Saturday, May 6, 2017

#dearwhitepeople


As I'm writing this, it is Saturday morning, around 5 AM. I am awoken by the belligerent drunken sounds of my young white neighbors, stumbling in following just celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It's very interesting that these people would simultaneously celebrate a holiday that celebrates Mexican culture all while not thinking about our government still trying to find funding to build a wall between our countries and deporting people who are simply suspect of not being citizens of our country.

The irony of it all is disgusting.

The night before, I managed to watch four episodes of the new show on Netflix called "Dear White People", a show based on the film of the same name.

I wanted to give my analysis on the show. I wanted to say it was a combination of the 90's show "A Diff'rent World" combined with the movie "Higher Learning" spun with the fast talking and quick witted sarcasm us millennials would enjoy.

But instead of reviewing the show, I find myself needing wanting to defend it.

[Note: the following is my observations and conclusions derived from currently ongoing dialogues on social media and media at large and is pointed at those who have crafted their opinions on the show before even seeing the show (you know, like these same people have a tendency of doing with my poeple). Shout out to the woke baes who gave this show, and conversations with people outside your own communities and ethnic identities. Y'all make America great.]

It started when, between episode one and two, I took to Twitter, as I do with most things I discover or like or have questions about, to share a clip from one of the episodes that really moved me. I wish I could say that I was surprised at the response to the show, but I wasn't. In fact I expected a lot better out of how some of the people on Twitter were reacting to the show. A show that the majority of the people who had negative reactions most likely didn't see. And you can tell this because even though the title of the show is called "Dear White People", it mostly focused on the identity and the growth of its black characters. However, I think it's very interesting how all sorts of feelings arise when white people feel like they are  being picked on or oppressed (without watching it).

Suddenly the tired terms "white guilt" and "reverse racism" and sayings (read: rants) of "no one thinks white people for their contribution to history" started floating around from .


Ok...

One, no one wanted to make white people feel guilty, (the show is not based upon what people, or white guilt, that wasn't the goal so stop thinking it's all about you), just be aware of how others experience this nation.

And two, I think the nation does a pretty good job of thinking white people for their contribution to history by omitting the inclusion of fact from any brown black red or female person's history, except on the designated month that we have to celebrate them.

In fact, the show is actually less about attacking white people and more about the experience of black people, particularly black millennials attending university. Sure, themes of ethnic tensions, ethnocentrism, and hatred do arise, but so does sexual orientation, gender roles, colorist amongst people of the African diaspora, calling, love, friendship, duty, responsibility, individualism, and a hundred others that arose from the few episodes I managed to watch.

Meaning: It is NOT all about you, White People.

So before you go tossing your Netflix account to try to protest the show that you didn't even watch a single minute of an episode of to see if your opinion was valid or not, maybe you should take a look. The episodes are only 30 minutes max and you'd be surprised, you might just like it, (you know like Rotten Tomatoes and countless other reputable review sites did when it gave the show the coveted 100% rating).

Also, for all of my white friends and readers out there who actually have a problem with the show and still have not watched it and claim that it is furthering a separation between the ethnicities (I can't say the races because we are all the same exact race), I need you to consider a few things;
Why is it that you find yourself becoming so aggressively and vocally angry about a simple title of "Dear White People" as opposed to actually seeing some of the content before you make an "informed" opinion?
Why is it that you immediately deem the show racist before you have even spent five minutes checking it out?
(Quick answer to that from the Dear White People movie)

Why is it that you think that there is nothing within these 30 minutes (of scripted gold) to offer you but guilt and slander?
Is your white fragility so weak, that you can't even engage in the conversation about the happenings, the occurrences, and the experiences of people who are not like you, that you have to rush off and call whatever it is racist, bigoted, or cancel an entire subscription service (that you probably enjoyed for sometime now), all because of the name of the show?
How is that rational?
Do you feel as if  you are entitled to not hear these experiences, as if yours is the only experience that matters, as if yours is the only experience that counts?
Did you actually believe that because there was a black man in the White House, that we were going to be living in a post-racial society? Because ask any person of any other color, or community and you will quickly see that their experiences don't match yours.

There is an enormous problem when not only do those experiences not get the chance to even be heard, they don't even get the benefit of value simply because white people don't see the world that way.

And that, in essence, is the problem with this nation right now; not that people aren't speaking up about what you're going through, but others are not listening and valuing those opinions, and that is what "Dear White People" is actually all about.

I hope you took the time to actually watch the show. I, personally found it to be a very interesting, very well with written, a little over sexualized, but very entertaining and funny show all about the experience of other people, (after all we have enough shows the show experience of just white people).

What are your thoughts? What do you think? Let's talk, drop a comment below.