…I look forward to the few seconds or minutes when Jodie gets screen time. Besides comfortably going toe-to-toe with Daria, Jodie is point-blank about Lawndale’s almost blinding whiteness, and so freaking meta about her status as a token black character that it hurts. Daria may snark endlessly about buying into the patriarchal system and everyone’s general need to get a clue, but Jodie’s cynicism runs on a deeper level because she knows that she can (and most likely will) be collateral damage of the same system Daria may only marginally suffer. Daria can walk away relatively unscathed, or if she chooses to be continually vocal about her complaints, there is always some sort of sympathetic space for her as a white woman. The same doesn’t hold for Jodie.
But the beauty of Jodie is that she copes and works hard on her escape plan. Witness her greatness, as she nips Daria’s whining in the bud (S2E8, “Gifted”):
Daria: Look Jodie, I’m too smart and too sensitive to live in a world like ours, at a time like this, with a sister like mine. Maybe I do miss out on stuff, but this attitude is what works for me now.
Jodie: Then you’ll understand what works for me now. At home, I’m Jodie–I can say and do whatever feels right. But at school I’m The Queen of the Negros, the perfect African-American teen, the role-model for all the other African-American teens at Lawndale. Oops! Where’d they go? Believe me, I’d like to be more like you.