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05:36 PM on 05/09/12 
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Theseventhson
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Guys if I don't see it happening then it's not really happening.
05:48 PM on 05/09/12 
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KingsCrossing
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I don't particularly find Girls very good, but I more fall into this camp when people call it racist.
Girls isn't racist, TV is

I haven't been following the whole Girls hub-bub too much, but I can't say I really agree with that article on a few points. No doubt a lot of TV is racist/sexist, and yes, more consistent attention should be paid towards that. However it seems one of the reasons people are still harping on this particular program may be due to incidents like these:

Quote:
As justice-minded folks have critiqued HBO’s ‘Girls’ for its lily-white representation of New York City, the pushback to the pushback has gotten ugly fast — whether it’s show story editor Lesley Arfin making jokes about Precious, or Vice founder (and old-school hipster racist) Gavin McInnes knowingly throwing the word ‘lynching’ around.

Also I'm not sure blaming HBO is really the answer either considering some of the other shows they've broadcasted that have directly encountered the issue of race in an intelligent/engaging framework (e.g. The Wire, Oz, Treme).
06:52 PM on 05/09/12 
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plyb
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I haven't been following the whole Girls hub-bub too much, but I can't say I really agree with that article on a few points. No doubt a lot of TV is racist/sexist, and yes, more consistent attention should be paid towards that. However it seems one of the reasons people are still harping on this particular program may be due to incidents like these:



Also I'm not sure blaming HBO is really the answer either considering some of the other shows they've broadcasted that have directly encountered the issue of race in an intelligent/engaging framework (e.g. The Wire, Oz, Treme).
I'll be the first to admit I haven't been following it too closely either. The responses themselves are ugly (at least, how they are presented in your quote, I haven't seen the actual responses), but it does not make the show itself more or less racist.

As for putting the blame on HBO, I don't think that is the point. I think the point is out of all the TV that we see everyday, why did Girls attract such a reaction, when a multitude of shows fit the same archetype. I don't argue this is a systemic problem; but it is one one unique to Girls, so I don't feel particularly motivated to blame on Girls.
08:44 PM on 05/09/12 
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crackedthesky
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i meant more to emphasize the fact that the commercial featured only african americans and no other races.

Well if it just shows one family it kind of makes sense but I guess I'd have to see the commercial.
03:41 AM on 05/10/12 
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Ryan Dennehy
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Guys we ignored the holocaust for a few years and that went away just fine

/godwinslaw
12:35 PM on 05/10/12 
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kianacarly
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Oh my God I am so upset. I was just in anthropology and for some reason the teacher thought it would be a good idea to use flash cards that had questions. Some were from white people directing questions towards POC, and vise versa. I knew it was going to be a hot mess with only like 5 POC in the class and 25 white people, but Jesus. What I gleaned from the educational experience was:

-Apparently POC and whites have the same amount of power because we have a black president (who sucks and shouldn't be reelected!!11!)
-White people are not more scared of POC or think they are dangerous, however they wouldn't feel as safe in a black neighborhood.
-Whites have to put up with a lot of racism too because some of them are Irish or Italian and they are just stereotyped as being white and wealthy and it's a heavy burden they have to bear.

I mean, it was all the stuff you hear ignorant people say all the time, but to have to sit in a circle for an hour and have to listen to a bunch of privileged white people talk about how they are discriminated against just as bad as POC is just something else. And you weren't allowed to say you disagree because ~everyone should be able to talk openly and freely. Even though it was all white people talking and a handful of POC looking extremely uncomfortable.
03:39 PM on 05/10/12 
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Love As Arson
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Oh my God I am so upset. I was just in anthropology and for some reason the teacher thought it would be a good idea to use flash cards that had questions. Some were from white people directing questions towards POC, and vise versa. I knew it was going to be a hot mess with only like 5 POC in the class and 25 white people, but Jesus. What I gleaned from the educational experience was:

-Apparently POC and whites have the same amount of power because we have a black president (who sucks and shouldn't be reelected!!11!)
-White people are not more scared of POC or think they are dangerous, however they wouldn't feel as safe in a black neighborhood.
-Whites have to put up with a lot of racism too because some of them are Irish or Italian and they are just stereotyped as being white and wealthy and it's a heavy burden they have to bear.

