Randall's Treatment Of Deja's Mother Is Unacceptable

I know I've ranted about 'This Is Us' a lot and I swear I'll stop eventually, but today is not that day.

As award season is upon us, nominations and wins have been announced, and like every year, we still have the first black ___ in history to do something in entertainment. With all the new nominations coming out, the somewhat recent win of our beloved Sterling K. Brown winning Best Actor in a TV series at the Golden Globes last year, making him the first African American man to do so, has resurfaced and making it’s rounds on the internet-webs.

Great. Fantastic, love Sterling’s fine self. My beef ain’t with him, it’s with his character, Randall.

Along with this resurfacing, one of his scene’s in particular has also resurfaced to praise and labels of “iconic”.

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Look, yeah it's great acting and whatever but the way Randall treated Deja's biological mother, and frankly all other non relative black people in the show, is disgusting and out of line.

One of my biggest problems with Randall’s character is that he is one of the black people who “made it” and in turn, looks down his nose at all other black people who are not rich and don’t have the same privileges as he does. We see this happening a lot in the current season of the show. During his very random and terrible decision to run for city council. Randall shows up in all these poor black neighborhoods and expects everyone to bow down to him because he is black. The residents push back quite a bit, calling him out on his rich man privileges and for thinking he “gets it” when in fact he has never dealt with living in poverty and really has no idea what it is like to struggle financially.

At first I was like “yeah tv show, call out his shit” but then the show seems to justify his actions by reiterating that he is black and “doing the right thing”. I can’t tell where the writers are going with this storyline of Randall, and I’m not sure if we’re supposed to like him or not. I would love to root for a black transracial adoptee in a show, but almost everything he does is pure trash.

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Which leads me to the episode(s) in Season 2, where we learn Deja’s backstory and meet her mother. If you have forgotten or didn’t watch—Basically Deja ended in foster care by accident. Her and her mother live in poverty, her mom, a single black mother trying to make ends meet, works long hours, resulting in Deja often being left alone. One of these days, Deja accidently cuts her hand while trying to open a can of food, tries to get a hold of her mother who is at work, but is unable to. So, needing help, she goes to the hospital. Of course they take one look at the cut and child services is called to step in. They take her away from her mother and she ends up being shuffled around to different foster homes until she ends up with Randall’s family.

Now we can argue all day long about if this was the right step to take her away. In my opinion it was not, but the fact of the matter is, this IS a reality for many people of color. To me, this does not make her a terrible mother. At least not the point that Randall treats her. Randall treats this woman like she is an abusive criminal who beat Deja every day of her life. Deja did not want to leave her mother, she wasn’t down with being with Randall’s family, she understood her mother’s situation but of course, because Randall is rich and black, he thinks he is the high almighty god of all black people and everyone who is poor, is beneath him. The scene that everyone has been praising, he berates this woman for being poor. You, Randall, signed up to foster children and as much as you may get attached, that still is not your child and you have zero right to go attack her biological mother who has legal rights to her child, simply because you don’t like the fact that she is a poor single working mother. He literally tried to steal a child from her mother and y’all want me to praise that. Fuck all of that noise, Randall was out of line.

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Y’all been praising him for talking about his “black queen” while at the same time he is literally bashing another black woman for not being rich and struggling to take care of her daughter. Randall projects his own issues with transracial adoption onto other black people instead of going to therapy or doing whatever he needs to do to work through his own issues. Not once in these three seasons has he done anything to work through his own problems, and his wife, Beth, has pointed this out many times. Instead he chooses to attack other black people like we are the source of his adoption issues, and that just ain’t it bruh. He completely abandons the black community during his campaign and goes to the asian community for support rather than actually listening to the very valid criticism the black community gave him because…the blacks just don’t get it, I guess?

Sorry, not sorry but Randall’s treatment of other black people in this show, particularly black women is unacceptable and disgusting.

I Watched Eve's Bayou For The First Time and I'm Not A Fan

Since the first time I ever met a black person, I have been hearing about how great of a film Eve's Bayou is. It's was always every black person I’ve ever met, favorite movie. The reviews online of it are great, it won quite a few awards, you could consider it a "black classic". So, naturally, when The Underground Museum here in Los Angeles, announced it was going to screen it for their garden movie night, I decided to go with a couple of friends. None of the 3 of us had seen it before. However, as soon as the movie started, I was confused as to why this is considered a such a great film and it just got worse throughout. I will say the performances of the actors were amazing, of course, they are, it's a great cast, and the way the movie was filmed was also beautiful…but the story lost me. 

The opening monologue

After reading some articles online, post my film viewing, apparently this monologue is considered the deepest part of the film. The monologue, explains what "Eve's Bayou" is. Long story short, Eve was a slave woman she saved her master's life with her "powerful medicine" aka voodoo and as a reward, he gave her this piece of land (the Bayou) and her freedom. The monologue goes on to say, that subsequently she bore 16 of his children, yadda yadda yadda, they stayed there in love and this currently family we are about to follow for the duration of the film, are descendants of the two. I'm sorry but you can't have a slave, a slave master and love all in the same sentence. This isn't loving. Why are we romanticizing slave masters? Even if she was “freed” she isn’t really free because no slave on any planet falls in love with a slave master who has beaten and rape her and her family for god knows how many generations. I don’t care how many acres of land he gave her, this is not a normal, loving relationships and I’m tired of romanticizing white people abusing black women.

