By Lavern Merriweather
Say what you will about acclaimed and controversial movie director Spike Lee. He does at least put his money where his mouth is.
Spike Lee stirred up quite the hornet’s nest when he criticized fellow director and beloved actor Clint Eastwood for his WW2 film “Sands of Iowa Jima”. Iowa Jima is the place where an iconic shot of four white American men struggling to hoist an American flag was taken. Mr. Lee called out Mr. Eastwood, as well as many other directors, for ignoring or outright disregarding of the contributions and sacrifices from black American males during the Second World War.
Mr. Lee made a rebuttal film of his own called “Miracle at St. Anna”, which was a critical and commercial failure. Although the movie didn’t do well at the box office and was soundly trashed by critics, I applaud Mr. Lee for showing some effort and initiative. Once Spike denounced Clint’s movie, he was met with complaints that most of the black soldiers serving at the time could only perform menial jobs. They didn’t have the chance to be pilots, generals, snipers or any serve any valuable purpose to successfully defeat the hated Germans. Okay, what the hell kind of argument is that?
It’s not the fault of the black males that they were given shit jobs and couldn’t be there on the front lines. Though I suspect they trot out that rationale more likely because they appreciate a moment in time where heroes came in one shade only.
Many white males in the media, particularly movie critics, are not at all subtle when it comes to racism. They leave little to the imagination when it comes to the leading men that they prefer to see kicking ass and taking out the bad guys. And I can tell without a shadow of a doubt that his name won’t be Tyrone.
über producer and writer George Lucas made a valiant and respectful attempt to showcase the ultimate bravery from the all black Tuskegee flying men with his film “Red Tails” which also failed at the box office, but I imagine that was more because black folks were buying it on the street for a fiver, rather than spend 30 to 40 dollars seeing on the big screen. I have no qualms with catching movies on the cheap. I do it too. The thing I don’t like is how much negativity the movie was getting before it even came out in theaters.
A lot of critics and some uptight Negroes were not willing to give that movie a chance. Contrary to what some would think about a white male being the driving force behind a film about a group of courageous black males going above and beyond the call during WW2, I thought the film was terrific. It was not as some might suspect, the white guy show with the black people as background props to make white folks feel morally superior. The film’s one and only focus was the young, talented, amazing black men that put themselves in harm’s way to keep white fighter pilots safe. Some, as the film showed, even got to kick some serious Nazi ass on their own accord. Yes “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston was in the movie as well, but he was an obnoxious, bigoted blowhard desperate to denounce the magnificence of Negro men. In fact, the best scene in the film is when Cranston tells the captain of the airmen Terrence Howard that no matter how well they did, he would still never believe they were as up to par as white males. Mr. Howard answers with the matter-of-fact line “We don’t care.” Booyah!
You would think that in this day and age, the same stupid prejudice attitudes those men had to face would be a thing of the past. Well, judging from the sour apple comments coming from many jealous white male critics, you’d be sorely mistaken.The mindset that Negroes just can’t live up to the same standard as white people is still very much alive.
This is the reason why I feel personally that World War 2 movies are so appealing to white filmmakers, not just because of the fact that there isn’t a group – save the Klan – more deserving of loathing than the Nazis. But rather because it’s a time period where black people, both male and female, were so readily denied the opportunity to show that they too could rise to any challenge in the face of war. You never see that many tales told on celluloid about the Vietnam War. And please don’t tell me it’s because the American military had to leave that country with its tail stuck firmly between its legs. There’s way more to it.
Vietnam was a place where African-Americans DID stand on the front lines. In many cases, they were the main people on the front risking their lives. This was something that a lot of white males, particularly the sons of prominent powerful politicians, didn’t do, because they didn’t want to, and because they didn’t have to.
Poor black men looking to leave their world of poverty and have access to a better life didn’t get that same luxury. They were there regardless of how dangerous or treacherous the situation. Yet, we still don’t see their stories hurried to the big screen as often as the mainly white male dominated troops from 80 years ago.