I mean, it was all the stuff you hear ignorant people say all the time, but to have to sit in a circle for an hour and have to listen to a bunch of privileged white people talk about how they are discriminated against just as bad as POC is just something else. And you weren't allowed to say you disagree because ~everyone should be able to talk openly and freely. Even though it was all white people talking and a handful of POC looking extremely uncomfortable.
I've heard horror stories from friends of mine that work as teaching assistants, so I am sorry for what you had to experience.

I'll be the first to admit I haven't been following it too closely either. The responses themselves are ugly (at least, how they are presented in your quote, I haven't seen the actual responses), but it does not make the show itself more or less racist.

As for putting the blame on HBO, I don't think that is the point. I think the point is out of all the TV that we see everyday, why did Girls attract such a reaction, when a multitude of shows fit the same archetype. I don't argue this is a systemic problem; but it is one one unique to Girls, so I don't feel particularly motivated to blame on Girls.
I think the issue with Girls is that, from my understanding, it was positioned as a "real take" on the lives of single women in New York City.
04:06 PM on 05/10/12 
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kianacarly
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I've heard horror stories from friends of mine that work as teaching assistants, so I am sorry for what you had to experience.

Thanks.

I mean, I'm Mexican-American but I'm also pale skinned, so I realize that this has afforded me a certain privilege that others don't get. Unless people know my name or I mention that I'm Mexican for whatever reason, most people generally don't know by looking at me so I don't get a ton of racism directed at me personally - minus the good old "ironic" racism from acquaintances who do know my heritage. But to sit there and have people say that the racism my family has encountered doesn't even exist was just incredibly upsetting.

And then to be told we couldn't say the words "I disagree" because we had to respect the other people blinded by their privilege was just the cherry on top. All in all it was a very powerless feeling. I don't even feel comfortable going back to that class which is so disappointing because I actually respect the teacher and up until now it was always my favorite class
04:45 PM on 05/10/12 
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gfxtwin
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Kianacarly, do you go to school in the south? I've taken some anthropology classes here in Texas and they can get awkward like that.
04:54 PM on 05/10/12 
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kianacarly
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Naw, eastern Oregon. I've encountered plenty of ignorant things, but I guess I'm just used to more subtle racism and privilege. I was so not prepared for them to go all out and open with it like that. I was shocked the teacher let it go on because he is generally very aware about things like that and there's no way I was the only one feeling so targeted and uncomfortable. Like, it's one thing to have an open and honest discussion about race, but it's a totally different animal when the white students are just so overpowering and the teacher wasn't even really mediating at all. He would just say "next question" when it got a bit much, but he didn't actually add anything educational that would help the ignorant students understand. I think he wanted the POC to educate them and it was all just a hot mess.

Like, there was no lesson at the end. It was pretty much just the Let The White Kids Air Their Grievances While The POC Sit Here Awkwardly show.
12:24 AM on 05/11/12 
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gfxtwin
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Naw, eastern Oregon. I've encountered plenty of ignorant things, but I guess I'm just used to more subtle racism and privilege. I was so not prepared for them to go all out and open with it like that. I was shocked the teacher let it go on because he is generally very aware about things like that and there's no way I was the only one feeling so targeted and uncomfortable. Like, it's one thing to have an open and honest discussion about race, but it's a totally different animal when the white students are just so overpowering and the teacher wasn't even really mediating at all. He would just say "next question" when it got a bit much, but he didn't actually add anything educational that would help the ignorant students understand. I think he wanted the POC to educate them and it was all just a hot mess.

Like, there was no lesson at the end. It was pretty much just the Let The White Kids Air Their Grievances While The POC Sit Here Awkwardly show.

That sounds horrible, I would have dropped the class. Of course, I only take Anthro classes as electives so that might have not been an option for you ...

