One issue that has always plagued reality TV shows such as The Real World, Big Brother, and the like is the continued practice of placing one or two Black people in a sea of wall-to-wall whiteness forcing the marginalized to navigate the audacity of the privileged in their own homes.
Such was the case in a recent episode of Paramount Plus’ The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles, during which a Black cast member was, once again, put in the position where she had to engage in a futile battle against white obtuseness and obliviousness by trying to explain to her white roommates that certain terms are racist and simply should never pass through the non-existent lips of the melanin-sold-separately.
(Until they learn their lessons on racial insensitivity, I reserve the right to continue coming up with alternative ways to say “white people.”)
As reported by Showbiz CheatSheet, the caucasity-infused drama started when cast member/Real World legend Tami Roman, who is, of course, Black, asked cast member Irene Berrera-Kearns, who is pigment-redacted and also a cop, a question about how she feels about her handling of Black Lives Matter protests as a female police officer. Berrera-Kearns said she was in favor of the movement but admitted she could do more in the way of speaking out against bad cops.
Roman then asked cast member Jon Brennan, who Showbiz described as “a conservative white man living in the south,” what he thinks, and, well, that went pretty predictably.
“OK, I live in the south, y’all,” Brennan said. “I live in Alabama. Do you know who’s in my house right now? Young, Black-colored people that I’m minister to and I’m a father figure.”
A couple of things:
First, at this point, I’m just not sure why Roman is still even asking porcelain-complected people things having to do with racism and Blackness. One doesn’t throw a ball in the air just to get irritated at gravity for doing what gravity does and letting it land.
Second, how racist does a washcloth-reluctant person have to be when he can’t even get through his “See, I have Black friends” statement without using historically bigotted terminology? Brennan literally had the opportunity to just say “Black people” and instead opted to go with “Black-colored people.”
Somehow things managed to get worse as the conversation continued.
Roman, of course, called Brennan out on his dated descriptor for Black people, to which Brennan predictably responded, “Well, they don’t mind. They call themselves words I won’t repeat.”
In other words: Brennan has Black friends whose minds he can read to tell they don’t mind him calling them “colored,” and besides, they call themselves the n-word without the hard R all the time, so what’s the difference, amiwhite…I mean rite?
Somehow…things. still. got. worse.
Cast member Glen Naessens, who is bologna-tinted, entered the chat to say, first and foremost, that he doesn’t see color.
“You know you need to see some color, so you understand what I’m going through in America,” Roman responded. Then Naessens went into his own anecdote about his Black friend—and yep, that story also went predictably awry.
“The first time I really felt what you’re passionate about was when I was with my friend John, and I went to a pizza place, right?” Naessens began. “And they called him a n*****.”
“You don’t say that,” Roman responded.
“I’m saying that you can say he was called the N-word,” she explained after Naessens began to defend his use of the slur. “You don’t understand that the word shouldn’t come out of your white-a** mouth.”
SOMEHOW SH** STILL GOT F**KING WORSE!
Berrera-Kearns jumped on Roman’s side and derided Naessens for repeating the n-word—by also repeating the n-word.
“You have no idea what it is to be a n*****!” she shouted.
At that point, all Roman could do was shake her head, exclaim, “I can’t,” and inform Berrera-Kearns that “You don’t say it either!”
Talk about the hueless and clueless.
Maybe we just need more all-Black reality shows. Then again, cast member David Edwards whom Tami had that infamous blanket incident with and who is Black but not Malcolm Black, sat there through this whole caucasified discussion and stayed silent, then wondered by Roman was annoyed at him too.
Peep the full clip below. The discussion starts at 1:20.
Who the hell was in charge of casting these people?!