ABC's 'Blackish': 'Black People Aren't Republicans'; Don't Want to be 'Uncle Tom'

Wednesday's episode of ABC sitcom Blackish treated Republican African Americans as abnormality that could not be tolerated. Father Dre Johnson, played by actor Anthony Anderson, began the show by proclaiming: "There are certain things in life that are just true. Fact: The Earth revolves around the Sun. Fact: Two times two is four. And fact: Black people aren't Republicans. We just aren't. We vote for Democrats."

He added: "Sure, the other side may trot out a token black face every now and again, but the fact of the matter is, being a black Republican is something we just don't do."

The cold open concluded with oldest son Junior, played by Marcus Scribner, revealing to his father: "I joined the Young Republicans club at school." A shocked Dre drops the glass he is holding.

In the next scene, a worried Dre tells his wife Bow: "We have a problem. Junior is a Republican." Bow Johnson, played by Tracee Ellis Ross, is so deep in denial that she misunderstands him several times until he explains: "Ronald Reagan. Ann Coulter. Fox News. Tea Party! Bow! Republican!"

Bow reacts in complete disgust: "Republican?...No!....We don't do that, Dre! We are compassionate liberals who believe in tolerance, acceptance, open-" Dre interrupts: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. But we're black, alright? That's all that matters. We're black." Bow demands: "When did he start believing that immigrants should go back across the border, that evolution doesn't exist?!"

The same bit is repeated with Dre's mother Ruby, played by Jennifer Lewis, who, after finally accepting the news, wails: "No, he can't be a Republican! [Crying] Oh, my God! Not a Republican! Oh, Jesus! Black Jesus! Sarah Palin!"

Later in the show, Dre shares the development with his co-workers, asserting: "Look, you can do anything, but you can't be a black Republican. They are not down for us, so we are not down for them." His boss Mr. Stevens, played by Peter MacKenzie, pushes back: "Are you saying all Republicans are racist?" Dre replies: "No, of course not." Then he lowers his voice and says to fellow African American Charlie: "But they are." Charlie, played by Deon Cole, warns: "Look, you just gotta do something about Junior. You don't want him to end up an Uncle Tom."

The episode does depict Dre and Bow confronting their own intolerance and prejudice toward black Republicans, but the overall tone is clear: An African American being a conservative Republican is the ultimate betrayal.

It's not the first time the show has strayed into politics. The April 22 episode featured younger daughter Diane, played by Marsai Martin, dressed up as her "hero" Sarah Palin for a school project – much to Dre's revulsion.

Here are excerpts of the May 13 episode:

9:30 PM ET

DRE JOHNSON [ANTHONY ANDERSON]: There are certain things in life that are just true. Fact: The Earth revolves around the Sun. Fact: Two times two is four. And fact: Black people aren't Republicans. We just aren't. We vote for Democrats. And it's not just an Obama thing. He could have dropped-kicked this baby and I still would have voted for him. But black people also overwhelmingly backed this guy [Picture of Mike Dukakis], this guy [picture of Al Gore]. Get down, now. Hell, 91% of black people voted for this guy [picture of Walter Mondale]. Fact: 91% of Walter Mondale's family didn't vote for Walter Mondale.

Sure, the other side may trot out a token black face every now and again, but the fact of the matter is, being a black Republican is something we just don't do.

[To Junior] Ah! Hey, son. How was your day?

JUNIOR [MARCUS SCRIBNER] Oh, great. I joined the Young Republicans club at school.

DRE: Fact: Junior may not be a donkey, but he's definitely an ass.

(...)

DRE: Well, Bow, we have a problem. Junior is a Republican....Ronald Reagan. Ann Coulter. Fox News. Tea Party! Bow! Republican!

BOW JOHNSON [TRACEE ELLIS ROSS]: Republican?

DRE: Yes!

BOW: No!

DRE: Yes!

BOW: No!

DRE: Yes!

BOW: No!

DRE: Yes!

BOW: We don't do that, Dre! We are compassionate liberals who believe in tolerance, acceptance, open-

DRE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. But we're black, alright? That's all that matters. We're black.

BOW: When did he start believing that immigrants should go back across the border, that evolution doesn't exist?!

(...)

RUBY [JENNIFER LEWIS]: Now what's all this fuss about?

DRE: Ma, Junior is a Republican....

RUBY: What's that you say? You say "Re"? As in Republican?!

DRE: Ah-huh.

RUBY: No, he can't be a Republican! [Crying] Oh, my God! Not a Republican! Oh, Jesus! Black Jesus! Sarah Palin!

(...)

DRE: Look, you can do anything, but you can't be a black Republican. They are not down for us, so we are not down for them.

MR. STEVENS [PETER MACKENZIE] Are you saying all Republicans are racist?

DRE: No, of course not. [Under breath] But they are.

JOSH [JEFF MEACHAM] That is bullcrap. My dad's a Republican, and I cannot tell you how often he starts a sentence with, "I'm not a racist, but..."

DEON COLE [CHARLIE]: [Lowered voice] Look, you just gotta do something about Junior. You don't want him to end up an Uncle Tom.

DRE: True that.

(...)

BOW: Hey, junior.

JUNIOR: Hi. Am I in trouble?

BOW: No.

DRE: Yes.

BOW: We just wanna talk to you.

DRE: About the trouble that you're in.

BOW: Dre.

DRE: Son, you cannot become a Republican because of a girl.

JUNIOR: But it's about more than that now. I've been doing some reading, and, Dad, you know how you're always talking about hard work and personal responsibility?

DRE: Mm-hmm.

JUNIOR: Republicans believe the same thing.

DRE: Eh, that's different.

JUNIOR: How?

DRE: Bow?

BOW: Because, we are not close-minded reactionary gun nuts.

JUNIOR: Grandma and Pops are Democrats, and they both have guns.

BOW: In – in this house?

DRE: B-baby.

BOW: What?

DRE: Baby, one crisis at a time, okay? We are Democrats!

BOW: Yes.

JUNIOR: Why?

DRE: Bow?

BOW: Uh, because we believe that government can have a meaningful and positive role in people's lives, and it's not just everyone for themselves.

DRE: And more importantly, we're black.

JUNIOR: Whatever. I'm gonna go get started on my speech.

DRE: Oh, oh, oh, oh! What speech?

JUNIOR: Oh, Hillary's father thinks I should run for president of the young Republicans. He says I'll make a great face of the organization.

BOW: Oh, my God.

BILL MAHER [HBO'S REAL TIME]: And tonight's final guest, the current face of black Republicans, Andre Johnson Jr. Welcome, Andre.

[APPLAUSE]

JUNIOR: It's great to be here, Bill. Let me start by saying, here's what wrong with black people.

(...)

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