Jamie Foxx on racial sensitivity: ‘Every single thing in my life is built around race’

Leonardo DiCaprio

Three of the main players of Django Unchained — Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Jamie Foxx — cover the December issue of Vibe magazine to discuss the upcoming (and already controversial) movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. This, of course, follows Leo’s rather bland statements (excepting the ones that concerned phrenology) on the movie from this week’s discussion of Leo’s “intense” face on the cover of next month’s Details issue. I will admit to being an exceptionally rabid fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, but something about the Django trailer rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, the movie seems to have QT’s usual revenge motif going on in a huge manner, but the movie (especially Leo) just seemed so campy. Now Vibe describes Leo as “the most revered actor of our time” (who, incidentally, smokes electronic ciggies), and the trio pictured on the cover have given a joint interview. Here are some excerpts:

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo on tackling Django: “I wanted to go in there and try to embody somebody and an attitude that is so foreign to me and go the distance. I think it took me to places I didn’t even imagine. It really took on a life of its own. We knew there was going to be controversy. The question is: What is not a realistic depiction? I would argue that it is. It is Quentin’s re-creation; this character doesn’t exist. There’s nobody that is documented to do what Jamie’s character has done at the time. But the documentaries I saw went even further.”

Jamie’s response to Leo: “Put it this way: I completely understand what you’re saying. ‘Cause as black folks we’re always sensitive. As a black person it’s always racial. I come into this place to do a photo shoot and they got Ritz crackers and cheese. I’ll be like, ain’t this a bitch. Y’all didn’t know black people was coming. What’s with all this white sh-t? By the same token, if there is fried chicken and watermelon I’ll say ain’t this a bitch? So, no matter what we do as black people it’s always gonna be that. Every single thing in my life is built around race. I don’t necessarily speak it because you can’t.”

Jamie on Tyler Perry’s thoughts: “When you’re talking about the script, of course it’s going to be controversy. I remember talking to Tyler Perry about it. [In Perry’s very serious voice] ‘Ah man, the script, man. Have you read it?’ When I finally read it, I called Tyler and we had a conversation. I said, ‘I got a different take on it than you did.’ And we shared. And I called Tyler while we were shooting it. I said, ‘Do you know that Quentin Tarantino knows all of your sh-t on TV. I don’t even watch all of your shit.’ He said, ‘Really?’ The difference is the Quentin Tarantino Effect. I ran into Spike Lee at the BET Awards. You know Spike, he’ll let you have it whether it’s good, bad or ugly. And he said, ‘I’m not going to say anything bad about this film. It looks like y’all are getting it.'”

Kerry on her research process: “This is not a doc. This is a Quentin Tarantino film. But I remember there was this one moment in the script where Jamie’s character was put in an awful crazy medieval metal mask. I said, ‘That’s some sick thing Quentin thought up.’ And when I went to the production office to meet about my wardrobe, I saw into the research office. Twenty photos of real masks like that. It made me sad. I realized as much as my degrees and everything I’ve read on slave narratives [should have informed me], I didn’t even know that they wore masks like that, that people did that to us. It took a Tarantino movie for me to know that that’s not some crazy thing out of his imagination. That’s how it went down.”

Leo on playing the bad guy, finally: “Playing a bad guy opens you up to not having as many rules or restraints. I think actors have gravitated to that because it frees you up in a way. It takes you to the darkest place of where you are as a person and lets you indulge in that and give in to that and be as horrible as you possibly can without the conflicting side of what’s good and what’s right. This is the first legit bad guy I’ve ever had to play, and it is a f’king horrible [character]; the worst display of humanity I’ve ever read in my entire life. Not even just because of who he was and the racism, but because he is just the most self-indulgent bastard I’ve ever read.”

Leo on Oscar screenplay talk: “For me, the initial thing obviously was playing someone so disreputable and horrible whose ideas I obviously couldn’t connect with on any level. I remember our first read through, and some of my questions were about the amount of violence, the amount of racism, the explicit use of certain language. It was hard for me to wrap my head around it. My initial response was, ‘Do we need to go this far?” Quentin pushes the envelope, you know, much like Inglourious Basterds was about World War II, a heightened reality. His depiction or retelling of that time. This is his retelling of this era. But my immediate question was, ‘Are we going too far?'”

[From Vibe]

Okay, I’m officially sold on watching Django Unchained in the theater. At first (and at second) glance, the trailers seemed too campy to deal with the subject of slavery in a respectful manner. But I remember being slightly skeptical at the onset of casting for Inglourious Basterds too. Then I read the script for that movie (before watching the trailers) and I was similarly sold. While I haven’t read the script for Django yet, I will place my faith in QT. He hasn’t led me astray yet, although I remain amused at the scores of critics who claimed to love Death Proof upon its release and then changed their minds a few years later. Death Proof was only meant to be a throwaway exploitation flick and nothing more, but QT returned to fine form with Basterds, and hopefully he is here to stay.

Here are a few candid shots of Leo getting tackled by the “FBI” on the set of Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street set. Is it just me, or does he really look like Ray Liotta in these photos? Perhaps that’s intentional, but we’ll have to wait until the movie comes out to judge for sure.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Photos courtesy of Vibe magazine and Fame/Flynet

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201 Responses to “Jamie Foxx on racial sensitivity: ‘Every single thing in my life is built around race’”

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  1. Chellez says:

    I’ve read the script, was on set and was in the very office she’s speaking of.

    This movie had the crew VERY uncomfortable. On top of being an extremely difficult and long shoot being on location through the Louisiana heat, the subject matter was intense. Imagine talking about abuse and no one believing you. No one understanding why you’re overly defensive, why you don’t make the best choices in life, even decades after the abuse is over. In ways, you can similarly say the same thing for black people in this country. Blacks still struggle about what happened in this country for 400 years, even 100 years after it’s been abolished, after Jim Crow and even after Obama. And to constantly feel like you can’t talk about racism that still exists is like being told you can’t talk about abuse that still happens.

    But this movie, for the Southern white men on set, made some of them cry. Made them angry in denial and disbelief. Made them think QT was making sick shit up, like Kerry says about the mask. To be told that this was the truest depiction of the horribly abusive treatment- both mental and physical- to an entire race of people simply because of their skin color, made men like this understand, at least for a moment, the burden of the Black experience. On set, it got a REACTION and people talking, finally, like they understand even a little what and why it is to be Black. Imagine someone finally believing that abused person.

    It takes a white man to show other white people in severe honesty what their role was in the history of slavery in this country. If it gets them talking, changing or feeling even a tiny bit, this movie has served it purpose. And for that, my love for that toe suckin Quentin will be full of love and respect. Let’s hope the final cut does the material justice.

    END of super long post 🙂

    • Amelia says:

      Wow, that’s really informative Chellez, thank you for such a long post!
      I think I probably will go and see Django, now. The trailers did look quite campy, but the more I read about it, the more I want to go to the cinema.
      And Bedhead, you get access to scripts?

      • ZenB!tch says:

        There was a script that made the rounds last year. I’m not sure if its the final copy but it’s on my Kindle. Alas, PDFs are hard to read on my Kindle so I didn’t get very far. I’ll probably go see it in January. I HATE Westerns but I also hate Kung Fu movies and I loved Kill Bill.

