March 5, 2017… Day 45
I finally saw Get Out. I had been maddened by stringently avoiding all the articles, listicles, hot takes and think pieces on it. I’m glad I kept myself spoiler free, and I’m glad I saw the movie. I’m glad I’m out of the echo chamber of seeing articles about it everywhere but not being able to read any of them! I still have some festering anger though. It started before I saw the movie, and it is based on one piece of the reaction.
I saw three main types of reaction in my social media feed. Black people celebrating the film for its accuracy, insight, and representation. And just saying it was good. On top of that, a whole bunch of hot takes by white liberal men who consider themselves film buffs. The spoiler-free versions of these that I read all seemed to float above any sort of racial culpability. These guys seemed to think that if they praised the film for how well made it was, and if they didn’t have any GRIPES about how it portrayed white people, that meant there was no need to engage emotionally with the themes. They were cool with the movie. The movie was cool with them. No sweat, no problem.
That might not have bothered me so much if it weren’t for the third wave of reactions I saw to the movie: Why White Liberal Women are Literally the Worst. I saw at least three separate articles titled something like that. Sure, white liberal women have issues and are racist. I girded my loins to watch that film, knowing it was going to be 104-minute full-body cringe-fest of unflattering self-recognition. And that on top of that, I was going to identify with the pain and terror of the main character, because that’s what you do with main characters. So I was geared up to be predator and prey both. And I was freaked out and sad and horrified.
I thought the movie itself was really good, and I hope as many people as possible go see it. It’s just the white guys who made me mad. Leaving white women to do the emotional labor of absorbing our race’s culpability in this country. Once again failing to actually engage with the notion that some people are treated like disposable objects, machines, beasts, or trophies in this country. Not having to care, so not caring. Not having to hurt, so not hurting.
But I also don’t want to use that part of my reaction as a way to try to wrest the focus off the central issue of blackness and violence done to black bodies and minds (by white people and white-dominated institutions). And therefore, I will not be writing my own think piece. Although I realize that this rumination has stretched into a few paragraphs, making it rather thinky and rather piecy.
P.S. I’m including this as my official log-entry in Trump’s America day 45