Dear White People is a satirical film that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college. The main character, Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) begins her radio show “Dear White People” by calling out the white people on campus.
“Dear white people, the minimum requirement of Black friends needed to not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, but, your weed man, Tyrone, does not count. Dear white people, please stop touching my hair. Does this look like a petting zoo to you? This just in: dating a black person just to piss off your parents is a form of racism.”
Her spitfire show prompts a fiery response from her fellow students, black and white alike; criticizing her show as racist and offensive.
Although this film is not in theaters until Oct. 17, the trailer, with just over 600 thousand views has ignited quite a bit of controversy in the comments section. Personally, after I watched the trailer, I was excited for the film; as a black student in a predominantly white school, I could relate. But when I scrolled through the comments my excitement quickly changed to utter shock and disgust.
Most of the comments attacked the movie for being “racist” toward white people and condemned black people for crying “oppression” yet again. I have no idea who came up with the concept of “reverse racism,” but it’s absolutely absurd. The definition of racist is a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. One can be racist toward a majority group or minority group. There’s no such thing as “reverse racism,” it already goes both ways.
Obviously, I am not naïve and I am all too aware that some people post ignorance simply to get a rise out of others, but most people seemed dead serious about their response.
The trailer wasn’t racist at all. A lot of white people don’t understand that although the film is generalizing, nothing they said was less than true. People approach me regularly with their hands reaching for my hair wondering how I got my hair “afroed.” I’m going to answer this question one last time, it grows out of my head this way, so don’t touch me. It’s one thing to be curious, but it’s rude and disrespectful to stick your fingers in other people’s hair, purely out of ignorance and curiosity. I don’t mind people asking questions, but as the movie said, this is not a petting zoo.
The trailer didn’t utter one specific word about oppression. This is definitely not yet another movie about black oppression in America. But rather a film about the everyday life of the middle-class educated black person. It’s a satirical film; it’s not 12 Years a Slave, so calm down.
The real reason so many people are angry about this movie is because Hollywood isn’t glamourizing them. Let’s all take a minute to think about how many movies have a mostly white cast, white protagonist, and a white hero who eventually saves the day.
Now think about how most black people are portrayed in these movies. He’s either a rapper, drug dealer, or the guy that dies first. Suddenly, you have a satirical film that simply counters common racism and depicts what middle class black Americans deal with on a regular basis and everyone is mad. I don’t understand what the problem is? Are people mad because it’s obviously not going to be another cliché Tyler Perry film? Or maybe they’re mad because it won’t be another film with the black man dressed up as a loud-mouthed woman.
This film is brilliant and controversial because it calls out Hollywood on their poor portrayal of black Americans. I can’t wait until it comes out and I’m intrigued to see how people are going to react to the entire film after how they reacted to the two minute trailer.