Question: Who has made the decision to have African-Americans on every program on TV? Blacks make up less than 14 percent of the population, yet it is impossible to see a sitcom or adventure program without a lot of blacks on it. And at least 70 percent of the commercials are either mostly African-Americans, or all African-Americans. What is going on?
Don't really care what anyone thinks. I am not racist. But I am white, and would like to see all-white programs, just like the blacks have all-black programs. I am just waiting to see how long it takes for JAG to get a black admiral in charge, or have the Marine colonel have a love affair with a black lawyer. It has to happen sooner or later. Bill Hoover
Televisionary: Man, oh man, Bill where do I start? I suppose a couple of assumptions are in order: first, that you're responding to last week's column, where I said it's shameful that it took until 1979 for a network to put a black drama on the air (ABC's Harris and Company); second, that you're not faking that attitude just to yank my chain and get me going.
Not a racist, huh? Naw, not you. Sounds like an acquaintance of mine who considers herself enlightened but frowns on interracial marriage because "you should stick with your own."
About the only thing you and I agree on is your first figure. According to latest estimates, blacks make up 12.4 percent of the U.S. population. But I hardly think they claim 70 percent of the spots in commercials and they certainly don't hold anything approaching an unfairly superior position behind or in front of the camera, numbers-wise. If they do, someone forgot to tell the networks and the NAACP.
As for your contention that it's only a matter of time before an African-American infiltrates JAG? Hey, why not? As long as it works as a story and isn't done in a heavy-handed or self-righteous fashion, I like whatever makes for an enjoyable show.
Oh, I didn't answer your question about who decided to make TV all-black, did I? I don't even need to fact-check that: No one.