“What Would You Do?” – The Angry Black Woman Edition
So, there’s this video floating around my social media streams from the popular TV Show “What Would You Do?” This show sets up scenarios to see how regular everyday folks react to scenarios in which you would be called to help, protect or speak up for someone in need. Usually, that someone is from a marginalized group. I’ve seen clips from the show involving a drunk girl in a bar with strange men, a small child separated from their parents, and a bike being stolen. All real life scenarios in which the kindness and decency of strangers could make or break the situation, right?
But this most recent video I’ve seen rubbed me the wrong way. And after watching it a couple of times and firing off a few tweets about it, I realized why: IT IS SOME HOT BUTTERED GARBAGE. That’s why it ain’t curl all the way over for me…it’s some mess.
In this particular WWYD scenario, a Black Man has his White Girlfriend meet him at a Black barbershop up in Harlem. When she arrives, she is met with some not-so-nice words from a Black Woman working as a stylist in the shop. Mind you, they are all actors:
In the video, there are people who rush to speak up for and defend the White Girlfriend. They tell the Black Woman how much of a “hater” she is and waste no time informing her of her “ignorance.” There are others that sit idly by and say nothing. There’s even a guy that ALMOST gets up to…do something I don’t know. It doesn’t matter since Brandy taught us that almost doesn’t count. Some people I’ve seen commenting on the video have said it’s “powerful” and quite moving. I was just like “Meh.” Something about it didn’t sit well with me! I mean, I get it…the Black Woman was very rude to the White Girlfriend. Unnecessarily so. It was almost embarrassing to see a Black woman behave like that.
But then it hit me: I’ve NEVER seen a Black woman react like that to seeing a Black Man with a white/”Other” woman. Not once in all my days. I’ve never reacted like that, none of my friends have in my company and I’ve never seen a random scenario play out like that anywhere. And I live in Washington, D.C. where is there NO SHORTAGE on Black men out n’ about with non-Black women on their arms. I wondered to myself “Where They Do That At??”
Nowhere, that’s where. And this video is trash. Let me give you a few reasons why:
This scenario of Black Women “going off”in this manner when they see a Black man with a non-Black woman RARELY happens. We are not shocked or appalled by it. We’ve seen it so much over time that we can’t even be bothered to make that much of a big deal about it. #Unbothered #IDGAF
I feel like this scenario is set up to lend credence to the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype in which so many people of all ethnicities tend to take comfort. I mean, people believe the narrative that supports their bullshit. This “proves” that Black women are “angry”, “bitter” and all that other crap that explains why we ain’t even got a man in the first place. Black Girls stay mad, right?
No, actually we’re pretty damn care-free in this instance.
This particular scenario also places the Delicate Flower of White Womanhood in the Scary Dark Black location of a Harlem barbershop, unable to speak up for herself when “attacked” by the Mean Angry Black Girl. She also has a Sorry Ass Black Boyfriend that doesn’t bother to defend her from the Mean Angry Black Girl. OH DEAR, OH DEAR…WHATEVER IS SHE TO DO???
Stereotypical?? Yes indeed. If I were a white woman, I’d be offended.
Lastly, I feel like a lot of the overflowing sympathy and “OMG SO MUCH POWERFUL VERY MOVED TO TEARS WE’RE ALL HUMAN DOT COM” commentary I’m seeing in response to this video is because the “victim” here is a white woman. And we know how much protection and sympathy they need because #AngryBlackWoman.
We know it’s all fake anyway, but this right here is EXTRA fake. It’s something that never really happens staged to paint Black women as Eviliene from The Wiz. It’s so late and so tired. This WWYD show is so wiggity-wiggity wack for this. I’m over this kind of anti-Black woman propaganda.
The sad thing about this entire episode is that the TRUTH of who Black women are is displayed in the reactions of the women who stood up for the maligned White Girlfriend and NOT in the actor’s scripted reaction to her being with the Black Man. But that will be lost on those dedicated to seeing us in a certain way.