I Give Props to ‘Dear White People,’ Season 2 for Tackling These 5 Controversial Issues
Volume 2 of the racially charged controversial Netlfix series Dear White People aired on May 4th, and it only took me a day and a half to binge all 10 episodes.
As with all things, I was late to watch the first season after it aired in 2017, (binged it only maybe three months ago), so last season was pretty fresh in my mind when I ventured into the season 2.
***SIDE NOTE: I guess I have to say “spoiler alert,” but if you didn’t get by now that I was going to talk about the show even based off the title… then bruh, you deserve to have it ruined.
By the end of this season I laughed. I smiled. I was shocked. I was on the edge of my seat. I cringed. I cried (which is common for me, I mean I cry at almost every sad show or movie. Were you not moved to tears in that scene of the movie Click when Adam Sandler was screaming for his son in the pouring rain? It was too deep.) Overall, I applaud the writers and actors for once again addressing dicey issues from different character standpoints. And man did I learn some new shit.
Here are 5 topics DWP managed to tackle head on:
1. Dealing with Alt-right internet trolls
— Variety (@Variety) May 5, 2018
As I mentioned in my bio, I am a working reporter/journalist. Needless to say, in today’s era of media attack and “fake news” I have read my fair share of evil comments on social media. The current administration has given all the closet racists the courage to come out and speak their true feelings, becoming “free thinkers” if you will (Thanks Kanye -_-)
The first episode of DWP follows the main character Samantha White as she gets into a twitter war with @AltIvyW, an anonymous twitter troll. The troll antagonizes Sam and her pro-black cause for a week straight. He even goes as far as telling Sam, whom is biracial “Too bad your father ruined you by fucking a monkey. Bet she’s angry all the time too.” Effed up right?
I think the worst part about watching this part of the episode is that I wasn’t even THAT shocked at that outlandish comment. I’ve read worse in the past year and a half. But seeing Sam, who had been battling this troll for days online up to this point, actually break down in tears.. I felt that ish!!
“They don’t get to do this. They don’t get to say this,” she said. And damn did I feel that too. Which is why I try my best to not even read comments from stupid trolls, let alone try and argue with them. Because it’s EXHAUSTING. And like Sam said, they SHOULDN’T get to just spew whatever hateful thing that comes to their mind with no consequences. (unless they say nigga on Snapchat and get expelled like these white college girls keep doing).
I find comfort in knowing that God don’t like ugly, and people like that are truly miserable in their own lives. They’ll eventually get their just due. But when is enough enough? And how are we supposed to just brush off racist comments like they don’t hurt sometimes?
2. Colorism in the black community
— ABF (@AshleyBlaine) May 4, 2018
This season, she blatantly admitted it! “This world is not to kind to the Kellys of the world,” she said. She even goes as far as not introducing her new boo to Sam because she thinks he’s going to find Sam more attractive and diss her.
And got dammit I felt that shit too! I had tons of light skin friends growing up that were of course beautiful and attractive, but would I be lying if I said they got noticed in the club or in the party before I did? Or even if that’s not the case, it damn sure felt like it! Finding the beauty in darker skin has been a struggle among society and more importantly in our own black community for years upon years. And there’s only one way to change the narrative, by calling it out for what it is! So shoutouts to DWP for shedding light on the insecurities of the chocolate sistahs.
3. Homosexuality in the black community
Whites only, chubby-chasers, rice queens…oh my! If @DearWhitePeople‘s first season was about Lionel being gay in black spaces, season two shows what it’s like being black in gay spaces. https://t.co/xPzaPLQmaJ
— Taylor Henderson (@cornbreadsays) May 9, 2018
Season 2 gave my man Lionel a chance to be out! Super out. After watching him struggle to come to terms with his sexuality in season one, it was nice to see him finally hit the dating scene and discover where he fit in in the LGBTQ community on Winchester’s campus. They even gave him a couple sex scenes! And I honestly can’t think of another show (besides maybe Empire) that shows black gay men being intimate on camera. (I guess you can count Love and Hip Hop but I threw that show in the trash 7 seasons ago.)