A new film coming out called “Fury” starring Brad Pitt, Shia Leabuf, and Michael Pena is the story of a final stand by five men caught behind enemy lines in Germany circa 1945 with a busted tank. Judging from the previews, it looks like a fascinating tale of heroism as five lone men make a defiant stand against a large and deadly army of advancing German soldiers. As interesting as this movie looks, and I definitely loves me some Brad Pitt, I have strong inclination to pass on this one. Granted, while one of the actors in this movie, Michael Pena, is Latino he still ain’t black.
The white male director, producer and executives who greenlit this film don’t have to worry their pretty rich heads that a Negro is going to be among the men rooted for by cheering audiences. They don’t root for black males or females that are heroes in real life. So, they damn sure don’t need their little fantasy world tarnished by them either.
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By Lavern Merriweather:
I noticed something when I was reading the several posts written by Brotha about the whole Ray Rice incident and that is he prefaced his comments by saying that he doesn’t support abuse of any kind. It, of course, got the wheels turning in my head.
I have never seen a white columnist or member of the media make such apologies before they speak out on an issue. Maybe that’s because their pathology of hypocrisy fueled by their arrogance and undeserved privilege won’t allow it. They don’t have to defend their position because the people that resemble them never have to come under any kind of fire. So, they in turn never have to justify making what could be seen as an insensitive viewpoint. Although I do understand exactly what Brotha was saying, he shouldn’t have to be the only one made to say it.
The same pious high and mighty folks in the media should also have to explain why it is that they continue to attempt to pass off bullshit as truth. By that, I mean I buy their self-serving and frankly racist sermonizing to further selectively demonize black men. I believe in their so-called outrage about as much as I believe it if someone handed me a four dollar bill.
I was reading the other day a comment from someone in the blog world that stated they would have put a foot up Ray Rice’s ass, if his wife was their daughter. When I questioned if they would make such a passionate declaration about the many white male athletes and celebrities guilty of spousal abuse, I was met with a haughty attitude. I had to remind that person that I thought this was about the issue of domestic violence, not your personal feelings about a certain celebrity that you like. However, that’s what this has seemed to boil down to. This isn’t about protecting women any-more than the Civil War was about slavery. This is about entitled, egotistical, insecure bullying fools that have an easier time judging others than themselves.
Do you think for one second that them being as quiet as possible about white males is because white males don’t commit depraved acts like violence against women? HELL NO! It’s because the lens that they want reflected is not meant to shine on them and certainly not on any of their misdeeds. Make no mistake there are a number of white male athletes, politicians, movie stars, and those in the media themselves that have very sordid accusations against them for harming women.
Congressman Rod Jetton, who is a Republican representative from Missouri, once CHOKED his mistress from Brazil. Keep in mind Jetton is one of those holier-than types from the conservative side that preaches family values one minute, yet has a mistress the next. On top of that, this creep thought it okay to strangle her much like weirdo rocker Ozzy Osbourne did 30 some years ago to his current wife Sharon.
You read that right. Ozzy choked Sharon and she almost died from it. However, he has never had to deal with even half of the outrage that black males face. Nor has Sharon, to my knowledge, had anyone in the media question how the hell can she stay with him.
They also have never quizzed semi star Pamela Anderson on why she didn’t leave rocker Tommy Lee of the band Motley Cure even though Ms. Anderson claimed that Lee once punched her in the face while she was holding their then infant son.
Infamous madam Heidi Fleiss who used to date obnoxious drug addled actor Tom Sizemore says that he was extremely abusive to the point where he once burned her with a cigarette. Yet, once again the cries of anger from the white led media brigade were silent, as usual.
That’s not even counting the sports world itself with their number of white male abusers, such as Phillies pitcher Brett Myers who hit his wife in front of a bar full of witnesses.
Atlanta Braves coach Bobby Cox has been arrested more than once for assaulting his wife. Once again, white males in the media didn’t ask her why she stayed with a jerk that would hurt her like that.
Race car drivers Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr. are both guilty of abusing partners. In fact Unser left his ex- girlfriend on the side of the freeway to fend for herself after striking her multiple times.
Hockey player Patrick Roy has a history of arrests regarding his ex-wife, and there have been at least 3 different stories I have heard of hockey players attacking the women in their lives.
