JAYE (re: application)
So what happens after you hand that thing in?
MAHANDRA They verify my claim and then I’membraced by my people as a part of
the Satsuma Indian Nation.
JAYE That’s awesome.
SHARON It’s also fraud. You’re not an
Indian. You’re black.
MAHANDRA Uh, one eighth Satsuman on my
grandmother’s side. This doesn’t take away anything from the six eighths of my heritage that was ripped from their land exploited by whitey. I’m just embracing the one eighth that stayed on their land and was exploited by whitey. But even a fraction of my fraction makes me eligible for full tribal citizenship.
JAYE And a cut of the gambling monies.
MAHANDRA This isn’t about money. It’s abouttribe pride. However, if qualifying for a title
four federal grant will pay off my student loans then justice is served.
The entire episode is shot on the Satsuma reservation with a colorful (does that make me colorless?) cast, and in the end Mahandra's claim is rejected. Now, the fact that I'm pretty much the only person who has seen this episode (not true, but not too far off either), negates any impact the episode may have had on culture, but I do like to think of it as a good example of a character on a show that is not post-racial, not color-blind, and in fact her "difference(s)" is what makes her interesting, and is addressed blatantly, albeit comedically.