On This Is Us Tuesday, the long-awaited conversation about racism between Kevin and Randall Pearson finally took place.
Fans of the show have been waiting multiple seasons for this conversation, but it all came to a head during the Season 4 finale, when Kevin and Randall said some choice words to each other on Madison’s front yard, around the same time Randall started uncovering his hidden feelings about growing up in a white family.
“I never wanted to be special, man. I just wanted to blend in like everybody else. But that was impossible in our family, because I always stood out. Everywhere we went. The store, the park, vacations. And the last thing I needed, man, the last thing, was for my brother to use my Blackness to other me also,” Randall explained to Kevin before admitting, “You had racial blind spots, Kev. Deep ones that affected me.”
After apologizing to Randall for the times he felt alone throughout his childhood, Randall thanked Kevin for his rehearsed apology. “You’re just glossing over one overt moment of racism with an obviously prepared speech of things that you think I want to hear,” said Randall. “That is not taking responsibility. After all these years, you’re still so tone-deaf, man.”
While the tension of the conversation felt “uncomfortable” to some viewers, it was a necessary one to have on-screen and an important one to have in real life, which is why fans of the show took to social media Tuesday night to commend This Is Us for its progressive, authentic and honest conversation about racism.
“Rest of the world can’t say the ugly thing. But we have to,” Randall told Kevin, who responded, “You’re not just my smart, successful brother, Randall. You’re my Black, smart, successful brother. And I think maybe I did resent that. And maybe I thought you getting special treatment was mixed up with you being Black. And I wanted to take you down a notch, and I overlooked things that I shouldn’t have. And I took shots at you that I shouldn’t have taken. And I was more jealous of you than I should’ve been.”
While Kevin didn’t quite see what he was missing from the picture at the beginning of the conversation, ultimately, Randall was able to fill in the blanks, which allowed his brother to finally understand and, more importantly, allowed the Pearson men to finally end their feud.
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