Still, the conversation always begins and ends with black men as noted commentator Julianne Malvueax once stated so eloquently. My girl Julianne once said that why is it certain issues only get attention when there is a black man accused? Why indeed. There was no special counsel hired by the NFL or an image problem when Steelers quarterback Ben Rothelisberger was twice accused of rape. Nor was there any outcry when San Francisco 49ers standout Christian Peter was also accused twice of rape or when Green Bay Packer player Mark Chmura was accused of raping his daughter’s then-17 year-old babysitter.
The media, particularly the black folks screaming intensely about this so-called crisis like former running back Chris Carter, were tight lipped when there was a rash of white men said to be rapists. When I say ‘tight lipped’, I mean he was too chickenshit like a lot of black people in the media to demonize white males as the scourge of humanity.
For those of you who want to complain that we haven’t ever seen a video of a white male hitting a woman like in the Ray Rice case, I say so what? There WAS a video of a white man beating a black female pedestrian named Marlene Pinnock for what reason I still don’t know. And there’s another video of a cop from my hometown of Chicago beating a female bartender, because he was pissed that she cut him off. Those situations didn’t raise one voice of ire from the media, and while I get that those women aren’t their wives or girlfriends, there are plenty of media folks who have said adamantly that a man, under no circumstances, should hit a woman. They should have added ‘unless he is white like us’.
I like that Brotha didn’t and doesn’t condone violence either. However, I also don’t condone agreeing with a bunch of self-centered, arrogant assholes that refuse to recognize the evil of themselves that they happily point out in others.
By Lavern Merrweather:
The media has finally taken a break of their wallowing in the misery that is black males to focus attention on yet another pretty, young white woman that has gone missing. Does anybody else, beside me, see the glaring hypocrisy of my statement?
White people, particularly white males, play a very good game and put on a tremendous show of disgust when a black male is guilty or accused of doing something heinous to a black woman. Funny, but they sure as shit don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about black women any other time. You know how I know that? Because I NEVER see them spending even a third of time on the plight of a missing black woman as they do on females like Natalie Holloway, Lisa Stebic, Stacey Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Duggard, the three women locked in the house of horrors with monster Ariel Castro and the Russian model/new mom from New York married to a plastic surgeon.
Tamika Huston was a 24 year-old woman from Spartanburg, South Carolina that went missing ten years ago whose body was subsequently found later deceased. Tamika disappeared before many of the white women I mentioned; yet she was not giving the same amount of concern or airtime. She was, in all likelihood, forgotten as soon as she was mentioned, if she was even mentioned at all, which I doubt.
I certainly don’t recall her getting the same round-the-clock coverage as this 19 year-old college student from Philadelphia named Hannah Graham. Hannah’s face and name, as well as date and time of location and when she was last seen, has been plastered on media screens during several different broadcasts. It’s the typical route the media takes when the victim of interest is young white and reasonably attractive enough to warrant it. I had to look up the info on Tamika Houston, and that’s only because noted author and commentator Michael Eric Dyson spoke of her during the promotion of his book about Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Dyson so accurately stated that while he doesn’t begrudge Natalie’s mom Beth Twitty taking full advantage of the media’s resources to help her find her daughter, Tamika had been missing prior to Natalie, and neither she nor her parents got that much air time.
Matter of fact, a missing black female’s sister and aunt were schedule to speak on the MSNBC network program hosted by Nancy Grace when she said a producer called and scrapped their interview at the last minute. Why you ask? Because a pretty young white female named Stacy married to a cop and went missing around the same time. You don’t need to be Miss Cleo to guess which story of a missing woman got first priority from Nancy and her staff.
That’s why, along with the reasons that Brotha has so truthfully claimed about the white male dominated media, I have serious reservations going along with their obviously hypocritical and false sermonizing about defending the honor of a black woman.
The media’s racist fake pathology of protecting black females was also evident when Rihanna was attacked by then boyfriend Chris Brown after a Grammy party in 2009. I didn’t buy their load of bullshit then, and I damn sure don’t now with Ray’s wife Janay. If Janay had vanished off the face of the Earth without a trace, they wouldn’t give two shits about her. They would treat her just like they treat every black woman when something horrible happens and there is no national platform to play holier-than on or selectively target a black man. They pretend that it’s a crusade when it’s really nothing more than a bunch of arrogant, bigoted biased pricks doing a very poor job of disguising their racism as morality.