But the shocker of the season was when we found out that CoCo’s new roommate Kelsey is a lesbian! Season one mostly framed Kelsey as the ditzy “dumb blonde” black girl with the tiny dog, there for comic relief. But this season we learn that she hides her sexuality because it’s not so acceptable in her Trinidadian family. “I’ve been out since Queen Janet’s wardrobe malfunction,” Kelsey said. There’s a constant discussion about how black people fight for equality but turn around and oppress LGBTQ people of color. DWP is working to break down those barriers.
4. The Trauma of police brutality
— TJ (@_oddmanout) May 5, 2018
Okay so I’m glad they didn’t just let Reggie go on about his life like nothing happened! Season 2 was set only three weeks after a campus security guard pulled a gun on him in the middle of a party because he refused to show him his I.D. Immediately after the incident, Reggie isolates himself for a while, dealing with the immediate emotions of a near death experience. But so many times after the tide settles, and the hashtag fades away, we move on to the next topic and forget about how the victims of police brutality are doing (that is if cops didn’t shoot them dead. But even then we stop checking for their families and friends.)
Reggie’s episode shows him dealing with the trauma by drinking more and going to see a therapist at the suggestion of the university. But that doesn’t stop Reggie from having panic attacks and nightmares of the rent-a-cop pointing a gun at him at every turn. Reggie is even too embarrassed about the incident to tell his dad about it who he says was a former Black Panther.
But the truth is, in today’s climate where black folk can’t go to Starbucks, LA Fitness, Air BnB, Waffle House, sleep on campus as a Yale student, golfing, or move into your own home without white folk calling the police on you, Reggie IS and could have been ANY of us. So we need to stop chalking these incidents up to just “shit black people gotta deal with” and look at how they affect us mentally in the long run.
5. White and Biracial guilt
— Joseph Lamour (@lamour) May 6, 2018
Although these are two point of views that I know nothing about, I appreciated the episode that dealt with Gabe and Sam as they worked out their feelings towards living in, alongside, and parallel to the black experience. Gabe, Sam’s white ex-boyfriend is working on documentary for his film class called “Am I Racist?”
Really Gabe? You thought that was the one, huh? That was really bout to schlap?
Gabe is really just trying to ease his conscience after calling the police to the party that lead to the cop pulling a gun out on Reggie. So his attempt at “understanding what the black kids on his campus go through on a daily basis” comes off a bit insincere.
And Sam sees right through it. She set his ass straight, pointing out that while his intentions may have been in the right place, at the end of the day, he was using the racial narrative for his benefit and that just plays right into his privilege. When Sam addresses the same issues on her radio show “Dear White People,” she’s angry and problematic. When Gabe talks about the same issues, he’s brave and innovative.
But plot twist!
In the midst of their debate, Gabe managed to read Sam enough to get her to admit part of her extremism was her trying to over compensate for having a white parent. “Not for nothing, but your white guilt is the only reason you do Dear White People,” Gabe says finally.
gabe dragging sam on this episode of dear white people season 2 is everything I’ve ever wanted to say to that character pic.twitter.com/SfHLs8GNaj
— C. (@mindctrI) May 5, 2018
But naw, can’t stump my girl Sam. She’s too woke for that. “‘Guilt’ is too simple a word for what a girl like me in a world like this feels,” she said. Damnnnnn. I can’t relate to white or biracial guilt, but that’s pretty deep!
DWP always does a good job of getting all sides of the story, whether it be the outwardly racists, the ‘good’ white guy, the Latin American conservative, the “Hotep” (a term I just learned btw,) and the white girl who is in denial about being racist.
Some other major moments come when CoCo finds out she’s pregnant and exercises pro-choice (although I wish they didn’t squeeze all that into one episode), Troy’s daddy issues alongside his token black boy identity crisis, and the institutional racism embedded in Winchester University’s history. 10 episodes really doesn’t do this show justice, and I am so looking forward to season 3!
— Cierra 👑 (@cierra_xo27) May 4, 2018
I am in no way an expert on any of these topics and can only watch the show through the lens of my own experiences. So if I offended anyone in anyway, my bad! I told y’all not to listen to me, and definitely…Don’t Take My Advice!
Leave your comments below!
*images used throughout this article are not my own