Reality TV Is America's New Classroom About Race
Reality shows are finally getting real about race in America
To everyone’s surprise, reality television is becoming a pop culture classroom for America, where controversial topics about race and gender that conservatives are banning in actual classrooms are discussed openly and vigorously. We’re being educated and enlightened through intense personal drama and emotional breakdowns rather than with statistics and lecturing. And it’s working. Shocking as it may be, some reality TV is making America better.
I recently wrote an article about a profound moment on the last season of Survivor in which an African American woman addressed how race seemed to affect the game and the emotional toll it took on players of color. Her tearful comments and the reactions of the others, Black and White, provided one of the most authentic and moving moments in reality television history—and a genuine lesson on the subtle nuances of race relations in America.