Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK'S Dream Is Coming True

With Martin Luther King day here, it’s interesting to note once more just how little race seems to matter anymore. Actually, let me rephrase that. It’s interesting how much the charge of racism no longer matters. Consider this:

Michael Moore is in Michigan falsely accusing the Governor of letting the city of Flint send dirty water through its pipes to its citizens because they’re black. The national response has been to yawn and ignore him.

The whole “police hunting black men” thing seems to have faded with no real changes outside of a few blame-game actions in Chicago. So much for national outrage. So much for restarting a Civil Rights Movement. So much for changing the way the police do their job.

What’s more, Quentin Tarantino’s decision to demagogue on that issue has caused his latest film to fall flat with projections of a $100 million box office in the US falling to $40 million despite critical praise and a high audience rating. Whoops.

The Oscars have again become an all white affair... silly ‘non-racist’ liberals! The President of the Academy has claimed to be saddened by this, but no one has been punished. A few journalists have asked if people will be upset by this, but essentially are giving it a pass. A few black actors, like Jada Pinkett Smith are wondering if they should boycott, but not seriously. Even host Chris Rock has turned this into a comic affair, referring to the Oscars as “the white BET awards,” which is actually a double-edged joke as it points out that blacks have racially separate awards.

So what is going on?

As I’ve maintained for some time, the public has stopped caring about this as an issue. They do care about genuine outrages, but they no longer care or pay attention to made-up outrages like not getting nominated for a widely-voted upon award, and they don’t care if you can’t provide real proof of racist intent. What’s more, the public seems willing to punish those like Tarantino for muck racking and for inventing claims of racism.

This is a good thing. By making the accuser bring actual proof and show a genuine injury, and by punishing those who would try to use these types of claims to aggrandize themselves, what you are seeing is the issue of racism losing its place in our society as a “societal issue” and instead becoming like any other dispute between individuals. That in turn means that we are getting ever closer to judging the men and women in our world according to their merits rather than the color of their skin.

Maybe Martin Luther King’s dream is coming true after all?


Anthony said...

I agree with your broad point that things are getting better, but this would be a short comment if I left it at that, so I'll quibble to make things interesting.

I doubt 1 person in 50 could name two of this year's Oscar nominees or for that matter, last year's winner, so why would anyone care who they are?

Its quite possible the Hateful Eight fell on its face because the movie didn't spark much popular interest/discussion. Word of mouth is the movie is standard Tarantino (talky, graphic violence and one scene of extreme brutality) which is fine and good but not noteworthy. Along those lines, brutal movies set in the old West are a dime a dozen.

By way of contrast, Django Unchained (which caught a lot more flack as a movie for 'race-baiting') and Inglorious Basterds both caused more handwringing and were much more distinctive as movies (Eh, I'll go see that other recent movie where a Jewish guy beats a Nazi to death!).

As for police killing blacks, both Black Lives Matter (which lumped in good killings with bad and thus discredited itself) and increased willingness to dismiss if not prosecute officers who do something stupid or evil (omnipresent cameras and YouTube make creativity/cover-ups trickier) have pretty much taken the steam out of the police reform movement before it got going.

ScottDS said...

I agree with Anthony. Re: Hateful Eight, a.) Django had much more going on in terms of race and the usual thinkpieces (and Jamie Foxx shooting his mouth off) and it made a ton of money, and b.) reviews have been good but not great and both Django and Basterds have higher scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

I'm just saying attributing a film's box-office performance to any one factor isn't always a good thing. After all, you'd think every conservative in the country would go see Michael Bay's Benghazi movie, but it opened very low. American Sniper it ain't.

As for the Oscars, yeah I don't think anyone really cares. And Spike Lee complains so much that I doubt anyone takes him seriously.

Actually, speaking of the Oscars, Quentin wasn't nominated either. His movies are always nominated for Best Screenplay. So wouldn't this balance things out? :-D

P.S. I know you're busy but we're looking forward to your replies to the Alan Rickman comments.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The controversy against Django was the use of the n-word. So basically, the controversy was coming from the "pro race issues" side. The fact that people saw it anyways in large numbers (his most successful film, I think) again suggests that this issue is a dead issue politically.

Agreed about Black Lives Matter, but honestly, the issue was dead long before they came along. They were created because people had stopped caring about that issue. And their actions finished it off pretty much.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm working on it. Recovering from the surgery has been harder than expected.

On the Oscars, the issue isn't the public. The public doesn't care, which is my point. The issue is that even among the highly PC set, there has been little outcry (except for the perfunctory stuff), no punishments and no promises of change.

And again, all of this is just more evidence. I'm not saying that any of it is the silver bullet, conclusive bit of proof. It's just all suggestive of the same theme -- while the "activists" continue to scream, their ability to create an issue with the public seems to have evaporated.

BevfromNYC said...

I agree - What we are seeing is the last panicked screams of this latest iteration of grievance warriors trying to keep themselves relevant. The bottom line is that one can be falsely accused of being an "[fill in the blank]-ist" just so many times before just tuning it out.

And these modern-day witch-hunters [well, we call them "Justice Warriors" in this century] are so insulated from reality that the only people that they upset are other modern day witch hunters. The other 80% of the public are rational and intelligent people who can see through it all and just aren't interested - The Silent Majority.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's what it feels like to me too -- the last, desperate gasp of modern-day witch-hunters. That's why its always the same four or five people.

Kit said...

OT: Well, Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump.

AndrewPrice said...

They are from the same circus.

BevfromNYC said...

Really, would you really think that Palin would endorse anyone else? And this may do more harm to Trump than help. And yes, they are both from the circus of "reality" TV.

AndrewPrice said...

would you really think that Palin would endorse anyone else?

Nope. Not a chance.

Kit said...

Let me make an announcement:

I, too will be boycotting the Oscars! Because the Oscars is racist, not because I find Hollywood's fawning onanistic orgy of self-love so idiotic and obnoxious I spend half the show praying for the sweet release of death, not because I loathe having to wonder what winner will engage in a masturbatory display of their own self-righteousness by injecting politics into what should be apolitical, and not because I do not give a rat’s ass about any of the nominees.

No, I am boycotting it because the Oscars is racist! I am joining Spike Lee! #OscarsSoWhite!

Kit said...

How much will the Palin endorsement help Trump?

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