    • Naye in VA says:

      Exactly. And if the movie takes it to that accuracy I suggest everyone go see it. Our insistence on making things a race issue, is simply because our whole existence is a race issue. The less we talk about it, the less it is acknowledged, but that doesn’t mean it goes away, that’s why we bring it up all the time. I admit some things can be left field like what Jamie said with the crackers and chicken but its needed.

      • Liv says:

        Please, can you explain to me what he meant with the crackers?

      • Naye in VA says:

        Lol im not sure I can. He was kind of saying you should know that Black people come to eat (its true lol). Why would we want some freaking crackers.

      • Liv says:

        And I thought “Ritz” would be a racist brand or something like that 😉 Weird point he made. Was he joking? Or did he mean that he’s too sensitive about those things?

      • Naye in VA says:

        It’s his Catch 22. He is too sensitive about things, but he has to be. He HAS to wonder if serving him fried chicken has to do with his race. Because sometimes it doesnt…..but sometimes it does. That gives a need for vigilance.

      • Liv says:

        Oh, I see. Thanks for the explanation 😉

      • lambchops says:

        Ritz crackers are cross racially offensive.

      • Leen says:

        I’m extremely surprised that no one brought up the fact that less than 50 years ago, black people were separated from white people. Even more surprising that up until 1994, America still supported South Africa apartheid. Yes slavery is over, we’ll and truly over, and that might be a signal to many people that racism is done. Yet we cannot ignore the fact many black people today were either part of the racist separation laws of 1950s or have parents and grandparents who were. It is still part of their conscience and you bet someone who was told they could not eat in the same cafe as white people isn’t going to easily forget that. Lets not forget back in 1950 the first black kid to attend a white school had to be guarded by federal officers and the national guard. Again I must point out that this was less than 60 years ago. I wish it was but racism is not dead.

      • ZenB!tch says:

        So if Jamie Foxx is coming over what do you feed him? Fried chicken and pate? Just so you have stereotypical black food and stereotypical white food or do you feed him the great equalizer: Mac and Cheese. Everyone likes that, right?

    • Riana says:



      Worse yet is the well-meaning person who goes “Race isn’t an issue, we’re all just people. We should all just ignore race.”

      It simply can not be done and that will NEVER heal the wound.

      • Naye in VA says:


      • Aubra says:

        Yes…to this day, as much as I take one of those exhausted deep breaths when I hear that, sure I understand what they mean. But then the thought of explaining why that is a nice thought but no the reality in how we REALLY live and exist is draining. You simply nod your head ane keep it moving to some different subject matter.

      • mytbean says:

        Way to keep the issue alive and strong. All problem, hate, blame and pain… no resolution, forgiveness and moving into a future without it.

        In the past five years or so I’ve felt far more racism from black to white than the other way around. Maybe it’s just blow back from political stuff but it’s sad to me. Today, it is RARE if anyone in my *white* social circles seems racist… but I can’t count the slurs against white people I hear from black people on a weekly basis. Maybe reversing the rolls feels justified. I just think it’s sad.

      • Naye in VA says:

        Maybe its in response to the First Lady being called a monkey. Or a southern congressman hanging a chair (a la Clint) in his front yard. The issue is alive, and well, and if your hearing racial remarks well shame on those who do it, BUT remember what a PRIVILEGE it is that you are White (if you happen to be white) that you can walk down the street and not be harrassed because you are black, that you can move to ANY part of the country and not fear your safety, that you can drive at night without being stopped for no good reason, that you can go to school and her a complete history of what your race did for this country (REQUIRED curriculum) that you can apply for a job and not worry that your name doesnt give away your skin color, that you can walk around a store and not be followed, THIS is why it is still relevant to bring it up. You may be oh so enlightened but a good 40% of your country isnt. Your skin holds power. Use it to do something good.

      • Riana says:

        mytbean –

        I said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s nothing that can be done. You call for forgiveness but you have to understand…at this point in history there is NOTHING that can be done.

        Understand that just because slavery ended doesn’t mean the feelings during that time period ended, and I mean that for whites. Do I need to pull up links of every time a high ranking official, be it business owner or someone in the govt., has made a crack about Obama’s race. Has sent emails with pics of the White House with watermelons in the front?

        That feeling isn’t gone. So I can’t, on my end pretend I’m walking into a bright sunshine filled world where no one is judging me on race or expecting me to prove I’m not a ‘typical’ black woman. All the problems of hate, blame, and pain exist because this is a nation created on the backs of slaves for the betterment of whites. It is BUILT to aid and assist whites before blacks.

        How do you resolve to make people promise not to judge on race? How do you resolve that there’ll never be a noose hung from a tree or ‘white power’ scribbled on a side walk? When you can promise me those things will never happen again I’ll absolutely forgive and go skipping off.

      • mytbean says:

        Ok – one more post and them I’m out… really.

        Rianna – you’re right. There are a lot of stupid, white a-holes out there who post stupid things online about the president and they also complain about hispanics taking all of their jobs, some of these stupid… oh lets just make an acronym *swah* who have money and influence and do even more tangible damage.

        I guess we’ll tackle sexism and ageism later? Because once you’re out in the sunshine filled world with no one forming preset notions about you based on color, your value will be assessed based on your figure and sex appeal as well as your potential viability in the work-place after 40.

        Of course *I* can’t promise you anything – except that *I* won’t treat you differently than anyone else. I’ll be respectful, polite, friendly… but I also mean that I won’t be any more kind or give you any more priviledge than any other person.

      • Riana says:


        Put simply. Girl please.

        You think telling me I’ll be judged on my sex or age is somehow daunting? Well considering every time I’m out with my little brothers people think they’re my sons (Because that’s what black girls my age do, have kids) I think I can handle YOUR sunshine filled world.


      • flan says:

        There is still a lot of racism out there.

        But we can do something ourselves in our own little worlds. Do call that applicant with a black sounding name for an interview. And then don’t dismiss them because they talk in a different way or don’t dress entirely like white people do. They might be the perfect candidate and hardest worker.

        Always try to find out the real story behind someone, and don’t stick with the assumption you make based on superficial characteristics.

    • minime says:

      You convinced me to watch it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this 🙂

    • Shitler says:

      Wow Chellez thanks for that. I’ll definately check it out

    • natalina says:

      Your response wasn’t enlightening. You’re going back to the 1860’s….slavery is OVER, look, we have a black president. Why not concentrate on the other human rights and slavery issues that are going on in the world now in 2012.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Slavery is over in America but racism isn’t. Please read what the posters, especially Naye, are saying. It’s ignorant and abhorrent to act like this isn’t an issue. There are many humans rights issues today in 2012, but if history teaches us anything, it’s that the battle rages on long after the war is over.

        YOU are part of the problem here, can’t you see that?

      • Riana says:

        “We have a black president”

        A SUPPORTER of him said “I think the nation is ready for a well-spoken black man”

        During his first term a monkey doll was made and sold with his likeness.

        He had to prove multiple times he was born in this country and to this day is still called Muslim.

        He had emails sent by GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS with the white house with watermelons in the front yard.

        He has faced threats of assassination more than any other president.

        Both he and his wife have repeatedly been called by racist terminology.

        …yep, we have a black president and THAT’S how much crap HE has to face…but you’re right…racism is soooo ’99.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I can’t even with the “We have a black president now so racism is over.”

