Red Table Talk
A few days ago I was scrolling Facebook and noticed there was a new episode of “Red Table Talk”. Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne and her daughter Willow have a show on Facebook called “Red Table Talk” where the three generations discuss topics that are often not talked about….
They talk about em’ around a red table..
Jada discusses masturbation, open marriage, depression. No topic is too taboo. No topic is swept under the rug and that’s why I love this show.
The show gives you a the point of view of each woman. They share their truths and bring in guest to do the same. In doing so they force you to look at yourself.This week the topic of discussion was race. Specifically the racial divide between women of color and white women. The topic right away drew me in because to be honest as an adult I have noticed the divide and often wondered why is this?
The video starts out with the women openly discussing the topic of race and their feelings toward white women. She tells that growing up she always felt that she “hated blonde white women”
She went on to discuss the fact that she experienced several occasions where white women belittled her and society has seemingly put blonde white women on a pedestal as the standard of beauty and how as black woman that’s just always made her feel some type a way and she noticed this about herself when she mentally hesitated getting to know a woman because she was blonde. She assumed the woman “looking down on her” or “belittling her”
I’ve done that. I have thought twice about befriending a woman because she was blonde and I was prejudice.
Growing up in Temecula California this was the standard of beauty
You really didn’t have to much else but exist and be blonde to be considered beautiful and that bothered me. I was NEVER going to be the standard of beauty. I never understood why that was.
I was never outwardly mean to blonde women. I just always internally felt like they had this “pretty privilege” that I would never know anything about.
I hate blonde women
In Temecula all the boys loved blondes. The black guys worshiped blondes so I had no chance there. The Mexican guys lived for blondes.. the Asian guys too if they had a penis they liked blondes..they really didn’t have to be cute at all. They didn’t have to be funny, one girl had the personality of a wheat thin that didn’t matter she was blonde.. you didn’t have to do anything just be blonde… and if they were rich and blonde.. forget about it!
It baffled me all through middle school. If I liked a boy and heard a blonde girl liked him as well.. I knew this chocolate girl was just dust in the wind. I’ve always been one of the guys and I’ve never been one to shy away from a question and I remember asking one of my guy friends “why do guys like blondes? What’s the big deal? We all got boobs.. we all do the same stuff I don’t get it?” And he told me
“I don’t what it is man but blondes are just hotter that’s the way it is. You’re cute but you’ll never be as hot as the blondes don’t even try.”
That statement opened my eyes and I started to notice blondes were everywhere and they just had it easier. That statement also cemented what society had been grooming me to believe
“You’ll never be as hot as the blondes, So don’t even try.”
High school was no different. I was popular. I was pretty. I dated boys… I dated blonde boys. I made it on the hot list.. but on the top of the list.. there was always a blonde. I was never going to be on hottest it was always going to be a blonde.
It just seemed like society always had a way of showing women of color that we were one step beneath the blondes.
I started to hate them a little. For no reason other than their hair and their privilege. I felt these blonde white women had this magic simply because… hair.
It wasn’t fair so in my mind I had this strange protest. I didn’t support blonde women fiction or non fiction 🤷🏾♀️ it’s dumb I know (I’m currently protesting Kanye West in my iPod Shuffle.. I’m weird.)
If the actress in a movie was blonde.. I really couldn’t feel sorry for her or relate to her struggle.
If something happened to a blonde on the news I didn’t care… everyone else already did so why did I have care? didn’t need my sympathy, and they weren’t getting an ounce of it.
I hated the fact I was named after a “Blondie” song
Flaxen colored hair just struck a chord with me. It wasn’t all white women it was BLONDE women.. not bottle blondes.. natural blondes. I had it bad, but like I said only on the inside. I wasn’t out there like starting fights with blondes.. just had my own internal quite riots.
Blondes got no sympathy from me when they fell in scary movies.. I probably even laughed a little myself more than I should have.
That built up a weird prejudice inside of me that I really was cognizant of. Like I said, I wasn’t treating blonde women any differently. Outwardly I was inclusive. I didn’t make remarks.
Some of my best friends were blonde.
I didn’t realize how bad it was until my daughter said
“Mom, I’m half white. I’m a black woman but I’m half white. It hurts my feeling when you make comments about blondes because what if your grandchildren are blonde? What if I was born blonde? Would you not love me the same? Are you going to feel some type of way about them? People can’t control their hair color like you can’t your control skin color. Just because one blonde person did something to you doesn’t make them all bad.”
She was right.
I’m such an advocate for diversity and inclusion. Yet here I was with this ridiculous prejudice of my own.
The Red Table Talk Episode featured Jane Elliot
The teacher who did the famous Brown eyes vs Blue eyes experiment.
On Red Table Talk Jane discusses how race racism was invented by the government to control society. We are all one race and essentially just have an intrinsic need to feel superior to one another but we are all the same.
Jane talks about how The Spanish Inquisition is to blame for racism and superiority based on lightness of skin.
She further details how we all come the same African origins and we are all one.
At the end of the episode the women embrace and call each other “Cousin” and it was so moving.
I have a lot of work to do in terms of coming to grips with my own prejudices and working to become less ignorant.
I am aware of my prejudice and how ignorant they are.. my youngest child has blonde hair.
It’s hard to ignore the pain I’ve felt due to past experiences and trauma. Like Jada and her mother; society my family and friends have shaped my narrative and opinion of blonde women but at the end of the day we are ALL women and we need to come together.
A great portion of this video is about ending the word feminist in favor of the word womanist! I agree! The Red Table Talk video discusses why we need to let go of these differences we have and unify.
There is nothing wrong with women with blonde hair. What’s wrong is ME!
My way of thinking is wrong and that needs to change.
The thing with racism and prejudice is it doesn’t go anywhere if you don’t talk about.
