ATR 111 – Kirstie Alley, Sotomayor, interracial roommates, Birth of a Nation

What does the recent Twitter exchange between actress Kirstie Alley and media assassin Harry Allen tell us about this country’s discourse on race? Is the brouhaha surrounding Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination indicative of anxiety on the part of white males that they are an endangered species? Can dorming with a student of another race turn you less or more racist? And why is DJ Spooky’s “(Re)Birth of a Nation” experiment an epic fail? Carmen Van Kerckhove, Tami Winfrey Harris, and Andrea Plaid discuss.

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2 thoughts on “ATR 111 – Kirstie Alley, Sotomayor, interracial roommates, Birth of a Nation”

  1. Hi Carmen, Tami, and Andrea,

    I have a response to your segment about interracial roommates. I feel like a lot of what you were saying about how students relate to people who are of a different race in college can be said about how students relate to people who are different than them in any way. For example, I think all freshman worry about how they’ll relate to their roommate and agonize about finding similarities and questioning each others’ differences. I know that for me, although my roommate and I were similar in every sense that we have demographic boxes for, race, gender, class, sexuality, etc., we still had tension over trying to live with each others’ differences — stupid kind of things like, I’ve never been friends with someone that has x political view before or someone that likes y kind of music, can I handle that? I wonder if some of the dumb questions that people get about their background, family, etc. from roommates of a different race are the same dumb questions that I asked my roommate about why she was a theater major, why her parents did things a certain way, why they voted for a different political party than my parent, ect. Maybe I’m giving people too much benefit of the doubt, but I think that all freshman worry about finding a roommate who will understand them and who they’ll be comfortable living with. While I’m sure that people can ask questions that are offensive and hurtful (and that I probably did, too), I don’t think most of them are trying to offend or hurt. I think they’re really just trying to take a shortcut to getting past the awkwardness of going off to college and living with a strange new person and get to the part where they’re friends.

  2. After listening to your podcast – perhaps you should try to interview Kirstie Alley on your show – lol? Or get a dialogue going between her and Harry Allen…

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