Being Mary Jane Racism at Work and Infighting for Black Lives Matter

Last night’s episode was definitely one that we need to not only watch but to digest.

I haven’t recapped Being Mary Jane in a season or two but I definitely had to write something about this episode.

While there were many situations, issues and topics that I can discuss I want to focus on just 2. Even though Patrick finding his calling and Niecy growing up are a pretty big deal for those characters.

Okay, back to the two I want to dive into.

Let’s start with the young man Patrick looks like he’s taking under his wing. This young man had a problem with a speaker at one of the Black Lives Matter rallies because of his sexual preference. Patrick had to school him. But what I think people miss is the work. If we don’t want people to judge our performance based on our skin color, then why are we judging based on people’s sexual preference? At the end of the day, all that matters is justice and equal opportunities.

Pay attention to the work being done and not so much about the personal life of the person doing it. As long as their personal life is not affecting the work, it has no importance in the discussion.

Now the other topic that did get me a little ticked. I even talked about being an “angry black woman” on an episode of my podcast.

Dani one of the new reporters made some racist comments. They weren’t prejudice. Maybe ignorant. But definitely racist. And Mary Jane pointed it out. Albeit, in a direct way. Nevertheless, it was something many of us want to say or have said. It really came down to whether Justin’s mom was white or not. And if she was white then that’s how he was able to have certain looks or be “intelligent” enough to do the job he has as a senior producer. Well………….there are many black people with light color eyes who have 2 black parents. And intelligence is not only in one race.

So Mary Jane had to apologize and Dani didn’t. At the network, no one saw the problem with Dani’s comment as offensive but with Mary Jane’s behavior in how she responded to the remarks.

As a black woman, I honestly was ticked. Why did Mary Jane have to apologize for voicing her frustration with microaggressions in the workplace? No, Mary Jane was not playing or acting like a victim in that situation.

Anyway, they had a “party” to show the world they are one big happy family. In other words, they faked the funk.

Last night’s episode of Being Mary Jane really showed an inner look at racism in the workplace. How it’s seen as a misunderstanding from one perspective and vitriol from another. Either way you see it know this, making snide comments about someone based on assumptions you feel makes them a better person is not okay.

If you hear people making those comments, speak up.

Now I don’t want people to lose their job but when that behavior continues to go unchecked, it makes it so much easier for us to blow up. And then we are the ones left apologizing for the hurt we unleashed.

Being Mary Jane is a show I love to hate. I love the fact they don’t shy away from taboo topics. Hello, A Toast to Truths. But I hate it because Mary Jane’s character can’t seem to get her life together. I’m still not over what she did to Lee.

But as black women we are in a constant state of tug-o-war with how we need to be for ourselves, our families, our community and at work. And none of them seem to align.

Racism at work and infighting for Black Lives Matter unfortunately won’t end anytime soon. But we can do what we need to do, personally, in order to not let that stress take us into a mental space we don’t belong in.

Check out some of my aha moments and highlights from the show.


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