Dear White People (2017) s02e08 Episode Script

Chapter VIII

1 [narrator] Gabe Mitchell chose Winchester University for his MFA, thanks to the institution's storied tradition in nonfiction filmmaking.
[upbeat 1920s jazz music playing] [narrator] 1928, Winchester starts a course on the photoplay to document its true history.
And while the term "documentary" implies a focus on the facts, the truth is often elusive.
[men chanting] We are the order.
We are the order.
We are the order.
We are the order.
We are the order.
[man] We are the unnamed.
We are the unseen.
- We are the order.
- [men] We are the order.
[man] You can't be here, man! Get out! [men shouting] [narrator] And sometimes the truth dies with those who dare to tell it.
Sorry I'm late, man.
[Gabe] Yeah, yeah, hey, no worries.
- [Troy] Looking at you, camera - [Gabe] Uh, me.
Me's perfect.
[Troy] I was protected from the kind of stuff you read about in the news, at least until recently, but the stuff I struggle with, it's You think people are starving for content? it's not the kind of stuff that you can easily see or fit in a couple hundred characters.
Try being a cute Trini girl with a thing for other girls.
[laughs] You want to change things, don't just talk to me.
I mean, sometimes I think I'll never get to see myself in American culture.
Talk to your friends.
Except for this one very specific possibly illegal porn site.
Don't search it.
[Reggie] Talk to your family.
Talk to white people.
One of my white girlfriends was saying how great it would be if Michelle and Kamala ran together, and I got really upset.
It's like, if you have a dog that bites someone, even though you didn't bite them personally, it's still your fault.
Did you see what happened when an articulate, well-educated, scandal-free man with a black father led this country well for eight years? Racism is white people's dog.
No, I don't want to see two black women run together on the same ticket.
And it's been biting.
I don't want to wake up every day to see how much this country despises us.
So is that everything that you need? - [Gabe] Yeah, that was great.
- Thank you.
[narrator] So how does one find this elusive truth? Can you guess? Watch closely.
[door opens] [Lionel] So every weekend, Winchester's very own DJ DJ he's a DJ named DJ.
- Anyway, he does a disco set - [Wesley] Lionel.
I'm very flattered, but are we really at the sex tape stage of this? [laughs] Uh, Gabe, are are we the first ones here? I'm sorry, Lionel.
I really wanna help cover for you, but I have no idea what we're talking about.
- Donna? - That really doesn't clear it up.
So back to the porn you're making.
What's the series? College Cuties? Uh - [Wesley] Dorm Dommes? - [Lionel laughs] Professor Pounding? [Wesley] Twink Teachers? - [Lionel] Ooh, I would watch that.
- This is great and really cute, guys, but, uh, I kind of need the space, so Thanks.
And no, there's no story here.
I didn't think so before, but [Sam] Donna's every other week, Lionel.
[Lionel] Oh, right.
That's right.
I missed last week.
I'm sorry.
I must have gotten confused.
[Wesley] It's cool.
Just means more time to level up in Splatoon.
[door opens] [Gabe clears throat] [door closes] Uh, hi.
- How did you get - I, um I still have the key you gave me.
Oh.
I should probably get that back.
Yeah, sure.
Thanks.
Uh, so should we Huh.
[Gabe] Huh? Nothing.
Uh, you want to do it somewhere else, or Oh, I mean, there is a big soundproof booth nearby that was exclusively meant for recording.
Okay, yeah, wherever you're more comfortable.
Okay.
Cool.
[mocking] "Okay.
Cool.
" [door rattles] Sam? [thumping on door] Sam [sighs] Oh.
I'm sorry.
I had my headphones on.
I didn't realize.
Oh, no worries.
Oh, I don't need any radio station B-roll, just the interview.
I figured I'd record it for the show.
Wait, why? Just in case.
Just in case of what? Like insurance for something? Like if I edit you out of context? 'Cause I wouldn't do that.
Not now, you won't.
Testing, testing, one, two, one, two.
