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”.
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.
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.
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.