Yep, blaxploitation is alive and well in the 21st century. Only it's an equal opportunity game and everybody gets to play.
I just got through watching Django Unchained on cable and had lots of trouble figuring out what all the hoopla was about. Overuse of the so-called N-word? I guess nobody watches those reruns of Roots on the BET Network. Or listens to gangsta rap - ask Bill Cosby...well, maybe not Bill Cosby. He's not our favorite Uncle Tom these days. And how about those savage whippings? Did anybody catch 12 Years A Slave (NOT directed by Quentin Tarantino)? That's another one of those NEVER FORGET slave movies that, along with The Butler, is supposed to rub our collective faces in our national guilt complex. Which leads us to Ferguson MO on the way to NYC.
In two separate instances, a black man weighing over three hundred pounds attacked a police officer. Well, don't hold me to the weight, I'm an ex-pro wrestler, I'm just eyeballing. As a mixed martial artist, if a man that big came at me, I'd be going for the groin or a kneecap. Cops aren't trained that way. If a cop is as big as the one in NYC, he goes for a chokehold. If he's as small as the one in Ferguson, he draws his weapon. Either way, the cop is going by the universal tenet that anyone who attacks a cop is a deadly menace. If he attacks a cop, he's past the point about caring about the consequences of his actions. That's why cop killers are considered dead men walking. Only if they're the ones who end up on the short end, and it's a black perp/white cop, well, now it's a different story.
At least for the agitators who drove from as far as NYC to throw rocks and loot businesses in Ferguson. Interesting how the majority of those arrested during the rioting were from out-of-town. Sure, the blacks in Ferguson were up in arms and turned out in force. Only they weren't all about destroying the places they shop at without having to drive up to St. Louis. It was the publicity-seekers, the rabble-rousers, the anarchists who drove up to NYC as soon as the Ferguson furor waned. It looked like the Chokehold Affair was going to succeed the Michael Brown Incident but...outside of Berkeley (us Boomers sure do remember protesters in Berkeley), well...folks got plumb tuckered out.
I sure was after watching The Butler. It was following Forrest Whitaker through a plodding semi-documentary about racism in the White House that we've seen over and over and over again. I'm starting to understand how kids in Germany must feel (What, another Hitler movie!). At least the producers of 12 Years A Slave managed to trump Tarantino by outdoing him (whipping-wise and N-word-wise) without being as self-indulgent as the Butler boys, or stooping to blaxploition (which the Tarantino flick reeked of).
Face it, we're in a different century. Harping on racial issues does nothing but stoke the flames that erupt the minute any activist decides to play the race card. The people of Israel are learning how this comes back to bite you in the butt. After decades of Nazi-hunting, they are now dealing with allegations of racism as agitators the world over are accusing them of genocide in Palestine. Absurd? Sure it is. Just as absurd as a mob tearing up a small town in Missouri after a cop shot a man out of fear for his life.
I usually watch the great Tarantino flicks a few dozen times. I don't think I'll get through more than a few more Django reruns. I saw 12 Years A Slave a couple of times, maybe I'll see it a couple more. The Butler? I couldn't watch it halfway through.
Which reminds me of Ferguson. Went down, took a couple of pics, didn't even stop for a beer. I guess everyone was home watching themselves on TV.