Sunday, August 2, 2009

Loud and Wrong…The Real Housewives of Atlanta

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

Black people can be notorious for being Loud AND Wrong. I'm not
talking about these two words exclusively. I’m specifically emphasizing the
conjunction of the two words.

Truthfully, I had been reluctant to watch the Real Housewives of
Atlanta just completely embarrassed by those women's behavior. In fact every time my white friends would bring up their excitement about the season premiere I would cringe and overcompensate by suddenly over articulating myself in the Queen’s English. I really need to get over holding the responsibility of my race on individuals but it’s just so damn hard particularly when there are people out there who really think this is all we have to offer.
But this didn’t matter because even my progressive Black girl friend insisted that we all watch this train-wreck together. She even conveniently tied this agenda to finally having a reason to try out KFC’s new grilled chicken. Her e-vite read:


If you aren’t familiar, Sutton Place is an old white neighborhood located on the east side in the mid-fifties of NYC and flooded with rich women walking their small dogs and coming back from a Botox injection.

Nough said. Our presence there with the KFC buckets was an Urban Chameleon moment in itself.

The first 40min of the show go by and I’m thinking, “hmmmmmm, I didn’t really need to see this.” Watching this channel is already sending the wrong message for ratings and therefore continuing to perpetuate the degrading images of Black women on television. And yes I’m thinking of this all while cleaning out the gristle of my chicken bone. However, the tables turned for me in the last 15min of the show after She by Sheree gives us an Academy Award worthy performance starring as an Urban Chameleon. Not to mention, when I tell you that there is no writer or actors that could have even begun to capture this kind of all too familiar scenario in the world of Black customer service- I lie to you not.

Too many times I’ve been in Black establishments who have no concept of the “fourth wall” (a dramaturge term referring to the imaginary wall that one stands behind when on stage). Applying this same theory in real life, when you are representing a business establishment HELL-O, you’re on stage. That means you don’t express your frustration to the audience, you don’t curse out the audience out and you damn sure don’t talk about the audience’s mama. Speaking of which, my own mama has gone off and has laid out a number of incompetent customer service people who failed to grasp the concept that they were there to service the customer. Just Loud AND Wrong. (click here to read: Customer Service)

But back to She by Sheree…she held it the f*ck DOWN! Giving us contrasting chameleon personalities. In one moment she was asking, “Who’s gonna check me boo?” threatening to call Pookie and dem and in the next moment she was schooling the uneducated on proper business etiquette.

Someone recently made a great comment on the first post, “How the Urban Chameleon Came to be” that not all Urban Chameleons are “seamless,” in fact many have to work on their transitions between worlds, which is true. But please don’t confuse the man in the business suit who told Ms. She by Sheree, “I will slap the sh*t out of you” and “Yo’ mama’s a bitch” for being an Urban Chameleon…oh no honey…he’s Just Urban.

If you haven’t already seen this profound moment in the history of television or need to relive it again and again and again…I would strongly advise you to click “play.”

Have your Urban Chameleon story featured by e-mailing

click here for: How the Urban Chameleon Came to be

No comments:

Post a Comment