Entertainment

Dear White People is a study in nuance: Johanna Schneller

The Internet haters who perceived this series as one long scolding could not be more wrong.

Logan Browning, left, and Antoinette Robertson in Dear White People.

Adam Rose/Netflix

Logan Browning, left, and Antoinette Robertson in Dear White People.

THE SHOW: Dear White People, S1, E4

THE MOMENT: The intersection

As freshmen at their posh, mostly white university, Samantha (Logan Browning) and Coco (Antoinette Robertson) bonded over jokes: what they’d like to say to white people. Then Sam joined the Black Students Union, while Coco pledged a sorority. That tension explodes after Sam (who is biracial) accuses Coco of “overdrawing your bank account for that weave.”

“You’re the girl who didn’t learn she was black until Beth Wheeler left you out of her second-grade sleepover because you’d be ‘the only one,’” Coco says. “But with me, there is no confusion. People take one look at my skin and assume I’m poor or uneducated or ratched. So yeah, I tone it down. Make myself more palatable. What’s so wrong with that?”

“Dear White People, you made me hate myself as a kid, so now I hate you and that’s my secret shame,” Coco accuses Sam.

“Dear White People, if you wanted to demoralize us with your European beauty standards, mission accomplished,’” Sam counters.

The Internet haters who perceived this series as one long scolding could not be more wrong. It’s a study of endless nuance. Yes, it addresses white privilege because it addresses everything: how hue affects perception; the politics of interracial dating, and so on.

The show streams on Netflix.

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