After eight seasons of divisive and hateful propaganda, ABC’s sitcom black-ish The show has come to an abrupt halt. But the show definitely stuck to its racist agenda during Tuesday’s final episode, “Homegoing,” as the Johnson family said goodbye to their home in Sherman Oaks because the neighborhood was too white.
At the start of the episode, the Johnson’s neighbor Janine assumes the family is moving when she sees a ton of boxes piling up in the driveway, and she stops by to offer help. Janine was always a cartoon of a tone deaf and annoyingly white woman, who has no idea how racist she is. Every white character in the series is exactly like Janine, which makes it clear how they feel about white people.
Dre (Voiceover).: Okay. Okay. A black man who has discovered a way for him to go from being broke to living in the OaksWithout a jump shot or any number one hit, Tyler Perry is not Tyler Perry. For the winWith my intelligent, beautiful wife I created a place for myself where we have raised five amazing children as well as looked after our parents. While I was raised in Compton as a child, it wasn’t the only place where I grew up. Now I live the American Dream.
Janine: Hey, Johnsons! Because I was struck by the amount of hubbub over there, I felt compelled to help.
DreJanine: WOW! That is a lot of wine bottles you have.
Janine: I do host many book clubs on Zoom. But, what are you doing? A little pool of betting is going on around the area. I earn extra points for being in Atlanta.
Dre: Okay, uh, Janine…
Janine: It’s true that the neighbourhood won’t be the same without your presence, but something is special about this dirty South.Are you right?
Dre (Voiceover).: Well, Perhaps I had the American Dream because this is what happens all day.
Janine: This is Superman. Whoo!
It wasn’t that long ago that main character Dre (Anthony Anderson) claimed the American dream is available to everyone, unless you’re black, but okay. Janine is then told by Dre that Janine’s parents have been moving. That’s when we get to see more of his racial paranoia, believing the neighbors talk behind his back because he’s black and that white people see black neighbors as “oddities” worthy of a tour bus destination:
DreThese boxes belonged to my parents. They’re moving.
Janine: That’s exactly what has been going on. Nextdoor has seen a lot of discussion about the many boxes that are coming in and the empty boxes. The meth camper is just sitting there in the driveway.
Dre: It’s not happening. Okay? It’s been 17 years since we moved here, and it has made us very happy.
Bow: Yes. I am very happy.
Dre: We’re not going anywhere. Actually, it seems that I could just as well buy the whole block. Is that right? Diane receives a home, Jack gets one, and Junior, Devante, can each get their own. There you go. It’s Johnsonville.
Janine: Alright, fine. I understand now. Sorry for the confusion. Wait a second. Oh. Hey, Debbie. Yes, we– I don’t mean I will ask. Would you say no to an offer of all-cash?
DreJanine: No, we aren’t leaving! Let’s go, Janine! Let’s go.
PopsIt’s your knowledge. This crazy, white woman reminded meIt is time to buy more wine.
Ruby: Oh, absolutely.
Dre (Voiceover).: It was 17 years since we lived on the same street. The whole neighbourhood kept whispering to us about our existence. Since we arrived, we felt like we were strange.
Guide to Tours: If you turn your head to the left you will see the majestic and mythical black family. They are now thriving outside their natural environment.
Dre (Voiceover).: We are not easily shaken. They will see. My house will be painted black. [Bleep] it.
Mr. Stevens: Okay. Okay. Okay.
As the saying goes, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” I don’t know any white people that look at black neighbors any differently than they do their white ones.
And why isn’t Janine just a “crazy lady?” Why does her race need to be mentioned? If we literally flipped the script, viewers would be outraged to hear “crazy black lady,” and rightfully so. There’s nothing humorous about actual racism, no matter who the target is.
Dre finally decides that he needs to change his life. Bow (Tracee Ross Ellis Ross), Dre’s wife, agrees to move into a black area.
Dre: I need to talk with you.
Dre: Okay, I got to tell you. I believe I have to do something big.
Bow: Please, God, stop with the hand tattoos.
Dre: Hey, babe, I’m serious. See what is happening.
Dre: Janine made a stupid question and I am about to take half the block. Devante was given a bad assessment and it almost cost me my life. Babe, right now I am in a state where everything is being questioned.
Bow: You too Dre. Between the election, and the pandemic it’s only making me think about what is important.
DreBabe: Life is too short not to chase what you want.
DreSimone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is my opinion.
Bow: Simone Biles?
Dre: Mm-hmm. She came to my workplace today and said that she wanted to end my life.
Dre: Yes, she did. So now, ask your heart what it’s telling you.
Bow: This is a sham.
Dre: Boom! It’s me, my girl. Yes!
Bow: This house should be sold and we need to move into a better neighborhood.
Bow: Really. Imagine Devante growing up with successful black women and men who were not his parents. We’ve done Sherman Oaks. It was great. It was amazing. However, I feel it is time to move on.
Dre: Let’s do it. You’ve always had my back.
I guess their pro-segregationist decision isn’t surprising given the show’s history, like when Pops complained he couldn’t enjoy his favorite diner anymore because white people started going there. But it’s still disappointing. Things get even worse when Dre and Bow make the shocking announcement that they are moving their family.
Dre (Voiceover).Bow and me were thrilled about the future. Now all we had to do was inform our family.
Diane: So, WeWe’re going to the top.
Dre: It’s not the Hood. No.You might recognize Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights or View Park as the locations where “Insecure” is filmed.
Pops: Oh. Oh.
RubyMy baby wouldn’t make it there. His diabetes would skyrocket from all the sweet teas and cobbler.
Bow: We have talked about being on guard as men for years. Moving to a neighborhood with black residents will allow us to relax.
Do you need to shave?: Exactly. How do you know what I look like when I get home?
Diane: Eh. I’m not referring to the vein, which looks as if it could jump from your forehead at any moment.
Bow: Oh my God. It’s amazing how much there is to be had, my friends. We don’t have to become their friend if we live with black neighbors. They can be judged by their content.
Junior: Oh. That was probably a shot taken at the Amukamoras.
DreIt’s your knowledge. If I left Devante out before driving to the park I would not be known for being a bad dad. It would be a terrible dad.
DianeWhat is the origin of this?
Jack? : Yes, I believe you did. “Our ancestors were too strong to let us live in the exact same zip code as check-cashing places.
Dre: Yeah, This is because my whole life was told that I would be able to achieve success if we moved. This was false.You might be skeptical. Let’s wait until we look at the places. You’ll then understand exactly what I mean.
Diane: No, I doubt it. Und ich möchte, dass der Prozess des Emancipation beginnt.
Dre (Voiceover).We needed to convince them. We listened to our hearts and knew that it would take us somewhere special.
Bow: This is how following your heart should look like.
Interesting to see the couple reassuring their kids that they aren’t moving to “the hood,” considering the show once spent an entire episode defending it and accusing white people of being afraid to live there because they’re racist.
But to teach their kids they can’t judge white people by the content of their character or have any real friendships with them was absolutely appalling, and goes against everything Martin Luther King, Jr. ever fought for.
The saddest part is this isn’t just television. Black-ish may finally be over, but its hateful, divisive, and racist messaging is still spreading across this country, and it’s awful to see. It is our responsibility to make sure enough people are able to see the message and take action before it spreads further.
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