The ABC sitcom “Black-ish” came out with one of the more explicit commentaries of any scripted show on the election of Donald Trump with its episode Wednesday night, “Lemon.” And critics are piling on praise for it.
The Emmy-nominated show, which has previously addressed Black Lives Matter and police violence, used the character Dre’s workplace to talk about the presidential election. All of Dre’s coworkers except for one voted for Hillary Clinton. When pressed for an explanation, that Trump voter, Lucy, comes off as reasonable:
“I’m not some crazy right-wing nut you guys. I voted for Obama, twice. I even got my Republican parents to vote for him. He felt different. I believed he was gonna change stuff. But it’s eight years later. My dad’s still out of work. My hometown’s about to go under. And Hillary comes out saying she’s basically going to keep everything the same. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me and my family.”
Dre doesn’t speak much until another coworker asks him why he “doesn’t care” what’s happening to the country, which causes him to launch into a monologue about the disappointment of black Americans and why he loves the US that’s impressively delivered by actor Anthony Anderson:
“I love this country even though at times it doesn’t love me back. For my whole life my parents, my grandparents, me, for most black people, this system has never worked for us. But we still play ball, tried to do our best to live by the rules even though we knew they would never work out in our favour, had to live in neighbourhoods that you wouldn’t drive through, send our kids to schools with books so beat up you couldn’t read them, work jobs that you wouldn’t consider in your nightmares.
“Black people wake up every day believing our lives are gonna change even though everything around us says it’s not. Truth be told, you ask most black people and they tell you no matter who won the election, they don’t expect the hood to get better. But they still voted because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
“You think I’m not sad that Hillary didn’t win? That I’m not terrified about what Trump’s about to do? I’m used to things not going my way. I’m sorry that you’re not and it’s blowing your mind, so excuse me if I get a little offended because I didn’t see all of this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people since we were stuffed on boats in chains. I love this country as much — if not more — than you do. And don’t you ever forget that.”
Anderson’s Andre walks out of the conference room on the show, but he adds a hopeful note in a voiceover:
“I’ve been lucky enough to raise four beautiful children in a world that showed them Jay Z and Beyoncé as king and queen, a black family in the White House, and a woman run and almost win the presidency of the United States. So if you ask me if I love America, the answer is yes. Warts and all. Can it be better? I hope so. And I hope that we as a people have it in us to come together and make lemonade out of our lemons.”
A lot of viewers and critics were quick to call it a phenomenal episode for the show, and a moment that sums up many Americans’ feelings after the election.
You can watch the scene above and watch the whole episode via ABC here.
I know there will end up being a backlash to the backlash of the backlash’s backlash for tonight’s Blackish but that episode was terrific.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 12, 2017
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