Race and politics were at the center of this awkward, roller coaster of a conversation.
The week following the election, its results — or immediate lack thereof — was all anybody was talking about. Everybody, it seems, but Ramona Singer.
On Tuesday’s new episode of “The Real Housewives of New York,” which was filmed after Election Day but before a winner was officially called, Singer adamantly refused to talk politics with costar Eboni K. Williams during a tense conversation between the two at Ramona’s home.
At the time, it seemed like Joe Biden was headed toward a win, with Eboni remarking how exciting it was to have a woman vice president in Kamala Harris. “I don’t want to talk politics,” Singer immediately replied, but Williams wouldn’t drop it. “Have we had a woman vice president, Ramona? That’s an objective fact,” said Eboni, who felt that was at least some kind of “middle ground” around the fact they were women and Harris being in the White House was a victory for them all.
“You know I’m not going to let you off the hook,” Eboni continued, as Ramona continued to try and changed the subject. Singer than thanked her new costar for opening her eyes to microaggressions against the Black community and white female fragility, following their trip together to the Hamptons. When Williams then noted that we’re a “divided country,” pointing to the close election results as proof, Singer shut it down again.
“Can we just change the subject?” Ramona said, getting out of her seat. “I’m going to take a step away because, you know what, I don’t want to do this. I don’t. I’m liking you. I don’t know you that well, I feel like you’re teaching me, you’re preaching me.”
She then left the room and conversed with her dog for a few minutes, leaving Eboni alone with her own dog in the living room. In a confessional, Williams said she wasn’t trying to see what Ramona’s “party politics” were, but was instead “trying to understand what [her] values are.”
When Ramona returned to the living room, she exclaimed that she just wanted to “have fun” after a hard week — with Eboni telling her that her “privilege” allowed her to ignore politics. “You’re preaching,” Ramona told her, as Eboni said she wasn’t. “That’s gaslighting,” Williams told her.
“I’m not gaslighting you,” Ramona shot back. “You’re gaslighting me.”
“I’m telling you that I want to have a real friendship with you Ramona because I like you,” Eboni continued, “But you can’t like me only when I say the things you want me to say.”
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After Ramona reiterated that she doesn’t want to talk “race, religion or creed” with anyone, she added that Eboni had to “back off a little bit” because “the other girls aren’t feeling really good about this, they feel like you’re lecturing us.”
The comment came after Eboni hosted a dinner party in Harlem, during which she gave the women an education in Black excellence. The ladies weren’t entirely receptive to the idea, feeling they were getting a history lesson instead of a fun night out. Flashbacks to a conversation between Ramona, LuAnn and Sonja showed Lu saying the dinner felt like “being back at school,” while Sonja hoped she would “loosen up” a bit with them in the future.
“They should be big girls because everybody is an adult and they should say how they feel. You can’t tell me not to talk about how I feel,” Eboni then told Ramona, who said the conversation was getting “too heavy” for her.
“This is too serious of a conversation when I just want to enjoy my life. I want to escape for 24 hours,” Singer said. “I’m glad you can do that, I don’t have the privilege to do that,” Eboni shot back, before pointing to her skin and saying, “Am I supposed to take this off and hang it up?” She added, “Do you have a coat closet for my Blackness, Ramona?”
“I’m feeling I’m being attacked,” said Ramona, who then tried to prove she knew some Black history by name-dropping C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America. The only problem: She called her “E.J. Walker” instead, something Eboni was quick to correct.
“Oh whatever. I gotta go now. Okay, I’m going,” said Ramona — inside her own home — before expressing frustration with how Eboni “corrected” her.
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“How about saying, ‘You know what Ramona, that is admirable that you knew the first millionaire woman was a Black chick’ instead of correcting me like a teacher,” Ramona continued. “You’re not getting it right now.”
The two eventually hugged it out, with Eboni saying she wasn’t a “big, scary monster.” She added that she wasn’t “going to treat [Ramona] with kid gloves and white fragility because [she’s] a strong white woman.” Added Ramona: “And you’re a strong Black bitch.”
“Yeah, I am. I like that,” said Eboni, before calling their roller coaster conversation a total “s— show” in a confessional. “But one that we survived,” she added, “and I hope that it ends up bringing us closer in a weird way.”
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