ABC’s ‘black-ish’ Justifies Theft from White People as Form of ‘Reparations’: ‘These are My 40 Acres’

You thought you knew everything about –Ish franchise of shows couldn’t be any more racist than they already have been, along comes an episode that sinks to a new low.

This time, ABC’s black-ish is the culprit as the show preached that white people shouldn’t be able to enjoy the things black people love or even eat at the same restaurant black people prefer. They even went so far as to justify stealing from a white person, because black people are owed “cultural reparations.”

Tuesday’s episode, “Sneakers by the Dozen,” started out innocently enough as Dre (Anthony Anderson) showed off his vast collection of expensive sneakers and talked about his love of shoes. When he arrives at work wearing a rare pair of sneakers, however, he’s shocked to discover his white co-worker Griffin (Reid Scott) is wearing the same pair.

Dre’s son Junior (Marcus Scribner) sympathizes with his father’s disappointment, saying, “There is nothing worse than wearing the same pair of shoes as a man who was in a white fraternity.”

Dre decides he must one-up Griffin and tries to buy a new pair, but his underground contact ends up leading him to Griffin’s house for the sale.

After begrudgingly purchasing the shoes from Griffin, Dre has a conversation with his sons about deserving “cultural reparations” because “people” always steal their ideas. Later, he decides that taking a pair Griffin’s sneakers to work is the best way to get said reparations.

JuniorI was surprised that you weren’t back yet. What shoes did you buy?

Dre: Yes. I have ’em.

Junior: Okay, now let’s check out these bad guys.

JackThese were not real to me. These could be worth more than all my life and I would believe that.


Junior: A’ight? Oven fries, a’ight? These are Moby Dicks, Dad. These might have been made from whale leather.

Dre: Yeah. You might be right. Griffin did it for me. It is so easy to make so much good stuff and then have it taken from us. God forbid, I will lose my mind if I witness another white man wearing diamond earrings with a fade.

Junior: It’s real. It’s true. Everytime it becomes mainstream we lose something. It’s obvious that when Sportscenter starts to say “It is time to pour the tea”, it’s not the right time to continue saying “It’s time for the tea to be spilled.”

Dre: Yes, cultural reparations are needed. There is simply too much product to price or push out.What do you know? I’m done. Please excuse me.

Junior??He’s probably done. I could take the rest, right? Both of us are about the same weight.

Jack: Sorry, playboy. You can sell these for a good profit. Everyone knows that you put your shoes in the shoebox.

DreLet’s see: At some point, there must be a clear line. It is not possible for people to take away from the culture we love without consequences.What are the “Back to the Future” shoes? I was astonished at the urban legend. It was easy to give up jazz, but I don’t want that happening to something blacks still love. These shoes are mine to be liberated for culture.

It’s a beautiful message that you can send in a moment when flash mob and looting are all too common across this country. I guess it’s not surprising considering the show promoted looting and arson in a previous episode.

Is it really fair to assume that an African-American man with a high net worth can pay $15k to buy a pair sneakers for his family?

Unfortunately, the racism got even worse as Dre’s father Pops (Laurence Fishburne) complains about white people eating at his favorite restaurant:

DreThese sneakers are available in pops for $15,000.

PopsThe switch and your mama don’t care what their worth. They’re crazy! Where did you buy them these insane things? These shoes look just like those they wore to the moon landing.

Dre: Yeah, These were given to me by Griffin, the Griffin dude.

Pops: Oh, great. Now I am an accomplice in a crime — again.

Dre: Pops, you don’t get it, alright? These are 40 of my acres. These are my reparations to them for giving them Yeezys and “Stankonia” as well as the Bankhead Bounce.

Pops: Boy! Don’t you Bankhead any more.

DrePops. It is our duty. The effect seems to be that they have taken all the context and history and transformed it into something new, something ready for packaging and selling.

Pops: Yes, I do. It is frustrating to see little bits of our culture taken away. Have I told you of this Inglewood barbecue joint? It was the best brisket I had ever eaten.

Dre? : You haven’t.

Pops: It was my secret little spot. Until Bobby Flay’s show. You’ll be surprised to learn that it was my secret spot. My corner table is not available because there are too many white hipsters around, all looking skinny lumberjacks.

Dre: See? You’ve stopped moving.

Pops: You know Dre, no, it wasn’t. No matter where they are seated, it doesn’t really matter. This is my table.

DrePops: Pops! It’s true, I used love shoes more than any of my other children. That fire is gone.

Pops: Well, Don’t allow anyone to steal your joy.

Dre: Okay, Pops, you’re right.

Pops: Oh, and by the way…

Dre: Yeah?

Pops: Don’t try to get in my way for repairs. Show some respect.

Dre: Pops, it’s easy to get what you want. Pops knows that people of color create incredible things. Therefore, it’s impossible to prevent others from liking them.

This sounded horribly segregationist. Is it really worth going back to those times?  It was wrong to do to black people then and it’s just as wrong to do it to white people now.

In the end, Dre says triumphantly, “This is my thing…I’m not letting anybody take that light.” I’m not sure how a white person liking the same thing as Dre steals his light, but okay:  

Dre: Realizing that Jordans aren’t something you have to not own as a child or in appropriation, I came across the truth. Being a sneakerhead is something I enjoy. I also love the opportunity to have moments with sneakerheads such as my kids and even this guy.

Griffin: Hey, man. Oh, great kicks.

Dre: Yeah, they’re custom. One of these is what you’re seeing. This is the only pair you’ll ever get.

Griffin: Oh, it’s so bad! You know what?Yesterday, my entire sneaker collection was sold.

Dre: What?

Griffin: Yeah, yeah. Now, I love vintage vinyl. Actually, Compton’s friend. [Bleep]This Jelly Roll Morton acetate is perfect for me.

Dre: Okay. Yeah. Good luck.

Griffin: Oh, and, hey, man.

Dre: Yeah?

Griffin: These should be watched. Someone has been wearing sneakers to work.

Dre: I have probably got something to tell you. Josh came in with this huge bag to your office. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. We all know it’s not the same as getting other types of reparations.

Josh is white, for comparison. It is true. It is difficult to believe that this program can tolerate such divisive, hateful and racist propaganda each week while offering comedic entertainment. Viewers aren’t happy, however, as is evident in the steadily decreasing ratings. Thankfully, this is the last season, but the end really can’t come soon enough.

Conservatives Strike Back This episode was sponsored by Ford Motor Company, and Toyota. To let advertisers know your opinion about the episode, click on each advertisement.

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