Hypocrisy: Unchained

Found at Reddit:


There is a serious cognitive disconnect in our society. Paula Deen has been pretty much thrown in the dumpster for using the word “nigger”… once. Yet “Django Unchained” throws that word around one hundred and thirteen times, and earns an 88% (reviewers) / 94% (audience) rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

This isn’t Huckleberry Finn, a book written in 1884 and “a product of its times” (that book uses the word 203 times, by the way)… this is a 2012 production that has grossed over $423 million, and won two academy awards – one for best screenplay.

I abhor prejudice and discrimination in all its forms. Ms. Deen committed a serious error in judgment when she dropped that word in public [1] and I’m not condoning or justifying what she did… but rather, I’m asking the question, “Why was “Django” so popular if, by virtue of statistics, it should have been found 113 times as offensive as one person’s lapse of good manners?” Where’s the justification for that kind of popularity? If this racial slur is as offensive as everyone at politically-correct dinner parties and media newsrooms seems to think, how could a movie like this even get greenlighted, let alone make it to the Academy Awards?

There are a lot of people out there still talking about race relations, but I’d be really interested to hear what Morgan Freeman thought about this. He’s the one who pointed out that we’ll never get past the issue of race until we stop talking about it, and movies like “Django” seem – in my simple opinion – to be a force counter to progress toward greater humanity. That means that if a word is unquestionably offensive, everyone ought to stop using it. White folk shouldn’t use it. Black folk shouldn’t use it (claiming that they’ve pre-empted it, and made it “theirs”). Filmmakers and authors shouldn’t use it. If people keep using an offensive word and sometimes it’s OK and sometimes it’s not, then there are some serious questions to be asked.

I have no real answers, but the matter – in the words of Khan – “tasks me”… and I felt moved to put the questions out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

[1] I’m aware that her problems are a bit more complex than the one incident in question, but for the sake of simplicity I won’t elaborate on that here, as the other issues don’t really bear on the root problem.

2 responses to “Hypocrisy: Unchained

  1. fiction is fiction. you shouldn’t kill people but not many people are still saying you shouldn’t kill people in fiction.

    getting mad about fictional characters saying something? next time someone says “it’s 1935” in a movie set in 1935, make sure you correct them.

    Bizarre to go this route. I wish I found this earlier when you might have still cared about it.

    • I still care, very much. But while your point about fiction/literature is well-taken – I don’t, for example, advocate banning “Huckleberry Finn,” one of my favorite novels – you missed the point: I still take exception to the disparity. Why are 113 “n-words” acceptable, given how offensive they are to so many, whereas one results in public crucifixion? For myself, I have no intention of ever seeing Django, others can do what they will. But what happened to Paula Deen in the blogosphere and the media was pretty ugly in its own right.

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