Jump to content
OnceSane

S05.E10: Black Like Us

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, NUguy514 said:

LOL, see, I always thought a parent's parenting choices exactly inform how a child grows and matures, or doesn't grow and mature.

If that were the case then Earl wouldn't be half as beloved as he is, and yet....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, LadyintheLoop said:

Would someone tell my white self what the deal was with the lipstick? I always thought red was good with dark colors.

It's just as simple as was shown in screen. Black women are often persuaded to use darker tones for lipstick because red doesn't look attractive on them.

It also may not relate but an added element to blackface back in the day was bright red color for the lips.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Would someone tell my white self what the deal was with the lipstick? I always thought red was good with dark colors.

You were supposed to play down your fuller lips.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This was the best episode of the season by far, IMO. In the limited time they had, I thought they presented both sides equally and I like the way they all recognized their own bad behavior and apologized. This is the Black-ish I've been missing.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Just realized School Daze came out 31 years ago! Been talking about this for a long time. Was a huge issue on campus at my college in the 1970’s. I was in technical theater and learned a lot about lighting and how it impacts differing skin tones. A lot.

I thought the episode was well intended but I did feel bad that Jack was late. It was the only thing he wanted! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

This starts to veer close to all lives matter at a certain point. But, my main point is that I'm never a fan of minimizing someone else's pain because you feel yours is more important. So, having someone like Bow try to express that she too has to live in a world where she in a certain way lives in fear and has the same issues as all black people and be shut down by spouting facts about how hard it is for dark skinned black people doesn't negate her words. She can have it a bit easier in this world, as she pointed out, but have her own fears and concerns just like any other black person. Somehow, for a lot of people, making dark skin black jokes would be deeply offensive but light skin jokes are nothing. Not to be taken seriously. For the party on the receiving end of the jokes, it's not nothing.

3

Agreed. I'm not a fan of pain comparisons, either. To some, a light-skinned person complaining about light jokes is akin to an attractive person complaining about being beautiful. It may seem ridiculous if your side gets more arrows, but that still doesn't mean that the complaints aren't valid. There is light-skin privilege, but as Bow said, she's still Black when she walks out the door. A racist isn't going to treat her better or respect her more because of her hue. She has privileges on a micro level, but not a macro.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

But the issue at hand was a micro problem, not a macro issue.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Dee said:

But the issue at hand was a micro problem, not a macro issue.

But Bow is getting it from her own husband. It's one thing to have strangers and people from the "outside" world talk their junk, but when your own husband makes regular "jokes" about it, it's got to get tiresome real quick. If I were Bow I would be wondering why he even married me if he is so disdainful of my biracial heritage. I would've told him to kindly STFU years ago.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Gothish520 said:

But Bow is getting it from her own husband.

She's not. Her problems with their jokes and/or comments stem directly from the long neglected issues of her own which she refuses to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post

Huh, I thought her problems with their jokes and/or comments stemmed directly from the fact that they are deliberately mean, belittling, and hurtful.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post

If lightskinned jokes occupied a similar cultural context as darkskinned jokes then they would be. But they don't, so they aren't.

And as red12 previously said: The casting of the children has also engaged in conflating light skinned black people with two black parents and biracial people. There is a more nuanced discussion to be had about how colorism, racial hierarchy and access to privileges changes when people who actually are biracial are added to the colorism mix.

There are a tremendous amount of existing nuances in this particular discussion, had by these particular actors, on this particular show that are being conveniently disregarded solely to attack unpopular characters.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Full disclosure: I am a White man married to a Black (similar to Lupita Nyong'o). I realize that I have not had the same experience as any Black Person.

On 1/16/2019 at 8:01 AM, MadyGirl1987 said:

My main takeaway was that colorism is an issue that divides the black community and needs to be addressed.

Same.

On 1/16/2019 at 10:48 AM, Empress1 said:

I found this interesting because I do think Dre thinks Junior isn't Black enough but I always thought that was because of Junior's nerdy interests, not because of his fair complexion.

I think it's both.  And this show CONSISTANTLY ignores previous episodes, so any comments along those lines can miss me.

On 1/16/2019 at 9:42 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

When they were all apologizing to each other at the end, I was hoping that the larger message the Johnsons learned is "maybe we should ALL stop being such assholes to each other."

It would be nice but Not Gonna Happen.  I wager next week this episode will be forgotten.

On 1/17/2019 at 5:41 PM, steelyis said:

Or how there are a lot of dark-skinned black people who only want light-skinned children and how that influences who they hook up with, or marry.

Particularly Black men who only date or marry White women.  They don't get .01% of the grief Serena Williams got for hooking up with a White man.

