Glee - We can do ‘ginger supremacy’ but not ACTUAL racism, that’s still fucking relevant and clearly at play on the very show??
We can talk about serious matters of bullying and homophobia and briefly on sizeism, but we cannot give serious consideration of what it’s like to be a nonwhite student at a majority-white school, with majority-white teachers, with obvious majority-white biases at play, and make people’s nonwhite cultures the butt of jokes, like “Asian F”, “Asian Therapy”, “Cocoa Babies”, “Glee club, not crunk club”, “fiesty, violent Latina who only speaks Spanish when mad”, “lazy (though there’s canonical proof over two seasons that’s not the case)”. Hell, you even sort of addressed it in S1 with “Throwdown”, and then never bring that back up again - not even when the moment is handed to you, by your own pen, on a silver platter with that Rachedes conversation in Mercedes’ SUV at the end of “Night of Neglect”. Mercedes isn’t stupid. She’s observant, she knows how life works. Children of color learn those particular rules pretty damn quickly.
Those concerns? They’re actually not fucking funny and they’re not throwaway experiences or concerns. They eat away at you like acid, depleting whatever encouragement or self-esteem, or even self-efficacy one could’ve had before stepping into, what is actually, hostile environments. But they’re subtly hostile, to the point folk have you convinced you’re the crazy one and seeing things and your can’t trust yourself to decipher what your own lived experiences are. Now we know why Emma has OCD, and I think that’s actually a really compelling and moving reason; but can we discuss why Mercedes might be oversleeping and throwing up and having a lack of energy if she’s not pregnant (and…I still don’t think she’s sexually active. Way for fandom to make that leap when it’s Mercedes of all people)? Those are signs of depression, people. We got a little bit of the pressure Mike Chang’s under, and it definitely added texture to his character. But Mercedes clinging to kind words, only getting kind words from people she’s known for all of five minutes (both Lauren and now Shane) but not from her “family” even though, when it’s mattered, she’s always been there for them?
My parents always said black people have to be two times better to be considered equal, and my goodness if we haven’t watched that play out for the past two and some change seasons. Mercedes finally called people out on that, then respectfully said “thanks, but no thanks” and got out of a relationship that was starting to be toxic to her. I’m proud of her for that. And yo, if they make this child come back begging while neither Rachel, nor Quinn, nor Santana had to do that after they quit/got kicked out, I’mma cry fuckery.
And no, I’m not putting this under a “read more”. Read it. Do your mental gymnastics to deny what’s been going on onscreen and in glee fandom.