I hate people that say “I don’t see color” that’s awful you should see color! all colors are beautiful and should be talked about.
All colors should be taught about and praised. As the mother of multiracial children I make it a point to openly discuss race and different cultures because my children are of different races and cultures. It’s my duty to teach them where they come from. It’s also my duty to not instill in them my ignorance.The more you learn about the cultures that make you who you are the more tolerant you are. The more understanding.
Jada Pinkett Smith and my own child forced me to see my prejudice and ignorance.
Racism is real. It exist and we need to have open discussion about our differences in order to heal them.
Do I think I my feelings will change over night I hope so it’s really silly the prejudice I have, I will stop assuming blonde women think they’re better than me.. I don’t know them! I don’t know what that woman or the next woman has been through.
I can’t relate to her life as white woman in America but I can relate to her struggle as a woman.
Her “blonde privilege” is really my insecurities and what I’ve been taught. I have to work to undo what I have been taught and what I have trained myself to think. I have to check myself! I have to educate myself. It’s my duty to fight my own ignorance.
I have to fight against what I’ve been taught and learn the truth and unify with all women so we can open dialogues about race and racism. Once we talk about the problem it won’t seem so icky.
Like I said… some of my best friends are blondes.. so they probably didn’t know I had these feelings but I did and it’s something I’m working on.
“Prejudice is the emotional commitment to ignorance.”
I’m no longer emotionally committed to ignorance. I’m letting go of my prejudice and I hope and pray some day others can do the same.
Such a great post, and a needed one. It is really refreshing to see this topic being addressed directly, in a self-reflection rather than an accusation. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with calling people out on their prejudice, however, I think the message is all the more powerful when someone is addressing an issue within themselves rather than casting a blame net. We are all in this together. The only way we overcome it is together. And the best way to help someone else become better is to be better.
So much love for this post!
And for you too!
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Thank you.. it was a tough one to right because it’s hard to admit you’ve been doing something like this but I want to work at it and stop. Thank you for read this I really appreciate it! You are so cool! I love your blog and you just rock! Thank you again for the love.
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This is such a great read mumma!!
It’s hard to face your own prejudices especially when you have built them up for so long, I have had my own that I had to deal with and educate myself to over the years.
You are amazing babe, thank you for always being so ope. ❤️
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Thank you for reading I really appreciate it. Yep everyday is a new day to grow and learn
wow this is such a great read indeed.
i am not sure if i am ignorant or what but honestly i have always ignored the issue of race, i went to a high school with both Indian and white people and it was hard not to feel racism there because it was not something people felt ashamed about. since then i made it a point that it is not something that i would want to deal with, if you talk to me i will definately and same with love also regardless of the the color of your skin.
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First thing out the gate, every person in this world holds some sort of prejudice, fear or even discrimination. It might not be ever present but at one point in our lives we’ll feel some sort of “feeling” towards someone who doesn’t look, act, sound, like us.
That stated, this was an interesting read. I grew up in two countries as a child and one country there was maybe 5% more diversity but both are majority black countries. As a child, blackness was taught; things like “our nation is one built on the pride of our black ancestors” (slavery), our leaders are black and smart, black love is beautiful. That doesn’t mean the idea of white is right didn’t infiltrate, it did in the form of colorism but it wasn’t one of those things where black girls had to fight for the attention or seeing white girls made me want to throw on a Hanna Montana wig.
It’s always fascinating to me when black people have that struggle of white ideals shaping their life. The idea that a blonde white girl is seen as better would have been laughed at during my high school days, but I understand how it could be frustrating. I appreciate you sharing that with us!
As I’ve gotten older and started living in places where white people were “the leaders of the pack” I’ve discovered a large part of the divide is mostly on the part of the white women and white people I’ve interacted with. I’ve always been treated as a curiosity, the relationships were rooted in “I don’t see color” (which is problematic and also in “but why can’t I say the n word?”, “i love me some big black D”, “we’re sistahs” etc. And I find it tiring. I don’t want to be a social experiment, don’t want to fill a quota, I don’t want to be someone’s in to the culture, I don’t want to explain how black hair works. And that’s what friendships with white people always end up being. I am always paraded around as “this is my black friend”.
I don’t ever recall in my life saying “this is my white friend”.
As for Jada opening your eyes to your prejudice, I’m happy that happened and I think it’s a beautiful moment for you and your children. At the end of the day, you were a victim to the media and also a victim of black families not communicating. I find it weird af that you can have a whole black family, black parents, and the boys will straight up love their mama with one mouth while putting down black women with the SAME MOUTH. And black families will do nothing to correct Tyrone and Jamal. Which in turn adds to the flames of, am I good enough? Well Jamal only want blonde girls so something wrong with me….
Which leads to hating on ourselves, hating on the blondies and grabbing hannah montanna wigs when we don’t need that shit. A cycle, a circle, blah.
Okay that’s it, cause this long
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This was the most amazing comment! I always wondered what it was like for black people that grew up in black countries do they have the same experiences etc. my family celebrated my color and taught me my history but we were 1 of like 20 black families. Your comment is everything it’s so true! Especially the Jamals. I love this comment so much. I’m so curious as to how you grew up now. I think black Americans are closed minded and uneducated about the lives of other blacks in other countries in regards to things like this oh I love you
It’s funny my grandfather always said “I’m prejudiced and that’s just the way it is” and he was but it’s because of what he went through he was the reason recruits in the navy could kept their Afros and he fought for equal living accommodations for black naval officers and recruits so I think his experiences and the civil rights movement shaped his prejudices till he died. He said the same thing “I don’t feel like explaining my blackness that’s why I have no white friends” I remember asking him when I was about 16/17 and that’s what he said this comment got me going back in time