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Race in America : A Movement Not a Moment premiered on Bravo TV last night hosted by NBC and E!’s very own host and advocate for changeNina Parker. Nina shared the panel with many of our very favorite bravolebrities including Porsha Williams, Gizelle Bryant,Kandi Burruss, Leah Mob and many more to have an open conversation about the racial inequality in America, and what we can do to create change. Everyone on the panel brought a different perspective as they shared their own personal stories of injustices throughout their own lives and their experiences during the past few months of the Black Lives Matter movement. Nina did a phenomenal job moderating this panel as she was able to make sure everyone was heard and seen during the 90 minute episode on Bravo TV.
Personally as a white privileged male, it was important for me to tune into this special to learn about the experiences and challenges many of my favorite bravolebrities I’ve watched on TV throughout the years have faced and to learn about what I can also do to help create change for the future. What I loved so much about this special was the open dialogue, where there was no arguing, no one speaking over anyone; just an opportunity for people to be heard loud and clear on television where millions of people were likely watching. Some of the stories of injustice told were very shocking and hard to hear and I want to share a few of them with you all.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams, shared a story on the panel about how many people in her predominately white building had mistaken her for a dog walker because they questioned why a black woman would be living in a wealthy building. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills newbie Garcelle Beauvais, shared the time she was in a high-end store and the sales lady was questioning her and watching her very closely as she was shopping for an expensive bracelet. Real Housewives of Potomac star Gizelle Bryant, told us about how the “N” word was written on her children’s desk at school. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Todd Tucker, told us when his mother was naming him, she wanted to name him a “white” name because his mom was worried that if she didn’t, he would be given less opportunities. Real Housewives of Orange County newbie Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed she lost three very close friendships in the past couple months because she was protesting and being an ally and those “friends” couldn’t support her for that.
Married to Medicine stars Dr. Simone Whitmore, Dr. Britten Cole and Dr. Eugene Harris also shared their stories about systematic racism in the medical field. Dr. Britten Cole is a black woman who doesn’t look like the stereotypical black woman and she shared a story about how some white coworkers talked about black people, not knowing she was black. She was appalled and shocked at the way they spoke in front of her when the other black people that were in the room left. She also shared how white people in the office were less intimidated by her because she had lighter skin than other black people with darker skin. Dr. Simone Whitmoretalked about the racism that happens in the healthcare system. She wanted to use her platform to encourage people to do their research before seeing a doctor. Many ignorant doctors can and will treat black people “less than” during a time of medical need. That is NOT okay.
I share these stories with you all reading from last night’s episode of Race in America because it is important to be aware that these horrific stories of injustice IS the reality for many of our black friends and peers all across the country. It is not okay. It never has been okay, and it never will be okay. Growing up gay, I have been faced with many challenges and judgments from people at a young age, but nothing can compare to the mistreatment millions of black people have faced over there life times and I understand that I will never understand. For many of you reading this, you might not know how or where to start in becoming an ally. This 90 minute episode is the perfect place to start. Listening and hearing real people’s stories. Becoming educated that this is their reality. And it could very well be the reality for your close friends, coworkers and peers. I want to commend Bravo and Nina Parker for airing/hosting this special and I hope to see more of this in the future on the Bravo channel.
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Zach Weinberg grew up in Long Island, New York, and studied Broadcast Journalism at Caldwell University. He recently moved to LA last August and has been watching reality TV for over a decade.
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