Racial Perceptions

I had remembered watching this episode of Tyra and thankfully wound up finding it on YouTube. I think it ties in perfectly with our latest topic of Du Bois and how people’s perceptions of race are so molded into our society.


9 responses to “Racial Perceptions

  1. Interesting clip. Indeed, it touches on a lot of relevant themes and questions. These kinds of daytime tv tribunals makes me squirm a little. It tends to be so contrived it feels like the people are acting, playing a character. Like the “white racist roommate,” he didn’t seem to believe half the things he was saying. Then again, maybe this is revealing something significant. For example, I too was thinking that he “sounded black,” like Tyra said. And he talked about how his (white) friends address each other with the “N word.” There seems to be a love/hate thing going on here… That observation she made about how in our culture race is communicated through spoken language, not simply in the words, the vocabulary, or the “presentation” but also in vocal “tone.” I’m not sure if that’s the proper way to describe it, but it’s interesting, nonetheless, to think about all the borrowing and mixing and “hybridization” of culture today, all the while we speak of “black culture” and “white culture” and “Latino culture,” etc., as if they’re these static, separate, coherent things.

  2. Racism is still such a big issue today and Christian and Ralph’s situation proves it. Its crazy how Christian says that when he sees a black man he thinks that he is a drug dealer, listens to rap all the time, or looking to steal something. It is not right how Christian thinks its okay to call Ralph the N word, that is cruel whether it is a joke or not and the fact that Christian finds it funny makes things worse. Also when Tyra told Christian that if she closes her eyes she and listens to Christians voice that she would think he is a black guy, Christian repsonded by saying that that makes him feel that he has to change and that he is being discrimated against. I find that not right at all, and its mind boggling that people can still think the way that Christian does. Christian is only one of many that feel this way. Racism needs to stop, everyone is capable of doing anything bad, not just black people. People of all different races do bad things like stealing and drug dealing, not just black people. There are white people who steal and drug deal, just as well as there are asians and spanish people etc. who do also.

  3. After watching this clip I was in shock. I still have trouble believing that Christian is a real character. It’s hard to accept some of the radical things he said to the point that it’s hard to take him seriously. I think this just shows that racism really exists today just as strongly as it did fifty years ago. The world might be evolving and becoming more idealistic, but if people still share the radical views that Christian has than we’re clearly not getting very far.

  4. I agree with shainarubin that racism is close to or just as prevalent as it was fifty years ago, however the difference now it is not as socially acceptable today. This creates a new breed of racists; closet racists. Christian is obviously quite outspoken on how he feels and perceives black people and uses his Texan background as some sort of irrational justification for his thoughts and actions. People still harbor these conjectures today but typically only to themselves and entrusted friends. For example walking down the street a person might tense up or have an increased sense of alertness as a black person is walking towards them in anticipation of stereotypical actions that a black person may to do them. This problem (like many) start with the household as Brittany proves. She explains that her parents are racist and reared her on those same principles. Racism will always rampant in our society as long as parents and culture such as the media portray, label, and group people in such categories.

  5. ciarasullivan25

    When I was watching this video, I had the same reaction as so many of the members of the audience. I sat here shaking my head, and said a long “woooow”, more than a few times. But I couldn’t help but notice Christian’s main defense for his views- being from Texas. So many of his “justifications” started off with “where I’m from…” I think that in a more populated, diverse, city like New York people are not as racist (though it still does exist here). While I don’t accept being from Texas as an excuse in any way for his views and beliefs, I think it goes along with the other girl saying she was raised that way.

  6. The level of ignorance is simply unbelievable. There is no rational or logical reasoning behind their irrational fears and feelings against blacks. Christian is an extreme example of our society that is plagued with racism and stereotypes. Stereotypes are basically really statistics. However, this level of ignorance is prevalent in many people. I work at an after school and I hear middle school and high school kids saying the N word and other racially derogatory terms. It’s alarming that people, even beginning at such a young age, are completely careless and reckless in their every day communications.

  7. That video was very interesting and shocking to watch. I agree that this ties in perfectly with the topic of Du Boius and how people’s perceptions of race are molded into our society. The man in the video, Christian, fits that description perfectly. In the video Christian would make racist comments to his roommate that made his roommate uncomfortable. Christian did not see his comments as a big deal. Every time Christian spoke I just wanted him to stop. He claims that his reason for his behavior isthat he lives in Texas. I have a friend who lives in Texas and he does not act that way, so Christian does not give a good reason for his behavior.

  8. alexandrazayas1

    This is a very intense clip that certainly raises eyebrows. We live in New York City where diversity is all we know, yet people are still so unbelievably ignorant and racist. I remember watching the Tyra show religiously when I was in high school and I remember this particular episode like it was yesterday. I went to a high school where more than half of the students were black. Ironic because it was located in Bayside which is a predominantly white community. Many people actually complained and said many negative comments about the school as well as the neighborhood simply because of the fact that students were getting bussed in from Jamaica Queens.

    Perception is a very touchy subject. Although they were told in the focus group to be completely honest and hold back, there must be a filter on some words and views held by these people simply in regards to respect. Christian was blatantly disrespecting black people while sitting right next to a black man who I thought was going to lose his cool. People in the south are said to be more racist than people up north but I don’t know if that’s necessarily true in all cases. Racial profiling is implanted into many people’s brains and society enables that to a certain extent.

  9. I remember watching this episode a while back and thinking about how crazy it was. A lot of these characters were saying that their beliefs stem from their backgrounds and how they were raised which I can understand. Our grandparents and parents come from a different generation as Tyra had mentioned, but I will always believe that we grow up and as we are exposed to different experiences, we do have to wake up and make our own decisions. What I also found interesting was the girl who said dating Mexicans was against her religion. Whats funny isnt even the fact that it’s not true, whats funny is the fact that statements like that are so common because people get their religion and culture confused when in reality they are both very contradictory. I say that because i have never heard of a religion that had racial discrimination, I’ve only heard of cultures that have racial discrimination.

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