Some days, I wake up and I see everything from a lens of stagnancy rather than my usual cup of progress. I see yet another TV show trailer advertising a sitcom that will chronicle the glory days of white families from a bygone era, and inevitably backwards on the timeline of racial equality. I see the reoccuring minority character in a favorite sitcom and wonder why they didn’t have any lines, or why the other one is not independent and strong.
The jokes start to bother me. On any other day, I would filter them out and keep watching, but now the self-hating jokes make the show inpallitable – in this moment, I just can’t keep watching.
All the nuance I appreciate, the ‘progress’ of a minority character that is finally not an offensive charicature, I can no longer see in place of my recognition of the shallowenss of that character’s story. Why do the white characters get to have varied, nuanced experiences, complex backstories, varied socio-economic backgrounds, and emotional and situational storylines that reflect their diverse and complex life experiences, and not the minority characters?
I shouldn’t have to explain myself and list out the awesomely diverse characters that are out there. I should be able to be upset that something that should be there, that should be a given, isn’t. On most days, I am appreciative and supportive, but on some days… I just can’t be.
Some days, I wake up and I think like this. I can’t take it – I have to step away.
Today, I am going to step away, and I am going to go write the stories that I wish that I could see, the stories that I think I deserve.