Other shows have referenced, to quote It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, “the orange one,” but no scripted series has addressed President Donald Trump as directly as last night’s extraordinary black-ish, “Lemon.” The Emmy-nominated ABC sitcom, created by Kenya Barris, has stealthily become one of the best comedies on network television, especially when it has something to say, like in season two’s “Hope.” That episode was set almost entirely in the Johnson’s living room, where they discussed police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement — “Lemon,” meanwhile, took place in Dre’s workplace; everyone involved voted for Hillary Clinton, except “resident white woman” Lucy.
When her co-workers demand an explanation for why she supported the “orange p*ssy-grabber,” Lucy explains, “I’m not some crazy right-wing nut you guys. I voted for Obama, twice. I even got my Republican parents to vote for him. He felt different. I believed he was gonna change stuff. But it’s eight years later. My dad’s still out of work. My hometown’s about to go under. And Hillary comes out saying she’s basically going to keep everything the same. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me and my family.” It’s a perspective that you don’t get from Twitter egg avatars — a vote for Trump isn’t always a vote for racism. People have their reasons for backing Trump or Clinton and, “Lemon” argues, maybe if we listened to what those reasons are, instead of yelling at each other, there wouldn’t be such a toxic us vs. them mentality.
Through most of the discussion, the typically-outspoken Andre is unusually quiet, at least until Leslie asks him if he cares about this country. That’s when he launches into a monologue, set to Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit,” that’s as heartfelt and passionate as it is emotionally complicated. Here it is, in full.