Categories: News

Dear White People Mad About ‘Dear White People’…

*Before reading I am aware that many of you will take offense to the blanket statement that is made throughout this piece. If you’re not a part of the problem you shouldn’t take offense. If you are, well, that’s on you*

Yesterday came the announcement that the Dear White People spinoff series was coming to Netflix on April 28. Accompanying that announcement was a 34-second trailer, that features lead character Samantha White informing her white Winchester University classmates of what is and isn’t an acceptable Halloween costume.

Merely 24-hours following its release, the trailer has received more than 500,000 views on YouTube and is nearing 100,000 dislikes, primarily from white people offended that Netflix would allow such an “anti-white” (their words, not ours) series to premiere on its platform. Some enraged Netflix subscribers have also canceled their accounts and have created the #BoycottNetflix in opposition to the forthcoming series, while others have not only canceled their accounts but made lengthy response videos to the trailer.

Based off of a 34-second teaser trailer and its title, Dear White People has been described as promoting “white genocide” and glorifying “anti-white racism and aggression.” Such analysis is not only cluelessly misinformed but speaks to an issue that has been at the center of Dear White People since its debut as a feature film back in 2014 — white privilege.

Most responses to the series have failed to acknowledge one of the more poignant parts of the trailer — a sequence of pictures in which white classmates dress up in blackface. Blackface is controversial in the context of America’s history because the practice represented a form of “art” in which non-black performers represented black people. The practice propelled problematic stereotypes of black people, resulting in distorted representations of black people in America and dehumanizing an entire race in the process.

White privilege allows white people to ignore what is a commentary on a still divisive issue in our country, and generalize it as “race baiting.” There’s one particular response video in which the user seems baffled that Dear White People is focusing so much on racist Halloween costumes.

“When’s the last time you saw a white person dress up as a black person for Halloween? In an intentionally offensive way,” asks the user. Well, dude: here, 2013; here, 2014; here, 2015; and here, 2016. However, the greatest irony that comes from the user is when he (and many of the other users who have made response videos) seem frustrated that black people are telling white people the ways in which they can and are being offensive.

The reason why most white people that dress up as blackface aren’t aware that they’re being intentionally offensive, is because they aren’t aware of America’s history with blackface. If they were they probably wouldn’t be dressing up in blackface, right? To generalize Dear White People as a series focused on racist Halloween costumes, absolves white people of holding themselves to task and using the series as a means of not only confronting America’s past, but understanding the ways in which their privilege works. At one point the user implies that his perspective on the series is shaped on where he’s from, therefore justifying his belief that this issue of racist Halloween costumes “aren’t even real” and “aren’t even happening.” If you have the time to create a five minute video of your critique of a 34 second trailer, you have the time to look up blackface (insert the year of your choice here) in America.

Although the trailer for Dear White People focuses on racist Halloween costumes against black people, the commentary being made also speaks to other offensive costumes against marginalized people. My alma matter, the University of Texas at Austin, has had to deal with a number of controversial racist parties in the last several year. The last one was back in 2015 when a fraternity held a “border-patrol themed” party, in which guests (primarily white) showed up wearing “construction gear, ponchos, and sombreros,” while others wore hard hats and nametags labeled “Jefe” and “Pablo Sanchez.”

In 2013, Duke University had to deal with a controversial racist party, in which a fraternity had an “Asian-themed” event called a “Racist Rager.” A report from Gawker detailed everything from the problematic email invites, to images taken from the party, in which guests (once again, primarily white) wore conical hats and geishas.

To someone that isn’t being directly affected by this, it’s easy to simplify racist costume controversy as something that is “not happening.” But once unpacked, this controversy speaks to larger problems rooted in our country’s racist history: where marginalized people are caricatured for the amusement of people that are obviously unaware that what they are doing is wrong.

