak out. She left a great message that was very heartfelt. I think that people need to see how hurtful they can be and learn to be more accepting.I'd like to think that someday all people will stop being ignorant and learn to accept everyone, but I'm sure that there will always be those people who wont deviate from their beliefs. I placed the clip below for anyone who hasn't heard about Tyler Clementi.

These videos fit perfectly with the article by Somerville. It is outstanding how people still manage to keep their viewpoints and aren’t willing to accept change when their lives would be so much easier if they did. It seems that they are basing all of their viewpoints off of stereotypes and how different races are “inferior.” What makes me really mad is at the end the little boy says that “they should go back where they came from” which I assume is an idiotic thought pounded in his head by his father. They need to remember (which I’m going to base this off a stereotype and say they are too stupid to know this) is that the white “superior” race was not here first. It was actually the Native Americans that are looked down upon. There are no superior or inferior races in this world. We are all here for a reason plain and simple.
For the next video, whatever happened to the view point that God loves everyone? I don’t understand how some people can be so “molded” by other people’s thoughts. Performing an “exorcism” on someone is probably the most degrading thing to do to someone. Who wouldn’t think that something is wrong with them when there is an entire congregation trying to get the evil spirit out of you. Bravo to Tyra for telling this young man that there is nothing wrong with him.
I have a good friend from high school that was bisexual. Freshman year he transferred from Texas to a small farm town community and right away did not fit in. Not only is he part Hispanic but he was flamboyant and a known bisexual. I have never met anyone so genuine and he truly is a great friend but watching him having to go through all the harassment he went through was awful. It showed that many people are sheltered from the real world but many people are stubborn on accepting something that is different from them. Thankfully, his maturity level is way above and beyond the other boys in my grade so he brushed it right off but he never should have went through what he did.
I also want to bring up Lady Gaga’s support for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. We are a country of equal opportunity and we need to start following that.

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This page contains a single entry by Annie published on October 3, 2010 6:22 PM.

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