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Has it always been about

White v. Black?

By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed. Author of column series “The Overflow”
By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed. – Author of column series “The Overflow”

 

The Overflow- When I first saw the trailer for the movie “Get Out”, I thought it was going to be another movie about racism. I had no interest in going to see it. However, after learning more about the film and hearing feedback from others, I had no choice but to go see what the hype was about.

 

After viewing the film, I was shocked at how much was uncovered within the film when it comes to Whites and Blacks. Since slavery days, there has been so much tension between Whites and Blacks, and to be honest, I never could really full understand it. I always ask myself, “Why is there so much hate between these two races?” I never hear of Asians and Hispanics hating one another. I never hear about Chinese people hating White people, and etc.… It has always been Black and White. As I watched this film, I took a few notes on what really stood out to me.

 

It seems that when White people (some not all) are around Black people, they try so hard to relate to Black people to the point that some comments they make can be looked at as unnecessary or even offensive. In some cases, Blacks (some not all) can be uncomfortable when placed in a room where there is a majority of White people. In the movie, Chris even made the comment that, “If it’s too many White people, I get nervous.” When the actor Chris went to his girlfriend’s (Rose) parent’s house, there were many different comments that were made to Chris by her parents (who were White). For example, the father stated, “I would have voted for Obama for a third term.” Another comment was made to Chris that “Black is in Fashion.” In addition, Chris was also asked, “How is the African American experience?” This particular comment was made in front of all the White people that attended the gathering, which made him feel slightly uncomfortable. I myself have been put in these situations especially when I was growing up as a minority attending a predominately White high school.

 

Furthermore, in the movie, there were some things that just stuck out to me that reminded me so much of what I have studied about slavery. For example, the mom in the movie was able to control minds through hypnosis. Even though hypnosis wasn’t used in slavery, the slave owners still had mental control over their slaves. The slaves were broken down mentally, and were told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. The slaves were molded into what their slave owners wanted them to be. For example, in the movie, Andrew Logan King was a guy from Brooklyn that went missing, but Chris recognized him even though he was now noticeably different. Andrew was dressed much different than in the past, and even talked different. It was like he was transformed and polished into what they wanted him to be. I myself have experienced cases such as this where I was told that I should look a certain way in order to be accepted by Whites, because they are the ones who are in control of a lot of things that take place in our world.

 

In addition, in some cases it seem as if the movie exposed the conversation about how Whites (some not all) want to be just like Blacks. This is in regards to culture appropriation, which can be defined as one culture “borrowing” or “stealing” (depending on who is looking at it) elements from another culture. These elements can range from dress, music, art, and hairstyles just to name a few. The music industry is filled with what some may called culture appropriation as there are now many White people who rap, when the rap music was derived from the Black culture. According to The Encyclopedia Britannica, “Hip-hop originated in the predominantly African American economically depressed South Bronx section of New York City in the late 1970s.” In the movie, the White people wanted something from the Blacks. They wanted a certain aspect from their life to incorporate it into their own. In the movie, Chris asked the question, “Why Black people?” The response was, “People want to change…they want to be cooler, faster, and stronger.” Let’s be real, there are some Whites who want to be just like Blacks, but they don’t “like” Blacks because of their skin color. You even have some who tan to be darker, but don’t like the Black race because of their darker skin color. None of this has ever made sense to me, but this movie exposed a lot of topics that have been shoved under a rug for many years now. People don’t want to discuss these things because it can get ugly, but how long can we just put a band-aide on the truth?

 

Jordan Peele, who wrote and directed the movie, said a lot of truth in a recent interview with Chance The Rapper. He said he wrote this movie when President Obama was elected. He stated, “We entered this era of which I call the post racial lie. Many of us know that racism is very much alive and its this monster that was kind of simmering underneath the surface of the country for awhile…so I felt like this movie was originally meant to address that and to call it out…Now we live in a completely different era and its been fascinating to see how this movie’s journey has led up to this moment where now I feel like it’s more relevant in a way more than ever.”

 

Even though our nation has come very far, I feel as if history is repeating itself once again. There are so many things that have occurred, and even though the issues have been brought up, they haven’t been solved. There are plenty of problems, but as a nation, how do we begin to find solutions?

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