I’m sorry; I just have trouble understanding why nearly every movie about African Americans portrays us as having a weakness only white people can help us overcome. It’s starting to be a bit annoying, not to mention redundant. I’m sure we have all seen the preview that sounds something like this:
Announcer: “In a world where people of color from the inner city act like blatant stereotypes, there was one white woman who was willing to give them a chance. Michelle Pfeiffer in . . . “Dangerous Minds.”
Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank recently starred in a similar film. It goes a little something like this:
Announcer: “From the producers of all those other movies in which white people are the only ones who can save poor ethnic kids, comes the same freakin’ story you’ve seen over and over. When a bunch of unruly ethnic kids don’t want to listen to anyone, a random white woman is able to reach them. This time it’s Hillary Swank in . . . “Freedom Writers.”
I mean, COME ON!
Are we as helpless and naive as our characterizations in films portray us?
Do white people really care about our problems as much as they do in films?
If they did, there wouldn’t be any more movies like that because society would have changed. Few movies give black people credit for the things we do for ourselves.
The only thing they do give us credit for being good at is drug dealin’, rappin’ or pimpin’.
I just saw Edward Zwick’s “masterpiece,” “Blood Diamond.” If you haven’t heard, everyone in America has been raving about how wonderful this picture is. And if you see it, you’ll see why.
Announcer: “In a world where Africans have been exploited by whites and capitalism (TRUE), one white guy would find the light and see the error of his ways (FALSE).
From the director who brought you other films about white people who sacrifice their lives for other races because it’s the “right thing to do,” comes a nowhere-near-true story of a greed-driven white man’s struggle to find himself by helping an African man save his family, proving that deep down inside, the relationship between Africans and whites is totally kosher.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and some African guy whose name we won’t bother to say in the preview, in . . . “Blood Diamond.”
People are perfectly capable of dealing with their own problems. And when they can’t, they aren’t saved by a bunch of white people who suddenly see what’s wrong with the world.
They are either saved by the World Bank in exchange for their souls, governments that have special interests in the area that they’re saving, or white people with rich parents who are afraid to fail at life, so they protest everything so that they never have to actually do anything.
Kai Beasley is a senior at Emory University who writes a weekly column for the Villanovan at Villanova University. To comment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.