'Blackish' Promotes Segregation on Campus

May 3rd, 2017 11:37 PM

Note to self: segregation is apparently a good thing now. I mean, we should totally be against segregation, unless a minority person says it’s okay, but even then segregation can still be wrong. Confused? ABC’s Blackish does little to help. 

On the May 3 episode “Liberal Arts,” Zoey (Yara Shahidi) attends her college orientation and becomes involved in a brief school scandal when the university president plans to shut down the black dorm Hawkins Hall and she says she agrees and is “firmly against segregation.” That kind of talk doesn’t seem to go well on campus.

Zoey: This is where you live? This is incredible.

Aaron: This is the center of the diaspora. Angela Davis, June Jordan, James Baldwin... Some of our best and brightest have roamed the halls of Hawkins.

Miriam: Your friends sound awesome.

Aaron: My friends? Is she serious?

Zoey: Hold on. Hawkins? Oh, God. This is the segregated dorm.

Aaron: I wouldn't call it segregated, but –

Zoey: No, the Black dorm.

Aaron: Well, yeah. I guess.

Zoey: [ Sighing ] Oh, God. This is what Schock was talking about earlier.

Aaron: You talked to Schock... About Hawkins? I mean, I tried to talk to him earlier, but they said he was with another student.

Zoey: Guess that was me.

Aaron: Okay. Well, what'd he say?

Zoey: He said that he, maybe, might want to shut it down.

Aaron: He said what?

Zoey: [ Whispering ] He might wanna shut it down.

Aaron: Is she okay? Why are you talking like this?

Zoey: Shut it down.

Aaron: Shut it down? Sh-- What? No! I was just gonna ask him to get our upstairs toilet fixed. And now he wants to close us? This can't be -- okay. Well, what did you say? What'd you tell him?

Zoey: [ Lips smack ] Oh. Okay! If I'm being honest... I think I might've said, "Great," and that I was "Firmly against segregation." But, you know, in any other circumstance, that would've been the right answer.

Aaron: Wow! You know, when -- when you showed up with this white chick -- sorry, but you are white -- and you didn't know what the BSU was, I could kinda tell you weren't down, you know, I get it. But I did not think that you were against us.

Miriam: Um, I'm Jewish, and I've actually kissed two black dudes and let one do top stuff, so –

Zoey: Please stop.

Miriam: Gotcha.

Zoey: Okay, I-I'm so sorry. This is all just one big misunderstanding. I had no idea –

Aaron: [ As Zoey ] Of course you had no idea, [Normal voice] Because you're just some mixed chick from, like, Encino, or –

Zoey: Only my mom is mixed, and I'm from Sherman Oaks.

Aaron: You know what? It doesn't matter. This always happens to us, right? Schock wants to shut us down? We'll see about that. We're not going down without a fight. Why? My dad's brother knows Al Sharpton's permit... Okay? I'm talking about his perm guy. The guy that hits him with the -- Makes it straight. But we know him and he will -- we can reach him if need -- It's on, is what I'm saying.

Zoey: Is there anything I can do to help?

Aaron: Yeah, you can, um... Leave.

Miriam: If she's leaving, I'm leaving.

Aaron: Well, of course you're leaving. That was never -- You're serious? No, yeah. You gotta go. I didn't think you were staying.

Voice 1: Thanks for nothing, sellout.

Voice 2: Appreciate your help, loser.

To make amends, Zoey helps Aaron’s cause by later arguing to the university president that the hall isn’t “segregation” but “congregation”…even though people are still separated by race. Does no one stop to think how both black and white figures fought against this kind of thinking less than a century ago? Then again, considering the way Aaron considers white and mixed people, I wouldn’t want to share a dorm with him either, but that would make me racist.

Taking a break from racial politics for once, Blackish does take a minute to mock the “super-specific” aspects of modern academia from a Social Justice Dance Squad (seriously) to tour guide Stacy, a proud “tri-racial gender-fluid panoramic demisexual” who uses the pronoun “they.” I would like to say they’re parodying things, but now I’m no longer sure.