(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode of “Atlanta”)
Tuesday night’s episode of “Atlanta” reached a new level of irony with Craig — the wokest white man we all love to hate.
Van (Zazie Beetz) drags Earn (Donald Glover) to a very bougie Juneteenth party at the ginormous home of Monique and Craig — because Van needs to rub elbows with Monique and her friends to advance her career after being fired for smoking marijuana. The celebration was pretty surreal, featuring black servants, slave ship decorations and a drink called “plantation master poison.”
We meet Craig, who is white, when he welcomes Van and Earn by loudly proclaiming “Happy Freedom Day!” OK he’s a little extra, but so far so good.
Craig then tries to dap up Earn in a friendly greeting to show that he’s down (cool with black people), but it ends up being very awkward and uncoordinated. Still, no harm no foul. Craig can still redeem himself at this point.
At some point, Earn finds himself wandering into Craig’s study, where he observes a very dark picture of a man stabbing an eagle. Craig wanders in behind him and tells him that he himself painted that as an interpretation of the black man’s liberation from a Martin Luther King Jr. quote.
And that’s when Craig got a little (a lot) weird.
After Monique’s husband offers Earn a “real drink” and hands him a glass of Hennessy (we’ll let that one pass), he notices a picture of Craig in Africa and asks him if he’s an archeologist or an African Studies student or something. Turns out Craig is just an optometrist who’s really into Africa. He even gets a little mad when he finds out Earn hasn’t been to the “motherland” yet and proceeds to ask him what country his ancestors are from. Earn doesn’t know because, you know, slavery.
At this point, Craig is getting straight up annoying with his whole white savior thing.
But he’s so taken by Earn that Craig invites him to his slam poetry reading so that he can get some real feedback. Great.
Craig’s poetry takes a page out of Billie Holiday’s book and references her song “Strange Fruit” while saying “Jim Crow is haunting me.” Ummm…what Craig? By now, even social media couldn’t handle Craig.
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 26, 2016
— Dreaded Dreamer 夢想 (@Jazputin) October 26, 2016
I'm already crying at the negrophile on #AtlantaFX ????????????
— (insert name here) (@CirqueduLiza) October 26, 2016
omfg this slam poetry by craig pls help #atlantafx
— mike taddow (@taddmike) October 26, 2016
You’d think this is the end of Craig, but wait there’s more.
In a bonding moment between Monique and Van, the former discloses that Craig insulted her 95-year-old grandmother by telling her she was cooking her collard greens wrong.
Craig’s only saving grace in this episode was when his pretentious wife described Alfred/Paper Boi as a “trifling thug,” a sentiment that we could clearly see offended Craig. Although we’re not sure if he was bothered by her comments because they were very judgmental or because Paper Boi is his favorite rapper.
We applaud Craig for being woke and aware of the social injustices in the black community, but he’s past being the cool ally and reached into dangerous territory of white privilege.
Don’t be Craig.