by Ariana Romero | via Refinery29
Look, grown-ish friends, we’ve been doing this recap thing for a while. Eleven weeks, in fact. After 11 weeks, I should be able to be honest with you, so I will be: I have been dreading writing this recap for days because “Safe And Sound” isn’t an easy episode. It’s not even sorta-goofy with how it handles serious topics, as “It’s Hard Out Her For A Pimp” was last week. Because we can all agree Aaron Jackson (Trevor Jackson) feigning interest in Black girl from Denver-by-way-of-Cameroon to convince everyone he isn’t a colorist is the most corny thing ever.
“Safe And Sound” isn’t corny. “Safe And Sound,” my friends, tackles the impossibly difficult question of who deserves a safe space, and, therefore, who actually deserves to be considered a cultural minority. That’s not an easy conversation.
We know it’s not an easy conversation because the moment Aaron and Ana Torres (Francia Raisa) disagree on the topic, people are yelling, feelings are being hurt, and dampers are put on parties.
Aaron and Ana’s disagreement begins during a sign-making bash in the grown-ish crew’s home dorm of Black culture-friendly Hawkins, which Cal U is threatening to shut down once again (this was also the plot of grown-ish’s black-ish back-door pilot last year, but no one really mentions that). The signs are for a protest against such action.
When Ana announces she wishes her “people” also had a safe space to find refuge in, Aaron happily explains exactly what she would need to do to create the kind of change she wants to see in the world. He details all the permits and hashtags and sponsors necessary. Aaron might be a bit of a conceited dummy sometimes, but no one can say he doesn’t know his protest strategy. He finishes off Civil Resistance 101 explaining he’s happy to help the Latina cause, which makes sense. Ana, a proud Cuban-American did say “minorities” like her need a place, too. But, after listening to Aaron’s speech, Ana clarifies she was never talking about Latina safe spaces; Ana was talking about conservative women.
As everyone points out, conservatives aren’t actually a minority. They have ownership of Congress, the White House, and most Cracker Barrels. With 41% of women total voting for Donald Trump — versus 54% of women’s votes going to Hillary — we can say there are fewer conservative women than liberals, but they don’t exactly qualify as a minority. Compare that number to the fact the 2016 census puts the Black population at about 13% of America and the Latinx community at just under 18%.
While this explains why Aaron is so shocked to hear Ana claim conservatives don’t feel safe in the U.S. of A., he doesn’t exactly handle his response very well. He yells at Ana, demeaning her politics before she gets a sentence out, says she believes in idiotic policies, and yells “everyone but her” deserves a safe space. It’s not a good look. In response, Ana claims conservatives are “the most oppressed people on campus,” ignoring the plight of Black people, Jewish people, and her own Latinx community. It’s not a good look, either, and willfully turns a blind eye to many actual harmful conservative policies.
Amid all of this political tension, Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) is in her Black Panthers, But Make It Fashion getup talking about the importance of bouncy houses and the right #Resistance-themed Facebook filter. Do teens even still have Facebook?
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