I find it almost sickeningly humorous that a full-of-it jackass like Donny Duetsch can proclaim this is a moral country as he and fellow denizens of the media are less than vocal about the white males they continue to glorify, despite any type of criminal or just plain wrong behavior. The worst part about it is that he spewed his barrage of nonsense on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” hosted by Joe Scarborough. Scarborough is a former politician who quit his position after a dead female intern was found in his office. I certainly didn’t hear the ‘protect women at all costs’ group currently on a rampage towards black males speaking ill of Mr. Scarborough, despite his possible involvement in a relationship with this young woman and her untimely death. It’s like that old saying, “Cat’s rule and dog’s drool,” only you replace the word ‘cat’ with ‘white males’ and replace ‘dogs’ and ‘drool’ with ‘black males suffer the consequences of the media’s moral wrath’ over an issue that they have no qualms changing their opinion and mindset about when it’s one of their own that is guilty.
As I have said before, it would be one thing if white males could say that they can’t criticize each other, because they would never do anything like that. They know that’s too impossible a proposition. So, rather than take their own lumps and face the music they play when it’s a black male, they are hushed, as if ignoring their problem makes it less of one or nonexistent.
Hate to burst your little bubble, but that does nothing but continues you on your own destructive path. Not one black person is denying what Ray Rice did was wrong, but at least we are seeing it and your hatred of him for it as exactly what it is. We acknowledge the rotten apples in our barrels. I’m not sure I can say the same for you.
I read a great quote by a lady on this very website. She wrote that white people live in a hall of mirrors inside of an echo chamber. I agree completely. I also think that they should take a long, cold, hard look at one of them for once in their life.
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By Lavern Merriweather:
A verdict has been rendered in the supposed self-defense case of homeowner Theo Wafer who shot and killed motorist Renisha McBride. Thankfully, unlike in the Zimmerman trial, or travesty as I call it, the prosecution did their job the right way, and Wafer was convicted on all counts, including second degree murder.
While it’s shameful that another young black life had to be taken for justice to finally be served, I’m very grateful that we had a smart jury this time, as well as an extremely competent prosecution team who showed the defendant’s bullshit reasoning for what it was. I believe that Wafer, himself, created his own undoing, and the jury pool obviously saw through his load of garbage. He told the court that he was in ‘fear’ for his life when he heard Ms. McBride banging on the door at four in the morning. Yet, he told police that he was actually angry and didn’t want to be less of a man and cower in his home.
Here’s the part where I would normally write ‘What the fuck’ in capital letters’ but you all know by now how I operate. So, it seems redundant. If this asshole was so damn in fear, why did he even open his door in the first place? That is the $64,000 question that he couldn’t answer, nor could he speak to why if he thought she was breaking in he grabbed a LOADED shotgun, instead of doing what most rational and intelligent people who are truly afraid do, and that’s call law enforcement.
For his attorney to say that the walls were shaking and the floor vibrating because Renisha was banging her hand so hard, I have to ask: What the fuck were they saying, that she magically turned into She-Hulk? Only a violent act of nature could compel that kind of force on a house, not an ordinary human being. His lawyer also had the nerve to say that he believed ‘they’ were going to get in. Who the fuck is they exactly? It was only ONE person standing at his door which he could clearly see, because he said that it was a screen door and that he could see her. So, how the hell did this prick come up with this idea that they were after him when he was fully aware by his own admission that it was a single person at his home and not multiple people?
There are, of course, the voices on Facebook and Twitter from the Fake Noise crowd pissed that a decent hard-working civil white male, who unlike the darkie that he murdered, is a productive member of society and that he was just trying to protect himself and his home from the Negro horde about to break in and invade his castle. Those same group of stupids never seem to acknowledge anything that remotely resembles the truth. How in the hell could this jag-off be protecting his house when nobody was trying to break in?
McBride wasn’t out for jewels or money; she was looking for help after she crashed her car. Wafer is thinking way too much of himself, because if she were to be out robbing, she’d have probably picked someone with a better home and more wealth. Seriously, this jackass looks like he doesn’t have two nickels to rub together, and he’s got the gall to be worried about getting robbed?
Sadly this is not an unusual or rare situation. However, because the right verdict was rendered, hopefully it sends a clear message that the vicious taking of a black life will be taken seriously, which is the same as in the case of Jonathan Ferrell, a standout football player at the University of Texas.
