‘Ghost Whisperer’–Aisha Tyler and “ghost hunters”

I was reading this post and Aisha Tyler was mentioned.

Now I’m not following her career or anything, but I was really pissed when Aisha Tyler was killed off on Ghost Whisperer, which I’ve already written my thoughts about.

She was the colorblind Black sidekick (to Jennifer Love Hewitt’s weepy character who cried at the end of almost every episode for the two seasons that I watched). My perception of how they handled her position on the show fluctuated and finally flopped with her not-unexpected death.

I kind of liked Ghost Whisperer at first, my mom turned me on to it. And when they killed of Aisha Tyler’s character, I was pretty much done with it.

In relation, the spiritual realm, all these things people are calling occult or supernatural, is just another whitewashed fad, more so now than ever it seems. All these shows on the air about white people dealing with spirits are for shits, giggles, and thrills, there’s no respect, just profit and entertainment.

My mom happened to be watching Paranormal State. This episode talked about the team visiting a haunted jail in Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently they were talking about slavery and Black people were imprisoned there and tortured. The title of the episode is “Spirits of the Slave Dungeon”.

A Black anthropologist basically explained to the team (with lots of emphasis on the white members) going in there that their reasons for going in were purely selfish and the people who had suffered there deserved respect. Which is exactly how I feel about plantations that are used as tourist attractions. I think Black people should be able to go there and leave offerings to their ancestors without white, capitalist invasion.

I’m done with this because places of such suffering and unaddressed injustice shouldn’t be used for entertainment.


Revisiting Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2: Black folks

This is what I wrote initially, please read to the end for the post script. My displeasure here shows.

Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer are just like wounds that I can’t stop picking at because they never heal anyway no matter how long I leave them alone. Days, months, years, a decade. Doesn’t matter. When it comes up, I like it until I remember why I started hating it.

I’ve been unfortunately reliving Buffy with my sister, who has all the sociological awareness of a teaspoon. She doesn’t care about herself let alone Black people’s history or positions in society so its kind of pointless talking with her about the finer points of racism in a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why? She goes into her everything’s-not-‘Black-and-white’ mode, a fallacious argument given the context considering the fact that for seven seasons, 144 episodes, the majority of the Buffy cast is white and Black folks/people of color rarely appear and when they do they end up dead, with the exception of Robin Wood, the butt of some latently/overtly racist fun-having humor, sex objects, or doomed to disappear into set extra/side character hell.

Bones I just pick with portrayals of people of African descent:

  • The First Slayer
  • Kendra
  • Robin Woods
  • Nikki Woods
  • Forest
  • That evil demon woman played by Ashanti

But I’m kind of satisfied that this happened. It forced me into the mood to update this blog.

The sooner we stop trying to make racism out to be an arbitrary anomaly, the sooner we can really educate people about it for a better future.

UPDATE: Later, we talked about our disagreement and my sister explained that television is her escape from her own problems and even though she may be aware of issues of racism in what she sees and hears. All my sociological analysis ruins for her. I just stopped watching near the end of the series and refused to continue and that hurt her feelings because she wanted to watch it with me. I remembered why I wasn’t thrilled about the final season in particular period, especially that situation between Spike and Robin Woods.

I get that. I do but that doesn’t change my low tolerance for television entertainment drenched and sopping in ads pumped full of racism, sexism, classism, etc. We cannot continue to actively support the media that oppresses us.



Revisiting Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer

As a kid, I was happy to sit down for forty-four minutes and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel every evening. This was back when I had hope for television and their potential for creating great shows.

My sister and I have recently begun trying to get back in touch with why we loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Watching the show now, I realized something I never wanted to see as a kid:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its producers have never been very kind to characters of color nor has the show ever had any permanent 3-dimensional characters of color. Even the supposedly Black female slayer, Kendra, didn’t survive the third season.

This is a trend that carried over to Angel. As a matter of fact, the first extras we see in the show who plays parts of any significance is a Black guy dressed as a loan shark demon creature whose harrassing Doyle and the other one is a lonely body-snatching demon. Gunn was a Black male stereotype from f*king hell created by white producers!

Not to mention the ever-lurking presence of white British European power, oppression, and authority presented in Giles, Wesley, and the Watcher’s Council itself. Let’s not forget also that the only [Black (British) woman]/woman of color who appears in the show by the fourth season with any amount of screen time is Gile’s little sex friend.

Buffy and Angel are funny and entertaining in some ways, even thoughtful, and I still enjoy it enough to watch some of it, but in other ways…not so funny or entertaining or thoughtful at all.

More to come?