Sunday, February 23, 2014
Nobody Wanted To Answer The Jeopardy Black History Category Questions
I still laugh about one day in the ticket counter breakroom during my airline days when Jeopardy used to come on at 3:30 PM here and a group of us were huddled around the TV set to do precisely that.
It got to the point where myself and my fellow CSR Rick Owen were nailing the questions in the categories broadcast on that particular day. We were doing such a good job of it my coworkers started waiting for either me or Rick to answer before they would guess.
I bring you down Moni Memory Lane to set up an interesting and sad commentary on modern day race relations in the USA.
From time to time Jeopardy does tournaments, and one of those is the collegiate one in which college students do battle on the show to be crowned the collegiate Jeopardy champion.
While the three collegiate semifinal contestants easily breezed through the question topics such as 'Kiwi Fauna', 'Talk Nerdy To Me' and 'Weather Verbs', the trio awkwardly left the African American history category alone until they were forced to answer questions in it, and those weren't really difficult.
They missed on the Rhode Island Regiment one (which I answered correctly because of the Ocean State reference) and the one on the Scottsboro Boys.
Host Alex Trebek trying to bail out the young contestants after the silence on the Scottsboro Boys question by saying "That was before your time" was awkwardly problematic as well. Many of the questions in the other categories they cleared were 'before their time' as well.
The show was taped back in November, but it airing during Black History Month made the ignoring of the category until the last moment more glaring.
It also points out in microcosm the Two Americas double standard we grapple with. These colloge eduated white kids aren't requred to, nor do they need to know anything about my people's history, which is also American history by the way.
But before I or any person of color can walk out of high school, much less college with a diploma or a degree, I damned sure better have more than a working knowledge of theirs
The fun starts at the 15:50 mark