Tuesday, January 15

The Brilliance of Django:Unchained


From the beginning of Django Unchained, I knew it was going to be filled with offensive irony that would be infuriating and shocking. What amazes me is, how hypocritical we can be. We will violently kill messengers because we don’t want to hear or see WHO is handing us the information, as if that’s going to change anything. Misplaced aggression rarely if ever, solves perceived problems. 
Whether Spike or Quentin is telling the story, does Spike and those who feel similar, not realize that both directors/writers are sending the SAME message to people?
Which is:
White people have always been terrified of the natural abilities of Black people. Due to fear and anger, they oppress what they don’t understand and [generally speaking] have no desire to comprehend. That same fear and anger mentally binds the oppressed. [Generally speaking] Black people continue to let it happen instead of realizing there is NOTHING a gaggle of White folks can do if we stood up for ourselves and REFUSED to be treated like we aren’t human beings with the same universally given rights.
This next sentence is not to send the message that I’m angry or yelling. It’s to get your attention.
IN NO WAY AM I ENCOURAGING MY PEOPLE TO OPPRESS OTHERS OR GET THE IDEA THAT I WOULD ENJOY ANYONE BEING ENSLAVED.
However, if the point Tarantino’s character Candie was making about White people’s behavior from birth, versus Black people’s, was missed, please go see the movie again.
The message I saw was:
Black people are genetically powerful from birth. There is a type of resilience that has been handed down through our DNA.
The rhetoric about three dimples in the brain, I haven’t had a chance to research to see how much truth there is to it but the alleged concept rings true. Candie stated [paraphrased] that Black people are naturally civil-minded and more than willing to comply. It isn’t until their life is hanging in the balance [no pun intended] or they’re dead, that something clicks that they’re already ‘equal’ to White people. The point was, by THAT time, it’s usually too late. 
Instead of looking at what Quentin was saying ABOUT HIS OWN PEOPLE, some of my people are focusing on being offended by his crass delivery. NOTHING about slavery was nice, pretty, or tactful. No one, White or Black, can depict slavery to where it is comfortable watching or reading about it. However, tunnel vision keeps some people from letting that register. 
As Candie pointed out, Black people surround White people everyday but how often do we think of that in terms of our freedom/rights? What is ANYONE going to do if they are truly the minority, when you tell them “No”? They’ll have no choice but to leave you alone; especially when THEY’VE already accepted that YOU’RE superior. The unspoken issue here is…have we, as Black people, accepted that we aren’t “the lowly, pitiful race” slavery made us think we are?
There was LOTS of physical abuse involved in slavery that contributes to the anger. The emotional abuse is what’s been most detrimental though. When someone is told they aren’t shit enough, they usually start to believe it. White people knew it was a lie the first time it was uttered that “Niggas ain’t shit”. It obviously wasn’t about being honest. It was about having the upper hand and controlling what THEY feared. The shit worked and unfortunately, it still works today. The even more terrible part is, you have other Black people telling EACH OTHER the same debilitating lie [see: Samuel L. Jackson’s great acting of the idiotic character in the movie].
Before anyone says a damn thing to me about this, I DO have a dog in THIS fight. I don’t need to know my slave lineage to know my DNA possesses independent traits beyond the norm. I don’t allow anyone to tell me what I can and can’t do when it comes to my basic legal rights. I don’t let ANYONE, White NOR Black, man NOR woman control what I do. Especially if what I’m doing has no negative bearing on their basic legal rights. I have a mouth and brain that I am not afraid to use. While it has NEVER made me Most Liked in any social circle, I am mentally more free than Black people are viewed as being. 
Speaking up about these things casts a seemingly negative shadow over me because MY OWN PEOPLE label me as a troublemaker. I have no greater desire than to be free. Aint that some shit? MY OWN PEOPLE don’t even want me to be free. Why? I can only speak on my life experience, but when you have a Black person who takes their basic legal rights seriously, it forces other Black people to acknowledge that they CAN do the same. But WILL they?
All the Mandingo Fights that went on in Candie’s home alluded to the message that Black people will fight one another TO THE DEATH when it makes FAR more sense to fight and kill those attempting to oppress us. Fear disables some people’s critical thinking faculties, blocking out what’s most important. Do you want to live to see another day struggling or do you want to be free to enjoy EVERY day of your life, unbridled by fear? 
Yes, Quentin makes you question whose fault slavery was. Do we SOLELY blame White people because it’s easier to say “when someone threatens to kill/hurt you, what are you supposed to do”? Or do we accept accountability for not fighting back EVERY chance we get? I view it this way, if I’m going to be angry about some shit, I’m going to use that anger to do something productive so I can attain the level of peace I desire. Personally, I have no one to blame if I don’t view my own life to be valuable enough that I would die for my own freedom or my loved ones. However, that is something that everyone doesn’t want because it IS hard. Slavery of ANY kind is far worse though.
We all make our decisions we have to live with and I saw that as an underlying point of the movie. Yes, it was wildly exaggerated in certain parts but a lot of things that entertain us, are (see: reality television). The point of this long-winded blog is, we also have a choice in who we see as the enemy too. It isn’t ALWAYS the “blue eyed devils”.
Sometimes PEOPLE (Black AND White) enslave their thinking process because they’re too scared to do anything different than what they’re taught.
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