The Movie “You People” a Recipe for Racial Harmony

Ending racial distancing remains the key to a better world

Jeffrey Kass

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LOS ANGELES, CA. January 17, 2023: Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Duchovny, Andrea Savage and Kenya Barris at the premiere for “You People” Pic: Paul Smith
Image: Shutterstock/FeatureFlash Photo Agency

At first glance, the new Netflix film, “You People,” seems like just another romantic comedy.

Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus jam pack the movie with nonstop laughs.

Social media posts among friends were largely along the lines of, “Hilarious movie!”

But beneath the layers of laughter — sorely needed in our very serious world — the movie is actually promoting an idea that, if practiced in real life, has the power to derail years of deeply ingrained, unconscious bias we have toward each other. To put the kibosh on the lethal effects of false imagery and incorrect stereotypes.

“You People,” produced by Blacks and Jews together, is a love story about Ezra, a white Jew played by Jonah Hill, and Amira, a Black Muslim played by Lauren London, navigating the serious challenges of families who have all kinds of over-the-top, absurd views about the other’s ethnic and racial groups.

Hill’s parents are upper-class Jewish suburbanites who, while meaning well, as many liberal Jews do in real life, act out their deep-seated, false views of Black people through endless microaggressions toward London and her family. From comments about London’s hair to feigning outrage over racist cops to inauthentically over-loving Black music.

The movie uses humor to shine a spotlight on some of the things Black people endure daily by lumping in every imaginable racist microaggression perpetrated by this one family. The microaggressions aren’t funny in real life, but the film’s piling of ridiculous on top of more ridiculous emphasizes their absurdity.

London’s parents aren’t any better than Hill’s. Her family are followers of the Nation of Islam and spew out every imaginable conspiracy theory, stereotype and anti-Jewish trope known to humankind. From the Jews-ran-the-slave-trade nonsense. To the Jews are responsible for making them take COVID vaccines. To all Jews are rich.

The tropes and conspiracies aren’t themselves funny in real life, but by combining a litany of over-the-top anti-Jewish jabs into one family, the movie cleverly…

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Jeffrey Kass

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad