From #oscarssowhite to #deleteuber, the category 5 hurricane that is the political climate has inspired many boycotts that seek to break racial and societal divides. Unfortunately, not every boycott has altruistic origins. In the latest edition of alternative-boycotts, the same people who vowed to never step foot into Target for allowing humans to use restrooms are now deleting their Netflix accounts.

What could Netflix have done to warrant over 20,000 people and counting to delete their Netflix accounts in righteous anger? Did they engage in animal abuse? Child labor? Tax fraud? Engage in sexual deviancies? None of the above came even close to the atrocity committed by Netflix, and that is hurting the feelings of white people. The source of the outrage stemmed from a 30-second trailer announcing a new Netflix series titled DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. Many of the complaints range from accusations of reverse racism and even promoting white genocide.

Upon closer examination of the mere 30-second trailer, not one white person was a victim of a hate crime. They weren’t murdered for being white, nor were there any men in black robes and pointy hats hunting down white folk. What was in the video was an Ivy League student on her radio show expressing her outrage over a blackface themed Halloween party. For anyone who hasn’t realized it by now, blackface is NOT okay. Even more interesting is that this new series is a sequel to a film made in 2014 with the same exact name and is featured on Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Video, and Google Play. Seems like this “boycott” is a few years late in the making.

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The premise for the film DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is the increasing racial tensions in a fictional Ivy League college campus (Winchester University). Tessa Thompson stars as Samantha “Sam” White as she navigates the casual racism purveying her campus and takes out her frustrations in a sarcastic manner on her radio show, “Dear White People.” The film addresses many issues facing marginalized groups such as the internalized hatred represented by Coleandrea “Coco” Conners, who constantly tries to hide her features, Lionel Higgins and his afro constantly being invaded by another person’s fingers and his reluctance to stand up for himself, and even the collision of activist ideologies when Sam is unwillingly pushed to be the face of protests on her campus. The tensions finally erupt when a white student and members of his club host a blackface party that leads to a fight at the end of the film. If anyone is still looking for evidence of white genocide, it must be in another castle.

Dear White People
Blackface is never appropriate

Much like the Target boycott, the mass deletion of Netflix accounts from a small margin of consumers in a global market is doomed to fail. What makes this boycott so different from the others? For starters, they’re so late to the party that they’re unaware that the party already happened in 2014. Most importantly, they are claiming that the Netflix series and, indirectly, the movie itself, portrays something that doesn’t exist in the film, nor even in real life, reverse racism and white genocide. Friendly reminder to any future activists: When planning a boycott, it’s best to rally behind issues that actually exist.

Racism Against Whites

What the nay-sayers haven’t realized is that there is no such thing as reverse racism. The film, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, wonderfully addresses this when Sam explains that racism requires power and privilege, something marginalized groups don’t have. However, prejudice and discrimination can certainly happen amongst all groups. This was shown in the last half of the film when Sam’s friends started throwing trash at all the white students and one of the recipients was Sam’s secret lover since he was lumped in with the rest of the racist students. Not only does it portray how interracial relationships are perceived negatively on both sides that forced them to hide their relationship, but also how we can unintentionally alienate our own allies. Since Sam’s lover was a true ally, his experience didn’t negatively impact his support for Sam.

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Role Reversal

The biggest rallying cry over the outrage for DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is how there would be an apocalypse if there were a film or show called “Dear Black People.” Unbeknownst to them, YouTuber Nicole Arbour already made a video titled “Dear Black People” in 2015.

Unfortunately, for the people boycotting, she will not be the next Tomi Lahren since her video was satire and unexpectedly pro-black. If there were a serious film called “Dear Black People,” it could go one of two ways. First, it would be someone’s lame excuse to be racist and feature fake crime statistics and would inevitably take place in Chicago.

Exclusive leaked script for “Dear Black People”

The second option would be a film framed as a formal address to the black community highlighting issues like homophobia and non-intersectional activism in activist circles, internalized racism and self-hatred, interracial relationships, misogyny etc. Considering that DEAR WHITE PEOPLE already touched upon a few of these issues, there is no need for that imaginary movie. Looking into the negative comments under the trailer, the fact that most people’s ideas for the imaginary film “Dear Black People” all included racist stereotypes, ironically cements the reason why we need DEAR WHITE PEOPLE in the first place.

An Opportunity To Learn

For anyone who honestly wants to engage in dialogue about race, watching DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is a great place to start as a way to get informed and laugh at Sam’s sarcastic humor. The ending credits feature images from real life college parties where the students dress in blackface. Hopefully, the Netflix series will stay up to date with recent pictures since it’s 2017, and there are still cases where people think ethnicities and culture are appropriate outfits for a holiday meant to ward off demons. In the meantime, keep an eye out on the number of Netflix subscriptions since they will suspiciously rise up again when the next Marvel show hits or when STRANGER THINGS returns.

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4 Comments

  1. Clayton Colaw

    April 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Well done Peter and Kristine (applause). Embrace the hate. Kill ’em with kindness.

    Reply

  2. Elah D

    February 23, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Dear dumbass,
    Do you think calling literally 87% of the viewers of this trailer “ignorant” is really smart? Do you REALLY think you are the one who is enlightened?
    It is not cool for Netflix to create a show written by a person who literally tweeted “Fuck White People” (Jack Moore) and put put a trailer that stereo types whites as rich, entitled twats that get together in crowds to paint their face black. It is not cool to say that because I’m white I can’t dress up like the 44th president – WHO IS HALF WHITE. It is NOT okay to say that because you share the same shade of skin as someone else that you are interchangeable and are the same. It is NOT okay to say whites are the problem and in the same damn breath have black people being violent and breaking others property in a 30 second clip. I am not ignorant. I would be JUST as outraged if this clip was “Dear asian/black/hispanic/etc People”. How about YOU educate YOURSELF and quite being an ignorant snowflake? Kthxsomuch.

    Reply

    • Peter Swann

      February 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Like ignorant moths to a flame. Thanks for proving my point 😉

      Reply

    • Kristine Don

      February 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Elah,

      Thanks for your comment! Glad to see that the article ignited so much passion in you. At ComicsVerse, we strive to fan the flames of thoughtful and mindful discussion. We also strive to bring a wide array of opinions and ideas to the table. While I vehemently disagree with you opinions, I thank you for sharing them nonetheless.

      Best,

      Kristine

      Reply

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