Full Disclosure. Most of the opinions in this review were formed before I saw the movie. As a matter of fact, they first began to sprout in my mind when I first saw the preview.
My review of “Precious” sparked a back and forth email discussion between myself and this lady. I’m not the type of person to pick up on racial undertones right away, and she was quick to point out all the things I missed. Now, I’m blind to Hollywood’s vendetta against the Black Family, I’m just not out looking for it in every film I see. Furthermore, I am probably the most assimilated individual of all time. I went to “white” schools from kindgergarten through graduate school. My favorite leisure activity at the moment is Adult Kickball, which is played with almost nothing but Caucasians. I glanced around the room while at the Ashram tonight and realized I was the only black person there (until someone else showed up late…CP Time?) Hell, one of my best friends is white!
Ok, that last statement isn’t true. But isn’t that what you’re supposed to say when you’re making the “I’m Not Racist/Militant” case right? My point is, I’m normally the last person to see and become upset with certain trends. So by the time I’m fed up, it must be seriously ridiculous. Which brings me to my point:
We’ve seen “The Blind Side” several times before. All they’ve done is change the title of the film, the actors and the general storyline. Do you remember when it was Finding Forrester or Sunset Park, or Hardball, or Radio, or The Soloist, or Dangerous Minds, or Freedom Writers? And just to make it fair to all, let’s throw in Gran Torino. And these are just films I’m naming off the top of my head!
It seems to me that, according to Hollywood, the only way a minority in this country can do any good for himself is with the help of a kindly, benevolent, open-minded White person.
There, I said it. White America has been saving the black family since forever. They saved us from the jungles of Africa so we can live in the new world. They delivered us from our natural religions so that we may worship their version of God and be “saved.” They saved us by fighting a war to *ahem* set us free. They saved us by introducing and renewing laws to GIVE us rights in this land. Over and over again we’ve been saved. And they create these movies to remind us from time to time, to make sure we don’t forget.
Well the things is, Hollywood, I’ve worked in foster care for many years now. I’ve seen the faces of the children that need help and I’ve seen the families that take them in. I don’t need to go look up statistics, I’ve lived them. I’ve been at work on a few Friday afternoons, ready to go home and get my Weekend on when I get a phone call from a case worker about a neglected or abused child who needs to be placed that day. And there were two things I knew after getting that call: 1) I know that there was as much a chance that this child was white as he or she was black, and 2) Whatever foster family I called would be black. Because you see, despite our attempts at recruiting white families by going into white churches, communities, and homes, we never received ONE foster parent application from a white family. But that didn’t keep these kids from being placed. I’ve called my foster parents at 2 in the morning, asking for an emergency placement. And it’s never been a problem. I solely work with children who have specialized needs (Behavioral disorders, mental disorders, emotional disorders). So more often than not they are coming into placement with vile behaviors, foul mouths and even worse attitudes. But placing them was rarely a problem. These children, white or black, are taken into these homes, and are often loved with a devotion saved for blood relatives. I know there are black children, and white children, and hispanic children being emotionally rescued by black families every single day.
Where are these stories, Hollywood? No disrespect to the Tuohy family, they stood in the gap for a child that needed them. I love them for that. But I can name ten foster mothers who having been holding that gap down for countless children for 10-15 years now. Don’t they deserve their story to be told? Don’t they deserve to see Angela Basset portray them on the screen as a Bold and Stubborn and Convicted Christian woman?! The stories are out there, but we never see them. I call shenanigans on the whole thing and until that happens, I refuse to watch another one of these tales again. I will not allow Hollywood to pollute my mind with this idea any longer.
Furthermore, and finally, I took some notes about some other disturbing aspects of the film. Not to sound nitpicky, but damn:
1) Did they really compare Mrs. Tuohy and Michael Oher to Fay Wray and King Kong?
2) I was almost mad that she locked the car door when they were in the projects. But naw, I would’ve locked mine too. That’s just smart.
3) OH YEAH, Not only was the white family responsible for Michael’s physical security but it took a whole other White Woman to rescue him from his own ignorance…the Tutor. In my line of work, I’ve arranged for a number of tutors for my kids. I am not being overdramtic when I say that not once..NO NOT ONCE…did an old white woman show up at the door. Usually it would be some college co-ed, black or asian. Once an older white man.
4) Why are ALL the black people in this movie the bad guys? The mother, the kindly man who got him into the school but kicked him out on the street because his Black Wife wasn’t having it. The guys in the hood who only wanted to corrupt him and get him in the drug scene. Even the NCAA representative was the enemy. So basically, according to Hollywood, Michael Oher had to overcome all the black people, but only with the help of all the white people, in order to succeed.