After eight seasons of divisive and hateful propaganda, ABC’s sitcom black-ish has finally come to an end. 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 has always been a caricature of a tone-deaf, annoying white woman who is unaware of how racist she sounds.
In fact, every white character on the show is just like her, making it obvious how the creators feel about white people:
Dre (Voiceover): Okay. So, I'm just your standard, regular, incredibly handsome, unbelievably charismatic black dude who's found a way to actually go from broke to the Oaks without a jump shot, number-one hit, or being Tyler Perry. Against the odds, I made a home for myself with my beautiful and intelligent wife where we've raised five great kids and looked after my parents. I may have grown up just a kid from Compton, but now I'm living the American Dream.
Janine: Hey, Johnsons! I couldn't help but notice all the hubbub happening over here, so I thought I would do my part and help out.
Dre: Wow, Janine, uh, that's a lot of wine boxes you have there.
Janine: Well, I host a lot of book clubs...on Zoom. Anyway, where are you guys moving? There's a little betting pool going on in the neighborhood, and I get extra points if it's Atlanta.
Dre: Okay, uh, Janine...
Janine: I mean, the neighborhood's not gonna be the same without you, but there is something about that dirty South! Am I right?
Dre (Voiceover): Well, maybe I was living the black American Dream, because stuff like this still happens every day.
Janine: I'm gonna Superman that! 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. Dre goes on to explain to Janine that his parents are the ones 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:
Dre: These boxes are my parents'. They're moving.
Janine: Oh, that's what's been happening. Well, there has been a lot of chatter on Nextdoor about all the boxes coming in, all the boxes coming out, the meth camper just sitting in the driveway.
Dre: We're not moving. Okay? We've lived here for 17 years, and we are very happy.
Bow: Yes, very happy.
Dre: We are not leaving. As a matter of fact, I think I might just buy up the whole block. All right? Diane gets a house, Jack gets a house, Junior and Devante can split one. Okay, there you have it. Now it's Johnsonville.
Janine: All right, well, I'm -- I get it now. I'm sorry about the misunderstanding. Hold on one second. Oh. Hey, Debbie. We-- I mean, I'll ask. So, you would definitely say no to an all-cash offer?
Dre: We're not leaving, Janine! Come on, babe. Let's go.
Pops: You know, this crazy white woman reminds me, we need to get some more wine.
Ruby: Oh, absolutely.
Dre (Voiceover): 17 years on the same street, and the whole neighborhood was still whispering about us behind our backs. Ever since we moved in, there's always been a sense that we were oddities.
Tour Guide: And if you look to your left, you'll see the mythical and majestic black family. Out of their natural habitat and yet still thriving.
Dre (Voiceover): Well, we're not so easily shaken. We'll show them. I'm gonna paint my house black. [Bleep] it.
Mr. Stevens: All right. Okay. Not exactly the tagline that I expected you to come up with for an ice cream ad featuring Simone Biles, but, uh, why don't we ask her what she thinks.
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 eventually decides he wants to make some changes in his life. His wife Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) agrees and suggests they move to a black neighborhood:
Dre: I gotta talk to you.
Dre: All right, uh...I got to tell you something. I think I need to make some sort of big change.
Bow: Oh, God, please not the hand tattoos again.
Dre: Hey, babe, I'm serious. Look at what's happening.
Dre: I'm about to buy up half the block because Janine asked a dumb question. I almost took our kids out of school because Devante got one bad evaluation. Babe, I'm in a place right now where I'm questioning everything.
Bow: Me too, Dre. I mean, between the election and the pandemic, it's just making me reconsider...what's important.
Dre: Babe, life is too short to not go after what you really want.
Bow: I agree.
Dre: So, I think we should listen to four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
Bow: Simone Biles?
Dre: Mm-hmm. She came up to my work today, and she told me to blow up my life.
Dre: Yes, she did. So, what's your heart telling you to do?
Bow: I think we should blow this bitch up.
Dre: Boom! That's my girl. Yes!
Bow: I think we should sell this house...And move to a black neighborhood.
Bow: Really. Can you imagine if Devante got to grow up around successful black men and women that were not in his family? We've done Sherman Oaks. Like, we did it, and it was good. It was great. But I just think it's time for us to do something new.
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. When Dre and Bow announce their decision to move their family, things get shockingly worse:
Dre (Voiceover): Bow and I were excited about our new future. All we needed to do now was tell our family.
Diane: So, we're moving to the hood.
Dre: Not the hood. No. You know, View Park, Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, or one of those other neighborhoods where they film "Insecure."
Pops: Oh. So, neighbor lady talking about Atlanta got inside your head, huh?
Ruby: My baby would never make it down there. All that sweet tea and cobbler would send his diabetes through the roof.
Bow: Guys, we have always been talking about how on guard we are. If we move to a black neighborhood, we can relax.
Dre: Exactly. You know how I come home, and it looks like I've been through a 10-round boxing match?
Diane: Eh. I mean, I do notice the vein that looks like it's always ready to jump out your face.
Bow: Oh, my God. There's just so much upside, you guys. If we have black neighbors, we're not obligated to be their friends. We can just judge them by the content of their character.
Junior: Oh. I feel like that was a shot at the Amukamoras.
Dre: You know, if I were to leave Devante outside before I drove to the park, I wouldn't be known as a bad black dad. I'd just be known as a bad dad.
Diane: Where did this even come from?
Jack: Yeah, you said, and I quote, "Our ancestors fought way too hard for us to live in the same zip code as a check-cashing place."
Dre: Yeah, that's because I was told my entire life that I needed to move out of our neighborhood if I wanted to succeed. But that was not true. I know you're skeptical. Wait until we start looking at places. Then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Diane: I don't think I will. And I would like to start the process of emancipation.
Dre (Voiceover): So, we had some convincing to do. But we were listening to our hearts, and we knew it would lead us to someplace special.
Bow: If this is what following your heart looks like, then this is not bad, Dre.
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. All we can do is pray that enough people see through it and stand up to it before it infects our culture any further than it already has.
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