*Bravo Housewife Franchise Intro Music* “They call me The Root’s Staff Entertainment Writer because I always hear it through the Grapevine.” *poses with folded arms for emphasis as my name is displayed across the screen*
In Housewife franchise news that doesn’t involve Porsha Williams’ peachy production of an engagement announcement, Real Housewives of New York’s Eboni K. Williams and Luann de Lesseps stood out in the reality show’s latest episode, which aired on Tuesday night. Eboni, who is the first Black housewife in the New York version of the Bravo reality franchise apparently had quite the disagreement with Luann, and—like most contentious interactions between Black women and white women—the topic of race came up.
Apparently, it all started when Ramona Singer and Leah McSweeney continued an ongoing disagreement in regard to talking about sex openly with friends. Luann noted that she doesn’t agree with vulgar word usage, to which Eboni responded, “I don’t subscribe to the fact that to use those words means you’re unclassy or not a lady.” Luann then countered that it’s not so much about class, but more so “education.” This prompted Eboni to point out that actually, she was “the most educated person in the group.”
Here’s how it went down after that, per People:
“So you think your degree makes you more educated?” asked Luann. “That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard somebody say.”
Though Eboni, 37, tried to explain that saying she was the most educated was simply a “criminal fact” and did not imply that she was the smartest among the group, Luann wasn’t having it.
“At this point I’m seeing red,” said Luann. “Education to me is somebody to me that is well-rounded in so many ways — well-traveled, speaks languages. Is she trying to make us feel like we’re idiots?”
“Don’t come into my house and tell me I don’t have an education,” Luann snapped at Eboni.
“I never said that,” Eboni replied. “You need to clean your ears out and listen.”
As the two continued to duke it out by rehashing their argument, Ramona became upset by the volume of the conversation.
“Oh my god, my ears are hurting,” said Ramona, 64. “Bring it down.”
“Your white fragility is killing me right now,” said Eboni.
And I oop!
Both Luann and Ramona immediately formed the Race-Denial Voltron, questioning why Eboni had to bring race into it. The miscommunication began to frustrate Eboni so she raised her voice.
Then this happened:
“Why are you getting so angry?” said Luann.
“Oh, now I’m the angry Black woman,” Eboni replied.
“I’m not going there,” said Luann. “You’re an angry woman right now. I never referred to your color, nor would I.”
Yikes. This was like a targeted language word generator of microaggressions! If it wasn’t the pushback to the uppity Black woman who dared to note her higher education, it was the “angry” label that far too many Black women encounter when we express any sort of pushback.
In a move that I wish she didn’t have to do but completely understand (especially as a writer at a Black publication that often unapologetically calls out wypipo), Eboni confirmed on her Instagram page that she is taking a break from social media for a couple of weeks.
In an IGTV video, she noted that she was “coming from a really vulnerable place” during that heated conversation and that she was “[pulling] a Naomi Osaka...to protect my peace.”