Dear White People’s 34-second trailer doesn’t just speak for black people, but any and all marginalized cultures that find themselves simplified to a certain image and idea. “I want those who are chronically unseen in the culture to feel seen,” Dear White People creator Justin Simien wrote on Twitter. “And I want those willing to extend empathy to experiences unlike theirs to understand their humanity more deeply.”

For white people mad about a series called Dear White People, you only have yourself to blame.

If you weren’t contributing to the problem, this wouldn’t even be a topic that needed to be discussed. So, dear white people that are mad about Dear White People — be mad at yourselves.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

View Comments

  • I get the blackface, but what else is there? I'll watch the show to find out I guess. Probably something to do with hair?

  • Continue to play the race card. Continue to blame whites. I for one will never apologize for being white. Democrats have been enslaving African American communities for decades yet you, Elijah would've loved Hillary. Hillary has ZERO love or compassion for inner city communities.
    Cool how OKP is all for fanning the flames of divide.

    • No one is asking you to apologize for being white though? Are you equating dressing in blackface as inherently part of being white? If so, you are racist as hell. You know the Democratic party has changed over the course of the last 100 years right? It's fair to criticize Democrats for their policies concerning African Americans, but your hyperbole isn't really providing any insightful commentary. OKP isn't fanning the flames of the divide. You are by refusing to listen.

      • People CONSTANTLY demand for white people to apologize. And yes, it would take a dense fucking retard to not see these idiots blowing on the flames for ratings sake.

        This show will likely be popular now just because white people will be interested in how fucking racist people can get away with being to them now.

        Face it, if this was about "Dear Black People", all of these morons would be in an uproar about racism.

        If you can't admit that to yourself, you are fucked in the head.

        • So, you can't be racist to the historical oppressors, number one. Number two, did you not read the article at all? They specifically mention that you should look to the show, a satire, as a learning mechanism. Just as any of us would.

          At least we're just fucked in the head, and don't have it stuck one another's asses, ya dig?

          • "So, you can't be racist to the historical oppressors, number one. "

            "Historical oppressors" is a group that includes every single race on the fucking planet child. But I guess you didn't hear about the Rwanadan Genocide in the 1990's huh? How about the conquest of Persia, Egypt, or the Mongols? No? History books not your thing? Education not your thing?

            "Number two, did you not read the article at all? "

            Yes, I read not only the article, but I actually took the time to look at what the article was about.

            Yet here you are, questioning my intellectual integrity, while failing to understand that every race of beings on the planet has oppressed other races at some point, which makes your first point entirely full of shit. 100%.

            "They specifically mention that you should look to the show, a satire, as a learning mechanism. Just as any of us would."

            Right, just like I'm sure a show called "Dear Black People" could get away with being 'satire' while showing blacks getting beaten up, for no other reason, than the color of their skin.

            Yeah. You sound real smart.

            "At least we're just fucked in the head, and don't have it stuck one another's asses, ya dig?"

            Pretty sure you do have the stick up your ass. So far that its scraped away what little braincell you once had, and damaged your wernecke' and broca' so bad that the only place you can talk from, is out of that ass.

          • Not by the definition of the actual word. Try using words correctly.

            Idiots like you have to create new definitions of words so that you can be hateful without remorse.

            Racism has nothing to do with power, just ask Johhny Rebel.

            Privilege had nothing to do with skin color.

            Only idiots need to redefine the words to justify their failed understanding of the world.

        • Thanks, I have always frequented Okayplayer and have noticed the great migration into politics and their leftist agenda. I've taken the time to make comments in hopes that I could sway the opinions of any young minds visiting and being brainwashed by these irresponsible bloggers feeding right from George Soros tit.

    • Let me be blunt. You're a f*cking idiot. Do the world a favor and kill yourself. Your kind of ignorance should not exist in the world. God forbid if breed children and they become just as stupid as you. Pull that trigger right now.

        • Or he could be very divine and God like. Sodom and Gomorrah had its time to learn and stop perfecting ignorance and evil . Afte the time limit was up just had to be ended.

