#Netflix has done exceedingly well with creating shows and movies that promote both racial and sexual diversity (Luke Cage, Burning Sands, Sense8, and Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt). It seems like they were continuing this trend when they released their new show "#dear #white people" that is based on the 2014 film of the same name. Following its announcement earlier this year, the show received an unnecessary amount of backlash from the public (which was completely unfounded). This backlash has resulted in the show receiving less attention and praise than it rightfully deserves. "Dear White People" tackles issues like race relations and toxic masculinity in unique ways that the viewer can understand.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Microaggression all over the place

The show sheds light on not only overt acts of racism, but small instances of racism that many people don't even notice. Yes we all know that having a blackface party is inappropriate and extremely offensive (at least hopefully we all know), but what about day-to-day interactions? Questions that may seem innocent, but they can actually be quite offensive. "What are you" is probably the most offensive and poorly worded questions you could as a POC, and they mention it in several episodes. This resonated with a multitude of viewers who have to deal with questions like that on a daily basis. These type of microaggressions are all too common in society today. They're seemingly harmless, so many people don't even understand what they're doing when they ask these type of questions.

Advertisements

"Dear White People" brings these things to the attention of the audience in an educational way while still being entertaining.

Comin Out (Lionel's Song)

One of the more interesting side plots revolved around the relationship between Lionel and his roommate Troy. Lionel is a journalism student who is struggling both with his own sexuality, as well as how to deal with his feelings for his straight roommate Troy. Lionel wrestles with his sexuality for several episodes before telling Troy that he's gay. Troy didn't even act surprised, and that's something we don't see often in television. 'Coming out' scenes are almost always a huge part of any characters development. It's refreshing to see characters respond in a more natural way than utter awe and surprise. This scene debunks the idea that coming out should be met with surprise as if it's abnormal to be part of the LGBT community.

Feels Good to Feel

"Dear White People" also does an exceptional job of dismantling the stereotypes that surround male characters.The whole "unfeeling, brooding" character is completely played out at this point, and honestly does more harm than good.

Advertisements

"Dear White People" showcase male characters that are strong, but still have the ability to feel. The scene that immediately comes to mind is in Reggie's room following the incident at a party where Reggie was held at gunpoint by police. Instead of making Reggie just another strong, silent type they showcase his emotional side. We see Reggie in his room crying to himself while he thinks about the situation over and over again. It's refreshing to see a male character show emotion instead of bottling those feelings up.

Honestly, if you're avoiding "Dear White People" because of the negative backlash you're missing out.