Imagine if they made a movie about it from the perspective of the black students on those campuses, and you have the basis for Dear White People, which opened today in theaters nationwide. From the moment I saw the satirical banned Winchester University recruitment video, I knew I needed to go see the movie. And I knew I had to take my white coworkers with me. Because I wanted to take them to see a "black" movie. Because I wanted them to get an inside look, even a small one, into what it's like to be a black face in a sea of white.
Follow me for just a minute, and I'll explain why. I grew up in a predominantly white area. And now, I'm one of the few black faces I see in my neighborhood/doctor's office/kids' schools. And I have very rarely experienced an instance of overt racism. But what I have experienced is everyday race-related incidents sometimes called racial microaggressions. Simply put, those are racially charged incidents or slights that are seen as offensive to the minority but are, in many cases, seen as totally benign to the offender. Still confused? Here are a few that I’ve experienced just this year: being mistaken for "the help" when out shopping; getting caught up in conversations about how racism doesn't exist and would "go away if black people stopped talking about it"; being greeted with an exuberant finger-snap and "hey, girlfriend" instead of the same "good morning" as your white coworkers.
Still with me? Great. While the movie does have a few missteps — our group of eight agreed that the movie tried to do too much — it's definitely an inside look into these so-called microaggressions. Here's a few other themes we picked up from the movie on which you should probably take note.
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