          You see hate, I saw compassion he was concerned for the offspring taking on such debilitating traits as stupidity.

          Michelle although your name may mean 'One who dares to be like god' you are attempting to influence the behavior of another by condemning them. What a flipping hypocrite.

          Ignorant and dismissive to an obvious you have no experiences and can never have enough experiences to make you an expert at being [a] proxy.

          I bet you still get facebook maths questions wrong but still feel the need to explain why your opinion holds weight like people give a shit about learning how to get things wrong

    • Not asking for an apology bruh.
      Just asking you to acknowledge your advantage. Just acknowledge. Not apologize. Let's start there.

      • As a white boy that grew up homeless, and at one point was told I "wasn't black or female enough to get help", I can wholeheartedly admit that yes... Minorities and women are extremely privileged by the literal definition of the word, according to Oxford and Merriam Webster.

        I recommend you look up the words that you have most likely been told several times now, that you are using incorrectly

        You don't get to redefine my words to drive your narrative, nor do you gave the right to judge my trials and tribulations so blindly.

        Privilege doesn't come from skin color. Deal with it.

  • What an idiotic article. People are disgusted by "Dear White People" because every tiny bit of footage of it so far has been blatantly and openly racist against white people.

    Just imagine if we made a "Dear Black People", and showed white people breaking into black households, destroying their shit, and beating their ass.

    And why? Idiotic justification like 'cultural appropriation'. Something that races CONSTANTLY DO TO WHITES, but never feel guilty about.

    But hey, lets end cultural appropriation. We'll take our sewers, architecture, roadways, automobiles, computers, satellites, internet, agriculture, and the thousands of technologies involved in such. You can have .... ?.... Mohimbe?

    So good luck with the double-standards. Meanwhile this shit show, and the idiots that support it, are merely serving to poke the sleeping bear that is racial tension.

      • Worse, I'm an educated white man sick of the double standard.

        Let me tell you, having made myself a life through hard work and compassion makes me a monster.

          • Not privileged by the definition of the actual word.

            Idiots like you have to create new definitions of words so that you can be hateful without remorse.

            Racism has nothing to do with power, just ask Johhny Rebel.

            Privilege had nothing to do with skin color.

            Only idiots need to redefine the words to justify their failed understanding of the world.

      • Yeah, turns out when you aren't a racist moron, or a useful idiot guilted into submission, you tend to recognize the racism and dehumanization that is RAMPANT against whites currently.

          • Current or future?

            Stephen Fry has an interesting speech he gives on the dehumanization of the Jews prior to the holocaust. I recommend watching it.

            Given that the severity of the racism has increased dramatically recently in the past few years, its hard to tell how far idiots will push each other apart.

            I'm sure MLK wasn't dreaming about resegregation, reversed racism (which is how special snowflakes say racism vs whites), black bloc, antifa, and the dehumanization of whites.

            Idiot racist SJWs are taking this country back 50+ years.

    • Let me be blunt. You're a f*cking idiot. Do the world a favor and kill yourself. Your kind of ignorance should not exist in the world. God forbid if breed children and they become just as stupid as you. Pull that trigger right now...right now.

      • I have 3 post doctorate degrees. If I kill myself, it would actually be of great detriment to society. Peoples lives depend on me.

        You? Just a racist fucking hoodrat with a shit opinion and no education. So go ahead, take your own advice, because with your attitude, no one would give a single fuck.

          • If you had a doctorate, you would know what a post doctoral degree is.

            It means I'm actively mentoring doctors of three different disciplines.

            Post doctoral professors are required to mentor you for you to achieve your doctorate.

            This means either you aren't a doctor, or you managed to pick a degree program that is so invalid, that you never even learned the process you were going through.

  • Great article! I didn't know they were making this into a series. I still have to check out the movie as well..

