How long will it be before fair social critics, principled elected officials and ethical Americans firmly and decisively say “enough”?
Freed from the restraints of common sense, fear of hypocrisy and language by the George Floyd Freakout as well as the resulting Black Lives Matter Great Terror, writers, educators and politicians are openly engaging in racist speech and assertions without, apparently, fear of condemnation. After all, it is easy to tar any critics as racists themselves, because the new, acceptable racism is targeting whites. They think being characterized as monsters, murderers and habitual oppressors by virtue of the color of their skin is cruel and dehumanizing, the fools! Don’t they know it’s true?
I reached my limit regarding this Orwellian farce even before the ugly death in Minnesota of a career criminal from a likely drug overdose was exploited to justify riots, property destruction and the demonization (or intimidation) of anyone who couldn’t claim to be “of color.” Surely others unjustly vilified are reaching their limits as well. I hope so. History’s record of what happend to groups that meekly accept denigration and blame-casting in the vain hope that it will all “blow over” is not encouraging.
A recent film review in the New York Times demonstrated the insidiousness of the new, approved racism. The movie being critiqued was ““Roald Dahl’s The Witches,” a second version of the Dahl fantasy novel first adapted to film in 1990. In the original movie, the quest of the German-accented Grand High Witch to exterminate human children by turning them into mice was widely read as a metaphor for the Final Solution (I admit that the metaphor went way, way over my head). In this version, rather than the German monster seeking to kill white kids (the mouse metaphor was also seen as a reflection of Dahl’s anti-Semitism), we have a white, blond, European High Witch setting out to transform and exterminate black children, with the story transferred from England to the American South. As in the similarly anti-white racist film “Get Out!,” all of the whites in the movie of any consequence are hostile to the blacks in the film, whose ultimate hero is the child protagonist’s black grandmother, played by Octavia Spencer.
No, I don’t think this assignment of skin color sis a coincidence; it is an intentional, white-guilt smear engineered by the knee-jerk Hollywood social justice warriors at the helm of the production. The reviewers have been making careful, veiled allusions to the race-baiting without criticizing it, naturally. Mustn’t do that: this is a good message. Vox’s review, for example, concludes, “See “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” on HBO Max for a tricky Halloween treat, but stay for a fright-fest that won’t settle for skin deep.”
Get it? Skin deep! The Times reviewer Manohla Dargis is more direct. Writing about the hotel in which the plot to shrink, de-humanize and squish the black children is executed, she says, “Everything is slicker and grander in this iteration, including the hotel, which now looks like a supersized plantation. The movie doesn’t do much with this iconography, but it resonates simply because the heroes are now Black.” Later she writes, “[I]t’s satisfying that the story’s heroes are now a Black child and woman. It works like a charm, for one, and it isn’t ambiguous at all.”
Dargis doesn’t have the courage to come right out and state what exactly isn’t “ambiguous.” (The director makes it a little ambiguous by making sure there is black witch prominently displayed in many of the shots of Hathaway, but I’m not fooled.) Like the movie itself, Dargis is blowing extra-loud dog-whistles, and those of us being symbolically insulted based on our race—Black Mice Matter, after all—are expected to just accept the innuendo, because we deserve it.
With all the blather and grandstanding about “anti-racism”, somehow it hasn’t sunk in that anti-black racism won’t be eradicated by blatant—or “ambiguous”–anti-white racism. It will be deepened.