Bonnie Bennett Appreciation Week, Day 7: Why I Love Bonnie

I love Bonnie because she’s Black.

What?

Every so often, someone who’s probably White tries to attain relevancy by telling Bonnie fans that they only like Bonnie because she’s Black. Except they say it like some kind of accusation. As if loving Bonnie because she’s Black invalidates Bonnie fans’ feelings about her? There are some people, who are probably White, who say that only Black people love Bonnie and any ship involving Bonnie (and these ships are made interracial by the fact that every potential love interest for Bonnie is white as snow), but I have a stronger side-eye for the former.

I love Bonnie because she’s Black, because I’m Black, and I love witches, and I’ve never watched a television show featuring a Black witch. As a matter of fact, let’s play a game, and you can take all the time you want:

Name five Black witches in a tv series, who were on Bonnie’s level. And you can include Bonnie. It doesn’t matter if the series was short-lived, so you can count shows like The Secret Circle and Eastwick. But name five Black witches who went through the journey of discovering their powers, fought enemies, etc. Give me five names, characters through which we saw the journey of witchcraft, and they happened to be Black. And I’ll name five White ones. Go!

Phoebe Halliwell, Piper Halliwell, Paige Halliwell, Prue Halliwell, and…I mean gosh, my options are so many that I need to sift through them….I’ll go with Willow Rosenberg. Sabrina Spellman was a while ago, as was Samantha Stephens. Cassie Blake—you know what, I said only five, so I’ll stop.

Did you—-are you still thinking? I said you could include Bonnie. Are you—-? Ok.

Stop telling people they only love Bonnie because she’s Black as if you don’t love the White characters that you love because they’re White. Stop. You love them, in part, because they’re White. How do I know this? Because people like you raise a stink if anyone even wishes Hollywood would let a Black/non-Black poc play your favorite White fictional characters. Guinevere Pendragon, Lancelot du Lac, Joan Watson, and, yes, Bonnie Bennett, say what?

Stop looking down on people for liking Black characters because, in part, they look like them or are in the same category as them, when you’ve been liking White characters in part because they’re White since before color television and sound even existed.

Now let me talk about one other reason (there are many) I love Bonnie, on top of the fact that she’s Black, Black, Black:

One thing that never fails to give me feelings when it comes to Bonnie is how unforgiving she is to the people who hurt her. If someone disappoints her, she will put up her walls so quick. She doesn’t fight for her relationships. Instead, she’ll see that someone isn’t fighting for her, and she’ll adjust, perhaps still exist in that relationship (like with Elena), but her demeanor will be different from when everything was okay. But Bonnie doesn’t beg or fight. It definitely isn’t a healthy way to handle relationships, because this means that she bottles up a lot, but that’s why I find it interesting, and it’s one of the reasons I love her. I believe it started with her mother leaving her and the reactions of her father and grandmother:

  • Abby leaves and never tries to reach out to Bonnie. Instead of trying to find Abby or even talking about her, Rudy and Sheila never mention her. Ever. That was Bonnie’s example. And it still is, since Rudy’s still alive. Someone disappoints you? Don’t make a stink. Cut them off, and deal with the hurt however you can. So Bonnie follows that example and pretends Abby’s dead.
  • After Sheila dies, Bonnie explicitly tells Elena that she’s not going to ask her to choose between her and the Salvatores. I don’t think Bonnie’s being a big person here. I think she’s trying to avoid disappointment. Because if she asks Elena to choose, then she stands a real chance of losing out, doesn’t she? Because one time when she was three years old, her mother made a choice that wasn’t her, and she had no idea why. People making choices haven’t really worked out for Bonnie. And Elena does make a choice. She chooses the Salvatores over Bonnie in the same episode where Bonnie tells her she’s not going to make her choose. And Bonnie? Walks away. She tells Elena to leave her alone, and she walks away. And she doesn’t fight or reach out until Elena comes to talk to her in Plan B.
  • At the same time that this is happening, Bonnie’s father has made his choice. He knows that Bonnie’s powers are activated, but he’s making the choice to ignore that part of her because of his own issues. From what we’ve seen, from the one time Bonnie spoke to Jeremy about it, Bonnie doesn’t make a stink or act out. She acts as normal as her father wants her to. And I’m hoping that when Rudy does start to take an interest in Bonnie’s life, that she’ll unleash all of the resentment she’s bottled up, the way she started to with Abby (“You have no idea what I’m capable of,” not listening to Abby, etc).
  • When Jeremy cheated on her, when he had a choice and he chose Anna, Bonnie didn’t spend much time arguing. He loved someone else, not her, so she gave him his walking papers. She didn’t ask why, what it meant, nothing. She accepted it and turned him away because she needed to place this rejection next to the others. And from what Jeremy said in 3.10 when Bonnie came to talk to him, she did the same thing she did after she walked away from Elena, she didn’t reach out to Jeremy at all, had not spoken to him since breaking up with him. And I know what Bonnie say: that Jeremy hadn’t spoken to her after the breakup.

One of my Fandom friends once talked about Bonnie as someone who usually isn’t sure of her place in people’s hearts, and it gave me all of the feelings, because yes. And those previous examples are why.

In a way, the only people who ever chose Bonnie when they had a choice were Sheila and Bonnie’s father. I know what I said when I spoke about them, but both of them let Abby go in favor of Bonnie. In this case, I’m talking about the fact that they made the choice, I’m not talking about what they did after. Aside from these two, no one else has looked at Bonnie and an option number 2 and chosen Bonnie, have they?

I view Bonnie as someone who, if anyone ever asked her for a second chance, for forgiveness, she would make them work for it. She would put them through hell, because she’s kind of damaged, and….she isn’t used to forgiving. Because no one’s ever asked her for forgiveness, have they? There’s “I’m sorry” and then there’s “Let me make it up to you.” She’d be difficult and would tire the person out to the point that they might want to give up. And Bonnie would be waiting for them to give up. Because that is what they did before.

I’m hoping Rudy will be the first person we see asking Bonnie for forgiveness and vowing to make up for turning her away. And I hope Shane will be the second once Bonnie finds out he hasn’t been completely honest with her.

And that’s all, folks!

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5 thoughts on “Bonnie Bennett Appreciation Week, Day 7: Why I Love Bonnie

  1. Perfect post as always!
    I only know Bonnie and I think there was a TV show in my childhood that featured a black witch but I can´t remember the name 😦

    One thing that never fails to give me feelings when it comes to Bonnie is how unforgiving she is to the people who hurt her.

    Same here. And I love how you explained it.

    My entry: http://www.fanforum.com/66777472-post200.html

    • An American tv show? Can you try to remember it? My mind is drawing a blank.

      Bonnie’s magic scenes are always well shot.

      She is pragmatic which is a character trait that I really like and she is the best when it comes to judging. And with that I mean she knows when it is not worth to judge anymore (see: Elena and her relationship with the Salvatores)

      YES! She knows when it’s best to just give up, and I view it as a self-protection mechanism for her.

  2. She Black y’all! She BLACK Y’ALL! SHE BLACKER THAN BLACK AND SHE BLACK Y’ALL! *DANCE*
    That’s right! I love Bonnie because she’s black and when any non-white character shows up on tv it raises my interest. And then when they turn out to not take any bullshit I love them so whatchu gonna do about that? h’m.

    why do you get to name the white ones? That’s the easy part.

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