In “things our grandmas watched, thus made us watch too” news, Little House on the Prairie (which originally aired from 1974-1983) was trending on Twitter and one specific actor was the center of the discussion—Todd Bridges.
A clip of Bridges’ appearance in the series’ episode, “The Wisdom of Solomon” (which was a very apt title given the content) resurfaced on Twitter Sunday morning.
In the first half of the clip, Miss Beadle (Charlotte Stewart) asks the class to write an essay about the things they “dislike the most.” Solomon (portrayed by Bridges) then drops a necessary bomb and answers that he dislikes, “being a nigger” the most.
Then, in a later scene, Solomon is seen explaining himself to Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon) as the exchange clearly caused some commotion. Not only did Solomon provide the necessary truth noting that if he were white, his father would still be alive, but he shut the whole shit down with the following exchange:
Solomon: Tell me somethin’, sir—would you like to live to be 100?
Charles: I’m sure I would. It’s not very likely... I guess all of us would like to live to a ripe old age.
Solomon: Would you rather be black and live to be 100 or white and live to be 50?
Clearly not having a comeback to that, Charles walked right out the door as the Twinkly Music of Insight played in the background.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Of course, Black Twitter reacted quite strongly at how relevant the clip still is for us today. You know, since we’re still having this argument with white folks on the significance of privilege and all, especially in a time where white folks get to protest about the right to catch a deadly virus without immediately getting shot by the police for existing.
In fact, actor Tracie Thoms asked the man himself to reflect on the role, wondering if he knew the sheer gravity of that statement, even at such a young age.
“Yes I did,” Bridges tweeted on Sunday. “I [learned] a lot because I was from San Francisco and did not know about how racist people could be. It was not like that in San Francisco so it was a big wake up call.”