Tuesday, January 09, 2007

wassup hollywood.

we were like roaches racing from the big shoe about to come down upon us. we'd survived so much, but at what cost? being enslaved for centuries and then being 'set free' to engage in the dance of faux equal opportunity in the same land of the folk who oppressed us. it's like telling nazi germany to set the jews free, then let them compete with them for jobs and the pursuit of happiness. i can imagine how difficult it must have been for a nazi to adjust his/her mindset to accept the fact that the same 'animal' they were willing to kill in a gas chamber is not only a human being but also deserving of the same things as he/she. poor little nazi.

and for that matter, poor american white folk who have had to deal with all that civil rights shit. i'm sure it must be difficult for you having to level the playing field when so many of your ancestors had seen black folk as inferior and sub-human. how it must rankle one to have to deal with that shit. truly, i sympathize. i mean, until then you experienced the superiority and entitlement that came with government-backed laws promoting socioeconomic inequality.

you could force a black person to sit at the back of the bus, force us to enter a building from the back entrance, and sit in a hot and dusty upper balcony to watch the same movies you watched. you could bumrush our neighborhood and burn the mothafuckas down. you could intimidate us into not competing with you for jobs. you could pay us lower wages and treat us unfairly because really, despite our protest (and believe me, we protested about shit WAY BEFORE THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT) we didn't have the power necessary to do shit about it. you could send us your cast off books and watch as the socioeconomic inequality afforded through the lack of genuine equal opportunity prevented black communities from housing schools equal in resources with their white counterparts because the term 'equal' can be defined many ways in many shades and therefore 'separate but equal' really meant 'separate but whatever the fuck we tell you equal means', thereby forcing us to challenge that definition. you could create sharecropper laws that made it impossible for a black person to gain fair access to the acquirement of land and create laws making it damn near impossible for a black person to vote, thus forcing us to take matters into our own hands and basically demand our human rights.

in other words, if not for us forcing you, we wouldn't have shit.

so why bombard us with movies telling us we couldn't have done it without your generosity? why try to play like black folk need saving from themselves and it takes the white savior to do it? why do i have to see yet ANOTHER fucking story about how some self-sacrificing white woman who, after abandoning a lucrative job and a promising life afforded her, decided to go slumming in the hood and instead empower some poor little underserved kids for chump change? why the fuck do i have to see yet ANOTHER fucking story (based on a true story of course) about some white guy who abandoned the lifestyle damn near guaranteed him because of his ethnic make up for the chance to save some poor little black kids from becoming statistics? why is it the only time i see a black teacher in those movies is when i see the white teacher 'educating' the black teacher and/or administrative professional about what they're doing wrong, 'motivating' them to fight for their kids, to find the answer even if that shit ain't an easy one. why do i have to see yet ANOTHER white person singled out for what any human who gives a shit about other humans would do and has done WAY before now?

why do i have to see yet ANOTHER FUCKING MOVIE about how white folk YET AGAIN roll up in the hood and show black folk how to save themselves?

how come the ONLY time i see a movie about a black person empowering the black community that black person is an icon in the community like martin luther king or malcolm x? (wait...there was that hiccup with 'lean on me' wayyyy back in the 90s).

look, black teachers and administrative professionals have been fighting the system, empowering their kids, and finding the difficult solutions for the sake of their students WAY before desgregation. how the fuck do you think they were able to turn out capable citizens with books missing pages, books outdated by decades, while being taught in schools less equipt to educate than dog training schools? i ain't just offended by the implication suggested by these movies, i'm outright PISSED THE FUCK OFF.

where are the movies about the many black teachers who have made the same sacrifices, the same monumental changes in the lives of their students? how could ANYBODY possibly find empowerment within themselves when the messages thrown over and over in the media is "wait for the white folk to save us"? how the fuck do you propose regular everyday black folk find pride and value in themselves and who they are when you don't even think their stories are 'worthy' enough to depict on screen? it's like you want poor and/or non-white folk to save ourselves but in the meanwhile, you shove a thousand movies into our minds about how it was yet another white person who swooped down from his or her perch in the heavens, sacrificed all he or she held dear, all for the purpose of saving poor and/or non-white folk.

you can't have it both ways. you can't keep patting yourselves on the fucking back lauding your contributions to the 'saving' of poor black folk with these fucking movies while at the same time telling poor black folk to save themselves with the laws. you can't dismiss black folk contributions to the empowering of themselves and then expect them to somehow pull that fucking message out of thin air and handle that shit. if there were more stories depicted on screen, more movies about how black teachers handled their biz, i'd have no problem with checking out 'freedom writers' or 'knights of the south bronx' or 'the ron clark story'. until then, i ain't doing it. you can call me racist, you can call me intolerant. i don't care. i mentor kids just like the ones depicted in those movies, so i don't need a movie to expose me to their challenges.

cuz the bottom line is that those movies ain't for me to see anyway. they're for all the folk out there suffering from guilt, for the folk who want something to make them feel better in the face of the socioeconomic inequality that many of them haven't had to experience first hand. those movies are for the folk who need that answer for the question of "what have white folk done for black and/or underserved folk" or to validate the ideals of a conservative government "cuz see, folk DO care and the citizens will take care of themselves. they don't need the government telling them to care!"

kinda like you didn't need the government to tell you to start seeing folk as equal. mind you, no government can mandate the heart of its citizens. if a person wanna see me and my folk as animals, ain't shit the government can do about it. if that was the case, we wouldn't still have brothas getting dragged behind pick-up trucks or black folk being denied jobs cuz the name on their resumes tips the person reading it off to their ethnic background.

HOWEVER, the government can damn sure make sure that ALL kids have access to TRULY EQUAL education and are afforded the SAME opportunities to choose what they want to do and be.

so you can keep your movies. it's obvious that yet again black folk are gonna have to write about our triumphs and create movies depicting our self-empowerment because hollywood ain't gonna do it.

don't worry though. we've got plenty of experience in fighting EFFECTIVELY for our own shit WITHOUT the white savior.