Why Stories About Black People, From The White Perspective, Is Rarely a Good Idea
Race has become a lucrative business that nobody wants to die for, if they can help it. Sometimes, I wonder about myself and whether or not I can look in the mirror and not scowl at the reflection of my success.
When it comes down to it — I gained my fame from writing shit like this. Telling you why I’m gutted about the murder of another Black child and explaining how such a thing elevates the narrative of White privilege — in all its damaging consequences.
At first I wasn’t sure I could convey my sincerity in a way that wouldn’t interfere with my overall message. I got pulled into the role of race writer at a time when there was a potent need to respond to the alarm — that began to howl in 2014. This initiated the streak of back to back — never-ending coverage of what Black pain really looks like when you start the video midway — to speed up the bloody end.
The worst part about the trendiness of race is witnessing the vultures that circled when the coast was unclear — before finally descending with authority as the lucrative possibilities are pitched in black and white.
For me, there was never the agenda to perform accordingly — so as to hopefully book TV appearances or endure Skype interviews or participate in all the other forms of exposure that give you the basis to allot “activist” to your bedazzled resume of hits.
My need to publish the heartbeats that escaped the horror of holding your breath to watch a Black man bleed to death in the presence of his murderer and the two humans he’s quickly leaving behind — overwhelmed any thought of a hatched plan — to dominate the world of creatives who are focused on the business of race wars.
As I clean out my soul to make sure I’m lounging on the side I can contend with — I’m also drawn to the other side. The White side of things, which always seems to be cloaked with purity and good intentions — and yet most of the results counter the declaration of progressive vibes.
The term “White privilege” has become just as disorganized as — “diversity.”
The fact that diversity has to be an initiated hashtag — that is retweeted countless times for good measure — and for the benefit of celebrating how and why people of color need to be included in the space that Whites rarely want to share — is appallingly discouraging.
Companies that have spent centuries validating the protocol about why having a fair amount of dark-skinned people in high-profile positions is a death sentence — are now suddenly using social media to share their revised syllabus — that most certainly welcomes people of all colors and creed.
It’s fashionable to give the discarded portion of the population — the support they’ve been lacking. Neglected and left for dead on the streets of America — the time has come to figure out ways to contribute to the tithing of a movement — that requires only racial bait as the main course.
Now that “diversity “— has been worn out and left to dry for mercy — “White privilege” has taken over the race of words that make the other folks pale with furious guilt. Nobody wants to be told that their existence is a reminder of how Black ancestors toiled laboriously to inspire a holiday that celebrates how their daily mutilation will provide plenty for the future of their masters.
That’s a fucking hard pill to swallow.
White privilege is a useless term anyway. It’s time to make that shit die a quick death. It doesn’t help propel any morsel of hope that the people who are being tossed in that category — will actually recognize their status with the humbleness of awareness.
White people are just white.
It’s what they know and it serves them well. They don’t share a history of terrific violence that sliced the tendons of unity into pieces — still floating in the waters — that engulfed its share of blackened limbs that weren’t supposed to sail that way.
White people aren’t privileged. They were made for the purpose that keeps them floundering for ways to give Black people the impression that they’re tuned into the air waves of our pain — with the disclaimer that they can utilize the sharpened atmosphere as the avenue of gain.
They want to be aligned with the stories that depict the warning signs of the past. Suddenly we’re being asked to participate in ventures that are spearheaded by White people who recognize a good thing when they see it.
White Hollywood has the itch that can’t be thwarted unless scripts with Black people screaming for blood — arrive in quick succession.
Here’s the thing — White people enjoy watching Black people suffer.
When Precious was released in the winter of 2009 —it made a dent at the box office that demonstrated why watching the depressingly hopeless tale of a young Black girl who suffers for the sin of her color and the societal neglect that is systematically assigned — is America’s favorite past time.
I was intrigued by the number of non-Blacks at the theater. I remember sitting there — seething at the comfort of the White crowd — staring at the screen — while praising God that they managed to escape the complexities of not being deemed worthy enough — based solely on skin tone.
The experience was replicated when I saw The Butler. Granted, that was a completely different film from Precious, but just like the The Help that preceded it — the themes of White masters and the Black people that were destined to serve them — remained at the core of the experience, which if anyone who saw 12 years a Slave can attest to — the last thing you want to do is inhabit the same space as White folks while internalizing the cringe-worthy whip lashing scenes.