Mr. Ferrell, like Ms. McBride, had crashed his vehicle into a tree and was injured. Also, like Ms. McBride, he sought help from nearby residents by banging on the door. Unfortunately, he was met with the same fate as Ms. McBride. Mr. Ferrell was shot several times by a white police officer named Randall Kendrick and died on his way to the hospital.
I hate to say that I’m outraged about these and a few other senseless killings more for my own personal selfish edification than anything else. I have been in two different car accidents and it angers me to no end that rather than being seen with compassion, I’d be looked at as a threat to whoever’s home I stumbled upon in desperation. Then again, if you are black, you aren’t afforded the mindset of being human or being a victim that needs help. You are always the bad guy 24/7 even if it’s your own fucking house that you are entering.
Noted author, commentator and host of several wonderful shows on PBS Henry Louis Gates was very rudely reminded of how black life is seen by white homeowners and police when he tried to enter his own place through the window. Apparently Mr. Gates, who is a college professor, forgot the keys to his front door. A friend who had taken a trip with him was helping him climb into a window when a neighbor called the cops, saying later that she assumed he was a burglar breaking in, a story that I refuse to buy with a 4 dollar bill.
I mean please! She must have saw Mr. Gates coming in and out of his house multiple times. So, she knew damn good and well he lived there. Her tale rings about as true as that prick Mr. Wafer’s.
Bottom line, this nosy old bat spied on two black males going into a home in an unorthodox way. Had someone actually been breaking in I doubt Miss Rush-A-Dial would have given a damn about what was happening.
When the cops arrived, they walked into Mr. Gates home, uninvited, and treated him as if he were a criminal. For those of you who still want to harp on the fact that Mr. Gates got belligerent with those pinheads, I say so what? He is in his own damn home and some strangers came in unwanted and unwelcome. You don’t just step into a tax-paying man’s house like you own the place and get pissed when he cops an attitude. Guess what fools, it’s HIS house! He can behave however the fuck he wants and if anything, the cops were the ones breaking in.
President Obama rightfully criticized the main cop who wrongfully handcuffed Mr. Gates as acting ‘stupidly’. Of course, I would have used some other choice words, cause you all know how I do. However, he is the leader of the free world and took some unfair flack for what he said, also for the beer summit at the White House that followed.
But contrary to what some black folks seem to think, he can’t solve a problem that he did nothing to create. This isn’t Obama’s fault. it’s the fault of the dominant society that shuts out any voice of reason calling them on their bullshit and bigotry. Good luck wrestling with that logic. Meanwhile, I will make sure to be extra prepared whenever I get into a vehicle. I prefer to not be an example that black life is as expendable as certain folks in America seem to think.
By Lavern Merriweather:
There has been a lot of talk from media pundits, black church leaders and black folks from the blog world saying that our president Mr. Obama should address what has happened in Ferguson, Missouri. Yet, another young black life has been taken by some asshole white cop that obviously sees black folks as expendable. They believe some strong, decisive words from the current leader in chief will bring about change to Ferguson and the nation. And I say that’s the biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard!
I am just about done with stupid black people as well as stupid white people expecting Obama to be captain Save-A-Negro. He should not be expected to solve a problem that not only did he not create but that has been around long before he was even born. The only reason I think black folks are saying this is because we have a beige man in office. I doubt highly that either Hillary Clinton, Al Gore or secretary of state John Kerry would have to worry about anyone making such a demand of them.
I want to know where the hell all the damn feminists are? White women, who claim that they are supposedly about protecting and defending the rights of all women voices, go conveniently silent when a tragedy like this occurs. I saw the interview on “Good Morning America” with Mike’s mother and was distraught at how gut-wrenching it was to see her try and stay calm, despite the cold blooded murder of her son. She showed a lot of grace and class as well as restraint, because it must be so hard for her trying not to lose her shit at the entire police force in that small town.
Typical that black women who have had to bury their fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, etc. do so without one word of comfort or condolence from the white female dominated feminist brigade. They called themselves ‘being there’ for Anita Hill, Desiree Washington, and the black women who protested the misogyny in rap lyrics even while white males in the entertainment field make and distribute putrid filth that put the ‘miss’ in misogyny. White women are right there for black women when the target is a black male, yet they are nowhere to be found when a white male is the cause of the chaos. Mike Brown is just one name in a long sordid sad list of young male black bodies left by the wayside, in his case, literally considering that he lay dying in the street for four hours before there was any type of assistance provided.