The hierarchy that I see is:

Whites (male and female)

Light-skinned women (includes Latinas and those from the Indian sub-continent)

Light-skinned men

Black men

...

...

Black women

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, Dee said:

She's not. Her problems with their jokes and/or comments stem directly from the long neglected issues of her own which she refuses to deal with.

Ruby had repeatedly called Bow a zebra, and other similar insults.  Those comments were meant to be insults, not comments lovingly made to her biracial daughter-in-law, and they were perceived as such due to the usual manner in which Ruby addressed Bow. Ruby has now admitted she called Bow names like that in response to being verbally abused by her own family for having dark skin (which Bow had no way of knowing, but which wouldn't make it any more justified.)

Dre copied Ruby's manner of addressing Bow (although using different words) because he idolizes his mother.  I don't see how Bow's "problems with their jokes and/or comments stem directly from the long neglected issues of her own which she refuses to deal with" except possibly that she needs to confront Dre about how he must grow up and take his wife's side when his mother insults her, and not pile on to please his mother.  (However, I don't want a repeat of last season's final episodes.)

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, Dee said:

If lightskinned jokes occupied a similar cultural context as darkskinned jokes then they would be. But they don't, so they aren't.

And as red12 previously said: The casting of the children has also engaged in conflating light skinned black people with two black parents and biracial people. There is a more nuanced discussion to be had about how colorism, racial hierarchy and access to privileges changes when people who actually are biracial are added to the colorism mix.

There are a tremendous amount of existing nuances in this particular discussion, had by these particular actors, on this particular show that are being conveniently disregarded solely to attack unpopular characters.

Well I like everyone on the show so I'm not trying to attack anyone. I base my praise and criticism on what the characters do and say. Bow's not perfect by any means, but being upset because she gets mocked for being biracial does not diminish what Dre, Ruby, and Diane have experienced by being darker-skinned. I don't disregard anyone's pain or experiences, but I will call out a character for treating another one badly. There is plenty of criticism to go around for all the characters in that regard, at one time or another.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Ruby had repeatedly called Bow a zebra, and other similar insults.  Those comments were meant to be insults, not comments lovingly made to her biracial daughter-in-law, and they were perceived as such due to the usual manner in which Ruby addressed Bow. 

There's a power differential there. If Rainbow were secure in her own skin, they wouldn't bother her.

And Rainbow has literally spent an entire episode "joking" about killing Ruby. If Ruby were to take offense to that...as a darkskinned woman, would you be as quick to defend Saint Rainbow?

Quote

Ruby has now admitted she called Bow names like that in response to being verbally abused by her own family for having dark skin (which Bow had no way of knowing, but which wouldn't make it any more justified.)

Because the show is never going to admit that equating lightskinned/biracial issues with darkskinned issues is absolute garbage. There is nothing morally equivalent between biracial/lightskinned people and darkskinned black people. But there always has to be some justification for lightskinned black people to foreground their issues above everyone else's.

Quote

Dre copied Ruby's manner of addressing Bow (although using different words) because he idolizes his mother.

Except Andre didn't. Andre & Rainbow communicated in their current manner long before Ruby ever appeared.

Quote

I don't see how Bow's "problems with their jokes and/or comments stem directly from the long neglected issues of her own which she refuses to deal with" except possibly that she needs to confront Dre about how he must grow up and take his wife's side when his mother insults her, and not pile on to please his mother.  (However, I don't want a repeat of last season's final episodes.)

Rainbow has a ton of unresolved issues about her race, but because she considers herself enlightened about race, she is never forced to spend any time dealing with the root of her issues. Instead, she condescendingly lectures others about how 'limited' they are.

32 minutes ago, Gothish520 said:

Bow's not perfect by any means, but being upset because she gets mocked for being biracial

The same way Rainbow and her parents mock Earl/Ruby/Andre's cultural touchstones and experiences with blackness?

Edited by Dee

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, Dee said:

There's a power differential there. If Rainbow were secure in her own skin, they wouldn't bother her.

And Rainbow has literally spent an entire episode "joking" about killing Ruby. If Ruby were to take offense to that...as a darkskinned woman, would you be as quick to defend Saint Rainbow?

Because the show is never going to admit that equating lightskinned/biracial issues with darkskinned issues is absolute garbage. There is nothing morally equivalent between biracial/lightskinned people and darkskinned black people. But there always has to be some justification for lightskinned black people to foreground their issues above everyone else's.

Except Andre didn't. Andre & Rainbow communicated in their current manner long before Ruby ever appeared.

Rainbow has a ton of unresolved issues about her race, but because she considers herself enlightened about race, she is never forced to spend any time dealing with the root of her issues. Instead, she condescendingly lectures others about how 'limited' they are.

