This Problematic Viral Video: White Girl in the Barbershop

Perhaps you’ve seen this video going around on Facebook:

Everyone seems to be impressed and moved and singing its praises. 
Not me. 
Let me tell you why…

There is absolutely zero conversation about why a black woman might have these feelings toward a white woman, particularly in a black barbershop. The complex (and often troubling) social relations between black and white women (as social positions) go completely uninterrogated and, instead, that complex reality is flattened into a fake, one-dimensional portrayal of “reverse racism” between two individuals. The starting point is all wrong.

Additionally, I think this video functions to perpetuate a colorblind-bootstrap-politic of respectability. In other words: This white girl has nothing to do with the everyday racism black folks encounter, and these black people should let it go, get over it, and figure out how to move on with life without saying anything to white people.
Can I just got ahead and call bullshit?

Let me be clear. No one should be subjected to ridicule or mistreatment in any space…black, white, green, whoever….barbershop, grocery store, welfare line, corporate office…wherever.  Indeed, the actor’s behavior toward the white woman was inappropriate….and it was also unlikely! Just keep that in mind.

In conclusion, I think this video was silly, unhelpful in race relations, and totally lacking in sophistication when it comes to making sense out of interracial interaction.

The end.


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