        If you TRULY believe that then you have ZERO understanding about the complexities of racism. Most of the examples of racism given here are obvious ones, but let’s not overlook the countless examples of insidious racism in our society that is displayed on a daily basis.

        Racism didn’t suddenly evaporate because we elected a black president.

      • canteloupe says:

        They called W a chimp and a monkey and he’s white, so maybe it isn’t a racial thing? They also called Clinton a fat redneck, a hillbilly and other names that are racist against lower class whites.

        I’m not going to apologize, scrape and grovel for something that happened years before I was born, done by people that I never knew and had nothing to do with. I REFUSE to allow anyone to make me feel guilty or bad to suit their own twisted purposes, whatever they may be. Anyways, here’s my favorite quote on the issue:

        “White guilt is a marketing tool, crafted to suit a once Christian people. Fill them with intolerable guilt, then offer atonement through racial self-abasement. Just like selling deodorant, once you’ve convinced people that they stink, the product sells itself.” -Discard

        Sorry, but I’m not buying what any of you are selling. All your education and you can’t even realize how you’re being manipulated? Hahaha wow.

      • Naye in VA says:

        Hey cantaloupe nobody accused you of anything, nor is anybody trying to lay a complex on you about your ancestry. But you should have one about the second class position of Blacks within this country.Im not saying dont get good sleep at night. Im saying be aware of its presence in your own backyard and hold those around you accountable for anything they do to perpetuate it. And talking about it isnt perpetuating it. DOING it is.

      • Sweet Dee says:


        Nobody asked you to grovel or apologize. Nobody blamed slavery on you. What you are spouting off was originally popularized by Faux News and the insidious Anne Coulter, and it is a marketing tool in and of itself. It is this “White Christians are the REAL victims” bullcrap that you have bought into. It is a justification for racism, but you probably know that deep, deep down. You and they know damn well that “monkey” is a racist term, why would you justify racism against blacks with your own perceived racism against whites, and then claim it doesn’t exist? That’s rich.

        Just FYI, I don’t feel guilty about being white (and I’m sure as sh*t not a Christian) but I am aware of the facts of history, and that racism did not end as soon as slavery did or as soon as we got a black president. To say that racism doesn’t exist is painfully ignorant, and I don’t think anybody buys your so-called educated position.

      • Kat says:

        @cantelope – As a white person I don’t feel that I need to “grovel” for something that my ancestors did, but I do need to respect how black people feel about it (which is of course how white people would feel about it if it were reversed). I also feel like more should be done to help impoverished black people. Instead of blaming them for their poverty we have to look back (just a few generations!) and look at LAWS that our country had to supress them. I don’t call that groveling; I call that fair.

        I think of white people that aren’t racist themselves have a tendency to kind of bury their heads in the sand and deny the issue, but I think with Obama’s election and the backlash he’s gotten for being black it’s really
        impossible to ignore at this point.

      • V4Real says:

        @canteloupe No one is accusing you of anything or asking you for an apology. It’not about making anyone feel guilty; it’s about shedding light on the subject that some people still have racial ideolgy. Yes, even with a Black President. Calling a Black man a monkey has long been deemd very derogotory towards African/Black Americans. Just because Bush was called one and Clinton was called a redneck doesn’t hold the same sentiment as saying it to a Black man. Clinton and Bush are White and have never been subject to the type of racism that Obama may have experienced. Anyone who has paid attention in the last century knows that comparing a Black man to a monkey is the standard racist B/S that is meant to degrade and dehumanized Blacks.

        People like you who so lighheartedly chose to believe that racism don’t exist is part of the problem, not the solution. Perhaps you’re not buying what these other ladies are selling because your education comes from a traditional way of learning were you were taught what to think and what to believe. Maybe if you were on board with the progressive way of learnig you would take the time to think for yourself and go out and discover your own answers instead of depending on the traditional textbooks that don’t dwelve much into the Black History of this country. Perhaps if you read books that were not assigned to you in a classroom you would know that systemic racism is well and alive.

        Just because we have a Black President don’t mean that post-racial America has arrived. The dominant racial group in our society as a whole has not moved beyond race.
        Even though a good percentage of White voted for Obama if not for non-whites such as Asians, Latinos, self-identified others and Blacks we might not have had this historic moment happen twice.

        Hopefully in the next 40 or 50 yers the next generation will usher in this post-racial America but today we are still
        heirs to a society where civil liberties, opportunity structures and social distresses are racialized.

      • jaye says:

        That’s such a naive view, though. YES, we have a black president and there are white people who refer to him as “that n****r”. Yeah, we’re SO beyond slavery and the ideologies and feelings behind it.

      • Really? says:

        @natalina I totally agree it is OVER and we do need to move on…not deny that it happened but it was not in our time we are not those people we are not as a society that inhumane.

    • Really? says:

      America is 236 yrs old..not possible for there to be 400 yrs of slavery in this country.

      • Mikaela says:

        Well then, how about 250 plus years of slavery on the land that was once British colonies and soon becomes the U. S.? First West Africans came to this land in 1619 and were forced to work. Slavery is instituted in all of the colonies in the 1660s and when we finally become free of British rule, we continue the practice for another 90 years or so. Then comes lynching, Jim Crow laws, etc.

        So while you’re technically right, your comment comes off as trying to minimize the horrible treatment of millions of people of Africam descent.

        So, stop being an asshole!

      • V4Real says:

        @Really; please tell me that was your poor attempt at humor or you’re 8 years old and do not know any better. According to your history book when did Columbus discover America? They don’t ask the question when was the new world discovered; it says America.

        So regardless of what America was called back then it is still the same land where Blacks had to endure over 400 years of slavery. Wow another person who is part of the problem, not the solution.

      • Really? says:

        So for pointing out that The United States of America..has been a country for 236 yrs makes me a racist and part of the problem? Well you may not be a racist but you certainly are quick to accuse someone based on nothing really. Do you really think I was supporting slavery…it is a disgusting side to man kind that we will enslave one another as it has occurred through out human history to many different colored people..yes even white people were enslaved. It should never have happened ever…but it has. It is important to acknowledge what happened to slaves in America. I do not feel like I need to atone for it. I am not racist in the least I dislike people for the way they act, say, and behave. I have no idea what color you are but I dislike you for judgemental fingerpointing…for preaching tolerance while not having any. I’m sure that I will be a racist for saying how disgusting it is that people were sold into slavery by their own people..lets be outraged all around!

      • V4Real says:

        @Really before you go accusing someone of calling you a racist perhaps you should read their entire comment. By saying that you are part of the problem is a comment I made to Canteloupe about not admiting racism exist. Make sure you understand a comment before you respond to it. By being a part of the problem simply means that people have blinders on and refuse to admit that racism still exist or trying to minimize what happened to Blacks so many years ago. So please tell me in what part of my comment did I call you a racist? You said you don’t like me when you didn’t even understand what I was saying. Who’s judgemental now? This is a gossip site but please don’t go around making things up.

      • Really? says:

        When the problem is racism and you accuse someone of being part of that problem..it implies that they are racist…and I do not doubt that racism exists toward persons of every color. I do find it a bit overblown when someone takes a ritz cracker to be an example of racism and if you are looking to be offended by every little thing you will be. Ritz crackers =not racist. The young man killed in Florida totally a racial hate crime. Also I did read your whole comment that started with @Really so maybe you should read your comments and I still don’t understand how you get that I deny racism exists from my comment on the age of America.

