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Black-ish sitcom episode not as “brave” as touted by progressives

Black-ish sitcom episode not as “brave” as touted by progressives

Among all the insults about Trump and his voters, there were at least a couple of savvy insights.

After a vigorous day of science and political punditry, I usually unwind with situation comedy shows.

Wednesday nights, ABC’s The Goldbergs, Speechless, and Modern Family are my usual fare.  Generally, I will turn it off before Black-ish airs, as the social justice messaging offered in the series about a black family man struggling with cultural identity while living in a predominantly white, upper-middle-class neighborhood tends to be more than I can bear.

However, because it features Laurence Fishburne, I do sometimes sneak a peak.

Last week, the advertisements trumped that “Black-ish will tackle Trump” in an emotionally-charged episode.  Normally, that would be enough for me to switch the channel.  However, my cat-like curiosity compelled me to watch.

The theme of the show is the progressive struggle to understand why Donald Trump won.  Needless to say, the episode missed most of the reasons for the victory.

However, due to a few elements I observed, there were subtle hints that some of the creative team may have had a small clue.  So, out of the goodness of my heart, I am going to analyze the show from the perspective of the “white woman Trump voter” who caused the show so much consternation.

First of all, I would like to dispense with the notion that Anthony Anderson’s character, Dre Johnson, was particularly brave or meaningful when he gave the “I love America despite all its flaws” speech near the episode’s conclusion. Here is a sample:

You think I’m not sad that Hillary didn’t win? That I’m not terrified about what Trump’s about to do? I’m used to things not going my way. I’m sorry that you’re not and it’s blowing your mind, so excuse me if I get a little offended because I didn’t see all of this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people since we were stuffed on boats in chains. I love this country as much — if not more — than you do. And don’t you ever forget that.

Spewing statements about your victim status as a black person in Hollywood is neither courageous or innovative. It actually is fairly standard social justice fare. A braver script would comment on the videotaped torture of the white teen in Chicago at the hand of black thugs, the brutal Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom by black criminals, or the beating that a Trump supporter got during his hijacking by blacks in a gang-infested neighborhood.

Let’s spend a moment discussing black-on-white violence, which I assert this episode encouraged…at least if the white in question is a Trump supporter. How? The character of Daphne (co-owner of the ad business and played by Wanda Sykes) had to be restrained from attacking Lucy, the white co-worker who voted for Trump.

Not. Funny.

A major bone I have to pick is the episode offers mere caricatures demonstrating how progressives think Trump voters behave. At one point, Dre Johnson’s son flashes back to a white schoolmate taunting a Latino substitute about being forced to “go back”. Given the fact that I was worried about my son wearing a Trump button to school, a friend of his was not allowed to wear his Trump t-shirt to school over safety, and a 15-year old Trump supporter was beaten during a march, I found this particular scene galling.

Most of the episode’s material was based on “fake news” and seemed to be nothing more than an excuse to insult Trump and his supporters under the veneer of comedy. For example, at one point the Daphne character proclaims, “Fine, as long as she knows that a vote for Trump is a vote for racism.”

If the Black-ish creative team had bothered to do a modicum of research, they would have uncovered that Donald Trump has never been racist nor are a vast majority of his supporters.

Some discussion of the video above would have wonderful. And if the creators of this comedy series really wanted to understand why white women voted for Donald Trump, then they should have read my detailed analysis reviewing the myriad of reasons I did so.

But, I must give kudos to the libertarian or independent on the staff who did insert a few critical remarks about Barack Obama. At one point, Deon Cole’s character of Charlie Telphy, one of the black office mates, questions whether Obama was Democratic or Republican (difficult to ascertain, given the state of the Democratic Party today).

Additionally, the creative team did allow the Trump voter to give a powerful, anti-Obama message.

“I’m not some crazy right-wing nut you guys. I voted for Obama — twice. I even got my Republican parents to vote for him. He felt different. I believed he was gonna change stuff.”

“But it’s eight years later,” she continues. “My dad’s still out of work. My hometown’s about to go under. And Hillary comes out saying she’s basically going to keep everything the same. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me and my family.”

However, in the end, there is only one way to go. The daughter reminds her mother that she is the next generation of voter, and they will win next time.

I would like to remind the Black-ish team that we Trump voters also have our own children, and they are not going to roll over for the progressive agenda. Given the fact that millennials have fallen way behind their parents, in terms of age equivalent economic achievement and as a result of the ultra-progressive economic policies in place since 2006, I like our future chances.

In conclusion: I will keep watching Black-ish for Laurence Fishburne. The only guilt I suffer from isn’t white guilt, it’s my guilty pleasure of enjoying watching anything that features Fishburne.


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[class] diversity embedded in its title. Someone is laughing, but it’s not funny.

nordic_prince | January 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Too bad they didn’t have Diamond and Silk on the show. Now that would have been interesting!

Big Bang Theory makes me laugh because it reminds me so much of me and my college roommates back in the day – science nerds, all of us. I’ll look at Modern Family occasionally because I still like Ed O’Neill and I love any scene Sofía Vergara is in (but it can never hold a candle to Married with Children)

Outside of those two, I cannot imagine a single current network show I could be paid to watch.

