Most network television doesn’t show accurate representations of how many different cultures live. Netflix has decided to take on that challenge with a few different shows: Dear White People, On My Block and Luke Cage. Within these shows we can see three environments in which multiculturalism is an occurring issue. Dear White People takes place on a college campus and was the one that I found to be the most relatable. On My Block takes place in a poor neighbourhood in Los Angeles which has always been a problem that society hasn’t seemed to figure out how to fix yet. Luke Cage takes place in a predominantly black neighbourhood which has also been an occurring problem in America because it seems like we are still segregated.
Dear White People was very interesting to me. I’ve never even heard of a black face party until this show and they make it seem like they are a very common occurrence among college campuses. They probably do happen at some universities which I agree is extremely racist and shouldn’t happen, but I don’t think they happen as often as the show would like people to believe. I also thought it was interesting how they made white look in this show. There definitely is a strong presence of white folks in this show, but they portray them as being dumb racists except for the main characters boyfriend. Some colleges are predominately white just like CSU, but I don’t see a lot of racism happening on our campus. The most racist thing that I can think of that happened here was the incident of the campus police being called on two Native American students during a tour and that was awful, but it made such big news because it is so uncommon here. I also didn’t really like how she was talking about Halloween and trying to tell people what costumes are and aren’t acceptable by saying that for white people only the first 43 presidents are okay to dress up as. I disagree with that statement, but that’s a much different conversation. I think this show reinforces certain stereotypes and challenges others. For example, it challenges the stereotype that black men can be educated, dress nicely, and speak properly with Troy’s character. It also reinforces the stereotype that most black people are against white people right now.
On My Block was my favorite out of all three shows. It was more entertaining to watch. I thought it was insane that when the gunshots started going off at the graduation party they were running away, but having a good time trying to guess what kind of gun it was because they were so familiar with the sound of the shots that were fired. I think this show reinforces stereotypes of these particular neighborhoods. Usually poor neighbourhoods like this one are infested with gangs and can be dangerous. For example, Cesar said that he had smashed Ruby because his brother who had just gotten out of prison was trying to get at her and he wanted to protect her by claiming her. I found cesar to be the most compelling character in this show because he’s such a nice guy when his brother isn’t around, but then acts tough when he is around because he’s scared of him. His brother seems to be top dog of the neighbourhood and whatever he says goes which makes people respect and fear him. I just felt sad that he felt like he had to act a certain way around his brother out of fear of him. The only problem I could really empathize with was with Caesar lying about sleeping with Ruby because in high school rumors spread and people like to say that they have slept with people they haven’t and it can really hurt people.
Luke Cage was a decent show. I found it to be a little boring. One thing I did notice is that there weren’t many white people if any. One stereotype that was strongly reinforced within this show is the barber shop. It’s a major stereotype that black men go to barber shops and gossip. Is it true? I don’t know, but it most certainly is portrayed to be true in many different movies and t.v. shows. I kind of hope it’s a true stereotype because everytime I see a scene like this they are always having a good time and if that’s how it is in real life then that’s great! According to Nico Lang the show has gotten a lot of positive reviews, but that it’s getting some backlash for not having any white people in it. I don’t see a problem with this and I’m not too sure why others do. There are lots of shows/ movies that only portray one black person if any at all, so I don’t see a problem with having a show that doesn’t show any white people. It’s also located in a neighbourhood that is stereotypically black in real life, so it would make sense why white people aren’t shown.
Overall the shows were really good and I feel like they are much needed. The media needs more representation of multicultural people and environments. However, I do feel like they take it a little too far like in Dear White People. We need accurate representations of how the world is and not exaggerated ones.