HBO TV Show Wonders If Black People Can Be Racist

REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A popular HBO show featured a Sunday episode that wondered if black people are capable of racism, after a black principal made a racially insensitive comment to a group of Hispanic students.

Insecure, a comedy series about a friendship between two black women, focused on a scenario in which a black character, Vice Principal Charles Gaines, chastises a group of Hispanic students for not speaking English in the hallways.

“We speak English here at school. You save that Spanish for the bus,” he tells the students as he walks past them. Issa, a black character and Frieda, her white friend, witness the event.

Frieda is shocked by the exchange and proposes telling Joanne, their supervisor, about the incident. Issa brushes it off, saying that too much progress has been made with the kids.

“So she can see that and not all the good stuff? I mean, the kids have come two times in a row. We’re already making progress,” Issa says. Frieda worries that his type of thinking will be dangerous for the students, but Issa doesn’t seem concerned with it.

“Who cares what he thinks? We’re the ones who have the kids after school, and we don’t think like that, ” she responds.

Frieda points out that maybe things would be different if Gaines had said it and he was a white man.

“Okay. I know that the oppressed cannot be the oppressor, obviously — obviously, but … Would it still be okay if he said those things if he was, you — white?” Frieda asks.

Issa still remains unconcerned about a black person saying those things to a group of Hispanics, contending that they can’t change the way the principal thinks.

“I mean, we’re not gonna change him. It’s, like, he is who he is,” she says.

The star of “Dear White People,” a show that examines racism at a college campus, explained “reverse racism” doesn’t exist because black people are seemingly incapable for being racist.

“Black people can’t be racist. They can be prejudiced though. Racism is the oppression of marginalized groups in a society based on white supremacy,” the star claimed.

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Amber Randall