Guest Post: On Tyler Perry and Buffoonery
by Lavern Merriweather
There are certain black folks that I like to call ‘high minded Negroes’, and I call them that to mock them, because I feel they are very phony in their constant moral grandstanding. As well as being exceedingly self-righteous and hypocritical, they think it’s their God given right to lecture those of us on their oh so pious level how to be better and much more classy blacks. And they love to attack any and all black people that they feel don’t represent us well enough, including people like Tyler Perry.
I don’t know what that man was expecting when he put on a dress and called himself a crazy grandma named ‘Madea’, but I’m positive it wasn’t the firestorm that was created. Much as I like to agree that as black people who live in these United States, it’s imperative to have uplifting self-images after so many decades of seeing the exact opposite, but dayuum! Seriously, those folks need to remove that stick out of their asses before it pokes one of their eyes out.
I like quality movies and TV shows with black people as much as the next person, but sometimes you need a little junk food to go with your veggies. I think the biggest problem those people have is they are still stuck in the mindset that we always have to be on our best behavior in front of white folks, particularly on the big screen. And to that, I say BULLCRAP! We really need to get over that antediluvian attitude from the 1925 because this is a New Jack! Okay, just kidding! But really, black people should stop acting like our every documented move must be the utmost in positivity. I tell you that’s bunk because guess what, we aren’t perfect. We were never perfect, and if anything what blacks have suffered through in this country has us so far removed from perfect that we would need a rocket ship to Mars just to get there.
Obviously, the whiners have never heard of movies like Love & Basketball, Love Jones, The Woods, The Longshots, Akelah and the Bee and Talk To Me, an exceptional film starring Don Cheadle, Martin Sheen, Taranji Henson, and Cedric the Entertainer about the life of America’s first black ‘shock jock’ Petey Greene, and directed by the remarkable Kasi Lemmons of Candyman. Yet, it did very poorly at the box office and only got recognition because of the standout performance by Cheadle along with his Oscar nod. For a group of people that pride themselves on being so freaking concerned about having only good, quality images of black people, they sure don’t spend very much time making sure those images are financially profitable.
I forgot to mention two other films: Night Catches Us and Moozlum, powerful, moving tales told in a gripping amazing way. However, those two movies also had bad showings at movie theatres. Somebody (maybe me) needs to remind the high minded Negroes of a little saying called ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. Have those people ever asked themselves why is it that even when they piss and moan about quality, the most buffoonish movies still make all the money? Maybe that’s because they spend so much time whining and complaining that they forget it takes dollars and you getting off your ass for a film to be successful.
If there is one color Hollywhite respects more than any it’s the color green. Yet, the high minded blacks would rather talk a good game than actually produce any real results, which brings me back to Mr. Perry. Granted, I’m not his biggest fan but I don’t understand all the venom he gets either. Are his movies the pinnacle of greatness? Of course not. Most of them are silly and insipid, but they also aren’t that bad enough for me to warrant all the disgust he gets from snooty black folks who seem to find it easier to demand better than try and do anything productive like actually make the situation better.
It’s like those black people who complain about the Korean, Arab and Jewish shop owners, then turn right around and keep paying their bills with black money. Explain to me someone please just how the f**k is that supposed to solve the problem again? Here’s the thing, it doesn’t, anymore than bashing a black man who has come from nothing but still managed to build an empire.
I’ll bet the haters were nowhere to be found when Tyler was living in his car begging for a chance, nor apparently are they available when it comes to putting up or shutting up which is what I really think they should finally do. Unless, they plan to do it better. However, if you are too lazy and too mired in your hatred to get off your tail and build a better mousetrap yourself, then maybe it’s you who is the true buffoon.