First, my friend Edi Campbell posted this, which made me ask where this was on Facebook, and she tagged me so that I could participate.
I’ll wait a moment while you read her post.
So then we were all talking about it on Facebook. I got involved because this is my area of activism and because I hate whitesplaining.
Then Kaye wrote this and Debbie wrote this and KT wrote this and lots of people wrote things, which you can find linked on Debbie’s blog (I’m linking directly to the three people who are personal friends or close colleagues, as well as fellow members of marginalized groups of various sorts, but that’s not to say I don’t value the other pieces I read, nor do I know everything about the authors of said pieces except that they are clearly intelligent and good people doing the right thing).
So then I wrote this.
And I hope we’re all still writing about things.
As usual, I have finally gotten to that bit of pop culture that everyone else got to ages ago and is probably totally over. This time, it’s Orphan Black. I watched the entire first season in about three days because it’s absolutely captivating and addictive, and the damn good writers end every episode with a true cliffhanger.
Discussions of great acting and cool storytelling aside, there are two things about the show that have especially made me think.
One is race and the zeitgeist of white tears, white feelings, and whites being all, “I’m not racist; I have a Mexican friend.” The other is race and stories more broadly.
First: Allison. Nothing made me more excited than when they revealed her kids to be black, or mixed black and something*. Then they showed her husband, Donnie, and I was like, hmmm. I didn’t know whether to be sad that she didn’t have a black husband or excited that adoption was such a non-issue that all they needed to do was show her kids and then once have her ask offhand if Sarah’s daughter was adopted, too. I was a little like, “omg because adoption is THAT normal? Awesome!” and then it turned out that it’s because clones are supposed to be sterile. But still. It’s never been brought up again, because it’s more important that Allison is a soccer mom harboring a serious substance abuse addiction but who loves her kids because they’re her kids, period.
Then you get the episode where Victor accosts her, thinking she’s Sarah. So Allison calls Sarah and tries to describe whom she just encountered. Continue reading