Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is winding down to a close, but that infamous “bus fight” between NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak is still being discussed amongst the masses.
During the fight, NeNe called Kim’s assistant Sweetie a “slave,” and although NeNe admits that she felt bad about the fight, her harsh words have prompted participants and viewers alike to take a deep look at race relations on the show.
In the words of Pierre Berton, “Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out.”
Kim has commonly been referred to as the “token white chick” of Atlanta, but does that give NeNe, a known bully to select Kim as the target of whatever deep seated issues she has?
Attorney Phaedra Parks, who has also been the target of a few racially based insults (*cough* Chelsea Lately Show) addressed these deep issues in a recent blog and she brought out some really interesting points.
Check out what Phaedra had to say about that crazy episode and how she feels about Kim being called a racist. Oh.. and I also found out a lil behind the scenes tea on Kim and Sweetie…
Now before you dive into Phaedra’s blog, let me just inform you that Sweetie was not just some random person Bravo brought on the show so that Kim could have a Black friend.
I bought into that rumor as well, but after some digging I found out that Sweetie has worked for Kim over 12 years. Word on the curb is that Kim even invited Sweetie to live with her when she was almost homeless, which would explain why Kim’s daughters are so attached to her assistant. It’s a fact that their friendship is actually a real one and not manufactured by the show.
But I digress…. scroll on down for Phaedra’s “Color Blind” blog post:
While Sunday’s episode edited our four day excursion into a 45 minute fiasco, it did not fully encompass how tense and uncomfortable this girls’ getaway truly was. The trip was planned in Cynthia’s honor but as the old adage says, “Things don’t always work out as planned.”
After watching the episode, several possible topics came to mind; the importance of financial planning as it relates to Cynthia and her wedding woes, house guest etiquette and NeNe’s lack thereof, Kim and Sweetie’s relationship or better yet, NeNe’s slave barrage targeted at Sweetie. In the shadow of Martin Luther King’s birthday and in the wake of black history month, I decided race relations was the most poignant issue since last two episodes have flirted with this very sensitive topic. Is Kim a racist? Is Sweetie a modern day slave? Is NeNe being a bully as usual, or is she really concerned about Sweetie’s well being?
While everyone will have their opinion, as they are rightfully entitled to; personally, I do not think Kim is a racist, nor do I think Sweetie is a modern day slave.
However, I do believe that NeNe is a bully and couldn’t care less about Sweetie’s well being. In this era of political correctness we often skirt around the hard topics, because we are afraid of offending others and do not want to be accused of being a racist. But avoiding sensitive issues does not change our country’s history, which is fraught with the mistreatment of people of color. Admittedly, race relations have improved drastically over the past 40 years, but improvement does not heal the wounds caused by the aggregation of disparate treatment. As a person of color, I understand the ramifications of being denied rights, excluded and rejected. A modern day racist doesn’t dress in white sheets or burn crosses, they are much more subtle and covert.
Unlike Kim, a racist would not employ you or treat you like a family member, as she has with Sweetie. I had the opportunity to have several long conversations with Sweetie and Kim in Miami, and during those chats I realized that Kim and Sweetie have a sibling like relationship that spans well over a decade. My heart went out to Sweetie because as a woman of color, I know comments that evoke historical hatred can make you doubt what you know in your heart is true.
Here’s a thought, instead of taking the easy road under the guise of being politically correct and making hasty judgments about matters as serious as racism, we should face the issue and attempt to have transparent dialogue in the direction of resolve. Every culture is different and it’s easy to adopt perspectives depicted via various mediums. Opinions do not constitute racism, nor does the way you treat a friend make you a racist. Racism says a whole group of people are inferior because of their skin color and they should not be treated equally.
Being politically correct does not change the existence of poor race relations; it just gives us an acceptable mask to hide behind rather than address any real issues. (source)
You tell ’em Phaedra!
The Real Housewives of Atlanta is fast becoming the ghetto staple for Bravo’s housewives brand… and NeNe’s constant bickering on the show has turned it into a freak show. It’s only Bravo’s top rated show because of all the tomfoolery.
Phaedra is one smart cookie and even though they attempt to make her look cartoonish. Oh well… I’ll still be watching tonight.
What do you think of Phaedra’s assessment of that ghetto “bus fight” between NeNe & Kim?