Analysis Of Dear White People

Decent Essays

In Season 1, Episode 5 of the The Netflix Original Series: Dear White People released on April 28, 2017, Reggie, a black college student and the leader of Winchester University’s Black Student Union is seen at a fraternity party surrounded by mostly white students. All is well until Reggie’s white friend, Addison, repeatedly utters the N-word while singing along to a hip-hop song. Reggie asks him not to say it anymore however, Addison questions him and attempts to justify his use of the word which leads to a debate. The creator of Dear White People uses characterization and setting to convey how non-Black people-especially white people- who use the N-word regardless of whether or not they understand its historical context, reinforce the notion that Black people are inferior which helps to maintain white supremacy.
Addison’s internalized white privilege is shown when Reggie first asks Addison to no longer say the N-word. When Addison questions, “Wait, so it’s bad if I’m just repeating what’s in the song?” it becomes clear that Addison is portrayed as unsympathetic in the text because he is unaware of the dehumanizing power the term has on Black people in America. Since the N-word is more commonly used as slang now in our society, he believes that it is acceptable for him to say, however, what he does not realize is that violence will always be present in the word when used by non-Black people even if it is said without malicious intent. Due to the fact that the N-word has

Get Access