The show “This Is Us” is a tear jerker of a show and I enjoy watching it. The characters are very well played and I’ve grown to love them, even if I usually get mad at Kate for her endless self pity.
Recently, with the returning seasons of a lot of shows the issue of Covid-19 is dealt with and this is true even with This Is Us, this and the addition of the Black Lives Matter movement and more specifically, George Floyd. It’s how the latter issue was written that I take issue with.
This is not a commentary on the Black Lives Matter movement which I support and will talk about in a future post but only how it was handled by the writers of the show in the Pearsons particular familial situation.
Now there is a lot to talk about, especially regarding Randall and Kate’s interaction. But Im going to focus on Randall and Kate’s conversation as Randall was leaving her house.
Kate asks Randall if they’re good. She tells him she’s worried about him and Beth and the girls. This is where she should have stopped. She shouldn’t have apologized, and why did the writers have her apologize? It’s not her fault the world is the way it is. It’s not even her fault she is unaware of what black people go through on the daily.
So far on the show they’ve shown Kate’s (and the rest of the Pearson family) experience with black people to be mostly with Randall, Beth and their family, and looking in from the outside, Randall and his family paint a beautiful picture. What reason do they give Kate, or anyone else for that matter, to suspect that they’re hurting from, or even know about the inequalities and injustices that they face? Which brings me to my next criticism.
Before moving on however, I’d like to first say that I believe Kate was made to apologize because of some preconceived notion that white people will automatically apologize to black people because of racism or past history, etc etc… And that probably is true for some but not necessarily true for all. And in this instance I feel it doesn’t fit in with the entire narrative that the show has brought to us thus far. More on this in a later post.
My next criticism.
Randall stated that there were things he kept to himself because he didn’t want Kate or the family to feel uncomfortable. Why not? Randall should shoulder some of the responsibility of their ignorance for the fact that he was unwilling to talk to “his family” because they’re white. If this is the case did he ever truly see them as family? He never gave them a chance to care for him more deeply, know him more deeply, or fight for him for being hurt by the prejudices, racism and injustice in the world.
Finally, Randall stated that this was not the first time a black person had been killed on video, and this is true, but it is the first time in a long time that something like this has resonated and touched each one of us in a way that people woke up from their slumber. And slumber here is the daily routine of our lives that we get stuck in, not noticing the world around us, for which we all, of all races, are guilty of.