Black-ish title card (screenshot via iTunes)
One of the many aggravating black stereotypes weaved into the pilot (screenshot via iTunes)
The pilot of Black-ish is a complete miss. It reinforces negative stereotypes about black people and has a rather ass-backward view of what a black family is, or should be. In fact, by the time the show made it to the fist bump barely two minutes in, I was already so neck deep in stereotypes that it was nearly enough for me to say fuck this and throw the first thing I could at the screen. The program doesn’t only reinforce stereotypes, but aggressively defends them. It’s so bad that Black-ish comes across as an angry, foolish tirade, essentially saying black people are losing their identity and things like urban music, big butts and hip-hop dance crews are exclusively for black people. Not only that, but it’s an absolute outrage other people are becoming involved with them.
Even if this is a comedy I can’t believe the main character is getting outraged that Kim Kardashian comes to mind when people think of big butts (screenshot via iTunes)
But, hey, excuse me; none of those things really have anything to do with being black. Being black is having a community behind you who loves you unconditionally, fighting for equality and what’s right, and overcoming years of injustice. Nothing can change that, especially something as meaningless as Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke being considered urban artists and Kim Kardashian being the first person who comes to mind when you think of a big ass. (Ugh, did I really have to say that? Come on people.)
We’re coming closer than ever to the dream of equality and this show seemingly wants to throw that all away (screenshot via iTunes)
While I suppose you could argue some of those things are small facets of black culture, why is it a problem that they are getting mainstream acceptance to the point where we don’t think twice about people from other cultures getting involved with them? Isn’t that in a way what many of our forefathers have dreamed about: A world where black and white are no longer segregated in their own silos.
Now that we’re getting closer to the dream, to turn around and bitch about it is silly at best and infuriating at worst. Not only does it not make sense, but to use that as a premise of a show alienates a lot of people outside of the black community (and some within as well). It’s almost as if the series (or at least this episode) wants to set the civil rights movement back 50 years. If you think all that’s offensive on its own, that’s just a tiny slice of the idiocy of the pilot. Continue reading