Atlanta Season 2 Episode 3 Takes On White Mom Crying About Rap Viral Video

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Atlanta Season 2 Episode 3 Takes On White Mom Crying About Rap Viral Video

In late 2016, a woman posted to YouTube a video of her responding to a Vince Staples song she heard on the radio.

“This is on our local radio station, this crap is being played,” she said of Staples’s “Norf Norf.” “I couldn’t even believe the words that I was listening to, and as a mom, it infuriated me. … Obviously the cuss words were bleeped out, but I’m not stupid. Like, we can dictate what they’re saying.”

Then, as she breaks down crying, she reads the line, “Folks need Porsches, hoes need abortions.”

The video went viral, and the woman soon became the brunt of massive online ridicule for her complete naiveté to black culture. In an episode focused primarily on latent racism, this week’s Atlanta included a cold-open parody of the Crying Christian Woman. Atlanta’s version, however, involved a woman crying over the lyrics of Paper Boi’s hit song. “Shoutout Colin Kaepernick,” the woman says as she finishes reading the lyrics, breaking down in tears.

Later in the episode, Donald Glover’s Earn is trying to take Van out on a date, when he experiences a number of varying instances of aversive racism. His money isn’t accepted at a movie theater, a man feels threatened when Earn makes simple conversation, and he’s scammed out of a club. None of the people with whom Earn interacts would likely describe themselves—or their actions—as racist, but the optics are there and impossible to avoid.

It’s important to take note of how Staples responded IRL to the Crying Christian Woman’s video:

“We already have a lot of issues between black and white relations in this country based on misunderstandings. In my eyes, she doesn’t look like a racist. She doesn’t look like a mean person. It’s not very responsible for people to try to take that and jump, looking for some sort of commentary on these issues. It’s just not right that’s she’s being attacked. It’s not OK.”

Certainly, the rapper had the internet’s most level-headed take on the viral video, and he later added, “No person needs to be attacked for their opinion on what they see to be appropriate for their children. They have a right to it … This misunderstanding of our community leads to miscommunication which we should convert into a progressive dialogue.”

FX, YouTube

But when Paper Boi sees it, he—along with Darius and Earn—agree that the video is the best thing that could have happened to them. Paper Boi’s song has finally gone gold, helped in some part by the very woman who misunderstood it. Both the real and fictional crying Christian women thinks they’re some sort of holy warrior by posting their video; Paper Boi sees a viral marketing campaign, while Staples sees humans who don’t know how to communicate.

The spectrum of these perspectives points to the shades with which Atlanta colors these issues. Truly, there are “problems between black and white relations in this country based on misunderstandings,” and Atlanta is right to point out the nuances of this issue, as Donald Glover has always attempted to do with the show.

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