[clears throat] [Gabe and Sam clear throats] [camera beeps] [Sam clears throat] [Gabe clears throat] - Here with Samantha - Welcome to Dear White People.
This is - After you.
- No.
- You can start.
- You sure? Gabe.
Here I am with Samantha White of the popular campus radio show Dear White People.
Thank you for being here.
And I'm here with Gabe Mitchell, the filmmaker behind I Can't Believe He Actually Named His Documentary "Am I Racist?" Oh, I meant filmmaker behind Am I Racist? My bad.
Typo.
Fucking autocorrect.
Hmm.
Hmm.
Are you gonna ask me a question? Right.
Uh - Okay - [Sam] It's fine.
[clears throat] I can start.
Gabe, thank you for being here.
I think the first question has to be, are you aware of your white savior complex? - I'm not gonna answer that.
- Great start.
- I don't agree with the premise.
- Of course.
Is culture awash in white savior narratives? Yes.
Am I unjustly rewarded for doing the same thing as black people? Of course.
I criticize that system constantly.
- While capitalizing on it.
- All I did was have a conversation - with our friend, and - Our? - Not allowed to be friends with Reggie? - You're not friends.
He's your subject.
Meanwhile, you're getting praised for doing a version of my show while Silvio and his alt-right army have turned my mentions into a 4chan message board.
I've shouted out Dear White People in every piece.
Yeah, and that's somehow worse.
It just means you realize there's a similarity, and you're trying to cover your ass.
Why make these shorts? - No one is making you do this.
- Well, they're for my Documentary in the Age of YouTube class, so, technically, Professor Cartmill is making me do this.
So let's start here.
You don't believe that people should hear a progressive message about race from a white person.
I don't believe people should exploit me and my friends for a grade.
I'm making art about what interests me.
You're capitalizing on the fact that my message is more palatable coming from a person who looks like you.
- You're Elvis, and I'm Chuck Berry.
- Hmm.
One deserved to be the biggest star in the world, and the other one got to be.
So this is about recognition for you? No, it's not.
Because if so, that's fair.
Black culture is mined for the benefit of white people.
I agree with that.
I agree with you on all these issues, which is why I'm speaking out.
And, in turn, reaping the rewards of the system you claim to be critiquing, a system that's not some distant, separate thing.
It is literally regular people making decisions.
Some decide to enable it, and others don't.
Which one are you? Wouldn't silence be enabling it? There are ways to speak out that don't scream "look at me.
" Are there? Because if so, they seem to have eluded you, no? So your show is called Dear White People.
Here I am, a white person who listens to you, trying to weaponize my privilege in order to change things.
Not what you're hoping to accomplish? That's not why you're doing this.
You're just doing it to get back at me.
- [camera beeps] - What are you talking about? Oh, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
You're mad.
Maybe you should stop recording.
This is pertinent information for our audiences.
Is it pertinent that sometimes you sit in your room, listen to Reba McEntire and cry? [console beeps] Nigga, I trusted you.
Calling you out on the music you like is way worse than accusing me of sabotage.
You know what you're doing.
I'm sorry.
We said we wouldn't make this personal.
Can we keep our - our stuff out of this? - I said you couldn't make it personal.
I never said I wouldn't.
- That's cute.
- [scoffs] The only reason I'm doing your doc is because I wanted to confront you about your doc.
I know, and I still wanted to interview you.
Doesn't that say something? Fine.
Nothing personal.
Great.
[camera beeps] [both clear throats] Okay, Sam, let's talk about Silvio.
- Okay.
- So obviously, after Lionel and The New Independent revealed their former editor was behind the, uh, controversial AltIvyW account It's not a controversial account.
That implies there's an argument for it, and there's not.
Agreed.
So after Silvio was outed, he actually got more popular on campus.
It's targeted racism hiding behind free speech rhetoric.
Again, agreed.
Also contributing to his newfound fame is the Medium post that he wrote about his so-called evolution from a liberal social justice warrior to what he calls "a straight shooter.