I guess the feminist crowd is too busy schmoozing rich white men from ‘Hollywhite’ to get another contribution under the table. Damn right I said it! Many white, female, fueled, so-called feminist organizations are funded by white males in ‘Hollyweird’. That’s precisely why they never take them to task for their rampant and often times sickening glee in showcasing depraved images of violence towards women. Now, they are quiet when violence towards black people particularly young males rears its ugly head once more.
The feminist gang must be oblivious to the fact that killing a male who is obviously a woman’s son will cause her immense grief. Apparently, they only care to step in when it’s a case of black-on-black outrage. If a black woman has an issue with a black man, they are ready willing and able to jump in with both guns blazing. But put a white male in the middle of that equation, especially one that represents the ultimate line of protection for them against the darkie horde, and Marlee Maitlin could hear a pin drop!
It’s not a secret that white women, for years, have stood right by their male companions who have made life unbearable for those of color. That includes the ones who pretend to be on women of color’s side, even as they ignore our plight or whatever indignities we face on a daily basis.
And don’t kid yourself in thinking that because we all share a vagina that we should also share a point of view, especially when the only lens they are willing to look through is one that suits their interest and theirs alone. If it wasn’t for the constant badgering, I might slightly agree with the Obama-should-speak-out-about-the-death-of-Mike-Brown’ crowd. However, I feel that he isn’t the only person or group that has to take their lumps for not being vocal enough in the wake of this brutality, particularly since he isn’t the one going around proclaiming himself to be an ally but does everything to prove the opposite.
After watching a TV special on PBS about the historic run of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to become not only the first woman president but first black female president at that, I saw clearly where white women’s loyalties lie. Judging from how then-head of the America’s most well-known feminist group Bella Azbug treated Miss Chisholm, it doesn’t surprise me at all. What does bother me is that nobody, including black women, are holding white women’s feet to the fire for not practicing what they love to preach or being criticized for their lack of involvement when it’s a black woman that isn’t in direct conflict with a black man. You may say that they don’t care, because they have never cared.
Well okay. Then, don’t keep putting on this fucking dog and pony show making believe that your words are anything but empty rhetoric. You don’t get to continuously play hero for everyone even as you happily disregard those not deemed worthy of your concern. I could probably list a hundred examples from black women that truly shows just how seriously many white women take their own blatherings of sisterhood. If you say that you are about all women, then live up to the standards that you have set, or shut the fuck up! We all have more important things to do than listen to you say one thing while you behave in a completely different manner.
Buster Jones, an actor on Hanna-Barbera’s “Super Friends” cartoon, which ran on ABC on Saturday mornings fr0m 1973-76, died on Sept. 16 in North Hollywood, Calif. He was 71.
He is probably best known from his role as Black Vulcan in “Super Friends” (the 1980-2 version, which was the fifth incarnation of the series).
The actor also played Blaster in “The Transformers,” Doc in “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” and Winston Zeddemore in “The Real Ghostbusters” (subbing in for Arsenio Hall) and later in “Extreme Ghostbusters.”
While “Super Friends” featured the superheroes of the DC comicbook world, Jones’ character Black Vulcan was a creation of Hanna-Barbera.
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By Lavern Merriweather:
A while back, I wrote a scathing post about late film critic Roger Ebert. It was about the fact that as much as he pretended to be so liberal, he, like a lot of like-minded white folks, was anything but. There are several examples I could use to support my mindset, but one I hated the most is the whole ‘black’ whatever description for a character.
Case in point, look at the Oscar winning film “Driving Miss Daisy” starring noted actress Jessica Tandy who won an award for best actress with Morgan Freeman as her sometimes chocolate lover/driver hired by the other star of the film Dan Akroyd playing her son. I noticed that Ebert, like every white male who reviewed the movie whenever they described Ms. Tandy’s character of Miss Daisy, were practically writing novels with all the adjectives that they used for her. Yet, when it came to Mr. Freeman, he was written as nothing more than the black chauffeur. They might as well have said that it was a great, starring triumphant for the beloved Ms. Tandy and some black guy next to her. Despite their supposed love affair with Morgan Freeman in his breakthrough 1987 role as the pimp Fast Black in the movie “Street Smart” when he played a subordinate, he became just another random Negro, being the loving always long suffering nursemaid to a white woman who, from all purposes, seemed perfectly capable of taking care of herself.
