Three weeks after having a gun pointed at him, Reggie is only getting worse and it seems partying, sex, therapy, and alcohol aren’t doing a damn thing.
The Downward Spiral: Reggie
Getting a gun pulled out on you is very traumatic and for Reggie, it is giving him nightmares, panic attacks, and also daydreams of the rent a cop pulling his gun out. Which has led to him going to, possibly mandated, therapy; seeing what group bible study could do for him; taking drugs with Troy; doing as Troy has and having sex with a bunch of white girls; and drinking. None of which works for it doesn’t solve the issue. Provides varying degrees of distraction, but doesn’t make one moment not screw up all those which come after it.
Okay, can it be asked if these white girls were giving pity sex or were getting off to the idea of having sex with a Black man traumatized? Also, can we also compare how the white girls were to the Black women on the show? Coco and Joelle, despite what happened in the past, checked in on Reggie and their instinct wasn’t to throw some ass his way. Granted, in episode 10 it was confirmed that is what Sam did, but we’re not talking about Sam right now. We’re talking about how weird white women are on this show. From the alt-right girl in the first episode to the train of girls we see messing around with Reggie and likely with Troy.
And granted, maybe my memory is fuzzy about how white women were in the first season. However.is this show basically making it so Gabe is the only “woke” one and the rest are either ignorant, possibly willfully, or just straight problematic? If not just weird and sort of comical, like Reggie’s roommate?
I mean, granted, this show probably is mostly preaching to the choir, but while I enjoy, like most Black people, a show being by us, for us, and about us, with the way Netflix handles their programs, and most networks in general, there is the need to recognize our market isn’t strong enough to keep a show going. Our outrage can get one to lose sponsors or cancelled, but keeping a show on air is a whole different thing. So, and I say this with hesitation, and part of my soul rolling its eyes, I do wonder if we’re going to get as much diversity on the white side of things as we get on the Black side.
A Spy In The Ivory Tower: Dean Fairbanks, Reggie, Troy
If you have a parent in academia, it is weird to see the way they can interact with people who aren’t blood compared to how they interact with you. Which perhaps might be odd for Troy since Dean Fairbanks is hardline with him but offers almost foreign flexibility to Reggie. I’m talking about going beyond his job title and having one of those “brother to brother” type of chats.
For those who are people of color, you know what I’m talking about. Especially if you’re young. It is Fairbanks relating to Reggie as a senior of the culture. Talking about how he navigated white spaces, code switch, and found solace in safe spaces. Not in terms of what A-P was for Reggie, but just a local restaurant which served food familiar to Fairbanks. A sort of home away from home.
But the main thing Fairbanks does which Reggie needed was remind him to not make a moment a lifetime. To figure out a way to not just cope, but move on. And ultimately remember, as much as he may appear to some as an Uncle Tom, coon, or whatever, what he really is, is a spy in an ivory tower. One which is trying to keep that door open and provide some navigation. Of which, he may not take you to your final destination, but he can at least point you in the right direction.
With the way things are in media, there is this constant fear that the brilliance of season 1 will be lost in season 2 because the luster is gone. This is especially the case for shows which feature people of color and LGBT for, once you get over the idea of this being the first, or first in a long time, what else does the show have to offer? It got its little ribbon and applause, but can it show it is deserving of attention past that initial hook?
To me, Dear White People may just live past that hook. Which isn’t something I say often for heaven knows I’ve dropped a lot of second seasons just because the nostalgia wasn’t strong enough to continue. But with seeing Fairbanks and Reggie chat, having a real, and kind of rare, middle-aged Black dude talking realness to a young buck, I felt strangely touched in a way.
Especially since Fairbanks, with him seeming uppity, pushes certain expectations. Yet, him being real, and not in a code-switching, “Yo homie, dis is how it is [note]Not to say there is anything wrong with that way of communicating[/note]” kind of way, for that is not his character, or where he is at in life, you got to appreciate it. For if there is one major thing to take away from this is the idea that just because someone seems a certain type of way, code switches so well you think they forgot their skin folk, or what have you, it doesn’t mean they are fully assimilated and have forgotten where they came from. Simply put, they just aren’t going to reach out to any and all just because. There is nothing wrong with being a saint but who wants to be a martyr?
When In Doubt – Activism: Gabe, Reggie
With Gabe feeling guilty as hell, and of course being a documentarian, when Reggie ups the opportunity to be talked to be filmed, with some hesitation, he jumps on it. Leading to Reggie laying out his feelings about being Black and considered a threat for existing. Thus creating one of the things which fire up Sam since, in her world, it wasn’t so much about Reggie finding solace as Gabe trying to poke her flames.
I’m really thinking about how Sam felt about Gabe’s interview with Reggie and realizing how self-centered that girl is. Her ego man. As if Gabe, who seems decent, is really on the level of pettiness. But considering how there was talk on how this is how you are supposed to get allies and sympathy, it should be interesting to see how Sam, and the rest of the cast, handle Gabe/Reggie’s collaboration. Much less, how the writers and director either let things be neutral or push us to feel one way or another.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Reggie is a Computer Science major
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Anyone else get She’s Gotta Have It vibes from the therapy scene?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
I’m a good person who doesn’t pose a threat, but they see me as one, and that is a threat to me.
- Addressing Reggie’s trauma and showing him, through nearly every way possible, try to deal with the trauma in both healthy and unhealthy ways.
- Dean Fairbanks dropping major knowledge and showing how complicated his role is and his life in general.
On The Fence
- The portrayal of white women on this show is a bit weird, but maybe is a statement of some kind. Taking note of how Black women are often portrayed and playing up white women stereotypes?