Home Opinions If you refuse to watch “Dear White People” you might be the...

If you refuse to watch “Dear White People” you might be the problem

2005
6

It is highly beneficial that members of the Texas State community watch Netflix’s new hit show, “Dear White People,” because it highlights the racial misconduct that students of color often face on college campuses. It is the people who refuse to watch it that need the perspective the most.

Netflix recently premiered the new original series, which is based on the 2014 film of the same title. The series lends itself to the perspective of a few black students that attend the most prestigious, predominantly white institution (PWI) in the United States: Winchester University.

As with any piece of media that is considered “too black,” there are plenty who refuse to watch the show under the belief that the series endorses the only threat to mankind more dangerous than climate change—“reverse racism.”

It does not need to be explained why “Dear White People” is not reverse racism since the show cannot be something that simply does not exist. More importantly, to the show’s credit, it is not an opportunity to celebrate white apologism—something anyone who has seen the film can tell you.

The series can stand its own ground in the arguments it makes for the way we conduct ourselves regarding people’s cultures that are not our own. Being the great self-aware satire that it is, “Dear White People” already has answers for the predictable questions that would arise from the show’s trailer like, “what if white people made a show called, ‘Dear Black People?” Therefore, there is no need for this column to address any arguments over race in academia.

Instead, the purpose of this column is to draw a parallel between the way one shuts out the Netflix series and the way they likely also shut out the cultural and philosophical ideas that do not appear to condone their current actions.

“Dear White People” is a dynamic body of work that captures eyes and ears with its beautifully composed frames and scoring. Through clever screenwriting and compelling characters with relatable flaws, the series develops a personality with its own unspoken dialogue that is bound to pull out a guilty laugh from you regardless of whether you agree with the subject matter or not. “Dear White People” manages to be an aesthetically pleasing piece of work from a filmmaking standpoint while unwaveringly tackling serious conversations around race. Contrary to popular belief the show is well balanced in its critique on society as it denounces all cultural infractions and divides—even when they do not work in favor of the black student at a white institution.

However, many people will never know how layered the series is, because the moment they see the title “Dear White People”, they assume that it is just 90 minutes reminding white viewers why they are evil.

Likewise, they are likely individuals who would never know that their black co-worker is actually a great person who shares plenty of similarities with them. They would likely never take the chance to learn that they both share an interest in comic books, guitars and working on cars—or that they both like Black Sabbath and have a dad who is a police officer. They would never know that because once they see a black man in a Black Lives Matter shirt, they assume he is someone they could not get along with even though they have more things in common than not.

Just as many people miss out on an entertaining experience by dismissing “Dear White People” based on its title, they also miss out on potential relationships with great people because they dismissed them based on their appearance.

It is never a good idea to judge a book or a show by its cover. It is even more dangerous to judge a person by their cover—but you are far more inclined to do so if you make a habit of disagreeing with ideas before you have even heard them.

-Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore

6 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly you are not that bright….

    What would reverse racism be? Being overly nice to someone because of there race.

    Everyone know (and in every language) the meaning of racism is simply the belief that a whole race of people ((Yes, any race of people you idiot)) is less than another/others. (And treating them unfairly as so. a.k.a “Racial Discrimination”)

    Any one with the slightest bit of common knowledge knows this!
    The same meaning follows in every other language in every other country…

    Wow! Right!

    Racism is not one sided…. thinking so makes you a racist.

    But hey, it is understandable. You have an inferiority complex! (That or you have a superiority complex)

    Racial Discrimination against ANY race is pathetic! so is the belief that some races are exempt from being called out.

    To quote the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
    “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

    Of course some places follow this better than others, and sadly not every one follows this basic principle.

  2. Clearly you are not that bright….

    What would reverse racism be? Being overly nice to someone because of there race.

