Oh, Brandi Redmond. How far you’ve fallen.
The Real Housewife of Dallas star, once a fan-favorite, has quickly fallen from grace. Her latest infraction is her attempt to blame co-star Tiffany Moon for her white fragility.
“I feel like sometimes I’m, like, very guarded when it comes to our relationship because of the video.”
“I just feel like I want to be completely authentically me in front of you but I just feel like I’m just scared to be myself.”
She then said that she felt like Tiffany was “judging her” because of the video and wasn’t being completely honest with her.
Tiffany, who could not have been kinder, responded,
“I never thought that you said or did any of those things out of an intention to make others feel badly about themselves, which I have personally experienced. And I never thought that you intended that, which I thought I had made clear to you.”
Considering Brandi is trying to blame Tiffany for her white fragility, Tiffany was extremely calm.
But what Brandi did to her was absolutely not ok. By accusing Tiffany of judging her or potentially lying to hide her true feelings, she is blaming Tiffany for her wounded white heart.
Yes, it can be extremely difficult and uncomfortable to confront your own racism, especially when you previously believed you “didn’t have a racist bone in your body.” It must bring up a lot of feeling as you are forced to deal with the harsh truth of your unconscious bias.
But — and this is a big “but” — it is absolutely not ok to take out those feelings on the injured party, i.e. the victim of your racism.
Brandi had no right to burden Tiffany with her feelings and was absolutely wrong to try to find some way to blame Tiffany for feeling “judged.”
Brandi and Tiffany had already discussed the resurfaced video in the first episode of the season when the two decided to deal with it head-on. Brandi apologized for the harm she caused and Tiffany said that she believed Brandi was sincere and not a malicious person.
Tiffany has handled the situation with the utmost grace — perhaps more than Brandi deserved. And yet, Brandi has the audacity to dump her feelings of white fragility on Tiffany.
Meanwhile, can you imagine how exhausted Tiffany must be at this point? Not only does Tiffany have to hold Brandi’s hand as she reckons with her racism, but she also has to continue dealing with racist attacks on a daily basis — which has only increased since COVID.
Tiffany had even recently told Brandi about her racist experiences a few episodes ago and recounted an incident in which a patient asked for “a new doctor that doesn’t have coronavirus.”
“First I was mad and then I was sad. I’m a strong woman, I’m a doctor, I empower other women. But there’s still that sad girl inside me every day.”
And yet, despite knowing this, Brandi decided to coerce Tiffany to freely give her emotional labor and baby her so that Brandi could feel better about herself. She wanted someone to blame for feeling uncomfortable about her own racist past and she blamed Tiffany. Not acceptable, Brandi.
Tiffany’s Lifelong Experiences With Racism
Tiffany has been more than open about her own experiences with racism.
In an essay for People, she explained that she came to the United States from China when she was six years old and “didn’t know a lick of English.”
“It was really scary [growing up as an immigrant]. Kids can be awfully mean. I remember riding the bus to school and people would call me [racial slurs] and they would do the eye thing and sing little songs about me. I remember occasionally being pushed or hit or tripped, having spit wads thrown in my hair.”
But the bullying didn’t stop there. In middle school, she said her nickname was “egg roll.”
“I think in some ways, that sort of racism is taught because I think they probably watched something or learned that from somewhere.”
Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID
Anti-Asian racism has only skyrocketed since COVID — partially because of Trump’s anti-Asian racism himself (he took to calling it the “Chinese Virus” while in office).
According to several community organizations, there have been at least 3,000 anti-Asian hate crimes since March 2020. This is compared to only 100 the year before. 40% of the crimes have taken place in California alone.
Incidents have included stabbings, killings, physical assaults, verbal assaults, and more. And, of course, we cannot discount the day-to-day microaggressions, which do not go reported.
A Final Word
If you, like Brandi, feel that you cannot “be yourself” without fear of offending someone then perhaps it’s time you think long and hard about why that is.
The first step in confronting racism is to confront your very own racism and unconscious biases.
And since Brandi will most likely not be returning to RHOD next season, she’ll certainly have plenty of time to do the anti-racist work she so desperately needs to do.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.