      • V4Real says:

        @ Really; sorry my fault for not being clear; I meant my comments to canteloupe, where I first mention if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem. That doesn’t necessarily implies you’re a racist; it means your a part of the problem of denying it doesn’t still exist. I said you’re part of the problem because you’re trying to lighten the blow of slavery by making that statement of how can there have been 400 years of slavery in America when America is only 236 years old. It was almost as if you were trying to be funny. I’m sure you know that even though America is only 236 years, it’s the same land that Columbus sailed to. So making a statement like that was unnessary and being part of the problem for making light of how long slavery had been in existence. I hope you get it now.

      • historyisimportant says:

        @Really – we need to move on…is that your solution well it’s a lazy one. The only way the human race can move on is to learn from it’s mistakes. Those who don’t learn from history are fated to repeat it.

  2. Naye in VA says:

    I remember the first time i saw one of those masks Kerry talks about at the Blacks In Wax Museum in Baltimore, and I was horrified. They would put the masks on the slaves and make them work and in the sun the mask would begin to stick to the face and they would keep them in it for days while the skin stuck to the metal and then pull it off. In fact everything in there was horrifying and informative. Kaiser and CB if you ever get a chance to visit, do so.

    As for what Jamie said I’m actually unsure of what he and Leo are trying to get at, but I do agree that you are never going to please everybody, and I trust QT to hit it out of the park.

    • Liv says:

      It’s unbelievable what human beings are able to do to others, isn’t it? It’s crazy.

    • Chellez says:

      The thing that disturbed me most when I first learned it?

      Finding that the root of the curse-word “mother*cker” is in slavery. Slave-masters would separate a husband from his wife, either by murder in front of the family or selling him off, and if she had a son, would force that boy to have sex with her. It was a form of psychological control. I’m still horrified by this.

      • Chordy says:

        Oh my god, that used to be my favorite swear word, but I don’t think I will ever be able to use it again. The horror of that is too much for me to wrap my brain around. In college I worked with an HIV positive Congolese woman who passed the virus to her son when a group of rebels made him have sex with her. He died of AIDS a few years later. Someone asked her how she can be so strong with what she’s been through, and she responded that strength was the only option for mothers in the Congo.

      • Naye in VA says:

        What really go me was a gutted pregnant woman hanging from a tree in the 1960’s with the baby pulled out and stamped to death. When I was pregnant that was all I could think about, how blessed I was to be born 50 years later. Thats why that trailer for Lincoln moved me so much, the part where he goes “this decides the thing not just for today but for generations to come”

      • someone says:

        this. this kind of made me tear up a little and also now i will never say that word again. no way. that’s so sick.

      • Chordy says:

        Oh my god, the things humans will do to one another and the excuses they’ll make for their behavior. That is so horrifying and frightening I can’t even believe it. This is what most people who think people need to “get over” oppression don’t understand. We should NEVER “get over” this. We should be reminded every single day what unaccountable hate does to humanity. The only way to move forward is for white people to humble ourselves to our own history. We need to accept it as part of our history as Americans and accept the continuing consequences of those actions. If we continue to sweep it under the rug in shame, we leave the door open for more hate. If we insist we’re not our ancestors, then why the hell won’t we hold those people accountable?

      • Naye in VA says:

        Chordy you are my comment of the day, im posting this on FB =D

      • Chordy says:

        Oh my, thank you! *blushes*

  3. Riana says:

    I definitely understand where Jamie is coming from, in the end there’s always that apprehension in the back of your mind. You never know fully what anyone is thinking and racial issues can pop up most unexpectedly so you’re always a bit on your guard.

    PS. Love the image of Leo getting tackled.

  4. Mimi says:

    Leo on the cover of vibe magazine?lol I see they are trying to sell this film hard. I guess they are trying to appeal to “all” audiences. I wonder when we will see Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of Vibe magazine?
    And that third pic of Leo being dragged by the FBI is hilarious.

  5. Gemma says:

    “I didn’t even know that they wore masks like that, that people did that to us”-Washington

    -That rubs me the wrong way because it wasn’t physically done to her. I understand that people relate to their culture and that includes the past and there is a sense of “we-ness,” but it didn’t necessarily happen in her own personal lifetime like it did in the days America had slaves. I feel like she should have said something along the lines of; “I didn’t even know that they wore masks like that, that people would do that to another human being.” What she said is like in a way saying, if talking to a white person who has ancestry from that time era, “I didn’t even know that they wore masks like that, that you [a white person] did that to us [a black person].”

    Having said that, damn I didn’t know they did that either. It doesn’t surprise me from the documentaries and stories I have heard though, but ugh people are sick.

    • Liv says:

      This. I don’t understand why so many people speak like that. Many do that though.

    • Naye in VA says:

      It is us. And it doesnt have to be an us versus them mentality, it happened to us, and not ya’ll. Your ancestry is a part of you, good or bad. We say “us” because that could have truly been “us”. 60 years ago that could have been me hanging in a tree. Today its me getting passed over for a job. This happened to “us” as a race of people, and if I lived in Jim Crow south and my neighbor was dragged behind a truck I couldnt very well say “o that happened to him not me” because if we treat it individually then there would never have been a reason to change what was happening to “us.” Saying ‘Us” makes us appreciate that it could have been us, and remember to keep moving forward so that it never becomes “us” again. We aren’t that far removed.

      • booger says:

        Word. People are still being lynched and race beaten, and I’m seriously afraid of traveling to states like Mississippi and Alabama. I’ve been physically attacked because of the colour of my skin. I’m sorry but saying “oh well present day visible minorities weren’t there to experience slavery so it doesn’t affect them personally” not only is ignorant and insulting, but incredibly irresponsible as well. It’s attitudes like these that have led America to think they can brush an ugly and shockingly integral piece of their history under the carpet.

        Contrary to what many believe, we have not reached the age of post racism.

      • km says:

        Booger, that’s too bad. I’m white and I just moved to Mississippi. I really like the state as far as geography goes as well as the southern culture of food and music and gardening, plus it’s on the coast.

        It is odd though because it’s one of the most truly integrated places I’ve ever lived, and yet I hear stuff out of some white people’s mouths that makes me think ‘WTF?’. Usually it’s some ridiculous generalization, or some sort of justification for the way a guy acted. Like, ‘of course, he’s black’. It’s weird.

      • Naye in VA says:

        @ km it is really sad. A couple of years ago i wanted to move to Wilmington, SC, then I spoke to a longtime family friend,from that area who told me that Whites in that area are not like those where I live in Northern VA, and I’m not used to their particular brand of racism. I was really disappointed. One day maybe.

      • txmom says:

        I totally agree that this isn’t that long ago. Look, I am White, and my great uncle can tell me stories (with great pride) about his own great uncle — who was one of the first White settlers in Iowa, back in 1851. The time of slavery is only one generation’s voice away in many Americans’ family histories, including Black folks. Tyler Perry’s father was horribly abusive to him, but he has commented on how his father was raised by a 14-year-old supervised by an elderly man who had been raised in slavery and knew nothing but corporal punishment. The imprint of abuse lives on through these few generations.