  • I'm not white, but of course white people are mad about this. How long can you expect this SJW PC bullsh!t to fly? It's just a constant barrage against the straight white privileged male. They're being called racist at every turn. They can't discuss a million and a half topics either because 'they have no business talking about that', or because they're racist or homophobic if they do.

    When they're not seeing themselves generalized as a problem, and incapable of having their own problems, they have to deal with self-deprecating white people all over the place apologizing for being white or prefacing any statement about their own woes with some offhand joke about being privileged.

    I don't think whites are being oppressed or anything so dramatic, but I think sjw and pc culture have created an annoying trend recently where it's ok and even hip to talk to white and straight people in a way that would be the end of the friggin world if the same things were said to other races or sexualities.

    • watch the actual movie though, you people aren't looking at this in context. Again, exactly as the article mentions.

      • regardless of what the show is, from first glance it seems to be more of the same scolding all white people for the crimes of a small portion of them. Why on earth would they want to watch it? I mean, maybe the title is ironic and it's the opposite of what it sounds like, but if that were the case, I'm sure the internet would be filled with outrage about it by now.

    • Well articulated. Seriously, why is it that I find myself standing up for White people more than White people do? The concept behind the spin off wouldn't be so bad if there was also a Dear (insert other culture here). But there's not. So whether or not the movie is good or bad, there's going to be a natural reaction and who can blame them. Seriously. The media is propagandized FILLED with underlying crap. Frankly I don't care if a little kid comes dressed in Indian get-up for Halloween. It might just be a good way for them to learn to connect with someone other than their own skin color. This PC-ism has such a negative view on everything they've forgotten to look at what can also be good. It has to stop. We're more racially divided now than we were 10 years ago, and this is partially to blame.

      • Although I have to say I might give the movie and spin off a chance to see what they're both really about.

  • I'm white well 70/30 white/aboriginal but I look white and grew up in a predominantly white area and have been a big supporter and I feel as a part of hip-hop culture growing up for the past 25 years. Just as a frame of reference.

    White people are generally racist as fuck, and mostly as the film this show is based on through ignorance.

    • Hip hop culture? You mean the same culture that refers to women in sexist ways, glorifies materialism, where black Americans referred to each other with racisl slurs & what not? Also to say white people are generally racist is racist itself. If that were the case, slavery in the states would have never ceased to exist, the apartheid would never have ended. Self hating white people and people mixed with white are just as sad as self hating black people.

  • This movie speaks to black privilege. Blacks right to never ending revenge against white people.Blacks rights to never ending welfare and criminal activities. The never ending right to play the race card. The never ending right to say racist hateful things and agitiate for white genocide. Enough is enough.

  • How ironic that this film tackles white privilege, yet embodies black privilege by doing so.

    Also, using Gawker as a reference point is a sure fire way to never be taken seriously as well.

Published by
Elijah C. Watson

Recent Posts

Watch Kendrick Lamar’s Stunning Video for “N95”

Kendrick Lamar has released the video for "N95." The song appears on his new album,… Read More

May 14, 2022

Rakim & Bilal to Perform New York City Shows for the Blue Note Jazz Festival

In June, Blue Note Jazz Festival will hold special engagements at Sony Hall, with performances… Read More

May 13, 2022

How Kendrick Lamar Stumbles Toward Queer And Trans Allyship On “Auntie Diaries”

"Auntie Diaries" shows that Kendrick Lamar still has some work to do before he can… Read More

May 13, 2022

Best Songs of The Week: Kendrick Lamar, Quelle Chris, and More

The Round-Up is Okayplayer’s weekly playlist of the best songs in the worlds of hip-hop… Read More

May 13, 2022

7 New Hip-Hop & R&B Albums You Should Be Listening To (Week Of May 13)

Kendrick Lamar has finally dropped his new album: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Quelle… Read More

May 13, 2022

Chris Rock Says That People Can “Eventually” Watch Him Address The Slap “on Netflix”

On Thursday, Chris Rock performed stand-up at a show in London and teased 'eventually' addressing… Read More

May 13, 2022