Standing For What’s Right, Not What’s Popular

We have come to the end of season 4 of The Real Housewives of Dallas (RHOD) and I can’t say that I’m sad to see it finally over the horizon. If Andy himself had given me the heads up about what to expect this past season, I wouldn’t have believed him. See all that transpired on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last season. LOL.

Here we go…

Ever since the midseason trailer dropped around the end of October last year, the RHOD fanbase has been up in arms, with their virtual pitchforks, ready to burn LeeAnne at the stake for saying “chirpy Mexican” in relation to Kary (the replacement). As I expressed at the time, there was nothing racist about what she said and on that I never wavered. I pointed out on my social media that LeeAnne’s comments were inappropriate and the tone was offensive but what they weren’t, was racist.

“There had to be more to what was said,”  I mumbled to myself. As the weeks went on, it was made clear (at least to me).

The women went to Thailand for their cast trip and all seemed to be going well at first until LeeAnne had the sensibilities to remind Kary that she should take her hat off as they were a foot way from entering the temple. This led Kary to make comments that were extremely elitist and rude comments; that LeeAnne had never traveled outside the US before and she has, so LeeAnne shouldn’t tell her what to do. Like, how can you be mad at someone reminding you to take your hat off before you enter a temple, in someone else’s country? It doesn’t make sense. That just made her seem like those snobby tourists who visit developing countries and treat locals badly. If you go back to my first blog of the season, you’ll recall me saying that I hope Kary’s purpose isn’t just to go after LeeAnne. It was evident, her goal, was to have a go at LeeAnne for everything.

They had a dinner and D’Andrasomeone I did love when she joined in season 2, decided it would be funny if she wore LeeAnne‘s dress, L’Infinity by LeeAnne LockenWhy would it be funny to mock someone’s business though, someone you claimed to have wanted to repair a friendship? She and Kary spent a good while laughing at dress in the hotel room then again at the dinner table. The women weren’t really laughing, so they kept going and going like the damn energizer bunny. Even Brandi had to step in and defend LeeAnne in that moment. Probably the most genuine thing she’s ever done for herI was shocked! LeeAnne walked off and didn’t give them the reaction they expect at the table. Kary of course didn’t like that she was called out by everyone, except for D’Andra, and went on to say LeeAnne loved playing the victim. There was no winning for her LeeAnne. If you’re honest, you’ll admit that up until that point LeeAnne had done nothing to this woman. NONE. But all we’ve seen from Kary (when she wasn’t complaining about money) was her using every opportunity to question LeeAnne about everything. 90% of the time, not really wanting an explanation or to listen, just to find another thing to have a go at her for. 

It was here that we heard LeeAnne say to Stephanie, after expressing that Kary kept coming for her sideways, that since Kary‘s so bold, she should do it to her face. This prompted the “come Mexican, I thought you were Mexican and strong…” while she pounded at her chest. I felt badly watching it as I knew I would’ve but understood the frustration. Kary had been goading her all season and she finally snapped. Some may not agree but this bit isn’t an opinion, it’s what happened. Social media lit up. The anger and hatred toward LeeAnne grew. Hardly anyone was willing to listen to what I had to say. I wasn’t anti-LeeAnne so I must’ve agreed with what was said, right? Wrong! I’ve said since the onset that her comments were not appropriate and that people could use whatever verbiage they wanted to describe it, but leave racism out of the dialogue. Attacks came from all over. I was getting beat up on social media and when that wasn’t enough, people took to my blog.

I hope your dignity is intact”, “You must be racist, too”, “You’re so f&@#ing stupid”, “I bet you don’t like Jews, either” were some of the things said to me. If I was a frail little man, I’d have crumbled. I could only imagine the things said to LeeAnne. I was firm in position because I knew what I had said and what my argument was. For those who wanted to have a discussion, I explained to them the reasons why LeeAnne’s comment cannot be seen as racist because not only is Mexican not a race (it’s a nationality like American is) but anyone from any race can be Mexican. That still didn’t seem to sit well with people because to them I was defending what LeeAnne had said. Still, they couldn’t provide any proof of me doing so. Some said I was focusing on semantics and that it was still offensive and I shouldn’t tell Latin/Hispanic people (any race can be either as this is someone’s ethnicity) that they shouldn’t be. Again, I didn’t. My only contention was having people use the proper terminologies.

