Here's How "Black-ish" Tackled The Emotions Of Trump's America
"What happens when the winners and the losers are supposed to be on the same team?"
On Jan. 11, Black-ish took on a topic that's been on the minds of a lot of people in the US and beyond: the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
The episode approached the issue using the same format the show's built on, with each character holding different opinions on the topic, and then discussing and debating from their points of view.
"At the end of the day, no one wants to be on the losing side of an upset," Dre (Anthony Anderson) narrates at the beginning of the episode. "But what happens when the winners and the losers are supposed to be on the same team?"
The episode, titled "Lemons," shows tensions rising all over the place, like at Junior (Marcus Scribner) and Zoe's (Yara Shahidi) high school, where a white student starts chanting "ship her back" at a Spanish teacher.
And at Dre's workplace, he and his co-workers find themselves frequently distracted from a big pitch by discussion of the election.
Eventually, they take to blaming each other for the results.
Throughout the episode, multiple characters grapple with the election results and their place in Trump's America. At one point, one character — Lucy, played by Catherine Reitman — reluctantly admits she's one of the 53% of white women voters who voted for Trump.
And she goes on to explain her reasoning:
And soon, Dre — who'd remained uncharacteristically silent on the matter up until that point — lays bare the betrayal he feels, not only from the election results, but from the conversations in its wake.
Here's his full monologue:
You don't think I care about this country? I love this country, even though at times it doesn't love me back. For my whole life, my parents, my grandparents, me — for most black people, this system has never worked for us. But we still play ball, try to do our best to live by the rules even though we knew they would never work out in our favors. Had to live in neighborhoods that you wouldn't drive through; send our kids to school with books so beat up you couldn't read them; worked jobs that you wouldn't even consider in your nightmares.
Black people wake up every day believing that our lives are going to change, even though everything around us says it's not. Truth be told, you ask most black people and they'd tell you that no matter who won this election, they didn't expect the hood to get better. But they still voted, because that's what you're supposed to do.
You don't think I'm sad that Hillary didn't win? That I'm not terrified about what Trump's about to do? I'm used to things not going my way. I'm sorry that you're not and it's blowing your mind, but excuse me if I get a little offended that I didn't see all of this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people since we were stuffed on boats in chains. I love this country as much if not more than you do, and don't you ever forget that.