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Friday, April 14, 2017

Why White Folks Got So Extra Over The Movie GET OUT

I liked the movie GET OUT. But didn't love it to death.

First of all, I don't do horror movies. So I was tense while I was seeing it because I thought I was going to see guts falling out and eyes being gouged and spurting blood. That didn't really happen. A lot of the actual killing happened off screen (or I had my hands up in front of my face.)

In other words, my full focus wasn't on the movie while I was watching the movie. I was focused on missing any gore that might come to pass. 

That said, I was never bored. That's the ultimate crime for me when I go to the movies. But I found much of the movie obvious and very familiar. Like I said on an earlier post, I guessed GET OUT was a twist on a familiar black joke on black folks being terrified of white people.  And that's what it was except the TWILIGHT ZONE path to the destination I expected. 

I guess the reason I found the movie kind of obvious and familiar is because I'm black. I'd experienced damn near every single thing Chris, the protagonist, experienced with white people --same as the author of the piece below. 

But the author of the piece below understood something I didn't. She explains how white liberals must have seen their own behavior in the movie, must have seen  how truly aggressive it really is.

I knew white folks were not aware of more than one or two or three of these white behaviors. But I just hadn't really thought of how uncomfortable white folks might be if they saw 12 behaviors they're doing with black folks they consider themselves close to-- like....every single day.

And there's nothing a white liberal hates more than not being seen as "down" and different from the other white folks.  So now I understand all the white fidgeting and eye contact avoidance when the lights came up in the movie theater after the movie was done.  

* * * * * *
From Dame Magazine

This Is Why 'Get Out' Is Freaking Out White People

...I know I could. Here are the Chris encounters that I’ve personally experienced (Warning: SPOILERS!):

1. Finding out that your close friend or lover had not bothered to tell their family they were bringing a Black friend home and when asked to accommodate, told that to do so would be divisive or a racist act in itself?  CHECK!
2. Being harassed by the police and watching a white ally come to your defense with a level of aggressiveness that would have gotten you shot? CHECK!
3. Showing up in a completely white establishment where the only other Black people around are servants? CHECK!
4. Making an effort to humanize those Black servants and forge relationships with them and face sideways glances and strange quips from white counterparts while Black servants make an effort to further separate themselves from you in public for the sake of their own job? CHECKERONI!
5. Being told by a white person that they voted for Obama? OH HELL YES, CHECK!
...8. Being repeatedly asked to speak for the Black community about our trials and tribulations despite the fact that it is quite clear there is only one acceptable answer and that answer is that racism is over and Black people are just trippin’?  CHECK!
9. Being repeatedly gaslighted by your white “ally” and told that you’re “looking for a reason to be mad”? Calling a Black friend in private to vent and listen them tell you to get your Black ass out of there? Feeling obligated to soothe white ally’s feelings when they realize you’ve been right all along? The ultimate betrayal of white ally when shit gets real? Being told it’s not about race when it’s clearly fucking about race? CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!CHECK!CHECK! CHECK!
[10. I love Tiger Woods]
Now, for every Get Out encounter that Black folks could relate to, I’m sure white counterparts could just as well see themselves on camera, perpetuating these same actions on the very people they would consider their own friends and family. For every white viewer whose line of defense against their racism was “Yeah, I’m totally racist, lol, that’s why I have a Black son/daughter/wife/husband/best friend/cousin/mammy,” they could see themselves in Rose, Chris’s loving white girlfriend. For every white liberal who has claimed that racial politics is divisive and no better than Trump or the KKK, they could see themselves in Rose’s family or her friends.
The KO punch, however, is how the story is framed. 
So much of our perspective is from a white supremacist POV, and it has worked hard to be incredibly forgiving to racism. It has constrained its definition, relegating it to extremist acts like slavery, the KKK, but under a Black perspective...
Get Out demonstrated to the White Liberati that the “nuance” and “discussion” they are so keen to hide behind when it comes to racial politics is nothing more than their own security blanket. The poking and prodding at the spectacle of our Blackness actions will never be fun nor harmless. The delegitimizing our cultural differences will never be anything but infuriating. Living off our expense is every bit of insidious, abusive and slimy as Jordan Peele frames it to be. 
  • Racism is our devil babies and our ghouls. 
  • Racism is insidious, disarming, strange, infuriating, multi-generational, and unrelenting. 
  • Racism is more than enough to drive one insane, and it does. 
 It leaves its victims of all colors dizzied. Its anti-blackness has forced Black folks into a hypnosis where our consciousnesses are shackled in deep space while neurosurgeons transfer the souls of nice white liberals into our bodies for white comfort.
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