Why The Netflix Series 'Dear White People' Isn't Racist
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Politics and Activism

Why The Netflix Series 'Dear White People' Isn't Racist

If you actually watch the show instead of scoffing at the name, you may realize that the show isn’t meant to be racist.

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Why The Netflix Series 'Dear White People' Isn't Racist
Time

From the movie to the Netflix series, Dear White People has become a prominent title. A title that offends some and is immediately written off as “racist”. For one, this word is severely overused. Just because a race is addressed, that does not mean someone is being racist. For an example: in the case in terms of Dear White People... it's not being racist.

“Dear White People” is used as an address to white people. It’s almost like the beginning of a letter. Granted, the show could have been titled “Dear Caucasians," however, it is meant to be informal which is why they used a bunch of college kids instead of a bunch of middle-aged Americans. If you actually watch the show instead of scoffing at the name, you may realize that the show isn’t meant to be racist.

Many people think that this series is just meant to call white people out and complain about the struggles of black people. In a way it is, but instead of just calling white people out, they show you both sides. The show has the main character, Sam, on the radio practically complaining about everything racial, then, they go throughout the show to show you why black people have those complaints. It's not because black people are whiny, but because the American experience is very different when you are a black American.

I watched the series and the movie, and the comments made by the characters in the movie who weren’t black were very similar to things I’ve heard in real life. One of the top most accurate comments made was that black people always go back to slavery and that we shouldn’t be mad about slavery because we weren’t slaves. This is a faulty argument for two major reasons. For one, black people mention slavery because, without slavery, our presence in America would be very minimal. Slavery changed the entire course of American history. When a doctor asks him/or her patient what’s wrong, whatever the problem may be, he/ or she will ask when the problem began. There’s a difference between someone dealing with pain for a split second rather than for 3 weeks. In comparison, to fix the “sickness” of racism in this country, we have to acknowledge the roots of it.

The other reason is simple. We should be mad about slavery. We shouldn’t hold it against anyone, but we have every right to be mad. Even though we didn’t live through it, it affected our ancestors. Just like people born after 2001 can still be broken-hearted about 9/11 and honor veterans from past wars, we can still have feelings about our ancestors being enslaved. On top of that, if slavery hadn’t happened, this wouldn’t be a conversation. We wouldn't have to fight for social justice. Everyone claims that we’re free, and for the most part, we are, but the difference is that a person of a lighter complexion is least likely to be labeled as criminal or unintelligent than a person of a darker complexion. So we can have all the freedom we want, just don’t wear hoodies late at night, don’t reach in our pockets for licenses and don’t fight for our rights when a police officer has no reason to harass us. Got it.

A real life complaint that I’ve heard about Dear White People is that if there were a Dear Black People, it would be considered racist. That comment in itself shows why there is a need for the show. The content of Dear White people basically shows how some white people tend to be oblivious to what black people try to say and their struggles. Dear White People is explaining why black people are the way we are when it comes to social justice. To flip the script and try to create a Dear Black People would ignore the issues of Dear White People. The series basically says “Here are our issues, this is why we want social justice, and here’s what you can do. “ Creating Dear Black People wouldn’t make sense because our complaints wouldn’t be relevant if we handled the problems mentioned in the series. I know It’s more difficult than it sounds.

The lack of racism is nearly impossible. There are people out there who believe racism will die when the “old racist people” die off. The only problem is that those people have passed it down to their kids, and it is likely that those kids will eventually pass it down to their kids. Shining a light on the reasons and ways racism exist is a start for decreasing racism.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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