        I grew up all White but my kids are Black, so I consider myself sort of “formerly all-White” — and the difference in experience of race between being White and Black in 21st century America is still absolutely staggering. When I was “only White” I didn’t think race was such a big deal, why do Black folks go on about it, but now that I am on the other side I have experienced how race is crammed down your throat all day, every day when you are Black in the USA. The things people have said to us! The assumptions they make, the blithe instructions of what we must be like!

        For example, when my kids visited a slave cabin on an historical property, the docent told them “this is where you would have lived.” Not “this is where people like you were forced to live in servitude” but this is where YOU would be. It is still “us.” Really.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @Gemma-Race is a division of humankind. Stop for a second and absorb what that actually means-race essentially divides/classifies a group of humans, based on their physical characteristics. By very definition, race is used to divide, to impose a separate social identity on a group of people.

        How can you perceive race as something that can be removed from the context/history that defined its existence and shaped it’s social identity for hundreds of years? That’s asking for the impossible. It’s like removing the rings on a tree trunk that define that tree’s age. This is PART of every black person’s PERSONAL history, not just what happened to their great-great-grandfather a long long time ago. It is part of them and will be until they don’t have to be reminded about the color of their skin every day.

        Besides the fact that it’s not anyone’s place to judge the pain of an entire race.

        Just how I see things..

      • I Choose Me says:

        Perfectly stated Naye.

      • Gemma says:

        I hadn’t necessarily thought of it that way (clearly :P), but that is a very good point. Someone else said something similar to this below as well. Thank you!

        I’m not sure why it made a few of you so angry. I’m not denying racism doesn’t still happen and I don’t believe I ever did. Racism is prevalent all over the world and not just in America (as I’m sure most if not all of you know). I do not live in a bubble; I live in Florida and parts of this state are so incredibly diverse that when I think of the us it isn’t separated by subgroups of America and I guess that is were I was getting at. I have lived in Tennessee before so I also know what it is like to live in an area with little diversity as well.

    • Chellez says:

      I get what you’re saying.

      I think, though, that for Kerry and many Black people, we say “US” when referring to our history in this country because the root of slavery, racism, still exists. Slavery was one extreme, prolonged end of racism and even though it’s over, racism isn’t. Many Jews talk like this about the Holocaust, so I don’t fault her for that. When a person talks about the history of trauma to their people as a group and remnants of that hate stills exists, it is consistent to refer to it in the possessive form.

    • Pippa says:

      But I think the entire point is that we are still very much not removed from it. Horrific acts like this are ignored and we are constantly told ‘the slave trade happened 100s of years ago so we should get over it’ but when the effects of it are still being seen today, when we are still very much second class citizens it just feels personal. These are our ancestors, they are people who were treated that way because of something that we are as well and so it’s not exactly so easy to separate your feelings from that.

    • mytbean says:

      My main issue is – how do people move on from it? Instead of wallowing in the woah is me attitude? And exactly how should white people respond to this… another era of “aw gosh, we’re so sorry”? I’m sorry to sound insensitive but it’s kind of insulting to those of us who feel accused of perpetuating the hatred when in reality, we just want the same thing you do. For it to be a non issue. Or is that what people of color want? I really don’t know anymore.

      I’m tired of hearing who’s black and white and mixed. I seriously do not care. I don’t go see movies portraying the tragedies relating to racism because it’s just a classic tactic to work people up and manipulate them into creating *Buzz* … I don’t go to movies where the primary themes are Nazi Germany, African Apartheid, Egyptians driving people out, etc etc…

      I’m tired of people saying that they didn’t get a job because they were black. I applied for a job with a mostly black company and didn’t get the job. Is it because I’m white? Maybe. But the fact is, I don’t care. I don’t want to work for people who care about it either… I don’t care what color they are.

      I understand wanting to learn from history… to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But – sometimes it feels compulsive – like a whole culture just keeps feeding each generation the same victimized attitudes and even if the biggots die, the children of children of the victims remain to keep the fear alive.

      • booger says:

        Isn’t it funny how people who have never experienced marginalization are the quickest to tell those who have to “get over it” and “stop whining”. It’s akin to political candidates with inherited money lobbying against government handouts and propagating tax cuts for the rich.

        Newsflash- movies like these aren’t made to serve as a warning against history repeating itself. It’s to show that it’s still happening, for all your rose tinted beliefs that the only thing stopping race from being a non-issue is a victim culture of minorities crying “woe is me”.

      • Riana says:

        I’m sorry to say you sound a little more than insensitive.

        It is not simply a ‘woah is me’ attitude. A single incident happening to a single person that can be adjusted to is ‘woah is me’ we’re talking about hundreds of years of institutionally seeking to break and use a group of people.

        There is no response. It’s been done. Period. I think some people would love if we all just magically forgot but we’re not going to. It’s been DONE. You’re not owed anything but to treat everyone fairly and do your best not to discriminate.

        There’s just so much ignorance in the rest of your comment…

        You didn’t get ONE JOB and you think that somehow means you understand it? You think movies about tragedies concerning race are for buzz? Hmmm, I guess the millions of patriot movies are perfectly fine though.

      • Naye in VA says:

        It isn’t a woe is me attitude. Ignoring child abuse doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring hunger doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring racism will not make it go away. What do we want? Both my parents have Master’s degrees, and they come home and talk to me about ways they were undermined, or invalidated, TODAY at work or in business. We DO want you to care. Care enough that when you see it happening you make a move to stop it. If that means going above and beyond the way affirmative action does, than thats the way to do it. For Black the rest of the country is a bit of a Good Old Boys Club. When you’re born with a membership it’s hard to see. But when you are on the outside, it’s clear as day. The fact that you just complained just now gave me a “what more can we do for you people” vibe. you might want to keep that to yourself.

      • mytbean says:

        It is funny that people who feel so “marginalized” assume that no one of a different color could ever relate because well, they are a different color? The assumptions go both ways I suppose. Newsflash – not all white people have inhereted money and cushy little trust funds. There are white people who are poor who suffer and still suffer.

        Movies that call attention to the racial divide are not designed to teach you anything. They are designed to manipulate you. And they’ve done a fabulous job it seems.

      • booger says:

        Mytbean, are you honestly trying to tell me that all races and religions are on a equal socioeconomic and cultural playing field because you didn’t get a job at a place where a lot of blacks work, and because a few people from every demographic are poor?

        I didn’t make any generalizations that all white people have inherited money and trust funds. Don’t misquote me.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I’ll put it like this then. Take the poorest White person and the poorest Black person and the White person will still have a better chance at getting up and out

      • mytbean says:

        I didn’t go into my personal history because I am not here to cry a river about my childhood in a crime ridden area with gangs, drugs and an insufferable school system with no money. ONE JOB is simply an example… I thought that would be understood.

        I don’t watch patriot movies either – again, movies designed to manipulate the masses into anger and division don’t interest me.

        I understand that perceptions are all relative to personal experience and I’m not attempting to belittle anyone’s feelings or perspective. All I’m saying is, there needs to be more solutions – It’s frustrating, hurtful and unproductive for everyone to keep rehashing it over and over without any real method for healing.