The professor should have called them out on it. The Anthropology classes here at my university are pretty awesome. Both that I've taken so far had GREAT teachers who you end up feeling are like an extension of your family to some degree because they really cared about their students and didn't teach solely because they knew enough facts to get through their lesson plan. They wanted to make a difference, and often did. And it was the opposite case from what you had - mostly it was the white kids who were uncomfortable and kept their mouth shut because these professors would call ANYONE out on the slightest display of ethnocentricism or ignorance. There was never an instance like what you described because the professors wouldn't allow it, which made the courses much more rewarding (unless you are one of those white students who take anthropology classes as a way relieving white guilt, or privilege, etc.). Hopefully you don't have this experience again and you end up having one more like mine. There have to be some professors at your school who share a similar teaching philosophy. If you don't do it already, check out upcoming professors on RateMyProfessors.com before registering for their class. Sometimes you don't always get the most accurate reviews, but even still, sometimes you can get the information you need from them.

On the related note of bad classroom/professor experiences, though, this guy spoke as a guest lecturer in one of my classes and teaches at my school: Check this out.
12:50 AM on 05/11/12 
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kianacarly
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That sounds horrible, I would have dropped the class. Of course, I only take Anthro classes as electives so that might have not been an option for you ...

The professor should have called them out on it. The Anthropology classes here at my university are pretty awesome. Both that I've taken so far had GREAT teachers who you end up feeling are like an extension of your family to some degree because they really cared about their students and didn't teach solely because they knew enough facts to get through their lesson plan. They wanted to make a difference, and often did. And it was the opposite case from what you had - mostly it was the white kids who were uncomfortable and kept their mouth shut because these professors would call ANYONE out on the slightest display of ethnocentricism or ignorance. There was never an instance like what you described because the professors wouldn't allow it, which made the courses much more rewarding (unless you are one of those white students who take anthropology classes as a way relieving white guilt, or privilege, etc.). Hopefully you don't have this experience again and you end up having one more like mine. There have to be some professors at your school who share a similar teaching philosophy. If you don't do it already, check out upcoming professors on RateMyProfessors.com before registering for their class. Sometimes you don't always get the most accurate reviews, but even still, sometimes you can get the information you need from them.

On the related note of bad classroom/professor experiences, though, this guy spoke as a guest lecturer in one of my classes and teaches at my school: Check this out.

Yeah, it was just so bizarre. He is actually my favorite professor and this isn't the first time we've all sat in a circle and discussed things, but I always felt he did a great job mediating it. He is probably the most balanced and compassionate professor I've had, which is why I was so confused. I think it may have been his desire to be so understanding that caused it, in a way. He is so intent on anyone and everyone feeling comfortable talking about how they feel on issues that he often lets people kinda say anything they want. Granted, it's usually nothing crazy and he usually does a great job of pointing out ignorant things in their statements but in a nice and peaceful way that still makes the students feel comfortable talking. I guess he doesn't want the students to feel shut down, but in trying to create the environment he ended up accommodating one group too much. Sometimes you just gotta tell people that some things just aren't okay, but he tries too hard to be Devil's advocate. Generally I feel very comfortable speaking in his class and he usually provokes pretty interesting discussion, so I was kind of in shock that he let this happen. I go to such a small school that I can't really be picky until I transfer a year from now. There's only one anthro teacher lmao.
01:10 AM on 05/11/12 
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i like apples
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Got called the N word today and I'm white. Things like that hurt my brain on a variety of different levels.
04:28 PM on 05/11/12 
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plyb
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I think the issue with Girls is that, from my understanding, it was positioned as a "real take" on the lives of single women in New York City.
I never got that feel from the show, but it could be how they are trying to sell it. It felt vaguely autobiographical; but not in a way that was meant to allow everyone to universally relate to; even if you describe "everyone" as young single women in New York City.

My opinion means much less than how they attempted to sell it though
06:10 AM on 05/12/12 
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gfxtwin
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I haven't read a lot of the discussion on Girls so far, but could it be possible that there is a self-conscious criticism in the portrayal of race relations in the show? Like, since the characters are privileged and white that their not interacting with anyone of color (for the most part) is a criticism on behalf of the show's creators of their characters' part of society?
 



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