The dismissing of abuse

Pretty much this entire movie is about how abusive and fucked up the family is. This was my main issue with the film. If you're going to present us with an abusive, shitty family, then there needs to be some discussion of it or resolution at the end. This had none, it just ended like "Well that was cool...coffee anyone"? Meanwhile, these two horrible shit parents have abused sexually, mentally, verbally and physically to the point where they all no doubt have some serious mental health issues to deal with, and there was no discussion of it. I can't subscribe to the normalization of abuse. It’s this exact reason why I no longer watch any slavery or police brutality films/shows. We just don’t need it, we have such a larger narrative and history than just being abused. It also makes me wonder why so many of our “black classics” are about black suffering. I personally, am just not on board to bond in misery.

Along this subject, is the blaming of Cisely for her father molesting her. After seeing this film, all three of us went to get dinner and discuss the film, at the restaurant, other black folks joined our discussion (it’s a real black and local community spot, this happens regularly). Additionally, I have discussed this scene in particular with other black people and literally almost every single person calls this child a hoe, “fast” “acting grown” etc and zero blame is placed on her shit father. I’d say I’m confused but not really. Sexual abuse is swept under the rug really everywhere but in the black community in particular. I don’t care if that child walked downstairs naked, that man is a GROWN and knew it was his daughter yet allowed it anyways. Not to mention the mental abuse he already caused on her to get her to that point. Sorry, but anyone who supports that is pure garbage and so is this narrative.

Why Is Everyone's Response to Kill Each Other?

I lost count on how many times people in this family are presented with a problem, and their first response is to suggest murder, like whet? Why? At one point, the aunt threatens to kill Cisely and she meant it. You gone kill your niece because YOUR brother is a cheating, abusive pedophile? What are we watching?

What Was The Take Away Here?


Finally, what was the message? We discussed this at length and none of us could figure out what we were supposed to walk away from that movie knowing or feeling. Fine, you want to make a film about abuse, cool, but where is the message or the point? I was waiting for some sort of a “we survived this fucked up situation and overcame” type resolution but instead we literally just started another day like nothing happened. Maybe this only made sense in 1997 when it was released, but in 2018, I don’t see the take away. I didn’t come out the otherside with any more or less information than I had when I started it. I was just left confused.

I know this will probably cancel my black card but I don’t really care. I don’t get the hype and I’m not interested in cosigning movies about black abuse. For all these commentary and praise I’ve been hearing for 27 years, I was severely underwhelmed.

Nike Does Not Care About Black People

As I'm sure you've heard by now, earlier last week, Nike unveiled their new ad campaign partnership with Colin Kaepernick. If you remember, Kaepernick is the NFL player who started the #TakeAKnee movement and pissed off MAGA fans across the globe. So, naturally, when Nike released this partnership, MAGA fans had a full on white tear meltdown.

Burning their Nike products...

and even threatening to go to Converse instead...

...which is owned by Nike, but I'm not gonna be the one to break that news to them.

Basically, racist America has lost their shit. Amidst all this, of course, Nike is getting all this praise for "taking a stand" and "being on the right side of history", blah blah blah but I'm not so easily convinced. 

Nike isn't doing this because they actually care or support #TakeAKnee, they did this because they're a corporation that hops on whatever political wave is happening, to make money off it. It's no different than every business all the sudden having rainbow flags in the month of June and then the other 11 months, telling gay people they're not welcome here. Do you really believe that Nike, a corporation that uses child and slave labor, cares about the treatment of black people in America? I don't. If they did, then let us see them pull out of all the NFL deals, of they won't? Ok. How can you say you stand by someone fighting against the NFL while simultaneously making money off the NFL and all this controversy? 

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I've also seen people say they took a risk by doing this. How? They're the official apparel sponsor of the NFL, they were going to have the support of the NFL and black America, regardless. They are the largest sports brand in the world, and all they did was essentially say "racism is bad", which is stating the obvious. Nothing at this point could actually hurt Nike except themselves. H&M the largest clothing brand in the world and they were racist and still, nothing happened to them. That controversy was like an annoying fly in the room that someone eventually kills and the day continues. Nike is the same. They are so far past the "boycotts will hurt us" stage.

Over the labor day weekend when racists were on their rampage, Nike's market cap lost 3.75 Billion dollars, and you know what happened? Not even 2 days later, it was right back where it was it because Nike is a 36.4 billion dollar company that grows 5-6% every year. So where is this great risk? They took an already famous person ran some cute ads and put a caption over his face. All they did was get support from the people who already supported Kaepernick and Nike, and hate from the people who already hated him. No grand movement was made here. 

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Furthermore, what is Nike actually doing for the black community? What are they doing for the non-celebrities who are doing all the groundwork and are the ones being murdered every day? I don't Nike showing up at any Black Lives Matter protests or meetings. Have you? Only thing Nike is doing to providing y'all overpriced sneakers to wear when you're running from cops trying to kill you. They made a single donation to Kaepernick's foundation that no doubt is just a tax write off and ain't doing anything else. All this money y'all want to throw at them, is not coming back into the community. 

I was never buying Nike products anyway because if we're being honest, they're not even good, but I'm sure not about to start now just because black people are the new movement they decided to exploit. 


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