" Interesting term for "alt-right dickbag.
" The article got picked up by Breitbart.
Uh, Rikki Carter dedicated a whole segment to it on her show.
Missed it.
I can never decide whether to watch Rikki or the sentient potato that calls itself Sean Hannity.
Point is, some people wonder if maybe you bear some responsibility for his rise.
Some people or you? Some people.
Hmm.
Do you have a response? Yeah, my response is, are you really going with "blame the victim"? I don't blame you for anything.
[coughs] Bullshit.
- I don't.
- Mm.
I'm just asking you to respond to the sentiment that your show escalated some of the tensions that led to Silvio.
Honestly, I don't follow.
It's the Batman thing.
He started dressing up as a bat to fight crime, all of a sudden, criminals started dressing like penguins and clowns and whatever the hell the Riddler is.
One, Batman didn't come first.
Crime did.
Two, he's not real.
Three, if he was real, in this analogy, he'd be you, not me.
- Oh.
- Don't "oh" me.
Yes, he's a privileged white man dressed in black who assumes he can save those he sees as beneath him, when really, he's just making things worse.
Does that sound familiar? How am I making things worse? Silvio is what happens when you challenge an unjust status quo.
The people who benefit from it want to silence those who want to change it.
If anything, bringing Silvio out of the woodwork is a good thing in the long run, because at least we know who hates us.
It's easier to fight an enemy you can see.
So you acknowledge that your show opened up these wounds, and you're happy about it? [console and camera beep] Where are you even going with this? You know I'm not responsible for Silvio.
You know that.
Fuck.
You don't even believe that.
I'm not trying to trick you, Sam.
Just trust me, okay? [console beeps] [camera beeps] [sighs] So how does it make you feel? The trolling, the blame you're getting for all of this? It's a part of being on the Internet, like porn or videos of animals that act like people.
It must hurt, though.
Do you want it to hurt? I want you to know how it makes you feel.
The oppressed are always being blamed for calling out the nature of their oppression.
That's a really good answer to a question, just not my question.
How does it feel to be a target? It hurts.
Okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? - It was, actually.
- Sadist.
Sam, I'm just wondering if these trolls see you as this invincible badass that they can't get to, so they keep escalating.
If people realized They want to hurt my feelings.
That is the point.
Admitting it is giving them what they want.
Why can't you use your platform to tell people how much it hurts, to really be vulnerable? Who are you to tell what I should do? If you were interested in reaching people, maybe you'd let them in.
You'd express yourself honestly.
Wouldn't hide behind this veil of anger that's only a small part of who you are.
I didn't hear a question there.
- I'm just saying - What I heard was a reprimand about how I should process my experience.
You don't get to tell me that my anger isn't honest.
Your anger isn't all that you are.
Is this a movement or a primal scream? Both.
You're so full of shit, Gabe.
You think you're coming at this from some objective journalistic place, and you're not.
You think this entire school being fucked up is my fault.
You think everything is my fault.
Why? Oh.
Because you're hurt.
Or maybe because some of it is your fault.
And there it is.
- I didn't mean that.
It's just - [console beeps] [sighs] You were the one who sent the invite to the blackface party.
From the guy who called the cops.
Fuck you! You can't just run away from a conversation - because you don't like where it's going.
- Why not? Isn't that what you did? What are you talking about? You abandoned me on one of the worst nights of my life.
The protest was falling apart, everyone was blaming me, and then you show up and decide, "Hey, let me break up with Sam, and while I'm at it, why not do it in public, - and then let me grill her - Oh, okay.
a fucking month later.
" We're gonna forget about Do you know how hard it was for me to say "I love you"? I had never said that to anyone before you, not once! You fucked Reggie.
- You didn't even apologize for it.
- What? You heard me.
- I totally ap - You didn't! Well why should I have to? Oh, come on! We weren't technically together when that happened.
Oh, I'm so sick of you hiding behind technicalities! If you'd have asked any of your friends and my friends if we were together, they would've said yes.
