I’ve been binge watching this show recently called “Dear White People.” It’s the kind of show where you mean to watch one episode but suddenly it’s 1am and you JUST HAVE TO WATCH ONE MORE!
I’m not going to lie, the last few years I have done my best to try to avoid anything to do with race. I felt overwhelmed by the racism that exists in this country. I became frustrated with the lack of understanding that exists around white privilege with feelings being hurt and people getting defensive “I worked hard for what I have” type rhetoric following the idea around. It’s not about how hard you have or haven’t worked…. I would protest at first. Eventually, I just got tired.
I got tired of explaining what it means to be privileged in a society that favours you based on your skin colour. Something that no one can choose.
I got tired of defending myself.
“Yes, I AM coloured” and quite frankly I got sick of having to explain to everyone WHY I am coloured and HOW just because I’m different to your idea of what coloured is, doesn’t make me any less coloured. It’s something I’ve dealt with all my life.
Sam: “Dear white people, here’s a little tip: When you ask someone who looks ethnically different ‘what are you?’ the answer is usually a person about to slap the shit out of you.” (Ep. 1)
Because I’m “diluted” and so I get labelled half-caste and other shit like that. And people don’t get why I’m offended.
Because other coloured people tell me I’m not one of them.
Because white people tell me “I’m not like other coloureds” as if it’s some sort of reward for not being TOO coloured.
It all made me so fucking tired.
Like how many lessons do we need to give to the world on race and how diverse it can be.
And so, I was hesitant to watch this show because fuck me not another thing that deals with race right?! But I was so wrong.
I truly think it’s a show that EVERYONE should watch.
It’s about a fancy ass university and the real struggles that the non-white student population experience at the college. It’s SO real!
If you’ve ever thought Yeah #BlackLivesMatter yeah but also #AllLivesMatter then you should watch this show!
They deal with these issues in a way that makes you get it! You can’t help but understand what these kids are experiencing. When being black means you get a gun pulled in your face!
Reggie: “Gun in my face, your hate misplaced, light-skin, white skin but for me not the right skin.” (Ep. 6)
Suddenly it’s clear why #AllLivesMatter isn’t a fucking thing because white people are FINE! They don’t have these issues. They DON’T struggle with the same stigma and prejudice and discrimination that black people do.
Except the show isn’t a lesson in why race is important – it’s a story about people who are like you and me. It’s a story with characters so diverse and relatable that you can’t help getting what they are going through!
I can see myself in them and yet I don’t have half the struggle that this show demonstrates!
It deals with race relations in a way that makes you sit down for a second and think about your privilege. It’s honestly one of the best shows I’ve watched in a while. Don’t take my word for it though, go check it out for yourself!
If you’ve watched it let me know what you think!
[bctt tweet=”Dear white people, our skin color is not a weapon. You don’t have to be afraid of it.- Sam” username=”tyrannyofpink”]
Is this show available on Netflix? I’d love to watch it.
And you are so right Jonelle, white people, don’t know. We don’t know what it’s like to live with this kind of discrimination, every day of our lives. To live with the sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle racist and stereotypical remarks.
It’s only when I adopted mixed race children that I started to become more aware. I call it unconscious racism. When people think they’re open minded and not racist but they make the most subtly racist remarks. I’ve been left quite stocked by it all. But determined to educate myself and be more aware, for the sake of my children.
I’d also like to say, as a white person, I am often afraid to comment on posts and conversations like this one, because I’m afraid to unconsciously cause offense.
It is! You should definitely watch it Sharon. I think you will appreciate the story. I think I was lucky that my mom, though white, had already experienced the racism that I came to know. So she knew how to protect me and raised me to not be put down by constant comments. But it’s hard. It’s hard being a mixed race child and it’s also hard being the parent of a child that is not your race. The amount of times white people make comments to my mother about “those people” and she says what makes them so comfortable talking to her in that way. Just because she’s white she’s supposed to agree! It’s not easy! But the more we have these kinds of conversations, the easier it becomes to understand each other and WHY it’s so wrong.
The “unconscious racism” you speak about it often the hardest to deal with. I’ve experienced that a lot because of my marriage. Where people in my husbands life assume that I’m white and then they make racist comments but they don’t mean to be racist. They just honestly don’t realise it. It’s a lot harder to deal with because you’ve got to make them really understand. So it becomes my mission to educate and help people to understand. It’s exhausting but if we all just choose silence, no one ever learns.
I’m glad you did engage in this conversation because your opinion is so valid. I have so much respect for you and the struggles you go through with your girls! They are lucky to have a mother who cares this much about something they will deal with all their lives.
Melissa Javan says
So true about the unconscious racism. I’d like to to see the show, sounds like my thing.
Caryn Welby-Solomon says
I was so excited when this show came out, because I watched the movie and this is my jam, but it blew away all my expectations, it was so amazing. The Reggie episode especially, I feel like it is burned in my brain. But other than that, I love that the characters are 3D, that they challenge what you think you know. I love that they show that there are real people behind all of this, that have very real struggles, despite their race, their age, their class. Urgh I loved this show.
I didn’t even know there was a movie! Now I am DEFINITELY going to have to watch that. I was sitting and eating a block of chocolate during that episode at the exact moment it happened. I couldn’t swallow. The tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat turned that chocolate into poison. All I could taste was the fear and the hate and the shame… it was SO powerful. Made SUCH a strong point!
Simone Cameron says
Because white people tell me “I’m not like other coloureds” as if it’s some sort of reward for not being TOO coloured. – I get this comment from my boss so many times…and I usually just look at him. Flabbergasted, and too scare to ask what ‘other coloureds’ are like in his opinion. Anyways, let me not annoy myself thinking about this…
I’m definitely going to check the show out!
I’m sad that you can relate. I think what annoys me the most is that it’s ALL races who put this box around what I can and can’t be. because my hair is straighter, my accent different and the food I cook isn’t curry – because that’s what coloured is. Being coloured is being a gangster and speaking with rubbish english and if you don’t then ohhhh you’re not one of them because THEY are all the same. Watch the show – you will definitely enjoy it. Let me know if you do! x
Melissa Javan says
Simone, I got this comment from a white friend and from that day, I look at her differently. I realised I’m never going to be in the same league as her.
It’s SO awful!!