My big stinking problem with the film’s ridiculous “Song of the South” view on race relations aside, my main gripe here is with white male film critics. The ones who supposedly speak so highly of talented actors from other races, yet don’t want to see anyone that resembles them upended by said POCs. They forever want to be the star/ hero/ love interest.
Even as they pretend to think so much of us darkies, their real feelings are reflected in how they mention us in their columns or magazine articles. Most of the time, it’s with obvious reluctance, as if they would really enjoy this picture, if there wasn’t one of them colored people in it. They seem to not want our presence ever period. And don’t dare be a Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington. Be any black male star, and they will go out of their way to find something wrong with the picture, all while praising the same subject matter or performance when it’s a white male.
There have been countless dogs starring white males such as Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey. Yet, it’s almost without fail the films of black men that are just the absolute worst. I have seen some of the movies they are so damn quick to criticize, and most of them aren’t that bad. The only bad thing is the biased perspective coming from the person reviewing the film.
Speaking of Mr. Smith, the few times I do see him get praised for his performances is when he is playing a subordinate or subservient like in the Matt Damon movie “Legend of Bagger Vance”, which I still don’t get. Just what the hell his character was supposed to be, besides a well-worn stereotype that is making most white male movie critics giddy with delight? Or when he was starring as their ultimate thrill of emasculation for a black male, a homosexual. It seems that being a caricature, which makes them feel the most comfortable, is the one time they can tolerate a black face on screen.
That must be why it’s still so much easier to find work and get praise as a black actor/actress, if you are playing a white person’s servant. Or in the case of Mr. Freeman a driver, obviously since he is too old to play the pimp role. He fits right into the magical Negro. I’m surprised they didn’t find a way to make him a great-great descendant of Uncle Remus from the banned Disney film, seeing how that’s basically what he is portraying only in a slightly less overt and offensive way.
As I have stated previously, I get that the past for black folks is a most hard pill to swallow. But why is it that those same folks i.e. white people who keep telling us to get over it have NO qualms about waxing nostalgic for a bygone era when it paints them in an inaccurately pleasant light?
When the breakdancing craze took off in the mid 80’s, Hollywood attempted to capitalize with several hit movies. Famed movie critic Gene Siskel of the Ebert and Siskel duo was not too pleased. He lamented that the advent of black urban faces in an inner city setting listening to hip-hop music would leave white teens out in the cold, obviously oblivious to the many years of white films that focused on the lives of teenagers with nary a black face in the bunch. Yet, because Siskel and other white males felt slighted, or as he put it, “There was no one that his kids could relate to,” that meant those films were lacking.
He didn’t seem to have a problem with the lily white dance flick “Footloose” starring a very young Kevin Bacon. Hell, even the break dancer in that movie was a white guy. Then again, that’s how most white males, particularly ones that have a voice in the media, operate. If it doesn’t pertain to them or reflect some aspect of their lives, then they ain’t interested. Thankfully, he and the rest of them didn’t determine the box office dollar, seeing how some of those pictures, a few spawning sequels, became smash hits despite his objections.
I recall an interview with comic legend Eddie Murphy. He opined that even as the critics were tearing down his films and performances, somebody had to be watching his pictures, because he was still getting work. And we all know fully well that the executives in Hollywhite aren’t about promoting black culture or stories any more than the white male critics enjoy watching them. So, Mr. Murphy must have a point, because I’m certain that the higher ups who greenlight his movies aren’t his friends. In fact, far from it. He, like Richard Pryor and Sidney Poitier before him, had to work twice as hard to be hired.
That’s why it really burns my butt that white men are usually the final say in regards to what films do well and which ones don’t. Lucky for me that I don’t listen to white male critics, especially since I know the place where it comes from. And that’s one where we are still at the back of the bus, eating in the kitchen, serving their drinks or playing insignificant drivers for their mommas.