You fucked up! But you won't admit it, 'cause that would make you wrong.
God forbid that ever happens.
[Sam] Okay.
- You know what, Gabe? - Hmm.
You act like you're this nice guy, like because you say all the right things, you're beyond reproach, but you know what the truth is? You're an asshole.
How am I an asshole? Because you broke up with me and you won't get the fuck out of my life! You're a grad student.
Why are you hanging out with all these 20-year-olds? Just because your friends are head-up-their-ass hipster garbage people does not mean you have to hang out with mine.
- That is so unfair.
- Uh-huh.
Your documentary is literally a tour through my friends, and now you're hanging out with Joelle, all shady and shit? It's like you want to rub the breakup in my face over and over! Joelle and I are friends.
I'm sorry we enjoy each other's company.
What about the flirting with Jamila in doc class? - What? - Is that so you can assert you were the one who hurt me? - No.
- Does it make you feel big? - No.
- Does all of this - make you feel big? - No! Then what's with this? The hair and the face and the real shoes.
Is this your "I'm over Sam" look? Mm-hmm.
Yeah, 'cause if I shave my face and cut my hair, must be all about you.
Narcissist.
[laughing] Oh, right.
I'm the narcissist.
Well, for the record, me fucking Reggie had nothing to do with you.
Not everything has to do with you.
- Mm.
- I am a grown-ass woman.
I get to choose who I sleep with.
I get to choose how I exist in this world, and who are you to tell me I'm wrong? Who cares if our friends "saw us" as together? We weren't official until we said we were.
Just a reminder, I was at a pep rally, trying to support your cause, while you were fucking Reggie.
[Sam laughs] Right.
My cause.
And here you are, at the center of it.
[growls] You see, this right here? This is your problem! Your walls are so fucking high, and you're so afraid to bring them down that you will push anyone and everyone that you care about away just so you can stay mad at the world forever! [Sam laughs] Yeah? Well, you're gonna end up with some black chick who you convinced yourself you love just so you can use your relationship with her to atone for your white guilt.
Of course I have white guilt! I think about that party every day! What that call to the cops meant for Reggie, how oblivious I was to make it in the fucking first place.
Well, that's too fucking bad.
It's not my job to absolve you.
Then stop acting like it's your job! I'm not asking for your absolution.
You're the one who lords it over me.
You know, your friends are constantly tiptoeing around you and your feelings and your opinions because you've made yourself judge and jury about every issue.
[sighs] I know because, unlike you, I've actually taken the time to listen to them.
- Bullshit.
- And not for nothing, your white guilt is the only reason why you do Dear White People.
You overcompensate for the part of you that you hate.
[Gabe sighs] [door opens] [door closes] [sighs] Look at me.
Do you think I get to go out into the world half the time as a white girl and the other half as a black girl? I'm black.
In this society, that is what I am, period.
I have and continue to feel a lot of things over being something other than what fits into a fucking census box.
Guilt is too simple for what a girl like me in a world like this feels.
And no one asked for you to feel guilty.
The only thing that brings is platitudes, kind words and a huge box office for movies about sad, downtrodden black people.
No, what I need from you and everyone who benefits from this thing called whiteness is to acknowledge that it is a fabrication - I am, I do.
I constantly acknowledge - do the actual work to dismantle it.
Get on the front lines.
Put yourself in real fucking danger.
You talk on the radio.
I'm talking in my documentary.
You're getting trolled.
How are you in danger? This isn't Selma! Trolled? [Sam sighs] The other day I got an email.
It said, "Sorry for your loss.
" Now, you know how my dad's been a little sick.
- Oh, wait, is he - He's fine.
He had a bout with arrhythmia, but he's totally fine.
But of course, I thought it was about him.
My heart dropped.
[sighs] This was it, the "you've got to go home" email.
So I opened it.
Turned out, it was one of those dumb animated e-cards, you know? And on the front of it, it said, "Gone to a better place.
" So now I'm freaking out.
Am I really finding out about my dad in a fucking e-card? So I clicked it.
