It’s getting all political up in the ATL in this season of BRAVO’s Real Housewives of Atlanta. In the December 20, 2015, episode entitled “Miami Spice,” Phaedra Parks and Sheree Whitfield, both mothers of sons, introduced a political thread into the series. Sitting together and grousing about the plight of young black men in today’s society, Phaedra stated, “They are already an endangered species,” and choked up as she recounted that she “sat with Michael Brown's mom in St. Louis.”
The #blacklivesmatter #SJW (Social Justice Warriors) emerged. For good measure, Phaedra brought in the name of Sandra Bland, too. Phaedra generalized that “white women in suburbia” feel threatened at the sight of young black men, as Sheree chimed in that “African Americans can be in any area and something bad happens.” They agreed on the importance of moms talking to sons about public behavior. Not mentioned, however, was anything about the more prevalent social problem of black on black crime.
In Sunday’s episode, “Ms. Parks Goes to Washington,” Phaedra hosts a girls trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March and to lobby for her own organization, Save Our Sons. Her friends with male children, Sheree, Kim Fields – you may remember her from the 80’s sitcom Facts of Life – and Porsha Williams – granddaughter of late Civil Rights era activist, Hosea Williams – come along. Phaedra says she wants her sons to know what happens when people come together for change, while Porsha says she wants to "get my march on and get my Olivia Pope on.” Yeah, Porsha isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
Phaedra’s friend in the White House arranges a meeting for them with Rep. Fredrica Wilson (D-FL), who is wearing the latest in gaudy patriotic attire – “I’m living for this flaming Uncle Sam,” says Phaedra. (This from the woman who nicknamed her sons “Mr. President” and “the Prince,” as she wants them to dream big.)
The Congresswoman proceeds to tell her visitors that “people do not like African American boys” and tells a story about a boy asking her where “the jail for white people” is. Kim walks out, not wanting her eight-year-old son to hear such messages from other adults. While Phaedra, who has a husband in federal prison, doesn’t want to “sugar coat” such stories, Kim chooses to act as a filter for her children and talk to them with her husband directly. Go Kim!
Later, members of the Congressional Black Caucus join Phaedra and her pals for lunch, including Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), who declares herself a voice for the aggrieved young people. “Our children are not going to have the door shut on them,” the early-declared supporter of Hillary Clinton says.
At the Million Man March, none other than Louis Farrakhan invites Phaedra to sit on the stage as a VIP because she is an advocate for mothers of slain sons. “It takes a village.” Yes. She really said that. Also speaking at the march was Trayvon Martin’s mother, who now makes a small business out of her son’s death.
All lives matter. What a shame that a reality show full of pampered, privileged, liberal black women took a turn into victimhood using sound bites and phony, discredited accusations. It would have been more productive for Phaedra – a lawyer – to talk about teaching her young black sons to respect law enforcement. At least Kim is on the right track.