      • mytbean says:


        I’m not even talking about some idealist level playing field here.
        I am absolutely not trying to tell you that we are all on a level playing field nor am I implying that we ever will be. I suspect the only solution (and it would be fleeting and temporary) would be a global scale Walking Dead scenario. But even a zombie heard wouldn’t make things level permanently. Even if religion, race, age and sexual preference became mutually irrelevant, humanities desire to compete would eventually show someone to the lead.

        I didn’t misquote you… I never quoted anything… although I am kind of disappointed that you misquoted me initially with the whole “get over it”, “stop whining thing” <– in quotes. But I'm not really offended… not really.

        See? This whole – but you did this, I did that. It's just counter-productive.

      • kw says:

        The thing is, is that there is empirical data to back up what people are saying in this thread. You sitting here on this board denying that institutional racism exists, is offensive, and part of the problem. Also I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s always been divisive. Always. It’s just now, now that the demographics are changing(usa), that white people have to listen to us.

      • su says:

        I am thankful that the commenters before me collected you as nicely as possible, i don’t think i would have been as polite-now go and educate yourself.

      • Sparkle587 says:

        What is ideally expected is that you as a White person come to understand that part of your privilege is the fact that YOU do not have to think about and consider race in your daily life. Moreover that you will not judge persons of color whose experience you cannot truly understand because you do not have to walk in their shoes. Just know that your reality is different from mine.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Maybe you should look at these movies a different way. Instead of getting angry and feeling divisive, why don’t you give empathy a shot?

        When I see movies like this, as a white person, I try to imagine what it must feel like to watch it as a black person. I try to understand how it must feel to know that it wasn’t very long ago, and if I were born earlier it could have been me. I feel closer to black people and the black experience by reading the books and watching the movies, not more divided or angry.

        There is not a level playing field and there never has been one, and you could also try putting yourself in the shoes of a black person TODAY. How would you get out of poverty if you were a black girl? It’s incredibly difficult to do. How would you react to being stopped by the police for no reason? Happens all the time. How would you feel if people expected you to be a thug or a welfare recipient based on your skin color, starting from a very young age with your schoolteachers and neighbors?

        The solution lies in empathy.

      • MSL says:

        I don’t have to listen to you but I want to listen 🙂 open dialogue is important

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Woe is me? ‘Mirror, mirror…’ Let’s be honest, you’re doing the lion’s share of the whining, here. A few unpleasant dinner engagements and now it’s all about how the black man is trying to keep you down. People hre are discussing a historical and cultural legacy but you’ve made it personal by ‘tarring’ blacks as an unthinking backwards monolith stuck in a myopic Skinner Box. You don’t see race, well, you speak it fluently in your charged accusations. All of this grovelling, have you ever had to do it? I mean, is anyone forcing you and yours to do anything? Is the bank foreclosing on your land because you didn’t reach your prostrating quotas? Marginalized people get over a lot of the things, but it’s the end of the world because of a movie you didn’t watch? You yourself have admitted that as a white person, you interact with both blacks and whites, then talked about your white circles. That says something. And when those black people who were being rude and took swipes, did you say anything in your defense or decide they’re all one thing who only want one thing? You came out of the ether in full battle mode adamantly rattling on about the myriad flaws written into their very genes and have said not damned thing about black people that wasn’t about their failings and how they failed you…with equality Did you think that that would get a positive response? You’ve been more than a little standoff-ish through this thread, maybe in some of these instance your patrician attitude drove the interactions to their ultimate conclusion. Take a page from your own book and don’t blame us for them and get over it, or does your limited experience with discriminaton trump what so many people take on a habitual basis? If they tried to hurt you and your feel small you should forget the jerks but remember the lesson. Whatever you experienced does not make you emperor of black people and doesn’t mean you can them how to be better at being black.

        Putting words in other people’s mouths drew first blood. You don’t I care if you apologize, no one here told you to do that, but a bit of perspective and fewer insults would do wonders.

      • jaye says:

        mytbean…you say you don’t want to belittle anyone’s feelings or experiences but almost EVERY comment you’ve made here has done just that. You want solutions? What are some of yours…you know besides “just get over it”.

      • lady X says:

        @Mytbean I have an idea…. This is what my biology and chemistry teacher always had us do … if you have an opinion and many disagree conduct an experiment… Your Hypothesis could be the first statement you made… do some research… it might make a good book also (remember me on the best sellers list) … I charge you to use middle class and above black people so the experiment is as non biases as possible… I think it could be much for you to learn there… and I am not saying that to insult you … I have learned soo much from this thread and i been black all my life LOL and i study African American History … But i appears to me that you do not have many black close friends…cause if you did or were married to a black person you might see it more clearly everyday … If my idea of an experiment seems crazy than there is a book to read called ” black like me ” – by John Howard Griffin .. it chronicles a scientist who wanted to understand the “Black Experience” so he took a medicine that caused his skin to turn black and then he goes to the deep south and just lives as a black man.. it is a TRUE STORY and very powerful …. sometimes the only way we can know something is to go through it … Just some advice …

  6. Sisi says:

    this film will make me feel uncomfortable. But I think if it does, it has served it’s purpose. It’s not intended to be feelgood movie. Definitely seeing this.

    btw I remember that I also thought the Inglorious Basterds trailer was campy and over the top, but I loved that movie so much. First impressions aren’t always correct with Tarantino.

  7. booger says:

    Gemma, I don’t get why it would rub you the wrong way. Even if she wasn’t there to experience slavery the after effects and shock waves are still inherent and systemic in North American culture. Does it really shock you that she’d still classify herself and blacks as “us” when we live in a culture that constantly “others” visible minorities? Look how white power groups have risen since the president was elected, to say nothing of the constant racism he experiences from idiots demanding to see his birth certificate.

    • Naye in VA says:

      Someone had the nerve to attack me for perpetuating racism for posting that my president was black. I had to point out that in a race that has been consistently disenfranchised, mocked, and demeaned, I could only show my pride, just as I would if he were a woman.

      • booger says:

        Thank you. I know Gemma and Liv didn’t mean any harm but their posts really made me angry and upset.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I was actually really insulted at first but i think a lot of America is in a bubble when it comes to race. I think because they dont see it or the Blacks they know dont talk about it, they feel it isn’t as big a problem as it is, or it’s only a problem because we brought it up. The biggest lesson here is don’t tell Black people how to feel about being Black lol.

      • Liv says:

        Girls, I am not even American. I think the point is that we don’t understand this corporate feeling which is evoked by the word “us”. And it’s not just black people, many people do that. It’s often “Oh we are like that, oh us … are doing it this way”. And that excludes the group from other people around.

        I understand where you are coming from and why you feel like that, but I just see myself like an individual. For example I would never feel responsible for what went down in World War II nor would I say “The Americans did this or that to us while occupying our land”. We are in charge of keeping memory of what went down in history, but I as a person am not responsible for what was done hundred years ago.

        That’s my opinion, but please, everybody has a different view 😉

      • booger says:

        I’m breathlessly waiting for mytbean to chime in how we’re all equal and that race is a non-issue, and then follow it up with a barb regarding how minorities are whiners and more racist than white people.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I wouldn’t hold you as an individual responsible, I don’t go around looking for any one person to hold responsibility, but the events of 150 yrs ago shaped the events of today. Because it happened to “them” this is happening to “us”. Thus we are a collective. Blaming doesn’t help anybody but acknowledgement is the only way to start to change.

