So, I watched Get Out.
Here’s my list of take-aways.
Black people who won’t listen to their “woke” peers.
When Ron, the TSA nerdy best friend, attempts to tell Black police officers about the issue and his (correct) suspicions of the evil doings of the white characters, they laugh. Before they showed the cops face as Ron was sitting in the chair waiting to speak, I thought: no he is NOT telling a white officer about this. They won’t believe him! So, when the Black officers hear the scenario out, they all laugh. And it hurts. It mirrors the people who ignored Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton and the other Black Panthers. It mirrors the Black people who argue that police brutality doesn’t exist. That racism is over. Our own people won’t believe us. It’s the plight of all the “conscious” people though, isn’t it? Getting your family and friends on board to learn facts and observe commonalities. To peep game. But what happens when they don’t listen in the film? he same thing that happens in real life: lives are put at risk.
Asians aren’t simply spectators in this game of racism.
Admittedly, I was taken aback when I saw the Asian character in the cocktail party scene. I was grumbling about it for a day or two after seeing the film and then I read the perspective of Angry Asian Dude (read it yourself here) and it reminded me of what I knew but wanted to ignore for the sake of PUBLIC humiliation. Asians are not simply on the sidelines of game of American racism. As many of us would like to believe we are on the bench of “team minority” we actually play more of a role that coincides with “water boy” for the white team. Not quite an active player in American racism as a whole, but there are definitely many Asians who hope to avoid connection with brown minorities so as to keep their own faces clean. See my post here about how this is a fool’s errand as Asian people have suffered racism here in America right alongside other minorities who now have failed to join forces with Black Americans.
As a child of a mixed-race couple I cringed when I realized I thought to myself: that’s what he gets for being with a white girl. I am also ashamed that it crossed my mind because I have white family members and friends. But it made me realize that I worried because she was unable to understand and protect him. And it made me wonder about my own relationship. As a biracial person who is with a fairly dark-skinned Black male, am I similar in some ways to this Rose Armitage?
In the theater at the end of my date was helping me out of my seat and onto the stairs and we kissed a couple of times. The thought hit me that maybe the people in the audience would associate me with Rose’s character. I have been told many times that I have “jungle fever” because often times, as militant as I am, people simply don’t categorize me as Black. Considering I have typically dated Black men, am I really all that different from a girl who dates a series of Black people in an *ahem* unhealthy fashion? Do I stereotype Black men as big and strong and warrior like over other races and fetishize them? Or am I one of the women who like Angie Stone, loves and supports her Black brothers? I like to think the latter is my sincere perspective, but as we are all instilled with prejudice, is it possible that that’s not the complete truth?
Real Quick – Geraldine’s hair.
Did y’all peep how Geraldine had natural hair before her *big change* and now old lady grandma made sure she kept a perm or a wig so Geraldine solely rocked straight hair? I’m just saying.
What made it so scary? The truth.
The feeling that what you KNOW to be racially motivated wrongs are shrugged off and disqualified happen to our main character, Chris, and his best friend throughout the film. Racism is questioned at nearly every level in our society. And people who call it out are often called delusional, self-centered or too sensitive.
The first scene called this into play. The audience sees a young Black male in an upper class neighborhood and a car pulls up beside him. He knows to get away. The audience I was in laughed when he said “not today” because many of us had that moment. I will not be on the news for being shot by a cop, not today. I will not be a victim of rape because I walked down this street alone, not today. In the span of a couple of minutes Jordan Peele gives insight about what it is to be scared of being a victim of racism or racial brutality. And how that fear is justifiable.
Another item of truth is micro aggression. How subtle racism is implanted but is difficult to decipher. For that I will direct you to this video by my girl Shelah Marie.
I could write about this for another ten-thousand words but I’ll leave that to a brunch date with friends or round table discussion with people in my life. Go and have those discussions with your friends and family. Let’s take this piece of art and get talking about our fears, concerns and realizations.
I hope you all are well.