But it wasn't about my dad at all.
It was addressed to my dad and my mom, and I was cc'd and it said It said, "Sorry to hear about Sam's accident.
It was her fault for being a racist nigger.
" The irony of calling someone a racist nigger was lost on him.
[Sam sniffling] I'm sorry.
[Sam sniffles] Yeah, me too.
[Sam crying] [sighs] Did you, uh did you report him? It was a dummy email address, so there's no point.
[Sam] So yeah, you presume to know my experience as a black woman through a self-serving lens because you have a personal history with me, and for what? So you can cut me up and put me out into the world as this antihero, get your A, get your accolades and graduate.
You are the system, Gabe.
[sighs] Oh, fuck.
And for the record, I knew where this was going from the start.
You wanted me to admit that my pain had become my identity, but Have you heard of epigenetics? Uh, no.
Hmm.
Are you gonna tell me what it is? Yeah.
Joelle was talking about it the other day.
Shit.
What was she saying? Oh, right.
It's the inheritance of pain.
Basically, scientists have figured out that people who experience intense trauma, like slavery, pass that down through their DNA, so pain and suffering is literally in my blood.
How do you spell that? - Why? - Well, I'm googling it.
You don't need to google it.
I told you what it is.
Minute ago, you didn't remember where you heard it.
Yeah, but I really, super remember it now, for real, and [laughs] What? [sighs] What am I doing? I'm gonna go.
- No.
- Sam.
I get it.
I got really caught up, and it's really embarrassing, so [Gabe clears throat, coughs] You were right.
I do the show to give voice to our experiences, but also, yeah, to grab the people who don't have to care about us.
I want to finish it.
[Sam sighs] [camera beeps] [Gabe clears throat] Aren't you gonna record? No, I don't need to.
Um so your show.
What role do you see it playing in future race relations on campus? I just try to share what me and my friends are going through.
- [camera beeps] - What? Sorry, uh, just for the record, I don't even know that girl's name from doc class till you just said it.
I know I had J-something in my head as, like, a placeholder, but I just thought you should know that.
- Sorry.
- [camera beeps] [clears throat] - As you were saying.
- Right.
Um I don't set out to be inflammatory.
I just try to tell people how we feel.
I should've apologized for Reggie.
[sighs] Gabe, I'm so sorry.
Anyway, so, yeah, um, my show is meant to capture the feelings of being a minority on this campus.
I shouldn't have left you that night.
The night of the protest.
I mean, I was mad, but, uh my timing was not ideal.
[both laugh] It was dramatic as fuck.
So, obviously, I get the impulse.
[laughs] Ah, god damn it, you're cute.
What? [both laugh] I know that we hate each other's guts right now, but you got really cute guts.
I miss you.
I miss you.
Uh this isn't a, uh "I'm over Sam" look.
It's a "hey, Sam, notice me" look.
I did.
[knocks on door] - [Gabe clears throat] - Hey, Jo.
Hey, Jo.
What's up? Hey, um, Sam, I've been calling, looking for you everywhere.
Yeah, I turned my, uh my phone off for the interview.
Yeah, we're got the camera.
Jo, say something.
You You're scaring me.
You got to go home.
You got to go home, Sam.
Uh is okay.
Uh um Sam, is there anything I can do? I [Sam] It's okay.
[Joelle hums] [door opens] - [door closes] - [sighs] [sighs] ["Forget Forgive" playing] [Someone] Strange things happen In our sleep Dreams follow into day I'm hollow [camera beeps] [Sam] I miss you.
Don't tire yourself out [Gabe] I miss you.
Thoughts turning in your head Don't follow [Sam] I miss you.
[Gabe] I miss you.
Forget [Sam] I miss you.
Forgive [Gabe] I miss you.
[sighs] Bad thoughts pushing out the neck Puts pressure on the chest Calm sorrow Look close, even closer It's not black, it's just the shade Just shadow Forget Forgive Forget Forgive No one knows We just pretend Putting on a strong face