We Have A Truth and Focus Problem
By H. Lewis Smith
Though the controversial film, Django Unchained, can stand on its own merits of uniquely presenting the era of slave history, it has a common bond with other films of similar elk in that they all conveniently sanitize a portion of slave history as it so suits White America.
One thing needs to be made clear: Tarantino and no other white director or producer is going to depict slave history in a manner that parallels the real and whole truth or reality of the heinous period in time. Use of the n-word during that era and a dosage of graphic violence is only half the story. The other half, which is never, ever discussed or alluded to in the movies nor read about within academia institutions, includes the hoodwinking and bamboozling of Black America as to when slavery actually ended albeit under the guise of different terminologies. Ultimately, slavery did not end in 1865, but really finally came to an end during the 1960s.
However, this truth is eliminated because it would force America to continually see how unfairly the systemic has treated Blacks—constantly oppressing Blacks and forbidding them access to their liberties even when it is morally and legally granted. The slave experience was one of continual, violent and relentless attacks on the slave’s body, mind and spirit.
Django is not a depiction of historical accuracy, and there are really no other films about slave history that offer an accurate representation. However, they all use the n-word to some degree, which is often done in efforts to portray the reality of that period in history. Even the most widely-known and -praised films such as Roots and Color Purple strongly use the n-word to convey partial truth, but they tend to present slavery in a much friendlier, less evil and acceptable fashion than what it truly was.
These films are poor portrayals of the truth the enslaved really endured and are just window dressing to all the ugliness and evil that actually transpired. This proves that there are segments of slave history that is always sanitized, and unchallenged. And if use of the n-word was not in White America’s best interest it too would be sanitized.
Strong use of the n-word does not make a reality more or less real. The point is that even if one finds the omission of the n-word from the making of such films a distortion of facts, and conveniently overlooks the omissions of other significant, defining aspects of that historical era, then that person is out of order, and is complicit in a cover-up of an even greater magnitude. This allusion is made in reference to “The Making of a N**ger”, and how Blacks were psychologically prepped to distrust anyone else black and must love, respect and trust only whites; how the victims of chattel slavery were merely pawns in an economic game, debauchery, cross-breeding, inter-racial rape and made to see themselves as sub-human, 3/5 a person, sex starved savage beasts—as they were often categorized.
Slave plantation owners, overseers, merchants, bankers, and all of those who were benefactors of the American enslavement of black people, had a huge stake in eliminating the identity of the enslaved, re-inventing them as n**gers. This aided in keeping the enslaved disoriented, and congenial towards being better slaves. It set up the enslaved to voluntarily accept European values, traditions and habits. This was all they were allowed to embrace, while at the same time, contributing to a total disintegration of African culture.
As a result, to this very day there is an acceptance by many that European value systems are superior and anything black is looked upon as inferior and evil. State Senator Glen Grothman validates this premise in the following link for there are many who share his sentiments:
Black Americans have been socially engineered to think of themselves as the n-word; Samuel L. Jackson is a perfect illustration, and people like Tarantino seemingly do all they can to offer this “friendly” reminder and continue contributing to the making of inferior mentalities. Often times the phrase “let go of the past” is heard and yet all at the same time use of the n-word, which is a relic from the past, is kept alive. Such a practice is an enigma; to embrace the n-word and try to overlook its sordid history is to be in denial that an African-American Holocaust ever took place. Want to let go of the past? Then bury the n-word.
The African-American Holocaust lasted almost four hundred years longer than the Jewish Holocaust, and resulted in millions of more deaths. Many Black people, however, often hold greater regard and sympathy towards the Jewish Holocaust above their own. This display of low self-regard and even self-contempt among many Blacks is almost always accompanied with a higher regard towards whites.
What does the phrase “n**ger don’t forget your place” truly mean? The n-word was beaten, tortured and forcibly instilled into the minds of Blacks to absorb a self-hate, self-abnegation image of themselves, and to never forget that is what they are…a n**ger/n**ga; the Samuel L. Jacksons exemplifies this truth.
Many White people expect Blacks to behave like n**gers, so referring to self as such does nothing but reinforce—to many of them—that Blacks are indeed inferior, and, thus, non-black races do not feel threatened in the least bit. To their consternation, walking with dignity as opposed to saggin’ pants, exemplifying racial pride, and honoring and respecting self is far more threatening and of deep concern. The self-destructive lyrics of rap music is confirmation to whites that Blacks know their place and are staying in it. It is time that Blacks remove themselves from “their place” and distances ourselves from the Samuel L. Jacksons. Oh what a day when rather than using their voice, and writing and story-telling gifts to compose community-degrading rhymes, that Blacks writers and composers use these same skills to write a blog that is grammatically correct and addresses the greatness of black people, the greatest strength ever blessed upon a people, and Black/African-Americans’ ability to excel despite racism, oppression, and bigotry.
Write about how Blacks’ true history of greatness has been distorted with white lies and deception, and how white people re-wrote history to make themselves appear superior. White people will crawl out of the woodworks to tell Blacks that Black people are ignorant and are nothing but a n**ger; and even though there may still be some Blacks, this very day, who will agree with them, write about the goodness anyway and prove to self and the world that those white and black people couldn’t be more wrong. This level of confidence, skill, cultural dignity and love of self would make many people uneasy and restless, and let them know that Blacks have re-taken control of their destiny and will define their own true place of superiority in the social spectrum, history and life.
Black/African Americans have a history so rich and glorious that—other than the honoring of Black ascendants— slavery and no remnants of it is worthy of Black America’s attention. The oppressors know this and would rather have African Americans continue to think of slavery as their main claim to fame.
The embracing of the n-word (n**ga) is negative, unenlightened, and profoundly stupid.
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); a writer for the New England Informer Online, and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word”. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1