Poor Lena Dunham and the rest of the white people of the world.
Today, I came across an article written by a columnist at The New Yorker. The opening sentence reads:
“I’m worried about the white people. It happens every so often. They’re attacked for that which they cannot help—their whiteness—and that which they can help—their whiteness.”
Lena Dunham is the creator and star of HBO’s new “Sex and The City” like series “Girls–” which has just been renewed for a second season. “The show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.”
Simple enough…you would think. But there are no black people on the show. Hmm. Fair enough– the story line is based on overprivileged white women–fresh out of college–so why would you need to see a black face or two? I’m sure black people don’t even exist in their worlds anyway; and after-all, there weren’t any white women on “Girlfriends.” Still, the series has garnered negative criticism for its lack of color– but why?
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I do agree with Hilton Als on one thing–the scrutiny is misplaced. We shouldn’t blame Dunham. But that’s where it ends.
According to the CULTURE DESK at The New Yorker, “no white girl allows herself to look like that if she didn’t admire the rounder shapes, and more complicated stylings, that women of color tend to pursue as their idea of beauty.” Offended yet?
You can’t help what race into which you are born; that’s a fact. Here’s another–whites and blacks are born into COMPLETELY different worlds. Apparently that’s where white people get confused. They seem to think that everyone–no matter the color of his or her skin–are afforded the same opportunities in life. I’m here to tell you–that is untrue. Unlike white skin, black skin automatically carries a stigma (Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till).
Food for thought: Third grade reading scores of black male students are used as indicators by corporations to help gauge how many prisons they will build [TheGRIO]. Talk about a set-up to fail… once those institutions are built, they must be filled!
White people are missing something quite simple (in all of this hoopla surrounding “Girls,”). Caucasian people have every outlet at their disposal. Try pitching an all-black show to HBO and see where it goes… and if you’re thinking, “What about ‘The Wire’?” I deem you naive and insane. Black people are not only drug dealers and murderers, we too attend college and believe in strong family foundations. Black people get “The Wire” and white people get “Girls–” a show where precious white women seek powerful white men to breed even more privileged children (there goes that word again).
White executives do know they perpetuate black stereotypes, don’t they? They are aware that black people would also like to be involved in positive roles in series that don’t depict us as chicken-grubbing government moochers. And don’t even try to say that black people don’t support black media–when one white show fails, there’s another one geared up and ready to go!
Often times white-washed blacks (yeah, I said it) and other races think that blacks “do it” to ourselves. We aren’t successful because we don’t want to be, because we don’t work hard, are lazy and rather be baby-mommas on welfare (the ideal black lifestyle). White people just can’t wrap their inherently jolly brains around the notion that they have it easier than we do. But, that is a testament to this country’s history. The wounds of the black race cut so deep, there is no simple answer or band-aid to fix our anger or misplaced reactions. There is so much more to this story than black people attacking an innocent ole’ white woman. We are attacking the status quo and everything another fully white show stands for.
Check out a trailer of “Girls,” below:
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