      • Riana says:


        It also has a lot to do with how slavery shaped blacks as a collective people. They were stripped from their native homeland and brought to a strange place where they were expected to obey strangers every word because there was a gun constantly to their backs. These were not stupid people or savages, they were constantly thinking how unfair it was. How they were men just like these people, but now treated like animals.

        They HAD to band together. They HAD to become an ‘us’ because the entire world at the time was made up of THEM. That spirit has only continued because for the majority of this nation’s history they/we were US. We’re still US depending on where we go and we have to be us because the discrimination still simmers on a low boil for those of us deemed ‘better.’ vs. those that are lesser.

        IE. “The nation is ready for a well-spoken black man.”


        “Just another black thug.”

      • Sisi says:

        @ liv
        Where are you from?

      • Liv says:

        Yeah, I don’t agree on “It was them, so it could be us”-thing, but I do agree that there is still much racism going on.

        I think it’s not so much the racism with Apartheid and stuff anymore, like 100 or 50 years ago, but what we do still have in every country in the world is this subliminal racism that probably 80% of people practice. My friend spent a year in the USA and when Obama was elected her white guest family said things like “We voted for Obama, because he’s pretty white” or something like that. We were like what the fuck? It’s horrible and a shame. Many people think they are not racist because they are not running around with dung forks anymore, but they do not realize that racism can be pretty subtle.

        It’s 2012, we do have the internet and by now everybody should be educated enough to know better.

      • Liv says:

        I am from Germany 😉

    • mytbean says:

      booger –

      Breathe out. 🙂 But don’t wait for chimes. I believe that, in terms of our humanity, we are all born equal. And that for ME personally, when I see a person, I see a person and that I prefer that something aesthetic not be a deciding factor in my discorse with them.

      I’m sorry you felt “barbed”… I don’t remember saying the word “whine” – I said “woah is me” which I suppose can be seen as whine? but I was trying to communicate a mass expression of defeatism and the powerlessness that comes from it.

      I bow my head in shame for offending you with my feelings. I should be accustomed to stuffing those feelings down by now – I mean – you know, in the name of progress, or something?

      • booger says:

        I give up.

      • su says:

        so stating that racism exist is defeatist? Explaining the effects it ha on people is a ‘woe is me’ attitude? You assert that you don’t judge people based on race- do you want a cookie? is this fact supposed to cancel out the MILLIONS of people who do, and how that affects black people (and other people of colour) today? Don’t be ridiculous.

      • mytbean says:

        Stating that racism exists and stating its effects is redundant. Replaying all of the horrors is psychologically defeatist.

        And although I’m not so much on the food reward based system – yes… yes I would like a cookie. God, I want a peanut butter cookie now… dangit.

        Of course not… and never implied any sort of one person cancellation of the effect it would have on the “MILLIONS”

      • jaye says:

        Oh for heaven’s sake! How does it feel to be this closed off and judgmental? Are you happy? Have you ever been? I mean…seriously.

    • Lukie says:

      Please do not forget to add that the entire state of West Virginia, a state that has historically voted democratic in virtually every single election flipped to the republican side TWICE b/c they did not want to see a Black Man become president…..

      I did say they did it twice right?

  8. Kiki says:

    Kerry Washington is a goddess.

  9. hoya_chick says:

    I have no interest in seeing this movie.

  10. jinni says:

    No one wants white people living today to feel guilty about what happened in the past. Your guilty isn’t going to change anything. Instead you guys should be actively dismantling the racist system that your forefathers have built (speaking about the US were I’m from) and is still actively hurting non-white communities to this day. How to do this? First educate yourself on white privilege; there are plenty of books on the subject. When you encounter racism, even in people that are close to you and claim to be liberal, address it. When white people address racism to other white people they seem to respond better and actually listen, compared to when a minority points racism out. They are accused of being overly sensitive, pulling the race card, being too PC, partaking in reverse racism, etc. While the white person who points out racism is seen as enlightened, sensible, and forward thinking.

    Minorities don’t want to live in a state of constant apprehension when it comes to white people, but it is a survival mechanism. Also, getting upset that minorities feel this way is really annoying, it like when men get upset that some women get uncomfortable with them or are cautious around them and refuse to understand that women feel this way because of the misogynistic, patriarchal culture that men in the past and present still uphold even if they don’t think they do, has made women this way. It’s not because every woman thinks very man is a rapist, it’s just that if something did happen women know that the system will analyze everyone one of her actions past and present to condemn her. The same with people of color, they know that the system is inherently against them so they are hyper vigilant about their surroundings and the people in it.

    In short, if you aren’t actively trying to destroy the system you are actively or passively upholding the system.

    • Riana says:

      THANK YOU.

      I don’t need a white person to do anything. If it takes decades to treat abuse in a single individual, then I don’t know if I believe we’ll get to the point where we fully lance the boil that was racism.

      All I want or need now is for people to be more accepting. To admit to their discriminations and fight to overcome them, not mask them behind some false excuse. And yes for some govt. officials to try to empathize with people rather than send down decrees with no understanding of how life changes once your skin tone, economic circumstances, or neighborhood does.

    • CreamSoda says:

      Well said. The example of women’s experiences is a helpful comparison.

    • Naye in VA says:

      +1 that what’s so dangerous is this passivity. The white privilege is something gained on the backs of minorities. And it did was privileges do. It spoiled people. Making it harder and harder to see. Slavery was an active way to keep the privilege going, much less is needed nowadays, which means it will take more action to fight it.

  11. Moi says:

    And until Jamie (and other people of course) stop feeling that way, we will never get to a point that we feel that we are all equals. Racism goes both ways these days and it saddens me. We are all human, and even though we may come from different cultures, there are many different cultures in the world, even different cultures that consist of lighter skinned folks. Skin colour does not and should not matter. JMO

    Also keep in mind that slavery started in Africa, and there were many light skinned abolitionists that fought and died to stop it in North America. Look up the story of John Brown.

    • Riana says:

      If you look it up you’ll also find that the slavery in Africa was more of an indentured servitude, there is even an author who wrote how much more barbaric and horrific the slavery in the US was and how the people were treated like animals.

      The intimidation tactics and methods of suppression did not exist in Africa that were used in America.

    • booger says:

      John Brown was a nutbar. Pick another example.

      • Moi says:

        He was a nut, but he fought hard to stop what he thought was wrong. There are different views/opinions on John Brown. My history professor felt that he was a hero for standing up for what he believed in, even though he used the wrong (violent) tactics.

        I’m saying that if we could all feel that we are all human and equals that yes, racism would have a chance at ceasing to exist. But this isn’t a utopian society is it.

        Slavery is wrong on all accounts, to say that it was less barbaric in Africa doesn’t make it ok.

      • booger says:

        He was more interested in violent confrontation than working to repeal laws, and ultimately reinforced tensions between blacks and whites.

    • Naye in VA says:

      So are you saying that if i choose not to feel like something is racist, then it wont be? Okay, so i’ll take that guy grabbing my butt as a compliment. Or that woman who just cussed out her 2 yrd old as tough parenting. Most blacks KNOW that we are equal ( i say most bcuz there are a few who have been trained by the system to believe they arent) the problem is everybody else understanding that we are just as competent and qualified from the day we are born as everyone else, and given the OPPORTUNITY this could be the norm, and not the exception. Then the skin color wont matter.

