Boomerang: Is It Us Too or Just Them Too?
For as long as I can remember, in the Black community there’s been a certain sense of understanding. There’s us, and then there’s them. Black people protect each other above everything else because we’re all we’ve got. Or at least that was supposed to be the general idea.
Now as an adult, the MeToo era is happening and everything is changing. Bill Cosby has turned out to be a steaming pile of crap, and the Black community hasn’t been the same since. We’ve been split directly down the middle, and the more accusations that come out involving Black Men the more the cracks in the community begin to show.
So it makes sense that Boomerang would want to bridge this topic into the show, we’re just as affected by MeToo as white people are. We may not want to discuss it or acknowledge it but Boomerang gives us a chance to see what the conversations could be like.
In last nights episode, Marcus Graham was accused of sexually assaulting some of the women who came to Graham Agency for auditions. The accusations are enough to end the legendary talent agency and put Bryson and Crystal out of a job. It’s upsetting, these are the only real jobs they ever had, but Bryson seems to be taking the news a little harder than Crystal is. He really looked up to Marcus Graham. Still, they pack up their offices and leave to go have dinner with the rest of the crew. After all, it’s Simone’s father that being dragged through the mud.
Simone, unlike Bryson, isn’t handling the news at all. She’s shut down and instead is focusing on braiding Tia’s hair. She doesn’t want to talk about it, doesn’t want to eat anything, she wants her friends there but doesn’t want them close. Which is understandable. They are her friends though and they want to be there for her, so eventually, they convince Simone to sit and have dinner. It’s awkward and silent because there is nothing else to talk about other than Marcus Graham. Soon they spend the entire episode discussing the fallout of sexual assault, in more ways than one.
Tia sides with the women who have come forward. Assault is serious, especially when it can be held over a woman’s head. Ari thinks that it happened so long ago it shouldn’t be an issue now, the past is the past. While David takes the stance of a typical pastor, stating that we can’t judge anyone because we aren’t God. Crystal is on the fence, she seems like she wants to believe the women but also wants to blame them as well. And Bryson is only concerned about the fact his perfect image of Marcus Graham has been disrupted. As the friends take turns dishing out opinions, it becomes clear that not everyone holds the same views and the tension rises. They’ve each been affected by this one situation but in very different ways.
I admit that the latest episode of Boomerang was heavy and a little hard to watch for me. Five years ago I escaped an abusive relationship, but I never told anyone everything that happened. I still haven’t, even in the wake of MeToo. Because of the way things were when I was younger, because of the way a majority of women are still hushed and silenced when they try to speak out, because of the way many parts of my assault were normalized in the Black community. It didn’t matter that my nigga treated me like dirt, because that’s how niggas are. Or at least, that’s what the Black community silently taught me in the way we stand up for Black Men who have done bad things.
While this episode may have been heavy, I was completely engrossed in it. The arguments aren’t new, they aren’t anything I haven’t heard before. However, to have them acknowledged in this way is amazing to me. Each conversation was different but they were all connected, layered, and explained. Tia was the only one who stood firm in her defense of the women. She didn’t back down from any of the guys and even put it into a perspective that Ari could understand. Tia’s argument was solid, she’s just barely taken seriously because of her outer appearance. Which is unfortunate in the grand scheme of things because the girl be knowing what she’s talking about. I really liked that she spent the entire episode with her hair half braided, almost like it was meant to see how many of us would rather crack jokes about that than hear her words.
I found myself frustrated with just about every other character, except for Simone because her perspective is one that I feel only the children of accused parents can understand; it’s very personal. The others, however, gave opinions that I can’t to try and look at the situation from. Even though I recognize that I can’t agree because my perspective is that of a rape survivor. So I’m biased. I still enjoyed the way their opinions were given with the arguments that have kept most us quiet for so long.
Ari’s stance that it happen in the past and that Bill Cosby was the only father he had growing up; are the biggest and loudest opinions I ever hear. In regular nonabusive arguments between couples, the men stick to the idea that if it happened in the past then it’s over with. Even if the past was only yesterday. It’s weird male logical but it’s widely accepted. It’s a viewpoint that I don’t give thought to because even though I got out of my situation, I’m still affected by it now. I still sometimes flinch at sudden movements, and any kind of yelling puts me in tears instantly. So while the idea of leaving things in the past is nice, it’s rarely that black and white.
Crystal’s opinion that the women should have come forward sooner and they should take responsibility too is one that very often Black Women take. It makes sense when later in the episode she and Simone have a brief argument over an assault that Crystal went through in the past. Women who have suffered some kind of assault themselves will be the first to downplay the situation and find ways to put the blame upon themselves. We’ve had it drilled into our minds that we must have done something for a man to treat us wrong. A man cannot just be just a horrible person, he’s always provoked by a woman. And when we stand up for ourselves as a collective or individually there’s still a fair number of Black Women who will look for reasons to justify what happened. It’s as disheartening as it is frustrating.
One thing I didn’t expect was David’s views on the situation. His support of the LGBT community contrasts with his stance that we as humans can not judge because we aren’t God. It probably has to do with the fact he was so shaken by what happened between him and Elaine, however to me, it plays more into the fact he’s a man. And they all get overly defensive when rape and assault are brought up.
I did expect for Bryson to make the situation about himself and he didn’t disappoint in that aspect. He spent the entire episode moping about the fact that Marcus Graham wasn’t perfect, even though Simone has been telling him that since the beginning. If anything Bryson is the one that shouldn’t be taken seriously not Tia, but I digress.
Boomerang has brought to the table something I’m not sure a show of any other kind could have done. The conversations were needed, but so was the shade they threw back and forth to keep things from getting out of hand. The arguments were real and no one was made to feel invalid, yet it was clear by the end of the episode that inside the community there’s been a shift and things are different. We used to cover up the bad things in our community because we didn’t want to look a certain way to white people. We didn’t want white people to have reason to throw in our face that we have bad eggs too. However, in our need to hide our struggle from those not like us, we have damaged the most valuable part of our community. Now though, things are changing in Black Women’s favor. Tia said that we deserve to feel safe no matter what. And I really appreciate that.