Netflix’s “Dear White People
” show is directed by Justin Simien and was adapted from his 2014 film of the same name. Set on the fictional and mostly-white campus of Winchester University, the show seeks to offer portrayals of the experiences of black Americans through the lives of several students. The program deals with issues such as law enforcement, relationships between different communities, and the use of the so-called N-word.
In a video at the Huffington Post website, the star of the show, Logan Browning, and Simien had a discussion on their perspectives about race and racism, and white people. Among the topics they discussed is why reverse racism does not exist.
On the issue of reverse racism, Simien said to Browning “When a white person gets his feelings hurt by a joke that a black person may make about white people, okay, alright, you know, people got feelings, Logan, they got feelings. Is a double standard that black people can be subjugated to racism and white people can’t?”
Browning responded, “You have to start with the understanding that black people can’t be racist. Black people can be prejudiced. They can be biased. But they can’t be racist. Why is that? Well, what is racism? Racism is the oppression of the marginalized group in a society that is based on white supremacy.” She went on to say, “If you are a white person, then you benefit from white privilege.”
Simien reacted, saying “Anybody can hate somebody because of what race they are. And bigotry is really awful. But like you said, racism is systemic. It’s baked into our society.” Apparently referring to white people, Simien said, “You all ain’t oppressed. I’m sorry. By the way, it is not as good as it sounds. You don’t want to be oppressed.” Browning also appeared to be addressing white people when she responded, “Why would you want this thing? This thing that caused us to be murdered, why do you want this so badly?”
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