adversity, America, black, celebrity, Clint Eastwood, entertainment, guest post, history, intraracism, media, men, Morgan Freeman, movies, news, privilege, racism, skin color, stereotypes, The Shield, white
by Lavern Merriweather
Sometimes I really don’t get black folks.
Okay, a lot of times I don’t understand what point other black people are trying to make. The same high minded African-Americans that whine incessantly about rappers saying ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’ see nothing at all wrong with the way black people are treated in most ‘Hollywhite’ movies or TV shows.
My fiancé Raymond loves the once popular now defunct FX show “The Shield” starring Michael Chiklis. So much so, that he recently forced me to sit through a seven-hour marathon of reruns on cable. I say ‘forced’, because I can’t stand that show or the many thousands of cop shows it emulates, especially when they have the whole smug, smart talking young black man who gets put in his place real quick by some big angry usually bald white guy with little patience. Even worse is the immediately scared black man that didn’t have the guts to be as mouthy in the first place. We are supposed to believe that a black man who is Mr. Tough Guy/Fuck the Police one minute would turn so fast without putting up much of a fight. I’m not an expert on law enforcement procedure, but I highly doubt anyone who has that much disdain for cops would just roll over like a punk. You very rarely, if ever, see the reverse.
Now, for those of you who say it’s just a fictional program or movie with people playing make believe, I say big fucking whoop. As I said in a previous post, symbolism does matter, especially when you also see those same exact images exploited daily on the nightly news. And for those who want to say hey they pick on white people also those characters are much farther and few between. On top of that, they always have that balance of most of the good guys being represented by white actors.
Even the police who aren’t that good are seen as sympathetic figures. Their jobs are really hard and they deal daily with such rotten people (Negroes). So, what do you expect? We should cut them some well-deserved slack, which is the very reason I didn’t like that show, “Law & Order”, “CSI Miami” and “The Practice”. Black people on those shows are either the criminal or the background token prop meant to make the producers and writers feel better about their attempts at diversity.
It’s painfully obvious that they sure as shit ain’t there to offer perspective on the writing itself, such as telling the writers that black people, believe it or not, don’t instantly cower in the face of white authority. Probably anyone reading this post can think back to a scene from a movie or TV show where a white person got to give a verbal smackdown to a black person while they meekly stood there and tolerated it instead of telling said white person to fuck off. And there are many guilty of this practice such as one of the most racially insulting scenes from the Oscar winning Clint Eastwood vehicle “Million Dollar Baby”. Then again this is the same guy who made “Gran Torino” and gave black actress Margaret Avery her first starring gig as, of all things, a prostitute.
But as bad as it was, that paled in comparison to a scene from his other Oscar winning movie “Unforgiven”. In that movie Clint is playing a hired hand sent to kill two men for cutting up a prostitute in the Old West. Keep in mind since the actress is white she gets to cry and be viewed as human unlike certain other people. Clint’s best friend in the movie Morgan Freeman comes out of retirement to help him, along with some hotshot punk kid who gets to stick a gun in Morgan’s face and talk shit to him with no consequence. So, Clint expects us to buy it that this grown ass man would let some snotty little asswipe threaten him and not want to kick his ass later?
Granted, Morgan is black and the younger man is white and it’s set in 1885 but still, I highly doubt that even a black man who has boots older than some young white prick would let him get away with doing such a thing.
Then, in a later scene with one of the targeted men dead in his sights, Morgan chickens out on shooting him, leaving hero Clint to step in and bust a cap in the other man, thus killing him. Excuse me while I sigh heavily in disgust and roll my eyes.
Of course being the lone black star of the film, Morgan is also expendable, unlike the other main stars, save for Gene Hackman who dies too but only because he’s the bad guy.
It’s bad enough that the high minded crowd don’t see the need to protest constantly the sad state of affairs with black folks in movies and on TV. But what gets me the most is how the actors themselves don’t have any issue with how obnoxiously they are portrayed. They are being emasculated left and right, but I guess that’s not as troubling as the whole ‘bitches and hoes’ thing.
The 1998 Guy Ritchie crime thriller/comedy movie starring Brad Pitt “Snatch” all but completely rendered the three black male stars devoid of any manhood. Also many Hollywood films and shows have zero respect for how they showcase black women if at all. I guess that’s not as much of a problem, even though it’s been around much longer, or maybe black people want to whine and complain more when they feel slighted by one of their own.
It’s something that I have never been able to comprehend. Being insulted is being insulted no matter who the fuck is doing it. We should be pissed regardless, especially when the people doing it have a much bigger and more revered platform. That includes the very same folks who just hate to see themselves shown in a negative way when it comes to rappers, yet have no problem with the blatant negativity from white producers, writers, directors and executives, some even exhibiting those same ideals off-screen as well as on. So, we know that their attitude won’t ever come from a place of objectivity or enlightenment. It comes from the same place that it always does, the bottom line. So we enjoy contributing financially to the same thing that we protest when it’s done by other black people. As Marvin so excellently stated in his hit song, makes me wanna holler!