made a huge splash when it first hit theaters in 2014and caused even morecontroversy when news spread of it returning to Netflix as a full series.

The concernmany users shared was that the show was racist, since a title would be considered offensive.

Director, Justin Simien, and the shows star, Logan Browning, filmed an interview for Huffpost Black Voices that debunks myths surrounding not just the provocative show, but racism in general.

First, Simienaddressed the title.

He said,

Its an assumption that the show is finger-wagging or blaming white people for something and its also an incorrect assumption.

Its actually a show about the experience of being a marginalized group amongst a bigger group that doesnt necessarily see you.

Basically? Watch the show! is more about the black experience than it is about white people, specifically. Also, its important to note that it is the title of theradio show that Logan Brownings character, Samantha White, runs on her campus.

The radio segment, like its namesake Netflix series, is what White uses to communicate her feelings about microaggressionsthat she and other black students experience at the fictional Winchester University.


And this is why a Dear Black People narrative, or title would be unacceptable, according to Simien.

Since is equal parts humor and seriousness, flipping the script would mean that the race jokes would be on black people.

Simien explains that in society, that is already the case.

He said,

All of American culture is basically a . We are very aware of where we fit and dont fit in culture just by watching TV.

On the other side, because oppression is very real in this country, if a white person makes jokes about black people that actually affects black peoples lives.

In short? Black people talking about their world with white people is their reaction to the oppression they face. White people creating a humorous show about black people would just be them throwing their privilege in the faces of the oppressed.


Browning pushed the point forward by saying that black people cant be racist.

To understand her logic, we have to acknowledge that mainstream America accepts the concept of racism with a limited definition.The traditional description in Merriam-Websterdescribes race as,

A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

We often point out racism based on discriminatory acts without acknowledging what racism is.

The rest of the Merriam-Webster description says that racism is,

A political or social system founded on racism.

This political and social (and, Id add, economic)realityof black people is what renders them unable to oppress white people in the way that they are oppressed.

Browningshared her definition of racism saying,

Racism is the oppression of a marginalized group in a society that is based on white supremacy. If you are a white person, then you naturally benefit from white privilege.

This means that the exclusionary things black people are often accused of being racist for doing creating a Black Lives Matter movement, attending historically black colleges, having a Black Girls Rock event could never be racist.

Those things donothing to systematically disadvantage white people, and/or.


So how does this in real life when youre white and you get called a racist name or hear a white joke?

Fair question.

That time you got called a name you didnt like wasnt right; itwas also not a reflection of your everyday life.

A tweet about white people not using enough seasonings in their food wont affect how you get treatedduring a trip to the grocery store.

However, jokes about black women having attitudes do lend to them being discriminated against and physically violated in schools and the workplace.

Stereotypes about black men being violent thugs do translate into them being physically assaulted or killed.

Every experience that black people have from going to school to driving to seeking housing is affected by racism.

The buzz phrase white privilege simply callsout the fact that daily experiences with racism are not a white persons reality.


And is exactly why white people dont get to say the n-word.

Stay with me here.

Browning worded it perfectly, saying,

How many things do white people have? They have all of the things. There is this one word that black people took and use as a form of endearment and its ours. Let us have this one word.

Thedominant group does not get to decide how the oppressed group navigates their oppression.The n-word is whatblack people have claimed as their term to use however they choose.

When black people say it to other black people, they can be sure that there is no racism fueling its use.

Because people originally usedthe word as a racist term against black peopleand racism is still alive and well, white people are permanently uninvited to the n-word party.

Its kind of likethose people who have a nickname that they only let friends and familywho are close to them use.

You cannot meet those types of people and suddenly begin calling them their nickname like you have a space intheir inner circle. Consider the n-word that permanent name that you cannot use.

And if its bothering you that you cannot participate in saying the n-wordor have a show called, you should probably ask yourself why you want to be in the position of the oppressed so badly.

As Simien said,

Yall aint oppressed. Im sorry.

By the way, its not as good as it sounds. You dont to be oppressed.

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