No I didn't watch "Black in America" on CNN and I was disgusted every time I had to see a commercial for it for two months prior to its showing while I was watching Lou Dobbs. Some of La Shawn Barber's readers did watch it however and the overall prevailing opinion was that it basically said to any blacks watching that "it's all bad and everything is against you". It was negative and provided no real solutions to the problems they posed.
Which of course is their point. For any of you out there thinking that CNN was doing the "Black In America" show for the benefit of the Americans who happen to be Black, then you are missing the big picture.
Why did they do it then? For greed and money.
Do you think they sat around a table discussing this show in the context of positives other than for themselves? For the "reporters" it was all about getting face time and looking like they were investigative and concerned. For the parent company it was all about a targeted market for advertising. "We can really sell some black targeted advertising during this show and if we over-hype it we can charge more!". For those interviewed they get their 15-minutes of fame. See everybody wins! Except Black Americans.
This is going on throughout the media in the form of Telemundo, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the host of other "You are different" and "we're like you" television stations. But to my readers out there don't be fooled. For every one of these ventures there is a business plan that goes along with it. In that business plan is the fact that they can target focus the advertising to a niche consumer and charge more. Not a single one of these stations has your best interests at heart, they only see you as a statistic and consumer.
The most tragic thing is that, in the end, they don't want to help you succeed. They want you to think of yourself as a part of a group and to perpetuate that. The first time you think of yourself as an American and not a "specialgroup-American" is the moment they lose you as a targeted consumer.
Think about it. Why else would a business - which is what they are - want you not to fit in?
As commenter Mark La Roi said over on La Shawn barber's post: "I’m pretty sick of being 'Black in America'. I wish I could just be American."