So yes, I was glad this past week to see more black faces on television, holding their own and discussing an important issue. It showed me that the networks know someone to call other than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Great. Actual black professors, black business people, black liberals, and yes even black conservatives. It does prompt considerable eye rolling to have rich white men discussing the issue of race in America amongst themselves.
That said, I just know these people are going to disappear. The news shows and cable news channels will say “see, we covered it” and then go back to their mostly lilly-white guest lists. Until the next bigot eruption, it will be in essence as Jesse Jackson said: “All day, all night, all white”.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are numerous experts, politicians, authors and other talking heads across the racial and sexual spectrum that are available to opine on not just racial issues, but everything. Way too many people this week were “shocked” at the reaction to Don Imus’ comments. Why? Some out of ignorance, but most people just don’t get exposed to other races and cultures. People segregate themselves in private life, but there’s no reason for our press to not play a role in this by forcing society to hear each other.
I want to be hopeful. I want to think that there will be more minority and female voices represented in the venues that are, in essence, our national town hall. I don’t want to see yet another panel of white guys discussing the latino voter as if they were a lab animal. Please.