Last week, a polarizing 16-year-old Black teenager appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss why she hated anything involved with being Black. Treasure Richards’ comments reeked of self-hate, as she called black people monkeys and ghetto.
“Most African-Americans speak ghetto, and when it comes to Black people, I think they’re all ugly, and I have nothing in common with them. I act and think like a white person, instead of a Black person,” Treasure said. “When I think about African-Americans, I feel like asking them, ‘What is wrong with them’? They’re really dangerous.”
Treasure’s mother, Monique Richards, and her brother, Kendal Richards, appeared on the show to seek help for their family member. At the top of the show, Monique took some of the blame as to why Treasure hated black people, because she alleged that she lied to Treasure about her biological father, and eventually disclosed to Treasure that she wasn’t biracial.
Most people were in disbelief that a Black girl could harbor so much self-hate towards other Black people, but no one was in more disbelief than 25-year-old Nina Richards, Treasure’s older sister.
In an exclusive with ESSENCE, Nina is now speaking out against the lies her family purported on Dr. Phil’s show, and how Treasure and her mother only appeared on the show for the free trip and to become a meme.
“I knew they were going to L.A. but I didn’t know what it was about,” Nina said, when asked if she knew about their Dr. Phil appearance. “They told us they weren’t allowed to say what the show was about. I thought it was something she actually did in her real life.”
And by real life, Nina means that Treasure is currently on the run from Michigan’s Child Protective Services, after dropping out of school and being a ward of the state.
“Treasure stopped going to school for a very long time. She’s into a lot of craziness. She puts herself out there, she has all of these hustles. She’s banned from CVS. She’s done a lot,” Nina stated.
When it comes to Treasure’s appearance on Dr. Phil, it definitely wasn’t something the 16-year-old orchestrated on her own. Nina says her mother wanted the free trip, and her brother was basically along for the ride. But what pisses Nina off even more, is that her deceased father’s name and reputation was ruined.
William Richards, who was a white man, died in 2006, and had his photo shown on national television. Monique apparently lied about the fact that Treasure never knew he wasn’t her biological father. According to Nina, her siblings always knew he wasn’t their biological father, but he was the one who raised them.
“They disgraced my dad who I loved dearly. I haven’t spoken to my mom since the episode aired. My mom and I have had a relationship very rocky, because she’s done a lot of evil stuff,” Nina said. “Treasure always knew who her biological dad was, when it came to daddy (William), he was a very loving and kind man. All of that narrative of her not knowing she wasn’t white, is fake. He loved us and was such a loving person and seeing his picture his picture slapped all over television was a disgrace.”
And what else is fake, according to Nina? The fact that Treasure hates anything that has to do with Black people. If you take a look at Treasure’s Facebook page, you can clearly see she has Black friends, and even wrote about supporting Black Lives Matter. And guess who else might have known about Treasure and her family being a fraud? An unnamed producer of Dr. Phil’s show who left a comment on a now-deleted Facebook post.
“It’s a disgrace to our family and our race. We are a Black family. Very Black. We’re Detroit Black. For my mom to allow this, is a mind f-ck to all of us,” she says.
“Dr. Phil’s people did not care. They wanted to spin this narrative. This is why I believe everyone on that show’s staff is a racist. Dr. Phil corrected my sister for saying “retard” is a derogatory word, but never corrected her on saying ni–ers,” Nina continued. “As a proud makeup artist, who promotes Black beauty, it offended me to hear my sister talk about Black women the way she did. My mom raised me to be a proud Black woman, and the love of Black culture was always there.”
So what happens now to Nina and the rest of the Richards family? Nina’s main goal is to set the record straight about her sister, and to make sure her father’s good name isn’t ruined. But she also wants to get help for her sister.
“I’m calling CPS today. She needs to do some hard time in juvvie and sit down and be in a controlled area. She doesn’t want help from a regular family household. Being in a controlled area is for her own good because there are people who want to hurt her now. People online have been sending her death threats and want to know where she lives. People from her school know where she is. Her life is at stake at this point,” Nina said.
It’s crazy to think that the need for viral fame and to become a meme has sent a family’s life spiraling out of control. But what Treasure and her mom may not realize, is that Black people aren’t afforded the viral fame like white people. Treasure isn’t going to become the “Catch Me Outside Girl” and secure a record deal. The only thing she’s going to catch is being the butt of a few jokes, until someone else attempts the next viral attempt.
ESSENCE has reached out to the Dr. Phil show for a comment.