The other comment LeeAnne made was after the women went to a ladyboy and ping pong show in the red light district (suggested by Stephanie’s husband). LeeAnne was very vocal about not wanting to go because the area was a bit seedy to her but made the decision to go, so she wouldn’t be seen as a drip. Kary commented that she was from Mexico so she knows what danger was (reinforcing the stereotype that Mexico is a bad place, but no one seems to care about that). Later, LeeAnne was shouting at Kameron (aggression misdirected) that they saw so many sex workers and that she didn’t want to go but (here comes the comment) “the little chirpy Mexican had to have her way.” This was the context of the what she said. Again, this came off offensive and I get anyone being offended as they should be, but it wasn’t racist. LeeAnne’s issue was never that Kary is Mexican (nothing is wrong with that) but that she was annoyed by her constant provocation and was at her limit. Does that make it okay? Of course not! This LeeAnne knows and it’s something many have expressed.

In the finale and like a lot of people usually do, she tried to explain herself at first then she apologized to Kary. Due to how strong cancel culture has become, no one was willing to listen to the apology in the finale, which was filmed around May of 2019. “She can’t be that ignorant, she has to be racist,” Kary said. LeeAnne had also apologized on social media, then she posted a statement as well as on the filmed reunion which finished airing a week ago. Fans (some) would not let up, that wasn’t until a video surfaced of Brandi from about 3 years ago, squinting her eyes, using a stereotypical Southeastern Asian accent. People were outraged and rightfully so. Unlike what LeeAnne did, Brandi (at first) said she would do it again because she likes doing impersonations and thought it as funny. She then offered an apology about 2 ~ 3 days later after NBC wrote about it. Colour me surprised (not really) that this video popped up and that she saw nothing wrong it. 

On the show Brandi refused to answer the question of whether or not she thought LeeAnne was racist but at the reunion, she started “tearing up” that she has Latin/Hispanic family members and for LeeAnne to say what she did was racism. It wasn’t. She even got up and took out a chair to single LeeAnne out. I can’t. Stephanie changed her tune from what she said on the show, to she now thought LeeAnne’s comments were racist. Kameron was the only one who stuck to her guns about what she thought. Of course, Kary would say LeeAnne was racist but for D’Andra to say she absolutely believed LeeAnne was a racist had me boggled. The same LeeAnne who was her maid of honor in her wedding, who was friends with her for years. What does that say about D’andra?

It didn’t take long to even point out the hypocrisy from fans and the women as they’ve all (except Kam) been so vocal about what LeeAnne did but have been doubling down and are now saying people should leave Brandi alone because the video was 3 years ago and that she wasn’t being mean where as LeeAnne was. That she was making fun of her own eyes because cast members have said her eyes are small. That may be true of herself but if her cast members told her she had squinty Asian eyes, that is a racist stereotype used to bully the Asians who do have it and they need to check themselves. The two are different. LeeAnne‘s offense was targeted at one person, a white Latina whereas Brandi‘s was aimed at an entire race. Also, Brandi did not apologize 3 years ago because no one saw it, except for one person.

It’s funny how those who wanted me to call LeeAnne a racist, have gone silent about Brandi. Unsurprisingly, majority were defending her, no one from the cast (except a now deleted post from Kameron, possibly by producer’s request) have come out to admonish Brandi like they did to LeeAnne. Many have even blamed a video Brandi made on her own and posted to her Instagram on LeeAnne. They’re asking why is the video coming out now? Why try to hurt Brandi? Instead of asking, why was it done ever at all? Even the most genuine and real housewife (as a lot of fans claim), Stephanie, hasn’t. Maybe she also thought it was funny as she finds it hard to actually say Brandis video used a racist stereotype. But the one leading majority of the negativity on the reunion, who came out on his late night talk show to call what LeeAnne did vile and disgusting, has yet to say anything about Brandi’s video. No word from Kary nor D’Andra yet they wasted no shortage of time to publicly label LeeAnne as a racist.

I haven’t and will not label LeeAnne a racist and I will not do the same to Brandi. If anyone cared about the lives of these women and what they did before the show, they’d (hopefully) not be so quick to throw out labels and call for people to be cancelled. To err is human, though some mistakes are grander than others, we should give people a chance to show they’ve grown from the lapse in judgment. It’s also not lost on me that this cast and Andy sat in a room with majority of the same producers, to discuss racism amongst themselves. The tone deafness of it all.

See you next season…if there is one.

The Real Housewives of Dallas aired Wednesdays at 9pm on Bravo.

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