Tensions run high when the discussion of safe spaces give an unwanted group a bigger voice
With the threat of Hawkins Hall being taken away from the black students at Cal U, the students have decided to protest. On Grown-ish this week, the students fight to keep their safe spaces. A party at Hawkins causes some students to feel uncomfortable which leads to the administration wanting to shut it down. Zoey (Yara Shahidi) heads to Hawkins where everyone is banding together to prepare for the protest. While they all start discussing the reason for their protest, Aaron (Trevor Jackson) gives Ana (Francia Raisa) pointers on how to start an organization. But after thinking that she’s talking about the cause for Latino women, Ana reveals that she’s a woman on the right – a conservative. This sparks a huge blowout between the two. Ana doesn’t think it’s fair that conservatives do not have a safe space on campus while every other oppressed group can have one. Aaron strongly disagrees with her views by calling them idiotic. When the group starts debating over which group is more oppressed than the other, Zoey tries to diffuse the argument by saying, “How do we decide who gets a safe space.”
After Zoey has a chat with Luca (Luka Sabbat) about the situation, she goes to the protest– where Ana has formed her own group for conservatives. The protest for “Yes All Safe Spaces” against “Black Dorms Should Matter” escalates into chaos and causes the administration to disband all safe spaces from campus. While Zoey’s trying to keep neutral on everything, she listens to both points of view from Aaron and Ana. Ana is frustrated because no one really listened to what she had to say before they judged her off of her political views. Aaron feels that it’s more than just about voicing his opinion on politics and more about black people being able to have a space where their culture can be celebrated.
Zoey figures out a way to resolve the problem between her friends by getting them all to agree to disagree on the topic. Aaron is still very reluctant but by the episode’s end, he’s standing outside of Dean Parker’s office working with the other groups so that the safe spaces can be reopened on campus. The discussion was a tough one to tackle but Grown-ish writers didn’t do a terrible job at voicing the many different points of view. Let’s see what our Grown-ish fans had to say about the episode!
Discussing this serious topic of safe spaces is our Grown-ish roundtable!
Jeria (@jereyea) – Student, Stan, and Tweeter
Chanel (@channellybelle) – counselor by day, Netflix binging dog lover by night
Tatyana (@Naticreblaxican) – Lover of Anime, MMA, and the Earth
Bre (@MichaelBaby18) – Realist with a dash of optimism and lover of my bed and music
Chi (@polyhansen) – college student, free writer, pop media enthusiast, practice in promotion and sales.
1. Which moment would you say was your favorite?
Jeria (@jereyea): My favorite moment was Aaron and Ana arguing about their views.
Chanel (@channellybelle): I think my favorite moment was the end when everyone came together. It was nice to see Ana and Aaron be able to come together and not necessarily agree with each other but to be able to listen and respect each other’s beliefs.
Tatyana (@Naticreblaxican): The scene where Nomi is trying to put the plight of the LGBT and Jewish people over the issues we face as black people. It stood out to me and though I was with the twins 100% and she annoyed me when she tried it, I understand the importance of the scene. Minority groups and any other group with a struggle compete against one another in the “Oppression Olympics”. It almost becomes a prize to see who has it the worst when you’d probably get farther by abandoning the “crabs in a barrel” mentality and unifying.
Bre (@MichaelBaby18): Aaron and his #BDSM. I thought that was funny, but I do believe that we should have a safe space of our own, and not try to exclude others.
Chi (@polyhansen): I would say the moment they were talking about safe spaces and when Anna mentioning getting a safe space for conservative women made Aaron aggravated because it was such a real moment.
2. The focus of this week’s episode was safe spaces. Do you believe in the need for safe spaces?
Jeria: I absolutely believe in the need for safe spaces. Everyone wants to things to be integrated, but some things are for us by us.
Chanel: I think when you are in college it is important to have safe spaces to allow students to come together and learn more about their own cultures or beliefs with others. It can be difficult leaving home and finding a new home miles away, it helps to have safe spaces to talk to people that have similar ideas. I think safe spaces can also open your eyes to more information about your culture or beliefs from another perspective.
Tatyana: Absolutely. I think it is perfectly fine for people with like issues to come together and feel safe from potential harm.
Bre: I do because it’s a place to be yourself.
Chi: I do! Not for a whole dorm hall, but clubs and organizations are good safe spaces. It allows you to get away just for a minute and sit with people who are like you while trying to digest everyone around you who is different.
3. Zoey is more of a social media protester, whereas Aaron is a person who likes to get physically involved in the issues. What kind of person are you when it comes to voicing your opinion on big issues?
Jeria: I’m an all-around protester. I get out on the streets, I am vocal in social settings. But I also protest on social media.
Chanel: I like to do a little bit of both. I don’t often change the filter on my facebook, but I do tweet my beliefs on my Twitter account. I have also participated in organized marches for my beliefs.
Tatyana: I have always had the itch to get up and do something. Any chance I get, I’m vocal on social media and in real life when it comes to issues I’m passionate about.
Bre: I feel like you should take action instead of just posting.
Chi: I’m more of a social media protester, too. Only because, much like Zoey, I care but I like to see both sides. Unless the other side is just dead wrong.
4. Luca said, “People need to get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Do you agree with him?
Jeria: I agree with him to a certain point, but safe spaces are still needed.
Chanel: I agree with Luca 100%. I think it’s easy to get swept up in the idea of always needing a safe place when you are in college, but the reality is that in the real world there are fewer opportunities to find the same type of safe spaces. I think the internet has made it easier for younger generations to always find people to agree with them, but in the real world, you will not always be surrounded by those types of people. Most people will have competing ideas and beliefs so we have to get comfortable with the idea that we will not always be comfortable with others.
Tatyana: I can agree with Luca on this to a degree. There is definitely a need to get out of your comfort zone.
Bre: It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things.
Chi: Yes! I love when he said that because it’s true. People don’t grow if they’re constantly surrounded by people who agree with them all the time. That’s why I say clubs and organizations are good safe spaces, but dorm halls are not because you have to interact with people who disagree with your views at some point. It’s just life.
5. Ana said that most people judge her as soon as they hear she’s a conservative. Did you view her conservative views differently once you learned more about her background?
Jeria: Her conservative views are still invalid and oppressive, which is wild considering her grandfather was in prison and she’s a Latina.
Chanel: I actually did. It’s easy to assume that when someone says that they are conservative that they have to believe in the negative aspects that are often portrayed in the media, but there are multiple ideas and beliefs that make up the Republican party. I can understand wanting to protect your rights especially when you’ve experienced not having them.
Tatyana: No. I feel like everyone has a voice but my listening to yours doesn’t mean I have to agree.
Bre: No, because she is still a person and it’s okay to have different opinions.
Chi: No, I didn’t. I knew as a Latina she would have a reason for being on the right side of the spectrum, but I don’t believe she is all the way right as she made it seem. As a POC, she can’t completely identify with the right side even if she shares some of the same views.
6. Aaron was upset after Hawkins Hall got taken away and voiced his opinions about how people only know Ana is a conservative if she says it, but for him, it’s something people automatically see and judge before they even speak to him. What are your thoughts on this statement?
Jeria: I agree, but almost everything conservatives stand for is judgemental towards anyone that isn’t a conservative.
Chanel: I thought it was an interesting statement. It’s difficult to assume one’s political affiliation based off of their physical appearance but you can’t say the same for racial affiliation. This is why Aaron initially assumed that Ana was talking about creating a Latina safe space at the beginning of the episode. I can understand why it would be important to want a safe space for African American students when there is such a small population on the campus to begin with.
Tatyana: I could not help but think “you don’t like when people view you a certain way because of what you say. He doesn’t like what you say because you vote for people who judge him based off of the way he was born”. Should he have allowed her to speak? Yes. But I stand by his reaction 100%.
Bre: It’s true because he is an African American male and in this day and age, African Americans are still judged.
Chi: I agree in a sense, but Aaron has to remember that Ana is a woman of color too. People are going to automatically assume things about her also.
7. In the end, Zoey got everybody to coexist with their safe spaces. Do you think this was a realistic depiction of how people can solve their arguments on major political views?
Jeria: The most realistic way to end political conversations is agreeing to disagree.
Chanel: I think amongst a friend group this was very realistic. When you give people the opportunity to express how they truly feel it can become easier to open your mind to accept their ideas. I think when Ana and Aaron finally had an opportunity to talk and see where the other was coming from they were able to eventually agree to mutual respect. I don’t think this would have necessarily worked campus-wide given that not every person is going to have the desire to care about each person’s personal reasons as to why they believe in what they believe in.
Tatyana: Not really. I mean yes people who are friends can find a way to coexist. But in reality policies happen and one side has to be chosen in these decisions. Someone would find a way to be slighted and that would result in a bit of resentment. Altruism, though wonderful and amazing in theory, is not realistic.
Bre: No, not everybody can resolve these differences in a matter of minutes.
Chi: I think it is possible if the outcome is something really important then sure. Most of the time would that play out as well as it did? Probably not. Unfortunately, people are stuck in their ways these days.
We have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
This week’s Grown-ish brought out everyone’s frustrations. Aaron and Ana’s argument stretched far passed just the two of them. While the conversation this week brought up a lot of feelings, for most of us it was interesting to see how the show decided to take it. We do think that the discussion got wrapped up a little too neatly but it got its point across. It’s a lot easier to accept unwanted views when it’s inside of a friend group, but a lot harder when interacting with outsiders. The topic was very relevant to how the tensions of America are today. In true Grown-ish fashion, it stuck to showing us many points of view. It made us question our way of thinking while also telling us that we can still be strong in our point of view.
Zoey choosing to stay neutral in her way of thinking is something that has been consistent with her since Black-ish. It was nice to see her listen to both sides and then assess those views so that she could try and bring her friends back together. We like that the show is still tackling these tough issues. Next week, Zoey and her friends take on freshman formal. Zoey’s going to have to sort out her Luca and Aaron situation and we’re sure that will make for an excellent episode!