Preconceived Notions About Race


szo0130 I, just as many of you, have been guilty of looking at someone and assuming that they were a specific race. I mean let’s be real, many times you look at a person and not negatively, but just in a general sense you assume that they are African American or Caucasian or Asian.  This isn’t done in a harmful or judgmental way, but when you speak of that person or make a mental note, you may place them in a specific racial category.

This clip from the Tyra Banks show was very eye opening for me. At the beginning of the show Tyra had the audience to guess at what race or mixture of races the shows guest. Some of the guests were biracial, others were of only race, but they all had been placed into categories by their peers, associates and strangers just because of their physical features and overall appearance.

Here is the clip from the show

The first young lady who was mixed with African American and White really threw me for a loop when she said she didn’t like black people. I along with the audience chuckled and then gave that “what da heck” look. Because I like many of them, who without knowing her racial background would have assumed she was an African American woman. Then when she said that she was biracial, mixed with black and white, but she did not claim the black part of her identity, I knew then that she  was seriously infected with some kind of racial stigma. Because in order to say that you are black and white but you don’t like black people is seriously a problem within yourself. Not only was that young lady’s mindset ridiculous, but it was also saddening.

Another portion of the show, that unfortunately was not included in the clip was two black women, one with fair, light skin and the other with darker skin. They both spoke on the racial resumptions that are placed upon them because of their shade of black. The lighter skinned woman talked about how she didn’t really have friends growing up because many of the girls assumed she was stuck up or thought she was better than them because she was lighter skinned. The darker woman talked about how she always felt the need to prove herself because she was of a darker shade. Both women suffered the same ridicule and discrimination.

This cycle is one that has been ongoing within the African American race. However this episode of the Tyra Banks show demonstrated that this issue is one that abides in all races. Mexicans versus Puerto Ricans, Japanese versus Chinese and so on and so on. All over the world people see color before they hear, see or know anything else about a person. It is only normal to see skin color, but living by skin color is the problem.

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  1. This is just…. insane! Did she have a white mommy who was left by the black baby daddy and started telling her all kinds of nasty things or something? That’s just weird.. to hear someone who’s actually three shades darker than Tyra talking about how she hates her own race :S

    greetings from the netherlands!

    • lifeisannoying
    • December 2nd, 2008

    she is disturbed!!!

    • Eb
    • November 28th, 2008

    I saw that episode as well…

    I just couldnt relate to it at all…

    I come from a family where my younger brothers and sisters are mixed with black white and japanese and even though my mother is all black she always taught them to embrace every part of themselves… we’re even doing a family trip to japan. Something went wrong with them when they were young to make them hate a certain part of themselves. Its really sad

  2. I watched the entire video. Demented is the word that comes to mind when I think of that girl.

    • Anna Ayala
    • November 25th, 2008

    Thanks for posting this. I’m glad I found it. I am teaching right now in Panama, and despite the fact that in my classes there are a variety of racial/ethnic groups, we have had some very interesting discussions about racism that have concerned me in terms of cultural stereotypes. We’ve been reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and this clip interests me because Mrs. Turner, a particular character is biracial black and white, but worships and clings to only the white side, which is why she chooses the protagonist as a friend, simply because she “looks” more white than the rest even though she is biracial as well. To me, your clip really brought the message home, and I am going to be posting the clip for my students to watch on their online bulletin board.

  3. That first chick is a self hating bitch! I think its funny how Black people (yes she is Black, and thats by the one drop rule the white man gave us) could be like that when you never hear a white person hating him/herself for being white.

  1. November 27th, 2008

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