    MattMusson in reply to Tom Servo. | January 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Try SPEECHLESS on ABC. Among the reasons it is so funny is that the family makes fun of the special needs politics. In a recent episode the mother attempts to get a student bonfire cancelled because it is not wheelchair accessible. She says the following:

    “Back at your old special ed schools, I got things cancelled all the time!” Maya crows. “All the moms did! We took turns! Blind mom cancelled movie night, deaf mom cancelled jazz band, there were never any events, and everyone was happy.”

    daniel_ream in reply to Tom Servo. | January 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Big Bang Theory used to be about science nerds, but around Season 3 they discovered middle-aged housewives who thought the nerds were adorkable were their biggest demographic and they retooled the show to meet their prejudices. When was the last time anyone did an actual science experiment on the show?

      Tom Servo in reply to daniel_ream. | January 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      True, and then they all got girlfriends. What I remember a lot about college is us sitting around on a Friday evening, talking big about going to a club and talking to girls, and then just buying a pizza and playing Risk all night.

    malclave in reply to Tom Servo. | January 18, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I cannot imagine a single current network show I could be paid to watch

    Last Man Standing and the Great Indoors might be worth a look.

Why bother watching the left’s propaganda?
Why give them ratings points?
This program should be boycotted on the basis of Wanda Sykes’ participation alone.

    Because, unlike the left, I don’t need to boycott everything that doesn’t conform to my worldview. Sometimes these shows stumble onto reality, and that is entertaining to watch. At other times, I simply savor the delicious, champagne-flavor of liberal tears.

      Thus reinforcing the monopoly liberals have of your entertainment dollar and legitimizing the megaphone and message they have to Americans and the world.

      What happens when Amazon decides when books of opposing viewpoints are as taboo as the General Lee? What happens when YouTube decides your channel is too controversial (oh wait… we know that one)

      I’m not fanatical about boycotting every little thing that I disagree with but I am fanatical about funding alternatives that disrupt, displace, and erode the liberal monopoly. Hence the cord to TV was cut long ago.

        tyates in reply to Andy. | January 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm

        Hmm, I want to see Rio Bravo, but unfortunately it stars John Wayne, who was conservative, but Wayne’s favorite author was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who twice stood for parliament as a Liberal Unionist, and the thing is I’ve always been in favor of Irish Home rule, so I guess I’ll skip it and watch High Noon. Oh wait…

        If you go watch shows & movies you enjoy and appreciate then no matter how liberal Hollywood is, simple economics will dictate them to make more of what you like. Boycotting just tells them that you’re not a customer and that they should focus on other (more liberal) people.

    tyates in reply to Evan3457. | January 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    By that logic anything Beethoven wrote is liberal propaganda. He did support Napoleon who wanted to end hereditary rule in Europe, after all. Well, until he crowned himself Emperor.

    But it isn’t of course – propaganda is biased material designed to promote a political cause / point of view. Sicko, definitely. China Syndrome, yep. Pocahontas, probably. Blackish, no not really.

    And even if it were, the right response to propaganda is to watch it critically and write about where you think it is shading or distorting the truth – exactly what the author has done here.

I’ve watched the show a couple of times.
It’s trite and bland. They play it safe and stick to the themes that will please their target demographic.

I agree that just to ask the question or address the issue is somewhat courageous, especially from the point of view of a middle class young black family. If you’re an American in your 20s or 30s, living in or near the city you grew up with, you’re most likely living with the consequences of decades of bad social policy that your older relatives voted for. Having the “how the hell did we get here” conversation only makes sense, especially in today’s environments where young people really have to struggle to pay for college, find a job, buy a house, get their kids into a good school, etc in a way that their parents and grandparents didn’t.

The thing is, those older Democrats still control the debate and the last thing they want to talk about is where the Democrats went wrong. That’s why for every one article you see about Democrats living in a bubble or being out of touch, you see ten on how Trump and the Russians and Comey stole the election. (The irony is that the only older Democrat who actually gets that practical & pocketbook issues ultimately decided the election is Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill.)

Henry Hawkins | January 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

The only 30 min sitcom I watch is The Trailer Park Boys.

Yeah, I can see why Dre is so angry about things never going his way.
Three kids, wife who’s a doctor, he’s well respected and liked at hisgreat job, beautiful house in an upper middleclass LA suburban neighborhood…

“If the Black-ish creative team had bothered to do a modicum of research,”

Wait, liberals do “research” and use “facts”!

ROFLMAO, you so funny!

ABC/Disney injects its prime time programming with social and political commentary to create a biased supporting narrative for its night time news broadcast followed by Trump bashing under the guise of late night comedy on Jimmy Kimmel. One regular Kimmel segment is to replay Trump interviews in slow motion as the drunk Donald Trump. ABC/Disney apparently has no problem blurring the lines between news and entertainment.

    DaveGinOly in reply to MadisonS. | January 20, 2017 at 1:32 am

    I got into it one evening (before the election) with a Hillary supporter who was obviously clueless. I asked her, “Where do you get your news?”

    She replied,”I don’t watch TV news.”

    I countered,”I asked you where you get your news, not where you don’t get it.”

    She said,”Late-night television talk shows.”

    I nearly died laughing.