After Sara breaks off the partnership and Chenille confesses their conversation to Derek, she apologizes for inserting herself saying, “You can not help who you love,” and contrasts the down sides of her teen motherhood aided by the implied bliss of his relationship with Sara. By connecting the two sentiments, the film inadvertently reveals from having a loving relationship that it is punishing Chenille for her views by preventing her. The film sees her angry rejection of a woman that is whitestealing” a black colored man as an unfounded belief that needs to be corrected; in reality, Sara and Derek are joyfully back together by the conclusion of the movie. Chenille just isn’t permitted to just bristle at their relationship, she must instead be considered a solitary teen mom who is humbled because she can’t have the daddy of her youngster to cooperate, making her jealous and bitter that a white girl can find joy within an environment that has brought her pain. Once again, the approach that is color-blind love is wholeheartedly endorsed, while the Black ladies who reject it are put as mad, jealous, and violent.
A 2021 episode of Atlanta provides possibly the most egregious example. In “Champagne Papi,” Van (Zazie Beetz) and her friends go to a house that is exclusive supposedly hosted by Drake so that you can meet the rapper and acquire a photograph for Instagram. While here, her friend Tami (Danielle Deadwyler) accosts Sabrina (Melissa Saint-Amand), the white gf of a Ebony male actor attending the party, loudly chastising her for “saddling up along with her Black man accessory” and telling her that she actually is fed up with the cliched tale. Bewildered, Sabrina insists that she actually is only a good woman who discovered a great guy, which only invokes more unhinged ranting from Tami, detailed with swearing, uncomfortably long stares, and wild gesticulation. Naturally, Tami is just a dark-skinned Black girl with natural locks, and Sabrina is blond and soft-spoken.
What makes the scene so jarring is the fact that absolutely nothing Tami says during the relationship is wrong. She talks about Sabrina’s privilege at to be able to “invest early” in a relationship by having a man that has nothing as well as the ways that are disparategood Black women” are viewed in culture. Every thing she claims to Sabrina is really a real representation of Black ladies’ experiences, and yet by choosing to make her distribution so comically overblown, Atlanta dismisses her and her frustration on the intimate politics at play out of control. The show chooses to own her berate a stranger that is literal her dating choices, entirely missing any context for either celebration.
In fact, Tami’s initial reaction earlier in the episode upon seeing the actor that is famous a white gf is, “He could be with a white girl,” priming the viewers to see the later on confrontation as illogical and baseless; her reaction is presented much less an unfortunate mix of intoxicants and built-up social resentment but an unfounded envy of the white female’s Black partner. It is a scene that rankles precisely because it is so cliche. With Atlanta’s reputation for upending and subverting tropes, the relationship seems flat and unexamined; there’s nothing subversive in merely replicating a harmful label. With her aggressive approach and wild-eyed stare, the show presents Tami as a figure to be laughed at and mocked rather than girl fairly pointing out the truth in regards to the racial characteristics of interracial dating.
With all that historical and social baggage in play, what makes Malika’s encounter with Isaac in “Swipe Right” notable isn’t just that the story permitted her become right about their unspoken intimate choice for white ladies, but without flattening her into a stereotype of an irrational or jealous Black woman that it gave her the language she needed to articulate that fact to him. Good trouble did not reduce her suspicions simply and insecurity to “bitterness” as so frequently takes place. Rather, Malika is permitted to express her hurt at being refused on her behalf dark skin, and it is rewarded on her sincerity and understanding by having a sweeping intimate gesture that acts both as penance and a mea culpa. She actually is allowed to own her delighted ending without ever being forced to compromise her politics or accept implicit terms that this woman is lower than, or must be grateful for whatever attention she gets.
Exactly What Good Trouble gets right in its study of this dynamic is the fact that Ebony women’s feelings about Black men dating women that are white complicated and not rooted in bitterness. Covered up in what, yes, perhaps sometimes be residual envy, is the learned comprehending that our Blackness renders us inherently undesirable even to your males who look like us. Males whom grow up with Black mothers, aunts, siblings, and cousins become men whom denigrate the really women who nurtured them. It’s a fact Malika later has to confront head-on when video that is old depicting the unlawfully killed young Black man for who she is seeking justice, making offensive and disparaging remarks about Black females and their fitness as intimate lovers. It’s really a reality that is hurtful she’s forced to face: way too often black colored females show up for Ebony guys without reciprocation. Probably the most susceptible users of the motion are left to complete the lifting that is heavy everyone.
“Swipe Right” takes great pains to validate just what Malika is feeling and never implies that she is overreacting or being overly sensitive and painful in making a justified assumption borne away from her own life experience. It also avoids the trap of showing Isaac’s fascination with light-skinned Black ladies alone; doing so might have only fortified the most popular colorist argument that dark-skinned Black females are uniquely undesirable because they truly are difficult or “unmanageable” and that Isaac was straight to avoid her because she actually is judgmental or aggressive. Also, her frustration is reinforced, affirmed, and echoed by her individual Greek chorus of Ebony women, her best friends Yari (Candace Nicholas-Lippman) and Tolu (Iantha Richardson); a well known fact that is notable in and of itself, offered the media’s tendency in order to make Black women “truly the only one” within a show’s orbit. The show takes Malika’s tenderness at her rejection seriously and treats it as something worthy of sincere consideration, affirming and legitimizing the matter of raced and gendered sexual stereotypes as a truthful experience that many Black women encounter in their dating lives between the three women.
It’s really a refreshing new framework for exactly how this well-worn conversation can unfold, that makes a place to focus Black ladies’ views about their romantic invisibility, as opposed to positioning them as sounding panels against which to justify their exclusion as intimate leads.
Good Trouble Season 2 returns tonight, June 18.