The premise of this show is simple: Take two families, a white one from Santa Monica, California, and a black one from Atlanta, Georgia, and have them live together in a house in L.A.
I am using the series to explore issues and thoughts regarding race relations..
The March 22 show begins with the two families — the white and the black families — discussing a speech by Carmen, the white mother, shown near the end of last week's show.
The poets share some of their material and it was wonderful. There are some talented writers among the bunch. Then Carmen ruins the moment. She starts by thanking them for sharing their poetry and telling them they are amazing artists. She says it in a way that suggests the poets were hoping for her approval and should now be pleased that the white woman has said they are good folks.
Carmen then babbles a bit before making a comment where it sounds like she is objectifying the members, referring to a "powerful black male physique." She also mentions that she has not determined yet whether one young man is gay or straight, as if it is any of her business, let alone appropriate to say in front of the group. When she is done, the poets split. Can you blame them?
Renee later sums up her reaction to Carmen's speech at the poetry incident: "I was so embarrassed and angry at the same time. There she goes again." And Renee is right.
Carmen also uses the phrase "beautiful black creature" and its the word creature that irks the black family.
As the episode is starting Carmen is totally unapologetic about her actions.
Indeed, when her daughter, Rose, the one member of the white family that appears to get the problems at hand, broaches the subject, her mom snaps at her.
"Rose, it seems you are trying to make nice and I don't like that. It was not about being (bleep) politically correct," Carmen said. "Don't correct me right now."
Carmen says her comments were coming "from total love. If you misinterpreted it, that's on you."
She later says she is having trouble liking the other family.