Let me get this out of the way: thank God for Shonda Rhimes, queen of primetime television. Her shows have been my permission slip to be both ambitious and emotionally complicated. No more perfect television women, who are always either perfectly composed or irredeemably crazy. No more stereotyped career women who take every challenge in stride with clear skin and perfect hair. The women in these shows are tough, determined, ruthless, emotional, and brilliant. While some of these characters desperately need either therapy or a tent revival (Grey’s, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder could all be renamed Everybody Needs Jesus and no one would be the wiser) it’s a relief to see complicated characters navigate clever storylines to create entertaining television. So often we see mawkish, tired plots rife with melodrama or cultural stereotypes rehashed in lazy storytelling tropes. My favorite Shondaland character will always be Cristina Yang. She’s unapologetically excellent, and has given me better career advice than any real person ever has.
*collects speech and leaves podium*
Without further ado, here are some of the news stories that were released this week as they relate to the black community:
Attorney General Eric Holder has resigned.
Didn’t we just see Holder in Ferguson, getting everyone’s hopes up by giving the impression that he would take the city’s grievances to the President? According to the HuffPo article I linked to, Holder had been in talks with the President about his departure for several weeks and had settled on a date around Labor Day. That means that when Holder was in Ferguson in the middle of August–ostensibly to offer emotional support and possibly spearhead an investigation–he had already made his mind up to leave. Holder evidently doesn’t respect the office he occupies or the people of Ferguson enough to offer more than a perfunctory visit and scripted condolences.
Things are heating up again in Ferguson with small but intense protests that police are attempting to quash. Accusations of police misconduct continue. No one seems to remember the apology to Mike Brown’s family. It’s time for a strategy. We know there’s a lot of justifiable anger. But what do the people of Ferguson want?
Also, since this week marked television’s return, the sitcom Blackish premiered, and…we’re just not going to dignify this show that paints black culture as an immovable monolith with a response, because a mindless show with such narrow-minded beliefs about blackness deserves silence.
Happy Weekend! See you all on Monday.