“Let the Black Guy live!”

Crossposted from The Wild Wild Left

He’s Dead, Mom.

“What do you mean, Jake?”

“They always kill the Black Guy off. It makes me so mad!”

“What?”

“Mom, it doesn’t matter how cool or smart he is, they always kill the Black Guy off in these films, even if he dies a hero, they kill him and the White Guy lives.”

We were watching ‘Deep Blue Sea’.

“So don’t get attached to him Mom.”

His Nine Year old tirade was just beginning.

He started naming Horror and Sci-Fi films and actors, and pointing out the Black Guy always died in each one. He remembered a whole list. The kid is a savant for those actors and movies like his Father.

I asked, “Let me guess, the blond woman always lives?”

He answered, rolling his eyes at me for missing the obvious, “No, the blond woman dies, the smarter brown haired woman lives, usually saved by the white guy. They always fall in love.”

Then he really got agitated, as he explained it to me. “Whoever makes these films really are so rude. Its just WRONG, Mom… its like they make Blacks expendable.”

My eyebrow lifts a bit at his vocabulary as well as this really astute observation. “What does expendable mean?” I ask to check.

“Mom, its like they just throw them away, and half the time he is the smartest one or the best actor in the movie. Like they aren’t important people to them.”

“Did your Dad point this out to you?”

“No, but I told him about it the other day too. They always kill the dog, they always kill the Black guys, they always kill the horses too. It is so wrong, Mom, it pisses me off. Sorry I said pissed. It makes me mad.

But its like there is only one plot. Its like movie makers are racists, Mom, and I HATE it.

What is WRONG with these people?” he finishes, voice rising in angst, putting the accent on wrong like an adult. He is starting sound like me. There are tears in his eyes.

“You’re right, its fucked up.” He smiles a little at me using the “F” bomb around him like he is an adult. We are having an adult conversation after all, I slipped. “They have been making White Guys heroes of movies for a long time.”

“Yeah, I know, just like they made them the Good Guys in Indian movies. While they were stealing their land and stuff.”

At this point I am frustrated because I have no answers for him, other than our Country is a racist place. I am proud that he noticed on his own, and is indignant and personally offended by the situation.

He brought this up a few more times this week, it is really bugging him. He likes sci-fi movies a lot.

“He’s Dead.”

“They’ll kill him.”

“Watch, he won’t make the end of the movie.”

Then he made the leap I feared, out of his own words a few days later.

Mom, its like they treat Black People LIKE the animals in movies. Its okay to kill them. Sure they want you to feel sad when they do it, but in the end, its the White Guy who lives and you’re supposed to be happy about it.”

“Dude, these cheap sci-fi films follow a formula. You’re right, they ARE wrong, buddy.”

Mom, I want to write these Guys and yell at them. I want to tell them to let the Black Guy live.



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Out of the mouths of Babes………..

7 comments

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    • Diane G on May 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm
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    I must be doing something right. What a good hearted, open-eyed boy I brought into this world.

    Its an honor to watch him become, you know?

  1. A similar criticism has been directed at movies that portray gay and lesbian characters. Always has to have a tragic ending. The homosexual has to be dead or alone at the end. This was one criticism that was made of Brokeback Mountain. Gay critics said they were tired of gay characters being killed off just to satisfy the dramatic requirements of straight writers.

  2. he cant be that smart….he’s wearing a red wings shirt….  😉  (i do hope you know im kidding)

    your point is one of the major reasons i have a 1-tv rule in my house.  whatever we watch…and we dont care what anyone else thinks is appropriate…we watch together.  

    and i really only understand the meaning of the word ‘awe’ from having watched my children ‘become’.  yes, i know what you mean by that…

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