A “review” for the film The Hate U Give made by Letterboxd user ScreeningNotes:
”It is impossible to be unarmed when our blackness is the weapon that they fear.”
The police is a racist institution. White people have more social, political, and economic privilege than black people. That needs to change. If you think Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter, you are missing the point: white people are already treated as if their lives matter; cops are already treated as if their lives matter; black people are not. If you think otherwise, you are conflating the status quo with the reactions against it.
If you feel that people are now prioritizing the lives of black people over the lives of white people, that’s a good thing. Historically this balance has been shifted so far in the other direction that it’s going to feel like radical change to move toward racial equality. Black Lives Matter is a reaction against this historical inequality; All Lives Matter is a reaction against that reaction, it is a movement that reinforces the inequality of the status quo. What you’re feeling is the erosion of your privilege; black people have had so much less socio-political capital that in order to raise them up you must be lowered to bring the races to the same level.
There’s an increasing movement of people (myself included) who believe that All Cops Are Bastards—which is itself perhaps something of a misnomer: the point isn’t that each individual cop is bad, that doesn’t matter; rather, the point is that as an institution the police is bad. But we are still a minority (even if a vocal one), and we are reacting to the realities of police brutality and structural racism and white privilege in this country. ACAB is a reaction against this structural violence; Blue Lives Matter is a reaction against that reaction, it is a movement that reinforces the violence of the status quo.
This is a YA Black Lives Matter movie that’s all surface text, but it can’t help being that way because the topics it’s tackling are too raw, too immediate. It’s all surface text because its heart is ever so firmly in the right place. These issues are too important for our country, they’re things we must rectify before we can even get close to anything like social, political, or economic justice.
#1: The police is a racist institution.
Depends on what you mean by a racist institution. I think we can both agree that it’s an institution that favors the officers over the public 9 times out of 10. Which means no matter the race, if someone files a complaint against an officer, they’re likely only wasting their time, or worse, especially when the judges almost always side with law enforcement. Their like a Godfather mob family, they’ll protect each other, especially when no one else will, and when many others despise them. Whether that hatred is justified or not, it’s there. So when you say, “the point is that as an institution the police is bad,” know that I agree with you. But also know that I probably agree for different reasons.
As for a racist institution, that’s something that will have to be addressed on another point.
#2: White people have more social, political, and economic privilege than black people.
I’m willing to bet that you don’t know of specific examples that prove this, or showcase that this is unjustified even if it is true. I’m willing to bet that the only reason you believe this is because teachers told you so, the mainstream news/media told you so, or Hollywood told you so (or all of the above). I bet you never bothered looking into the statistics showing whether this is true or not, or if it is, why it is. For example, that documentary film 13th, or that more recent documentary, When They See Us. Or even non-documentaries pushing the same points, such as films like this.
There are two problems with this. First, they almost always reference the past, particularly during the civil rights movements of the 60s, maybe the 70s at the latest, and any point in time prior to that. The problem is, that’s all in the past. We should be moving past that, and for a while, during the 80s, 90s, and first decade of the 2000s, I thought we did. But either we’ve regressed, or it never went away so much as had people pull the strings to deliberately turn the tables 180 degrees, as opposed to just 90 degrees.
Second, they lie, even if only by omission. They only show one side of the story, and never bother to bring in the rest of the context, so that this vision of systematic racial oppression against blacks, and systematic blessings (it’s the best antonym I could come up with) for whites becomes one-sided. So that it can brainwash the masses. And make no mistake, it worked on me too, for a long while.
My point being that whites are regularly oppressed, on a scale big enough to where you wouldn’t hold this viewpoint if you knew about even half of this. For instance, with that previously released film When They See Us, about the Central Park 5, how that documentary leaves out relevant information that condemns these guys who managed to get off with a slap on the wrist (in comparison to what they likely deserved). Or how the news tends to be silent regarding black-on-white crime, or are even complicit in pushing hate crime hoaxes, never mind the whole Jussie Smollet debacle.
Where’s the white privilege? All I’m seeing is black privilege (or at least non-white privilege, as illegal immigrants tend to get privileged treatment compared to them). I can go deeper and give more examples if you want, but I’m hoping this gives you an alternative outlet for info on this subject.
If you feel that people are now prioritizing the lives of black people over the lives of white people, that’s a good thing. Historically this balance has been shifted so far in the other direction that it’s going to feel like radical change to move toward racial equality. […] What you’re feeling is the erosion of your privilege; black people have had so much less socio-political capital that in order to raise them up you must be lowered to bring the races to the same level.
Basically what this statement entails is that you believe racism is a good thing under certain circumstances. If someone is over-privileged, be racist towards them, and that will make everything right. Because giving preferential treatment to someone because of their race, and giving discriminatory treatment towards someone else because of their race, that’s the definition of racism.
