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The hypocrisy behind the petition to ban "Sorority Sisters"

I hope the petition to stop Mona Scott Young’s production of the “Sorority Sisters” reality show will do its share to bring inspired television to American households. (It's not likely, the petition to legalize marijuana garnered more than 70k signatures a few years ago, and it's only legal in a few places).

When "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" premiered, similar, but ineffective protests took root.
Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for BET

But it is entirely possible that conscientious objectors have encouraged Mona Scott Young's crew to produce a new kind of reality television featuring African American women. The difference between Bravo's reality shows and Vh1s reality shows is that Bravo seeks to inspire women with its reality stars, Vh1 capitalizes on the exploitation of women (regardless of race or ethnicity (see "Mob Wives").

There was similar objection when “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” aired. Polyamorous relationships didn’t set well with the Talented Tenth. PhD bloggers at "The Root" promised to boycott the show.

Mona Scott Young certainly produces unhealthy television, and that is exactly why I expect sororities to step up on this one. Reality show sorors should demonstrate why audiences should once and for all completely reject ignorance like Joseline Hernandez, her husband (or not) Stebbie, and Mimi.

That said, it’s a sad but sure bet that the “Sorority Sisters” would put some of the shenanigans featured in “Love and Hip Hop” to shame. Otherwise their reality show is likely to face extinction similar to so many NBC sitcoms each season. Which then begs the question, if pledging is a route that merges one's dream with his or her waking life, and if TV is a route to anyone of those sorors' dreams, why block a sister's dream?

The Harlem Renaissance was an era filled with black on black in fighting against colonial stereotypes, yet squared by the very real desire of artists to live solely off the commerce of their art. This 21st century reality TV war is quite similar, except today's audiences are much more aware that TV stars, like literary characters, do not represent regular or "real" folks.

I'm all for a "Sorority Sisters" show as long as it's a moonbounce and some planets away from the tired and uninspired "Love and Hip Hop".

If the show isn't inspiring, it's because chickens eventually come home to roost. Calling on Coretta Scott King as the patron saint of Alpha Kappa Alpha isn't a good look (she too participated in polyamory). What’s done in the dark will come to light and quite frankly in this day of cameras, cellphones and Instagram, and instant fame, it’s hard to believe that organizations don’t understand the necessity of operating with total transparency. People can’t lie and hide in the web tech age.

It’s no secret that Black Greek letter societies and the moral decay inside of those orgs have always been a hindrance to the most promising sect of African American societies, the college educated. Every frat and every sorority has its sinister members and elements. Rarely, if ever, are the most morally flawed individuals inside of a Black Greek unit exposed (and consequently stopped, sent to rehab, therapy, jail, etc.) because shame keeps people quiet.

And that’s mighty unhealthy.

Besides, Mona Scott Young doesn’t need to produce a reality show for the rest of the world to discover that Black Greek orgs are not the icons of perfection twenty four seven. There are more than enough pictures floating around the internet of naked, drunken and disgraced sorority girls and guys. Heck, you can check out an episode of “Divorce Court” and see foolery in action without Mona Scott Young’s help.

Just as the casts of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" or "Love and Hip Hop" in no way represent black, middle and upper class America, a Mona Scott show won’t represent the good, righteous, and moral peeps that do co-exist inside Black Greek orgs. Futhermore, it's a lie to pretend to that everything is all good and always good in the Divine Nine.

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