Last week’s Real World episode dealt with some sensitive issues. Namely, Mike used some derogatory language and made some racially insensitive comments. Once his roommate started to question his choice of words, he felt embarrassed and defensive. Ultimately, this resulted in him choosing to remove himself from the house.
Firstly, Mike used the “n-word.” While this made Orlana uncomfortable, other black roommates (namely Tyara and Kassius) seemed OK with giving Mike a pass. Kassisus stated he gave Mike a pass mostly because they’re friends, but also because Mike wasn’t using the word maliciously. While there’s definitely an offensive history to the word that should not be ignored, Mike used the word to describe the original 7 roommates, some of whom are white.
The second comment garnered a little more controversy. When Jordan talked about certain men liking her “baby hairs” growing as bangs, Mike didn’t like this hairstyle. Harmless enough, but the fact that Jordan implied black men liked this look resulted in Mike asking if she wanted to appeal to black men so they could rub coco butter on their ashy skin together. When Jordan told Orlana, she was upset. This is what pushed Mike to pack his bags. It wasn’t until Mike left that Kassius heard the comments, and he was happy Mike left. However, Theo and Jordan encouraged Mike to say even knowing the comments he mad.
Did Mike deserve to leave? Well, many Real Worlders have made racial comments and grown from it. Other have made comments and just looked foolish. No one has ever been directly removed from the house due to racial comment, though they have resulted in heated arguments. A part of me understands Mike’s desire to leave, as these comments and have a negative impact on a person’s reputation, and he wanted to avoid any further damage. Especially after his appearance on Are You the One, he likely wanted to minimize any damage to his reputation.
However, if he really wanted to grow from the experience he would have stayed. He would have apologized to his roommates and listened to their reactions. While Mike may not have intentionally made these comments with a malicious intent, there is clearly a layer of ignorance that allowed him to make these comments without second guessing himself. If he made the effort to understand the perspective of others, he likely would have gained some favor after such an ugly situation.
What do you think about Mike’s decision to leave?