The same way Rainbow and her parents mock Earl/Ruby/Andre's cultural touchstones and experiences with blackness?

I hear what you're saying. I do think that this episode was trying to show that all of the mocking and belittling is wrong. They didn't delve deep but at least they touched on how there is plenty of bad behavior from all sides that needs to stop. The main issue I have is that Bow has never been shown to be prejudiced against other family members for their skin tone (which would be insane, IMO), while Dre and Ruby have definitely made Bow's biracial heritage fodder for ridicule.

BTW I never find jokes about killing someone or someone dying funny. Bow was definitely creeping me out in that episode! That being said, of all the family dynamics, Ruby's treatment of Bow is by far the most egregious. She has been quite cruel to Bow, and it's NOT acceptable, especially in Bow's own house. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Dee said:
Quote

Ruby had repeatedly called Bow a zebra, and other similar insults.  Those comments were meant to be insults, not comments lovingly made to her biracial daughter-in-law, and they were perceived as such due to the usual manner in which Ruby addressed Bow. 

There's a power differential there. If Rainbow were secure in her own skin, they wouldn't bother her.

So here's a hypothetical question: if we assume (and people are free to disagree), that it's generally easier to be of Asian heritage than of African heritage in the US, does that mean if an African-American spouse uses racial insults against his/her Asian-American spouse, the insults shouldn't bother the Asian-American spouse if said spouse is comfortable in his/her own skin?  What if that spouse was taunted in childhood for being Asian?  Are they now at fault for not being able to push such insults aside?

7 hours ago, Dee said:

And Rainbow has literally spent an entire episode "joking" about killing Ruby. If Ruby were to take offense to that...as a darkskinned woman, would you be as quick to defend Saint Rainbow?

Was Bow making those "jokes" because Ruby was darkskinned?  Or because she had had enough of being taunted and verbally abused in her own house for years?

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Was Bow making those "jokes" because Ruby was "darkskinned?"  Or because she had had enough of being taunted and verbally abused in her own house for years?

Obviously, the answer is the second reason, but there will be no convincing people who are determined to make Bow the bad guy/gal in every single situation that it isn't the first reason.

Ruby and Dre could stab Bow (or Junior, although that would just be Dre) to death just for the hell of it, and some would still find a way to make it Bow's (or Junior's) fault.  I mean, honestly.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, Gothish520 said:

I do think that this episode was trying to show that all of the mocking and belittling is wrong.

It was about Rainbow & Junior latching onto any issue to martyr themselves about the extremely inconsequential.

Junior never explained how the whole family is "colorist," beyond the fact that they find him to be a giant dork.

But who needs logic when petty grievances are all that matters.

Quote

The main issue I have is that Bow has never been shown to be prejudiced against other family members for their skin tone (which would be insane, IMO), while Dre and Ruby have definitely made Bow's biracial heritage fodder for ridicule

She has been extremely dismissive of their cultural touchstones and experiences with blackness.  So if Rainbow's complexion counts as her 'biracial heritage' than Earl/Ruby/Andre's life experiences count as their 'dark skinned heritage.'

Edited by Dee
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Are they now at fault for not being able to push such insults aside?

Yes. If Rainbow is a 'proud' Black woman as she always declares she supposedly is, then those comments wouldn't bother her. But when one craves nothing more than to be white, well...

Quote

Was Bow making those "jokes" because Ruby was "darkskinned?"  Or because she had had enough of being taunted and verbally abused in her own house for years?

So suddenly context matters? Ok.

9 minutes ago, NUguy514 said:

but there will be no convincing people who are determined to make Bow the bad guy/gal in every single situation

Apparently there will be no convincing people who are determined to make Andre & Ruby the bad guy/girl in every single situation.

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes ago, Dee said:

It was about Rainbow & Junior latching onto any issue to martyr themselves about the extremely inconsequential.

Junior never explained how the whole family is "colorist," beyond the fact that they find him to be a giant dork.

But who needs logic when petty grievances are all that matters.

She has been extremely dismissive of their cultural touchstones and experiences with blackness.  So if Rainbow's complexion counts as her 'biracial heritage' than Earl/Ruby/Andre's life experiences count as their 'dark skinned heritage.'

I agree that the show has never presented Junior's skin tone as an issue for anyone, not even Dre. Junior's got no leg to stand on there.

I also agree that Bow does get annoyed sometimes when Dre and Earl talk of some of their experiences, but not because she doesn't think they are legitimate, just that she thinks their aggressive and narrow-minded stance is not conducive to actually solving the problems. Also want to point out that D'Alicia has insulted Dre and been very critical of him, which is not acceptable, although she doesn't live with them so at least Dre doesn't have to hear about it all the freaking time.

