Racism Still Exists

I don’t expect today’s post to be long, but I saw something last night that didn’t sit well with me.  Anyone that knows me know I LOVE “Big Brother”!  My favorite summer guilty pleasure premiered about two weeks ago, and what I missed during its regular airing, I caught up on On Demand.  During last night’s episode, I saw something that didn’t sit well with me.

The current Head of Household (for those of you that don’t watch, this person won this week’s competition and nominates two houseguests for eviction, along with getting their own private room with personalized items), Aaryn, is a 22 year old college student from Texas.  I’m not sure who mentioned it first, but numerous houseguests commented on Aaryn’s derogatory comments and behavior.  Next, clips were shown where Aaryn made disbaraging comments regarding Asians and Asian-Americans.  (Let it be noted that one of the houseguests, Helen, is Asian-American.)  And clips were shown were she and another houseguest, GinaMarie referred to another houseguest, Candice-an African-American woman-as a “darkie”.  Various houseguests, including Howard (an African-American man) and Amanda (a Caucasian woman) stated that they noticed and overheard Aaryn making comments they deemed as racist. I’m not sure why Amanda did not approach her, but Howard stated he didn’t say anything because: 1) the comments were not directed towards him and 2) he felt himself getting upset and wasn’t sure he could contain his anger.

I applaud CBS for showing these clips of Aaryn making her comments.  As one houseguest was overheard saying-“Doesn’t she realize she’s on national television???”  Maybe she didn’t care.  But her comments show that racism is alive and well in this country.  And she obviously learned this from somewhere, since she’s only 22 years old.

So the next time someone tells you racism is a thing of the past in America, kindly correct them.  Because Aaryn proved last night that it is not.  Until next time I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Successful. Sexy. Searching.

Last night, BET premiered its much anticipated movie/series “Being Mary Jane”, which stars Gabrielle Union.  If I may be transparent with you guys, I was kinda excited about this movie, especially after seeing more of the previews during the BET Awards on Sunday.  And I am very happy to say that BET did not disappoint.  For those of you that are not familiar, “Being Mary Jane” tells the story of one single, successful, and beautiful woman, Mary Jane Paul.  She’s a television news anchor who is winning in her professional life, but has to deal with troubled family members and a troubled love life.  And even though the movie started out saying this story was only about one woman, it actually wasn’t; it WAS a story about all of us.  As I sat on my couch engrosssed in what was happening, I would check Facebook during commercials to gauge others reactions, and I saw that my friends were saying the same thing I was thinking-it was like looking in a mirror.

Some of us, and by that I mean Black women, are educated and successful and attractive and just have a lot going for us in general.  But we may come from a family that is ok with the status quo.  Or we may come from a family that is alwasy asking us for money.  Or we may be single and looking for love.

I can honestly say watching the first hour of this movie (minus sleeping with the married man), I thought someone had had a hidden camera in my life over the last few years and decided to make a movie about it.  When Mary Jane was talking to her niece and Niecy stated that, “You have it all together” little does she know Mary Jane cries.  There are times when I want to scream and throw tantrums and break things when I’m alone, but I can’t show that side to the public.  Why?  Because there’s so much pressure to be perfect and happy and appear that you have everything the way you want it to be.  I could also related when Mary Jane was satisfying her shoe fanaticism and her confidant/the Shoe Salegirl had the nerve to piggyback on Mary Jane and talk about her family.  MJ quickly shut that down; it’s ok for me to talk about my family, but you are off limits.  I actually went through that not even an hour before the show came on.  And most importantly, when Mary Jane walked to her male BFF’s house, I thought, “That is so me and TyAnthony!  It would be AWESOME if he lived next door to me!!!”  But then I saw her BFF had a BF and quickly deduced that he would be my other male BFF, who I don’t mention a lot here, but he’s been in my heart since we met our freshman year at FAMU.  Lastly, I was SO proud of Mary Jane when she left ol’ boy sitting in the restaurant.  I know what it’s like to be so enraptured with a man that you can’t get him out of your system, so I appreciated her calling it what it was, because as women, we don’t do that too often.  But darn him for coming to her house!!!

I was so enamored with this movie until the last 60 seconds.  I was TOTALLY thrown and disgusted when she saved his sperm, because it was totally coming from left field.  And I was equally thrown when they started rolling the credits.  I was thinking, “I know this movie is not ending like this…SERIOUSLY!?!?!”  But I am happy to say that “Being Mary Jane” will be a series on BET!  AND it looks like it’s actually going to be pretty darn good.  Some may say, “She’s not perfect. She’s flawed and has all of these issues.”  But who is?  Aren’t we all flawed?  For once, I see someone that I can relate to.  But where are her girlfriends??? Well, I guess there is Kara, but she needs more.

All in all, kudos to the cast for an AMAZING job.  And to the writers.  I can honestly say I saw a bit of myself and my friends in Mary Jane.  And I think they got it wrong.  It’s not just the story of one single Black woman; it belongs to all of us.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

P. S. Don’t worry if you missed it.  An encore presentation will air tonight at 9 pm!