I love this statement of yours, I really do. That makes me not have a guilt complex when I state that I agree that a dose of racism isn’t always a bad thing. Because I can answer this statement with some questions. You’ve already stated that black should be given preferential treatment because of the detrimental treatment they’ve had in the past. So you feel that letting whites getting detrimental treatment in the present to make up for the sins of the past is the best way to go about setting things right. What about the blacks? What about the sins of the past they committed? Because if you think the whole slavery and racism leading all the way up to, and I’m being generous here, the early 1990s was primarily on the whites and they’re the only guilty ones, you’ve got another thing coming.
One of the first slave owners in America was a black man named Anthony Johnson, a tobacco farmer. Yes, black people owned black slaves in America, pre-Civil War. In fact, unlike what that old miniseries Roots showed, whites didn’t come to Africa on a ship to hunt down and imprison black people and drag them back to the ship to sail them to America and use them in slavery (not to mention America was not the only country doing this, and wasn’t the country that took the majority of slaves, not to mention the Arab slave trade where Arabs acquired white European slaves). African warlords hunted down other Africans, and sold them to Americans, who then shipped them back to the states. Slavery was prevalent in Africa, so prevalent that Africans made it an industry they profited from. They were just as bad, likely worse, than the Americans. Stuff like this still happens today, except it’s more along the lines of that Beasts of No Nation film (or Invisible Children).
Pre-history aside, the more commonly cited history of the 60s and 70s also leaves out much context to put forth a message of racism that is either one-sided or non-existent. To reference films that cover these topics, I talked about how that film Detroit was very one-sided with the whole tense atmosphere of Detroit during those 60s riots. True, the cops were racist assholes, and so was the system. But the film never bothered to demonstrate that the cops had a reason to be tense during that time period. It shows them blasting a window where a little black girl opened up the drapes, mistakenly thinking she was a sniper or something. But it never bothered to show that they were actually taking sniper fire from blacks at various points in time around that city, which of course would make them on edge. We are only shown the whole angle of, “How horrible the police are; fuck the police.” None of the grey, only the black and white. Or that whole Rodney King situation. All we really see of that story is the cops beating the crap out of Rodney. But we don’t see (or often hear) about the lead up to it, before the camera rolled, or what was going on up-close with Rodney. How he was intentionally running from the police in his vehicle, and he was very drunk. And when they eventually got him out of his car, he was attacking them and shouting insults at them and laughing at them. Not exactly a nice guy with respect for authority. But that didn’t stop the blacks from rioting and going after the “privileged” in L.A. in 1992 in response to the not guilty verdict. Yet I don’t recall whites ever getting up in arms about cops basically doing the exact same thing to a white guy who stole a horse and led the cops on a chase where they eventually caught up with him, got him off the horse, tasered him, then beat the shit out of him. Seems like one side is more prone to violence than the other in response to atrocities as portrayed by the media.
Plus blacks commit more crimes on average than whites do on average, by a considerable margin. Some would say this is because of systematic racism and cops focusing more on blacks doing crimes than whites doing crimes, but I have yet to see evidence of this being the case. The reliable evidence I’ve seen indicates otherwise. Not to mention blacks tend to have the lowest IQ rating among all races (lower than whites, latinos, and Indians, and american indians, let alone asians), which contributes to their preference for crime and emotional rage. But to be fair, that’s not the sole factor for it. There’s another factor that contributes towards it that isn’t race related. The welfare system. Those that rely on welfare tend to become more destructive (and even self-destructive). This has been the case for not just blacks, but also whites, american indians, and others, on an international level (not just an American level). Though that being said, those with low IQs tend to prefer a welfare system to the alternative. Either way, this is one of the reasons why the narrative is pushed for taking away white privilege and bringing up black privilege (or minority privilege). It gets more people on welfare, making them more in-debt to the government, which means more money for the government. There’s almost always money and political power behind these sorts of things.
But all this is just playing the blame game and declaring that the sins of the forefathers shouldn’t be punished with the lives of the present generation. There is the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Besides, it’s also under the assumption (which I believe to be false) that blacks will do good for everyone when they are in a privileged position. Africa is a living example demonstrating otherwise, especially when they’ve decided it’s a good idea to start wiping out white farmers in South Africa.
If nothing else, I’d say there’s more justification for racism against blacks, indicating whites should stay in power (in their own country where they should remain a majority, especially when every other race has their own country where they are their own majority), stay privileged, and keep blacks on the underprivileged track. Personally, I prefer the merit system. There’s a reason why affirmative action and racial/gender quotas are a thing. Because genetically, certain races and genders are better at doing some things than other races, and thus have more merit in those. Removal of the merit system for these racial quotas are dangerous and detrimental to society, and we’re already seeing the consequences reaped from this system replacing the merit-based system. And that is the only reason why blackness is a weapon. Politicians, judges, and various powerful corporations (not run by the minorities they prop up) are using it as a weapon. And it is working, but not to the advantage of the populace.
Black Lives Matter is a reaction against this historical inequality
Considering how long this response is getting, I’ll make this the last statement to address. Black Lives Matter is built on lies. Lies that have been debunked consistently, yet people still run with it. The only real way to show this is to go with it on a case by case basis.
PS: I primarily used Vincent James a lot not because he’s the only source I have for stuff like this, but because he’s the best at delivering this info from what I’ve seen.