26 minutes ago, Dee said:

Yes. If Rainbow is a 'proud' Black woman as she always declares she supposedly is, then those comments wouldn't bother her. But when one craves nothing more than to be white, well...

So suddenly context matters? Ok.

Apparently there will be no convincing people who are determined to make Andre & Ruby the bad guy/girl in every single situation.

When has Rainbow done or said anything that leads you to believe she craves nothing more than to be white? My mind is open, please provide examples.

I don't see Dre as the bad guy in every situation, and I often agree with him or at least see his point. Ruby is hilarious and obviously loves her family, and deep down she probably has some real affection for Bow - but no one can deny that she's a pill.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, Dee said:

Yes. If Rainbow is a 'proud' Black woman as she always declares she supposedly is, then those comments wouldn't bother her. But when one craves nothing more than to be white, well...

Marrying into an unquestionably Black family, with the likelihood that your kids will all be perceived as Black, seems like a strange way to satisfy a craving to be white,  And I know this is a fraught topic, but Bow usually wears her hair in beautiful braids, complex cornrows, and occasionally fully picked out (not suitable for surgery, so not as often) and huge hanging earrings and hoops.  She's never adopted, to my memory, a so-called "white" hairstyle.  I just don't read that as the customary hair and jewelry choices of a Black woman who "craves nothing more than to be white."   

10 minutes ago, Gothish520 said:

I agree that the show has never presented Junior's skin tone as an issue for anyone, not even Dre. Junior's got no leg to stand on there.

I also agree that Bow does get annoyed sometimes when Dre and Earl talk of some of their experiences, but not because she doesn't think they are legitimate, just that she thinks their aggressive and narrow-minded stance is not conducive to actually solving the problems. Also want to point out that D'Alicia has insulted Dre and been very critical of him, which is not acceptable, although she doesn't live with them so at least Dre doesn't have to hear about it all the freaking time.

I agree with both of these. D'Alicia has been portrayed as new-agey and dismissive of Dre and Ruby, and that's not nice, but it is in discrete moments of time, not all the time!

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
25 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

but it is in discrete moments of time, not all the time!

It's all the time. Whenever D'Alicia is around Andre, she is just as nasty and cruel to Andre as Ruby supposedly is to Rainbow yet Rainbow never checks her mother about her behavior.

And when Earl acts or says similar things to Rainbow and/or Junior that Ruby and/or Andre does, it's treated as perfectly acceptable.

Colorism didn't matter to Rainbow, which was why it was so easy for her to disregard and speak over Diane for the majority of the episode. She's often agreed that Junior is a creepy nerd, more often than not behind his back, does that make her a colorist too?

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Dee said:

Andre & Rainbow communicated in their current manner long before Ruby ever appeared.

"Before Ruby appeared onscreen", you mean.  There is no freaking way that Andre and Bow communicated before Ruby appeared in his life. (like from birth, ya know..).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Dee said:
6 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

but it is in discrete moments of time, not all the time!

 

It's all the time. Whenever D'Alicia is around Andre, she is just as nasty and cruel to Andre as Ruby supposedly is to Rainbow yet Rainbow never checks her mother about her behavior.

I meant that D'Alicia isn't around Dre all the time or even most of the time.  She was around very rarely, partially because Dre didn't like Bow's parents much. Bow didn't have the opportunity to avoid Ruby.  And assuming that D'Alicia was as nasty and cruel to Andre as Ruby "supposedly" was to Bow, it would have been nice for Bow to stand up for her husband even though Dre never stood up for her.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Interrupting your daughter's wedding to suggest she marry someone else isn't cruel?

12 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

She was around very rarely, partially because Dre didn't like Bow's parents much. .

Andre actually liked Paul quite a bit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, Dee said:

Interrupting your daughter's wedding to suggest she marry someone else isn't cruel?

41 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

She was around very rarely, partially because Dre didn't like Bow's parents much. .

Andre actually liked Paul quite a bit.

I'll agree with you on the first.  I thought I remembered Dre being bothered by Bow's "white father", but maybe it was Ruby or Earl.  I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post

Dre said Paul was the only white man he ever loved.

He also described Junior's athletic ineptitude as the Caucasian Curse, inherited from Paul.

[D']Alicia's pretty awful, but she's hardly ever there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hammering your point home repeatedly will not change anyone's mind.  And snarking each other doesn't fly here ever.  Move. On.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I meant that D'Alicia isn't around Dre all the time or even most of the time. 

Just for reference:

In 5 seasons, D'Alicia has been in 9 episodes. Ruby has been in 89.  Draw your own conclusions.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×