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He basically told me that he wasn’t racist and that he’s fine with me being black and us dating. Teana: Right after the movie we kind of joked around about it.It made me a little bit uncomfortable but I guess he was just trying to be nice. We saw it with my dad, and we were like, “Surprise!It doesn’t convince people that you can actually relate to what they go through.I’ve been reading a lot of think pieces about how white progressives aren’t really taking away the right lessons from the film, like how they are Rose [Allison Williams’s character, the white girlfriend], and they appear benevolent but in reality they are perpetrating the same social crimes and macro- and microaggressions but automatically identify with the protagonist. The whole time I was cringing at her family because I was like that’s exactly what my family is like.I laughed a lot at the jokes partly because I was so uncomfortable.
I think people saw a strict black-male white-woman romantic relationship, whereas I saw it as more of a black-white relationship in general.
I visited them when I was 7 or 8, when I was much fairer than I am right now, and they thought I was just a tanned white kid.
But when they heard that my father was black they wanted nothing to do with us.
Tarek: One other idea the film brought up is that just because you’re a white liberal and you would have voted for Obama three times if you could, that doesn’t necessarily make you in touch with other people’s experiences.
The idea that, Oh I can totally relate to what you go through and I don’t see you any differently, that typical white liberal language — I don’t think that makes things any easier.