If you have not seen “Dear White People,” the new show released on Netflix based on the 2014 film of the same name, you need to. Dear White People is set in the present day and takes place at the fictional Winchester University, an Ivy League that is predominately white.
The show follows a diverse group of students as they navigate through different forms of racial discrimination within all ethnic groups, including their own.
What I appreciated most about the show was its ability to make me critically think about my racialized view of what it means to stand up for black rights, and my dismissal of other people’s views of what it means to fight back.
The idea that our actions have an effect greater than us, and that it takes strategic planning and thinking to positively stand up for the black community to call for a change.
For most of us, it is hard to accept that the system is messed up, and as black people, we are all doing what we think is best and will help.
“Dear White People” isn’t necessarily a show for white People, and it definitely is not a show for white people who are offended by the show’s title. “Dear White People” addresses the conversation about being black in America like it was a virtual BSU meeting.
In addition to our activism culture, the show even addresses the trauma of being a black activist in a America. It gets tiring, it gets hopeless and it gets exhausting.
The ongoing trauma and threat of police brutality is a constant theme in the show.
It reminds us that these are not just some rebellious college kids who are just trying to cause a scene or look for a hand out.
Instead, they are fighting for their lives in a society that believes that their complaints are irrelevant and inapplicable.
It was refreshing to see a dialogue on the subject on the small screen about the feeling of hopelessness, especially in the immediate aftermath of another man or woman being killed by the police or any numerous other attacks on the black community.
The best thing that I can pass along that I learned from the show is that just because you do not see it or it does not happen to you does not mean that it is not there.
So instead of denying the possibility, accept and understand the reality.
This story first appeared in the May 4th, 2017 issue of The Vantage