Dear White People describes many incredibly nuanced and complex black characters, which in terms of looking at race and race relations in America, is something I think the mainstream media often misses. So often, the debate is framed to make all black people seem the same, with the same interests, feelings, and general point of view on life and society. This is something that is explored really well, in my opinion, in this movie. I think its representation of all types of black characters and the unique struggles of each individual highlight the stereotyping and homogeniety we so often see depicted in our society, and seeing these different perspectives allow viewers, especially white people, to understand the complexity and nuance in issues with race and racism. Speaking as a white person, I make significant attempts to educate myself on these types of issues, but I will never truly know what it is like to live a day as a black person in America. I really appreciate media that are produced by and depict genuine black points of views, not what white people think the black point of view is or should be. It is easy for someone with limited exposure to racial diversity to assume that, since their black friends are not super involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, most black people are similarly not very passionate about it. On the flip side, another person lacking in access to racial diversity may assume that because they have friends who are very passionate about and active in the Black Lives Matter movement, all black people are equally passionate and active. The lack of black representation in media and black voices in positions of power such as politicians makes it hard for white people, who may have limited exposure to racial diversity depending on where they live, to see that black people are just as different, complex, and individual as any white person is. I think that it is easy for white people, in general, to be able to recognize that just because two people are white, does not mean they have the same hobbies, the same political interests, the same taste in music, or any other number of similarities. This is even seen at national levels; for example, during his campaign, Joe Biden, the decidely less racist presidential candidate, declared that if any black voter did not vote for him, “they ain’t black.” However, the lack of representation and lack of black voices makes it more difficult for the same thing to be seen of people of different races, which is why I believe movies like this are so important to see. If we are attempting to make a space inclusive, I think this is an extremely important part of the discussion that needs to be improved on in the media and otherwise, and I think Dear White People is a great example of where we can start.
Blog Post 11/30