POC of the Vampire Diaries: Emily Bennett
The Vampire Diaries
~ Special Edition Post ~
I need to start this one off with a preface or sorts.
1) I'm really not surprised Bianca Lawson is on this show. I've noticed the names of Buffy alumni in the producer credits (though you wouldn't have guessed it by the quality of writing on this show). That being said, Bianca really needs to learn to stay the hell away from the CW, especially when she's offered a character named "Emily".
2) Bianca's character of Emily Bennett embodies the penultimate white fantasy: a POC with phenomenal power who still willingly serves white people and fixes all their problems. On TVD, Emily is a maid to the vampire Katherine during 1864 in friggin' Virginia (which, by the way, reminds me: TVD takes one of the most Disneyfied approaches to American slavery).
Bar patrons, let's keep it one hundred: if any POC had had a tenth of Emily's abilities back during the slavery era...there wouldn't have been a slavery era.
No POC with her abilities would have been a slave, nor a refugee on their own damn land. No POC would've been lining up to use their powers for the benefit of white imperialists - that is racial masturbatory fantasy of the highest order.
On TVD, Emily apparently served Katherine (with a conveniently big smile on her face, mind you) because Katherine once saved her life. Uh-uh; it's a shallow, flimsy excuse if I ever saw one. I get doing Katherine a favor or two, but Emily's continued service defied all reason, along with her attempt to save the townsfolk. In addition to regular maid's services, Emily gave Katherine and her vamp friends day rings to protect them from sunlight and help them blend in with humans. She enchanted the vampire hunters' gadgets to help them track and kill vampires. THEN she enchanted the doorway of the tomb beneath a church were 26 vampires were imprisoned, so that they couldn't cross the threshold (thus, any vamp who went in to save them couldn't come back out).
Had the human dynamic been a bit more realistic on the show, Emily would've done Katherine one favor as a thank you before leaving the town of rich white Confederate sympathizers to its much deserved doom.
This is what I mean about these shows not being about us. They're not cast and written to empower us. They're even not penned to "appease" us. They're written to distract, entertain, and overall make white people feel good about themselves.
And now for the dead Negro portion of tonight's rant.
Despite her immense knowledge and power, and despite all the things she does to save the town (without their knowledge, of course), Emily is discovered, branded a witch, and burned at the stake for all her troubles. Nice. She burns where a hundred other witches burned before her, and a nice big plantation-style house is later built over their ashes.