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A Date With Ms. Katie

The relationship between Black men and White women has historically been the most taboo of subjects, in terms of forbidden love or lust. From Birth of Nation, to Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, to the film Obsessed starring Beyonce and Idris Elba, we have been inundated with images that suggest there is something peculiar about the relationship between Black men and White women. There is something fantastical; yet authentic about the way both cohort groups perceive each other. What intrigues me the most about this topic is that although society is much more tolerant, there are still some awkward moments where I step back and I have to reassess whether the moment was awkward because of the individuals involved in the moment, or because of the Black male-White female dynamic. One of those moments was when I happened to stumble upon the infamous Katie Couric and Lil’ Wayne interview. In my opinion, the whole interview was awkward.At times it seemed as if Katie Couric was maternally scolding Lil’ Wayne, other times it seemed as if she was flirting and or sexually aroused by the Louisiana rapper. In her opening commentary she seems to admit that Lil’ Wayne can be easily generalized by his appearance and overall demeanor (part one: 25). Yet, she goes on to imply that there is more to Dwayne Carter than the Lil’ Wayne persona, which seems to fascinate her. Watching their banter was at times humorous, especially when Katie Couric asks what he prefers to be called (part one 6:07). Yet watching Wayne choke up about Hurricane Katrina in the presence of a very consolatory looking Katie Couric shows that they had at the very least, a platonic connection. Their bowling date seemed to be filled with sexual tension, especially when Lil’ Wayne and Katie Couric get face to face and start clasping their hands together (part one 3:33). The final minute of the interview, in which Wayne is sitting at the anchor desk reading the teleprompter was probably the most awkward moment. Why did Katie Couric ask Lil’ Wayne if he was ok (part two 4:18)? When did reading the news become such a formidable task? The implication seemed to be that she was surprised that he finished reading the teleprompter without falling out of his chair.

After the interview was over I was left scratching my head. Was I the only person who felt there were something just flat out odd about the way these two interacted?  Was it weird because Lil’ Wayne is a self-proclaimed Martian or did the historical taboo dynamics alter the way I perceived their relationship?