My point is that this period of acute social-consciousness is encouraging a shitload of positivity while also providing White people in places of power — that can alter landscapes with the brush of award-winning fare — the ability to define Black pain on their terms.
Brad Pitt, who had a small part in 12 Years a Slave — was also instrumental in the production of a film that he knew would be a hit because White people master ways to position themselves — when the gold rush is about to overflow. It’s easy to chide me for poorly judging Pitt’s commitment to a story that illustrates the resilience of an educated Black man — who made it back to the family he was ripped away from — after years of enslavement.
I’m sure the millions Pitt inherited from the box office was just an added bonus to his quest to champion the beginnings of what has now become a full-blown fest of crippling exploitation.
White people being White in La La Land is not breaking news — except the part where movies like Detroit get financing from a White heiress with a penchant for films that are guaranteed to graze the box office — based on the heavy subject matter of race — and the graphic scenes that can make “death videos” look amateurish.
Thankfully, Kathryn Bigelow’s ambitious contribution to real life circumstances of Black horror— failed to rouse the interest of the masses — who probably don’t fancy the idea of watching immaculately staged riots on the big screen — when they can just attend one down the street.
The White interpretation of the Black experience is the reason why Hidden Figures ended up being a sour delivery . The screenplay duties were split between two White writers(Alison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi)— and anyone with a pulse should've been able to detect the intense Whitewashing. The film was a poorly conceived antidote for White people who can only support a film about three Black women who broke barriers — if its overblown with the fictitious “White savior” element that only men like Kevin Costner can play with familiar precision.
The reception for Hidden Figures was expected. It was interesting to observe Black people blindly accepting the bait that wasn’t even disguised for deception. We’ve all become followers of anything that’s presented through rose-colored glasses.
It was just a matter of time before Hollywood’s “Oscar freak” — George Clooney would find a way to combine an old script by The Cohen Brothers — about the murderous streak of heathens — with a the real-life story about a Black family that move into an imminent war zone — that comprises of “an all-White neighborhood in the 1950's.”
Aside from the fact that Matt Damon looks unrecognizable and Julianne Moore seems to hoard the secrets of anti-aging— the trailer for Suburbicon doesn’t showcase any Black person. Instead we are presented with the placid quirkiness of characters in a vibrant setting — that give costumes the pop they need to refer to an era when Black people weren’t welcomed — anywhere.
No, I haven’t seen the film that I’m shredding with joy, and no, I won’t see it — ever.
It’s time to finally call out the White filmmakers, socialites and the money bags that dominate Rodeo Drive — in their satin seats. The pain of being Black in America isn’t a disposition that can tolerate the fantastical version — produced by two men who have no primal grasp of what “dying while Black” feels like from the perspective of those who are being groomed to live it.
Having someone like George Clooney — narrate why his latest offering is “an angry movie for angry times” is the exact reason why we need to re-evaluate why White people studying our anger — shouldn’t be their opportunity for profit.
Damon — who famously displayed his reluctance to empathize with the messiness of diversity in an industry he dominates — when he pompously explained the complexities of diversity to a Black filmmaker — has the utter nerve to pride himself with a project that adequately defines the untreatable symptoms of White privilege.
All isn’t lost — as we have the likes of Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler and others — who thankfully didn’t copy the playbook from big shots like Will Smith — who built his career with selfish disregard for his community.
DuVernay and Coogler join other filmmaker of color — that have pledged to work for the audience that Hollywood historically shut out for the benefit of star-struck ignorance.
The White perspective always ends up being dramatized in ways that gives White people the peace of knowing that it wasn’t all bad. The Black woman with a brain that surpasses Mars was eventually rescued from the punishment of bathroom politics.
A stylized pleaser with catchy dialogue, high-priced movie stars, and a setting that recalls the nostalgia of the good old days — that still continue to blossom under the umbrella of blatant bigotry — that has now moved into the ticket business.
It’s not as expensive as you might think if you’re using dollar signs for your additions. It only costs up to $18 bucks to purchase a third row seat to the screen of Black pain.
But White privilege is priceless — of course.