Parents' Guide to

White People

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Honest talk about race, privilege in thought-provoking doc.

TV MTV Reality TV 2015
White People Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

ignorant at best

This program is based on a premise that minorities are victims, and white Americans just don't realize their "privelidge". Ironically, there is an underlying truth to the concept, but unfortunately the root cause is never correctly explored. Progressive liberal economic policies have entrapped people in poverty, disproportionately hurting women and minorities as they tax and regulate jobs out of the country. At the same time, progressives fight to keep impoverished children from escaping failing public schools - schools that fail despite how much money we spend. Instead of exploring these underlying truths, the audience is forced to focus on the end problem itself, and comes off as being produced by someone with a clever, but radical agenda.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This documentary demonstrates that the wheels of change grind slowly in America's privileged class. "White is the default race," says one earnest young college student in White People, seemingly unaware of the privilege that underlies this (all too common) viewpoint. "To be white, that's the good thing," says another. Is it true? The strength of Vargas' doc is how he gently, respectfully teases out his interviewee's thoughts about race and then hits them with statistics and interviews that prove these viewpoints utterly wrong. White college students are discriminated against when it comes to handing out scholarships? In fact, white students are 40 percent more likely to get a scholarship than a student of color. Racism is a thing of the past? Tell that to the angry young teens at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, who say that white people only like remembering the heroic parts of their history -- not the parts where they committed genocide against Native Americans.

Throughout, participants are honest and thoughtful rather than inflammatory, even while speaking out against injustices. For example, a young man who teaches a course on white privilege has his students read out statements such as "I can choose a profession without wondering if a person of my race should be doing this"; the teacher's conservative stepfather sits in, befuddled by what he's hearing. Ultimately, White People shows that there's hope for all of us if we treat each other with tolerance, dignity, and respect.

TV Details

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