A new film called “Dear White People” swept accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and is making its way to theaters this fall. To market the comedy, a trailer was released recently that has since been viewed over a million times on YouTube and has also received thousands of comments. I mistakenly read through some of them.
Since I did and was horrified, I wanted to extend a piece of advice to The Frisky readers: cease and desist from writing a comment about the “Dear White People” movie trailer before reading this list. I urge you to do this, not at my behest, but to save yourself from looking like one of the most ignorant, rude and possibly racist individuals to exist in the 21st century.
Without further ado: “15 of the Most Outrageously Stupid Responses To The ‘Dear White People’ Movie Trailer (And Smart Responses To Them).”
1. “Why the hell are we still going on about race. If you are always looking at the past you will never see the future.”
Race does not exist in the past. Do you currently file taxes? Did you go to high school? Have you ever filled out a college application? If so, you have identified yourself racially in one of only eight possible racial classifications per the US Census Bureau: White, African American, Asian American, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, some other race or two or more races. While admittedly, 6.2 percent of the American population identify themselves as “some other race” (perhaps the human race?), 72.2 percent of the population has absolutely no problem identifying themselves — presently — as White.
2. “Us White people should just go ahead and make a movie called “Dear Black Niggers,” because that totally isn’t racist either.”
Since we have now come to acknowledge the reality that the vast majority of people self-identify their race and thus choose to be categorized by that race, it would not be racist to address a group of individuals based on the categorization by which he/she associated him/herself, especially if that group is privileged or disadvantaged based solely on that fact. Meaning, a movie called “Dear White or Black People” is not inherently racist. If a movie was titled: “Dear Black People: Sorry For Unfairly Imprisoning 40 Percent Of Your Young Male Population,” I assure you the Black community would not be in an uproar.
With that said, the word “nigger” is a racial slur. Not simply a racial classification.
3. “What’s the goal of this again? To tell White people we screwed up, and still screw up today?”
Yes, that is precisely the point of this movie. Matter of fact, that is the point of most discussions raised about race and or structural racism in America.
4. “Wow … Black people bitch so much.”
Intelligently addressing the issues of discrimination and structural racism through satire is not “bitching.” By its definition, the verb “to bitch” means to simply complain or gripe which does not take much creativity or intelligence.
5. “Dear Black People…….. If you all want racism to end, then how about you all stop calling each other the N-WORD.”
Thank you for the advice, however misguided and plain stupid it may be. The N-WORD (as you called it) was originally used by White people, to degrade and dehumanize Black people. It has since been culturally adapted (the “er” was dropped and an “a” was added) and is now used as a slang term amongst Black people to devalue the word.
6. “I knew it was only a matter of time before niggers make another shitty movie besides Madea.”
Yes, people of color are underrepresented in Hollywood and in the entire entertainment industry. Everyone is tired of only Tyler Perry movies like “Madea” speaking for the entire Black population. For that reason, new Black voices and points of view should be graciously received.
About the use of the word nigger, refer to point number 2.
7. “Yeah let’s make a movie that widens the gap between races even more.”
Movies do not widen gaps between races. Limited access to education, healthcare and financial resources does. If we want to seriously talk about the widening of gaps between races, let’s take a look at some of the gaps that actually matter and exists, like say, the wealth gap. Despite increases in income levels, Blacks families are just as poor relative to White families as they were in the 1960’s. The median wealth gap between White families is conservatively estimated at $80,000 while other estimates have put that figure closer to between $150,000-$200,000.
Such gaps have been steadily increasing over the past decade, whether we make movies about race or not.
8. “Let’s fight racism by spending all our time talking about race (sarcastic).”
Two generals approach a battle field: one has not discussed a war strategy, hell he hasn’t even acknowledged that there is a war to his troops. The other has a detailed plan of action and his soldiers have been prepared and trained. Who will win the fight?
9. “Why are black people so mad all the time? Even in their movies.”
We are mad because of present day discrimination in the form of police brutality that has recently taken the life of a Black man as he repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” while being choked by an officer. We are mad because of the disproportionate incarceration rates of Black men and women despite committing the same number of crimes as their White counterparts. We are mad because we are constantly the targets of a predatory banking system. We are mad because of past injustices including but not limited to slavery and Jim Crow for which the Black population has never even received a public apology. If all of this is not enraging enough, then the seemingly unavoidable future of perpetuated systemic racism because people prefer the pretense of “colorblindness” than dealing with a very racialized reality should definitely be grounds for anger.
10. “How many ‘white people’ died defending ‘black people’’ and their freedoms so they could be here and free today?”
In the spirit of our ancestors, both Black and White, who have fought against systemic racism for Black freedom and Civil Rights, it is our duty to continue their fight to secure true equality for all — a goal that has yet to be reached.
11. “Stop being the top of the statistic charts for black on black crime. When you all do that then we can talk about the other stuff.”
It’s hard to imagine who else could top a statistics chart for intra-racial violence other than said race, but let’s go there. Whites are also at the top of the statistics charts for “White-on-White” crime, so it seems all racial groups love in-fighting. This does not negate the existence of racism, so now can we talk about the other stuff?
12. “Look at all these black people still complaining about racism, even though they get scholarships for being BLACK.”
This response is likely referring to Affirmative Action (which has benefited White women more than any other minority to date). Historically, the countless privileges that White people– particularly White men– have received while barring everyone else from access to any resources is never acknowledged by individuals who make this argument. Though scholarships have been given on the basis of race, this is only because minority groups have long been disallowed educational opportunity by White people.
13. “A quote from Booker T. Washington feels appropriate here: ‘There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public……. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.’”
This is the go to quote used by willfully oblivious White people to try to derail important discussions about racism. Though Washington acknowledges the presence of profiteers, he did not deny the reality of hardship or racism. Let’s put something into perspective: slavery was outlawed during Booker T. Washington’s lifetime. I can’t imagine he would have considered the issue of slavery or the system of sharecropping that followed, unworthy of public discourse.
14. “Because I’m White I’m some how of privilege?”
15. “Dear Niggers, stop raping and killing everything you see, Sincerely normal people.”
Now I am not certain who these “normal people” are, but historically White people have raped and killed more Americans than any other race. Remember that very large population of people who existed in the millions in America prior to White European invasion, the Native Americans? And the rape that Black women endured as slaves at the hands of their White masters? If there has any group that has historically raped and killed everything in sight in America, it would most certainly be White people.