There's nothing that Fiona Goode hates more than a racist. Although this probably isn't totally true (I'm guessing she hates aging and the mysterious new Supreme even more), this witch doesn't seem to be a bigot. In fact, the only characters on American Horror Story: Coven
who are, in fact racist, are Madame LaLaurie and Marie Laveau: two women from very different eras. Two women who are immeasurably hateful, vengeful, and complex. In order to capture Madame LaLaurie, Marie Laveau manipulates Queenie, the only African American witch in the coven, to believe her sisters think less of her because she is Black. Queenie eventually does Marie Laveau's bidding, but what at what price? What kind of message is being sent to the viewers of American Horror Story: Coven?
American Horror Story: Freak Show is available on Amazon Prime.
To be perfectly clear, I understand that racism is an ongoing societal issue. It's horrifying, despicable, and is the most archaic and ignorant mindset to have. It's understandable that Queenie feels isolated and even marginalized within her coven. However, the only trait that the girls use against Queenie is her weight, and this is a completely separate issue (not that this is acceptable, either). As far as I know (and you can correct me if I'm wrong), no one has made any racist remarks towards Queenie, except for Madame LaLaurie (and the woman is an immortal psycho). I don't even think Queenie is truly stigmatized due to her skin color. The coven is comprised of fairly intellectual, progressive women. Even Fiona. No one thinks less of her because she is African American.
Not to say Fiona Goode doesn't use Queenie's race to her advantage in other ways. In order to persuade Queenie to help her convince everyone Myrtle Snow threw acid on Cordelia's face, she makes her think that she might be the new Supreme. She adds that it would be a nice change to have a woman of color be the new leader.
Is this racist? I don't think so. Manipulative? Definitely. "Manipulative" is Fiona's middle name.
However, just when Madame LaLaurie is beginning to shed her gruesome past life as psychotic slave owner, she does something extremely stupid. She tells Queenie that she will never be looked at the same way as the other witches, due to her dark skin. Queenie takes this personally and seeks Marie Laveau for answers. The Voodoo Queen takes Queenie's low self-esteem to her advantage and creates a false scenario between her and her coven.
Doing this is effective, and Queenie seemingly teams up with Marie Laveau, convinced that she belongs with the Voodoo tribe, and that the coven will never take her seriously if she sides with them. Although Queenie is shown torturing Madame LaLaurie, the previews for "The Sacred Taking" suggest something completely different. Perhaps Queenie realizes she is being played by Marie Laveau, who is truly wicked for pulling the race card. Racism is a complex subject, and in a show like American Horror Story, where almost every single character holds a secret agenda, it cannot be taken lightly, even if it's just a vehicle for revenge.
Watch and see what happens in the all new episode Wednesday at 10pm on FX!
(Image courtesy of FX)