Re: [Videolib] Eyes on the Prize

Art McGee (amcgee@virtualidentity.org)
Fri, 4 Feb 2005 06:42:38 -0800 (PST)

> What I find interesting is the slamming of "Song of the
> South" as "racist crap." Probably 95% of my patrons that
> ask for "Song of the South" are older African-Americans
> who saw the movie as children and enjoyed it! They want to
> see it again or show it to their granchildren because they
> liked it. And yes, I've asked them--not one has said they
> want to illustrate the "racist crap" of the film.

Yes, and some of my best friends are white. :-\

There are Black people who also loved the recent "Soul
Plane," but that didn't make the film any less a minstrel
show. Just because Black people consume something doesn't
make it any less a product of White Supremacy. I'm not here
to give you a basic course in Critical Race Theory or
Whiteness Studies, I'm simply stating the empirical facts
based on long-standing academic, sociological, and folk
analysis. Deal with it.

And for the record, no, I am not saying that the film
shouldn't be shown, as I believe all of these types of
films should be made available to everyone, school children
especially, so that they can understand the evil and racist
nature of American history to the fullest.

My point was simply to dismiss your insulting and
duplicitous comparison of such a film to a comprehensive
narrative of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights
Movement, along with the Civil War, is the absolute most
important event in the entirety of American history. The
fundamental contradiction in American society was and in
many ways still is racial oppression. There is no more
important thing that all children must learn, so that
they can shed the evil ways of this country's legacy.

Song of the South, on the other hand, is a White Supremacist
fantasy, enjoyed by Blacks and Whites alike, as structural
forms of oppression survive not only because of an active
oppressor, but also as a result of the complicity of the
victims. Of course Black people like Song of the South. They
also used to like Amos 'N Andy and other pathetic fare, so
save your inane anecdotes for someone who isn't fully
familiar with the contradictions of consumption.

Rejecting the rules of copyright regarding a doc like Eyes
on the Prize, not to make profit, but to educate and edify,
is an act of civil disobedience on the same level as any
other. Eyes is not the same as "Killer of Sheep," or any
other film, so making blanket statements about theft are
ridiculous on their face. Just because you do a sit-in at
a Woolworths doesn't mean that you're going to go around
disrupting businesses all over the country. I bet the
racists in the 60s thought they had a right to their
property too, and felt that what the protesters were doing
was wrong, that by breaking the law they were leading us to
anarchy. How idiotic. We didn't even need history to tell us
how that one was going to turn out.

Art McGee
Principal Consultant
Virtual Identity
Communications+Media+Technology
1-510-967-9381
artmcgee@cyberspace.org
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