Friday, February 1, 2013

The most shocking new reality show and the most shocking movie is out now and it does not involve Snooki or Lindsay Lohan for it‘s shock value. It involves predominantly Black people. Should the media really play with Black people after all the sensitivity and general discrimination they have gone through throughout the ages? Or can we poke fun at all ethnic people and not take any of it too seriously?
I’m talking about The Sisterhood and Django Unchained the two most controversial shows out there now. The Sisterhood tells you what it really is like at some of the prosperity Black Gospel Churches. They preach that God is here to help you with prosperity and to give you wealth and health while you are here on earth. It is not about riches in heaven. It is all about right now. That is the opposite of everything Jesus preached. The Bible is all about the rewards you will get in heaven if you are good.
Anyone who grew up Catholic would be yelling at the TV about how opposite we were taught. These are a group of women that consider themselves first ladies but 2 of their Pastors don’t even have churches to be in right now so they are a group of testy women. It can be compared to Camille Grammer who was on the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills meanwhile she was neither a housewife and not too real. In defense of white people, this is a rare glimpse into the lives of Black views. All white people know is that black women wear fabulous hats to church on Sundays.
These are not traditional church women. They are in the malls on Saturday but they might stop for a conversation about scripture. It is part of the black culture but is not the entire church culture. It is a slice of it and is no different from the reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta except with Jesus thrown in. Is it exploitation or is there something good to be derived from all this?
Clearly they shouldn’t be talking about having crabs on national TV but they do in an episode with the preacher. That can be considered exploitation but at the same time when he talks about condom use to his kids, he is doing a service to help prevent pregnancy. That never happens with most pastors and their first ladies sitting there so the shock value keeps people watching. It becomes exploitation with about five minutes of something good. Meanwhile, those black women are hated on twitter.
Quentin Tarantino has a film out called Django Unchained that is a very violent film and is the number two most watched new movie in the country. Should we take issue with over 200 times in the movie that the word nigger is thrown out there? Shock value sells lately. Look at the popular Bridesmaids movie that is always around; Melisa McCarthy takes a crap in the sink in that movie. Ugh.
Professor Anthea Butler who happens to be Black and teaches Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania reacts to this movie by not taking issue with all the uses of that word in the movie. She even teaches slavery when she covers African American Religious History and the word is used a lot in historic narratives. Since the movie takes place in the past during a time when the word was tossed around freely then it simply is historically accurate. So, you have to look at history as it stands.
It is the most incredible anti-slavery studio made film ever released and yet Spike Lee a famous Black director who admits that he has not seen the film says, “The only thing I can say right now is that it is disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film.” Professor Butler respectfully disagrees with Spike Lee and doesn’t pretend to be able to speak for her ancestors on the subject. Perhaps Spike Lee should make his own movie about slavery and then we can really understand how he feels about the subject.
What Quentin Tarentino was trying to do was a theme. A theme is partially an epic on how to deal with a subject and America still hasn’t dealt with the slavery issue. You can have a good or bad response to this film and it is good that the film is at least being talked about. Most kids of this generation don’t even have any idea what slavery was. Movies like Roots and Gone With The Wind are considered educational films now.
The recently released film Inglorious Bastards was a Nazi film that had Jews as the violent heroes which also was controversial. In Tarentino’s film you can see so many white audiences cheering black characters killing white characters in the movie theater. Thirty years ago you would probably never see any of these movies being released.

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