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Jewish Journal

Jews & Blacks on Reality Television

by Ilana Angel

November 30, 2011 | 10:49 pm

I love reality television.  By love of course I mean I am addicted to it.  Even though most of it is useless, I cannot stop watching.  Reality television is like drugs.  You try it once at a party, and before you know it you are in front of the television watching a Kardashian rerun over any other offering.  I’m not a drug user, but I’m guessing it’s more like crystal meth than a joint.

I wrote this week about The Real Housewives of Atlanta.  I got many angry emails based on the following statement:  These ladies live a life that I like to watch because I am unfamiliar with it.  The southern and African American aspects are new to me, but the best thing about these women is that unlike any other city in the franchise, they will not pretend to be friends when they are not.

People were mad I thought the ladies of Atlanta were a true representation of African American women.  Really?  I don’t think, nor did I say, that Sheree is like all Black women from the South.  I learned about a prayer shawl and that is Southern.  I saw an elaborate funeral with a band and a horse and carriage, and that is African American.

I learned about weaves and wigs, but that was from Kim so that lesson does not apply.  I understand the frustration from the African American community that these women are not representative of who and what they are.  If anyone can understand, it’s the Jews.  We’ve got Patti Stanger spewing her crap fest and everything thinks she is what Jewish women are like.

The Jews of reality television are never cool.  They are either weird, nerdy, obnoxious, and always stereotyped.  Or, they are fun and great, until they do something people don’t like, then they are attacked and everything is blamed on them being Jewish.  Reality TV has not been kind to Jews or Blacks.  We need a new reality show that properly depicts how fabulous we all are.

I think 6 women, 2 Jews, 2 Blacks, and 2 Latinas would be great.  Educated and normal women who are not fame whores, but just cool chicks who want us to see into their cool lives.  I’m trying to think what city would work and I’m not sure. The Real Housewives of Los Angeles makes the most sense but with Beverly Hills and Orange County already out there, we need to head east.

RHOA does not show the world what it means to be a Black woman, just like Patti Stanger is not someone the Jews are proud of. I can’t comment on the Latinas of reality TV because there aren’t any.  The only real thing about reality TV is our addiction. If these shows are what people base their opinions of Jews and Blacks are then God help us because Bravo is not keeping it real.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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