    Everyone know (and in every language) the meaning of racism is simply the belief that a whole race of people ((Yes, any race of people you idiot)) is less than another/others. (And treating them unfairly as so. a.k.a “Racial Discrimination”)

    Any one with the slightest bit of common knowledge knows this!
    The same meaning follows in every other language in every other country…

    Wow! Right!

    Racism is not one sided…. thinking so makes you a racist.

    But hey, it is understandable. You have an inferiority complex! (That or you have a superiority complex)

    Racial Discrimination against ANY race is pathetic! so is the belief that some races are exempt from being called out.

    To quote the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
    “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

    Of course some places follow this better than others, and sadly not every one follows this basic principle.

  3. I could argue with you and point fingers and name call, or I can just accept it.

    Fine, I am a racist, an elitest, a classest, and whatever name you want to point at me.

    Now what? What have we accomplished besides making yourself look like a small child throwing a fit and name calling? Have we advanced society? Or are we still at the “Im going to change the world by making others make it a better place for me” phase?

  4. Carrington,

    I absolutely agree. I think if anyone is avoiding watching this show, it’s people who believe they don’t need to hear its message, either because they believe it doesn’t apply to them, or they’re afraid it does. Unfortunate, since you can’t learn anything from a lesson you don’t show up to. Decrying a show just because it’s called “Dear White People” is like throwing out a letter from the IRS: you just don’t like who it came from, never mind that they have an important message for you. Not to mention, you have a sneaking suspicion they’re writing with bad news.

    In reading the comment about reverse racism, I’m reminded of a lecture in school about reverse racism. We were taught to view it as a power structure, examining who benefits and who pays. With racism, whites benefit, while people of color pay. To say the reverse is true simply wouldn’t make sense. Black people don’t benefit from taking a prejudiced attitude toward white people. Black people just minding their own business get murdered at traffic stops. Those who dare to say “Black Lives Matter” are met with “All Lives Matter,” as if they must be suffering from a superiority complex to ask that people stop arresting, convicting, imprisoning and executing them at exponentially higher rates than lives of other colors. So no, there is no “reverse racism.”

    I hope you’re not discouraged by these comments from writing on important topics like these. If there’s any place people are encouraged to speak before they think, it’s on the internet.

  5. @Breanna

    Not ‘reverse racism’ just plain old racism.
    Racism is simply the discrimination of someone based on their race. It is not a one way street, it is a boat on an open ocean free to go in any direction by small minded peoples.
    In every language, it has the same meaning. Just now regressive idiots try to make excuses so they can allow themselves to be racist.

    I know idiots will try to reply with prejudice+power bullshit that makes no sense and are only trying to find SOME way to make an excuse for their own racial biases and racism…. really quite pathetic. What you may be trying to argue about is structural racism, which is a type of racism, not the only kind… Racism is an umbrella term for all discrimination based on race. All of which is unaceeptable.

    Now yes, black people have been mistreated by this country. Every race of people has been mistreated at some point. Not that that is a good thing or is an excuse… there is no excuse, just an unfortunate thing of life.
    You are however, still accountable for your own actions alone.

    I do not care if blacks are arrested, i do not care if whites are arrested, nor asians or hispanics…. ASLONG as it is justified. Sadly because of the regressive left trying to dumb people down and tell them it is OK to commit crime, that they can not help it… they are only causing people to be arrested. There are laws, and people know they should follow them. To the kid who was waving a toy gun at police, what did you expect! Recently in many black communities in the US people are glorifying crime, doing drugs, joining gangs, mistreating women, that they should just ignore the laws because of past injustices… but that is not how it works. You are responsible for your actions.

    There is no excuse for racism by anyone!

    ————————————————-
    All people should be treated fairly with dignity and respect and judged not only on who they are as an individual by their own actions only.
    ————————————————-

    It is that simple.

    Of course, sadly, the left has been hijack by regressive as of late and are hindering progress in human rights. Most people see through their contradictory rhetoric, this is just fad of idiots… once you people grow up and brain matures more after actually having lived life, hopefully you will see the error in your ways.

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