October 20, 2014
The Week’s Most Diffuse, Obtuse, and Abstruse Headlines
DEAR BLACK PEOPLE: STOP MAKING FILMS SUCH AS DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
Black director Justin Simien”and yes, it’s pronounced just like “simian“”is fairly dripping with the saliva of white film critics who are jostling one another to give him a verbal tongue bath upon the release of his new film Dear White People. As the title seems to imply and every review of the film suggests, it is a feature-length condescending lecture from black Americans to white Americans”even “well-meaning” ones.
Set at the fictional “Winchester University,” the film takes its name from a campus radio show hosted by a black female who, according to the apologetically white-looking A.O. Scott of The New York Times, uses her program to:
…call out the hypocrisies, blind spots and micro-aggressions that African-Americans experience in their daily encounters with well-meaning Caucasians.
Do “micro-aggressions” even exist in sub-Saharan Africa?
This is in part a movie about racism, about how deeply white supremacy is still embedded in institutions that congratulate themselves on their diversity and tolerance. It is, in other words, about how the distance from a place like Winchester to a place like Ferguson, Mo., is not as great as some of us might wish or suppose.
One might suppose that the distance between Winchester and Ferguson is much narrower than that between any neighborhood in America and Monrovia, Port-Au-Prince, or just about anywhere in Swaziland, but one would also assume that neither the filmmaker nor the film critics slobbering over Dear White People would dare have such a “conversation” about race.
In an interview with NPR, Director Justin Simien talks about the “visceral horror” of seeing that a handful of white people at a dwindling number of American colleges still have the gall and gumption to host “blackface parties.”
Yet he failed to mention the escalating prevalence in mainstream media of black celebrities donning “whiteface” to openly mock Caucasians”e.g., Snoop Dogg as Todd, Martin Lawrence as White Bob, Dave Chappelle as a dorky white TV news host, Nick Cannon as a nerdy white guy named Connor Smallnut, or the Wayans Brothers in White Chicks. What is the main difference between all these examples and the very rare campus blackface party? Each black star wearing whiteface is a millionaire with a career in mainstream media and is financed by millionaire”or even billionaire”producers.
If you really want to have a conversation about race, let’s go. Otherwise, don”t be surprised if all your lecturing blows up in your face one day.
JON STEWART LECTURES BILL O”REILLY ON “WHITE PRIVILEGE”
Continuing in the never-ending mainstream-media campaign to stigmatize whites to the point of irreversible demoralization, eternally smirking Daily Show host Jon Stewart had Fox News blowhard Bill O”Reilly on his program last week to lecture him about “white privilege.”
“If there is white privilege,” O”Reilly countered, “then there has to be Asian privilege, because Asians make more money than whites.”
By the way, when did “privilege” morph into a matter of shame rather than pride? Didn”t “it’s a privilege” used to mean roughly the same as “it’s an honor”?
And why does no one in mainstream media”even those on supposedly “racist” networks such as Fox”ever mention that blacks in America are obscenely privileged compared to blacks in Africa? Every time someone talks about white privilege, it’s high time to rub their noses in “American privilege.”
Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) made a passing mention to “Jewish privilege,” but only in a comical reference to his “people” being hairy. But back in 2009, when CNN host Rick Sanchez, referring to Stewart as a “bigot,” mocked the idea that American Jews were an “oppressed minority,” he was fired the next day. Yet no one in media who mentions “white privilege” ever gets fired for it”if anything, they get a promotion. Would it be monstrous to suggest that more than a smidgen of guilt-projection is afoot here?
Daily updates with TM’s latest