Netflix has released a trailer for an upcoming show, titled “Dear White People”. The show, as described by IMDB, follows “a diverse group of students [that] navigate various forms of racial…discrimination” (imdb.com). The show takes place at an ivy league-esque school and sheds light on real issues students of color face in white America.
And that’s bothering a lot of people.
In fact, people are canceling their Netflix subscriptions because of it. The trailer has gotten plenty of feedback. YouTube commenter Karl Mc justified their cancellation by stating that they ‘Can’t tolerate racism’. Another user stated that they’re “Sick of…Black Supremacists constantly attacking white people” (user European Resistance Media). Long story short, a lot of people are infuriated by the very existence of this trailer, let alone the series itself or the original film that the series is based on.
How dare Netflix air a show that defines the issues many people of color face in elite academia? How dare they share the experience of minorities on campuses where the social acceptance rate is almost as low as the admissions? How dare they share a perspective that clashes with white America?
How. Dare. They.
There’s a lot of controversial filmography on Netflix, and frankly, this show probably falls into that category. However, the very fact that “Dear White People” is already getting this much attention before it is even released proves the show has at least a 50% chance of being a Netflix sensation; a show that’ll go down in the history books.
However, the action of canceling a Netflix subscription because of this show works to prove that white privilege still exists. Those cancellations identify those who fail to recognize their own privilege. And that’s a problem.
In response to European Resistance Media: ‘black supremacy’ is not represented in this series or film. If this show was intended to state that black was the ‘master race’, it wouldn’t be addressing white people at all.There would be no need to distinguish whiteness from any other racial identity. “Dear White People” was made because currently, there are very few films regarding modern day racial inequalities and social unrest. The internet and its media is the best way to reach large audiences, it makes sense that the easiest way to bring attention to a given issue would be by through the means of the World Wide Web.
And because images tend to be easier to remember than words, film or video would be ideal. Therefore, in terms of racial discrepancies and civic unrest, this show is simply providing a perspective in the most efficient way possible. In no way is it endorsing black supremacy. It is exploring the raw perspectives of people of color, opposed to the comfortable, well-accustomed, perspective of white America.
Different does not equal evil. Historically, those two words are often misinterpreted to be the same thing. The U.S. has an extensive history with this. The Japanese internment camps and the atrocities committed during the civil rights movement being two of the more notable examples in the last century alone. The attacks on this series serve as evidence that there needs to be even more clarity on the distinction between those two words and that there is still a long way to go for racial and cultural equality.
To those who are canceling because of this series: don’t come crawling back in December when Stranger Things season 2 is released and think that this little tiff will be forgotten; chances are, it won't be.