"Get Out" made its debut in theaters last week Friday with 33.4 million dollar revenue safely assuming it was a major success. Capturing every emotion in the audience, Director Jordan Peele took a risk and exploited the truth behind the hidden agenda that is Racist America.
Get Out begins as a love story between a young interracial couple. Entering a more intimate stage, Rose (the main characters girlfriend) decides it is time for her boyfriend to meet her family… her prestigious white family. Chris (main character) agrees and they travel to an isolated PW suburb where the two are greeted lovingly by her parents. What seems to be your typical awkward situation of meeting the folks, begins slowly but surely to turn into an all out abduction.
So how does the concept of abducting an innocent serve as a manifest of hidden racism? It starts with small comments and suggestive stereotypes. The typical “do you play sports?” And the passive “If I could have, I would have voted for Obama for a third term” kind of thing. Then it begins to escalate from passive to direct racism at a day party hosted by Roses’ family for all of their close friends and neighbors. Upon meeting Chris, they begin treating him not as a guest or even as Roses’ boyfriend, but instead as a black object meant to be put to use. They feel his body for durability; they ogle his complexion and regard it as trendy; even insinuate that because he is black, his sex game must be A1.
This all seems too familiar huh? Day to day, as a black community, we are increasingly viewed as perplexing to other races. They are enamored by our build, or definition, or soul, our voices, our hair, even our culture. They use this interest and fuel it into jealousy, seize it into appropriation, then stem it into passive aggressive racial slurs all served kindly with a smile. And much like the main character in Get Out we take it, ignore it, and willingly forgive… with a smile. But why? There is nothing more dangerous than an uninformed racist. To allow inadvertent or intentional prejudice to live casually is only increasing the issue at hand. No person should live to be summed up to mystery and interpretation as opposed to human beings with minds and purpose of their own.
So let us begin by addressing the passive comments. Respectfully of course and with poise always but remain effective. Let it be known that is not ok to start your first conversation upon meeting with “I’m not racist by the way. I know a lot of black people.” And lastly, never get hypnotized by a white supremacist family, I promise it won’t end well!
Written by: Raven Noelle