The stars of Netflix’s Dear White People are still riding high as buzz about the show continues.
Creator Justin Simien and star Logan Browning (Sam) stopped by The Huffington Post to break down crucial points about race, touching on why a title like “Dear Black People” isn’t okay and why white people shouldn’t use the n-word.
Simien kicked off the visit by touching on the backlash Dear White People faced early on, particularly trolls who’d ask, “Why is it OK for a show to be called Dear White People? What if someone made a show called ‘Dear Black People’?”
“First of all, it’s an assumption that people are finger wagging or blaming White people and it’s an incorrect assumption,” the show’s creator explained. “It’s actually a show about the experience of being a marginalized group amongst a bigger group that doesn’t necessarily see you. All of American culture is kind of a ‘Dear Black People,’ we’re very aware of where we fit and don’t fit in our culture just by watching television.”
He continues, “On the other side, unfortunately, because oppression is very real in this country, if a White person makes jokes abut Black people that actually effects Black people’s lives.”
Browning and Simien also discussed White people using the n-word. The actress said, “How many things do White people have? How many?! All of the things!”
“They have all of the things. There is this one thing, this one word that Black people took and used as a form of endearment and it’s ours, let us have this one word. There’s so much hatred behind it when it comes from the mouths of others and this is something that we’ve turned into a very special casual term not to be used by everyone.”
Simien added, “We made medicine out of our poison.”