      BTW very aware of and thankful for all the White abolitionists that participated in that day but the real fact is the most harm that came to them from slavery was a bad conscience. Kudos to them for doing something, not sitting back and telling everyone to stop talking about it already.

    • mytbean says:

      What you said sort of sums up what I’ve been trying to say all night (and offending people with my methods – lol) That basically how can we get to a point where everyone FEELS equal? Because that’s really what it is… it’s a feeling. There’s no way to literally level the playing field for every person or go back in time and undo travesties. And some made suggestions regarding supporting causes – but frankly I feel like doing this is just another shade of racism. It’s aknowledging and supporting one color of people over another. 🙁

      I don’t know why but this issue really tweaked my noodle tonight. It’s probably the most I’ve commented on anything (and definitely the most I’ve irritated people :P)

      • kw says:

        Did you just say feels equal? Did you really just say that shit? really? ok. I gave you the benefit of the doubt before, but now I can say will full conviction that you are a part of the problem. Congrats

      • Naye in VA says:

        You certainly dont get everyone to feel equal by telling the victim it’s time to stop talking about it. You have to start acknowledging it, nay, looking for it.

    • kw says:

      Ok. Shut that up. That is something Whtie people love to trot out to dismiss slavery in the US. The Slavery in among african tribes was nothing like american slavery. It was basically indentured servitude. The worked for a couple of years and they were on their merry way. And I am so over this we are the human race bullshit. If that’s so, please explain to me the prison industrial complex, the poverty and communities of color experience, black kids getting shot in convenient store parking lots over loud music, stop and frisk, and couuntless other racist bullshit laws. Brown Jesus take the wheel.

      • Moi says:

        Thank you for proving my point. There is poverty and unfairness in many communities. I’m not saying that there isn’t racism against African Americans, I’m saying I wish that there wasn’t any, anywhere or against anyone. That is how I feel and there is nothing wrong with me seeing us all as human beings worthy of all of the same rights and love.

        I’m also not downsizing the horrific events of slavery in North America. I was only stating that Africa is where it began. It should never have occurred anywhere. But it did and all I can say is that I personally had nothing to do with it and I would have fought with abolitionists to stop it.

      • su says:

        I believe the term to describe what they are doing is ‘derailment’. Moi keeps on going back to the point of slavery i Africa, even though this is about slavery in AMERICA. Youve stated how they were different and all she says is ‘wahhhh africa did it too’. She doesnt know, and she doesnt care to know. Further reading would help but shes so convinced of herself she doesnt think she needs it. ANd then MYTHBEAN states that anti-racist efforts are racist themselves. SMH. I TELL YA. the LENGTHS people will go…

      • mytbean says:

        oh holy canoli. I’ve been given up on – twice now in one post (record!). I’m hopeless because, what? Because I think it’s about creating an atmosphere where people FEEL equal? I thought that was a nice wrapper on this impossible terd of a conundrum.

        *I* grew up getting shot at. In the car, at the convenience store. I can’t count how many times. The trim on my car saved me from getting shot in the face once. *I* lived in a neighborhood where we slept on the floor if it was a weekend because that was drive-by time. The cops in my neighborhood had a fricken cerfew and refused to come out… *I* made friends with gang members so I would feel safer walking down the street. *I* know food stamps and hot checks and pantries. *I* have snuggled up cozy with abuse, violence, alcoholism, and drug addiction. *I* know what it’s like to be turned away from jobs, and banks and even churches – but *I* am white and grew up in a black neighborhood. And so did my three closest friends – two white and one black – and experienced the flip-side of racism.

        So yes. I do know something about this story. I know that all people can be hateful and distrustful. Being raised in certain environments makes you a survivalist and creates the person you are.

        WE are the human race and it’s not bullshit. It’s real. I want a solution. Not more reflection on the painful past. That’s all… and I don’t think that’s an ignorant thing to ask for.

      • Moi says:

        @su: Excuse me? I’ve studied slavery in North America A lot. And no one is “wahhing” as you call it. I’m very aware of how brutal North American slavery was. Not sure if you are reading what I’ve written properly. No one is saying to act or pretend that slavery in NA did not exist, but how can anyone move forward if we are still living in the past? It should be recognized and we should honor those who suffered, but to walk around paranoid that someone might be racist towards you, being angry and/or actively being racist yourself solves NOTHING.

      • Naye in VA says:

        @ mythbean
        It takes a change of attitude, all the way across the board. To change an attitude takes acknowledgment. We can’t stop talking about it. Thats the only way to change it. Thats the only way its been changing, from slavery to Jim Crow, to now.
        I think everyone here is up in arms because you made us feel as though were were victimizing and our complaints weren’t valid. I’m sorry for how you grew up, but that is not what is an issue here. we are a second class race and you lived in the only part of town where we just happened to the be kings of nothing. What you saw was the results of ignoring the race problem, of pushing those people to the side to fend for themselves on an unequal and often purposefully unequal playing field. Im sorry for that, and there is no excuse. But now what needs to happen is acknowledgment that this is a race problem. We cant just “not care” or just stop seeing color on people skin because there is active disenfranchisement going on, from richest to the poorest parts of our country. And if we quit talking about it when slavery was over there would still be Jim Crow. If we quit talking about it when Jim Crow was over we’d still have Rodney King. Wait we do. So therefore, the discussion is still on the table.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Simple question, regarding the “stop bringing up slavery because it’s sad and does no good” sentiment.

        Do you feel the same about Inglorious Basterds? How about any WWII flick?

        Do you think the Lincoln movie recently should not have been made since it captures the USA in a time of tragedy?

        What about Milk, the movie about the gay activist?

        Or is it just the ones about slavery that aren’t useful and shouldn’t be brought up anymore?

    • Mikaela says:

      Slavery did not START in Africa. Slavery has existed in many different societies thought time. The nature of slavery is what distinguishes it from others. In the Americas we had what was called chattel slavery, which was the most heinous form of slavery.

      Some of you should crack open a book! Geez!

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      People lean so hard the ‘Well, they started it so cootie-block on you’ as if that takes the heat off of Europeans, I don’t know why so many people want to defend that, but here we are. Maybe by repositioning that story so that it stops just short of it, black people with have to develop a non corporeal relationship with ‘black guilt’ and divest themselves of their pathological need to punish (by which I mean, do little to) white people for everything, I don’t know.

      Why do people always think they need to educate me about this stuff? Assumed ignorance? To shame people? Where Hasb’t slavery existed in some form in thal annals of history? Why does Professor Slaveship tell me, ‘We’re all one…except those sketchy Africans who sold each other out. Horrible, horrible Africans, and a hearty kumbaya to you.’? Spartans, Athenians–we’re all ancients, but as a show of good faith, I’ll have Pausanius buff your shield while you take a gander at my poetry knife.’

      The slavery of the Middle Passage is nothing like the non-permanent, pay off some debt indentured servitude minimum security holding for POW existed galaxies away from that. Now, Holland van Spaniard didn’t go all the way to Africa to queer the deal on his cargo, so he’ll say what’s needed to make it official and get that cane.

      How would the brutality of this new brand of slavery be communicated? Do you think that Kwame and Nhamo were on Skype? