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basketball wives colorism

Source: VH1 / Viacom

No matter how Basketball Wives producers edit the drama that airs every Tuesday night, I still believe that OG experienced colorism from women in the group. Most likely, it was an unconscious bias mixed with an overall dislike for the star, which culminated in her being labeled “aggressive,” left to deal with double standards, and separated from her castmates at the reunion unfairly. All that being said though, I do wonder what the endgame is for OG in dealing with the situation, especially after watching the turn her conversation took with Malaysia during last night’s episode.

As mentioned, OG was made to look like quite the problem child in the latest episode (and honestly, the episode before that, and the episode before that…). She bumped heads with Jennifer and the newbies Nia and Noria. However, I’m not buying it. If the editing was correct that Jennifer no longer wanted to deal with OG because she didn’t express wild interest in her documentary about the scheming ex who stole her car, she handled it all in an immature way. We wear masks to avoid talking to people now? Really? She seemingly contributed to the negative energy that she claimed she was trying to avoid rather than just being an adult and speaking her piece.

And concerning Nia and Noria, I could understand OG’s reluctance to have women she barely knows try to play peacemaker for her with Shaunie. I also get why she wouldn’t like those same people sharing something she told them during a heartfelt moment with women who don’t like her in an attempt to have everyone play nice. They had been in the group for 24 hours. They meant well, but they were also naive to believe she was going to be happy that they tried to intervene. The group isn’t at odds over something trivial that others can help fix. We’re talking about accusations of colorism. Be real.

But what I didn’t understand was why the chance to speak with Malaysia went so left so quickly. While Kristen’s initial attempt to speak to OG failed due to the former’s firm stance that she never had a role in any behavior towards OG that could be described as colorist and wanting OG to list all the ways she felt she experienced it, Malaysia’s approach was a much better one. She owned up to the idea that maybe she had it wrong in saying during the reunion that colorism wasn’t there, and she wanted to know how she could go about fixing things so that OG would feel like a part of the sisterhood. She appeared sorry that such was the experience of OG and wanted clarity so that the behaviors wouldn’t be repeated. An overwhelmed OG would break into tears briefly, and Malaysia attempted to console her and encourage her to feel how she feels — let the emotion flow. But OG quickly dried her tears, stood by her experience with colorism, and told the ladies they were only coming around now because of the backlash they received from the public.

She makes a good point. Why did the ladies wait more than a year to reach out to her and get understanding? Is it because the cameras were rolling? Is it out of a desire to prove to the people who did indeed go after all of them on social media that they are compassionate, misunderstood her experiences, and are open-minded? Why didn’t they take any of the insights offered when receiving the backlash from people online to learn more about the ways in which they could have unconsciously mistreated OG? Why didn’t they educate themselves and then come to her?

OG’s skepticism of the ladies isn’t ridiculous when you think about it in that way. These dramatic “I’m going to meet with OG” moments could all be performative. However, if she wants them to address their behavior and do better, and she comes across people who are willing to do that, I would love to see her show a little more grace so that they can all work through this situation. Otherwise, what is all this struggle for? And I’m sure people will say, why does she have to show grace to individuals she felt mistreated her based on the way she looks and gave her the mean girl treatment? Well, if she truly wants the ladies to change so that she could better mix with them (she did say she was hopeful about dealing with the ladies), stonewalling those who desire to fix things won’t help that. If she doesn’t want resolution, does she instead want to just hold the cards and continue to feel maligned? That can’t be healthy, especially if she will be forced to deal with all of the ladies at some point until her contract ends. I get that she wants apologies, but she will never be able to know for sure how genuine they are. All she can do is hold the women accountable based on behavior moving forward.

I personally think that when someone comes to you with their hat in their hand, as the saying goes, you don’t necessarily have to 100 percent move on and let bygones be bygones. There’s nothing wrong with demanding better of people in a firm tone when you’re aggrieved. But based on what the previews for next week’s episode show, the conversation with Malaysia and OG won’t go very far, and that’s somewhat disappointing to see. I can’t say what OG wants (aside from those apologies) and as mentioned, I still agree with the unfairness of her experiences last season when compared to her co-stars. Nevertheless, I personally have no interest in watching a season full of people simply debating colorism as opposed to actually having the fruitful conversations necessary to keep it from happening again. That goes for all parties involved.

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