As I am really close to swearing off television, I have to speak to my noticing reality television shows rarely: 1) Allow an African American contestant in a competitive show to be the first winner before a White cast member (i.e. American Idol, America’s Next Top Model, etc.); and 2) Allow an entire cast (with the exception of the Braxton’s Family Values) to be African American. Using the Real Housewives of Atlanta as a case study so to speak, the classic “we have to cast a White character for universal appeal” is painfully evident in Kim Zolciak Biermann, who has lasted all 6 seasons and has enjoyed a spinoff series “Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding” dedicated to the events leading up to her husband NFL’s Kroy Biermann nuptials. Interestingly enough, Kim’s trusted personal assistant (token slave coonery and buffoonery laden) Sweetie who dutifully “steps and fetchits” was noticeably absent during Kim’s spinoff show. Kim slowly began dodging events with her Black sisters. In fact, her husband has absolutely nothing to do with the “fellas” in any way, shape, form or fashion. I guess within the confines of the NFL he is surrounded, having little to no choice but to be around Black men. Yet, he has made a clear demarcation on the show – and expects Kim to do the same. So why does Kim’s subtle yet overt racists comments and attitudes get a pass. Keep reading.
You see, my belief is that the RHOA are aware of the stereotypical nature that belies African American women on their cash cow of the franchise. Observe:
- NeNe (I’m rich) Leakes who was the staple of the show is making some inroads in Hollywood; yet one never really knew what her now ex-husband Gregg Leakes did for a living.
- Former supermodel Cynthia Bailey marries Peter Thomas (seemingly a lifelong mooch) while squandering her life savings on him.
- Kenya Moore (a former Miss USA and producer, who acts more like a teenaged girl than a beauty queen) has linked up with a somewhat commitment phobic significant other, entrepreneur Walter Jackson.
- Porsha Stewart (civil rights legacy who makes me question if she’s really that dense “265” days of the year) and her husband Kordell Stewart an ex-NFL athlete appear to have some semblance of normalcy; however, his facial expressions are priceless toward Porsha’s “musings”.
- Attorney/Mortician-in-training Phaedra Parks, the best educated of the cast has offered a re-entry program of sorts (no hate, an observation) to husband Apollo Nida who like many Black men who have served time would never have been extended employment (even for a white collar crime).
- Kandi Burruss, entertainer, songwriter, sex toy entrepreneur and one of the more financially secure cast members has a new “build a man project” (I’m just saying) in Todd Tucker who has a career but is on the dang come up as she purchased a house for them…cash.
What’s the pattern you ask? Kim, a former nurse, divorced mother of two has been portrayed as the White girl who deserves a good life regardless of how she gets it. She has had it hard and if a knight in shining armor with his own money swoops her up from the doldrums of her married sugar daddy then so be it! Basically we all know that if Kroy had not entered her life she would still be pining for Big Poppa! But not once was she given the business about her tactics; or her choices. Yet her Black sisters are readily offered up as a sacrifice for women with lowered self esteem who need to not only revere Kim, but wonder why she doesn’t want to play with them anymore. Pitiful. But true to form the minstrel (I mean reality TV) show will go on and these Black women will carry on, clueless: no worries Lisa Wu Hartwell, Deshawn Snow, Sheree Whitfield; whether you left the show on your own or was let go, at least you can live with yourselves.
and for that…Thanks, Kim Zolciak Biermann – YA DID IT AGAIN!