Nov 17, 2013

I can't even pretend I was surprised when I saw the title of the USAToday article that referred to the #2 movie in the country, Best Man Holiday, as a race-themed movie.  I'm not one of those people who think because we have a black man sitting in the White House that we've some how overcome racism.  Every day we get reminders that this is not the case and this article by USAToday is the latest example of that.

Now of course after the immediate outrage, USAToday changed the title of the article.  You know, because they don't want to seem insensitive.  But the real question is: Why would they think it was okay to print something like that in the first place?

What is it about a movie that is made up of a cast that is predominantly black that make people i.e. white people think its a race-themed film?  We all know race-themed is just a code way of saying BLACK just as mainstream is another way of saying WHITE.  Movies that feature an all-white ensemble is never tagged with a label such as race-themed because it's somehow understood that anything white people portray is universal; whereas, when a film features black people it's only for.........wait for it......BLACK PEOPLE.

Best Man Holiday is a film that speaks to the power of friendship, love, and faith.  These are universal themes that just so happen to be told through the lenses of black people and somehow that translates to race-themed for the writers over at USAToday.  Because heaven forbid black people may actually have something in common with people who don't look anything like us.

At some point you get tired of fighting this fight.  I'm feeling a little Fannie Lou Hamer lately when it comes to all the overt and subvert racism that is taking place.  I'm even more tired of people who don't experience racism calling me racist for pointing out racist behavior.  Saying things such as playing the Race Card is just another way of trying to silence people from speaking the truth because speaking the truth about racism is painful for some people.

Trying to pigeonhole black films and other forms of entertainment that is generated from the creative imaginations of black people is standard practice.  So once again I'm not going to pretend I'm surprised.  This is just business as usual.

Did you see Best Man Holiday this past weekend?  What did you think?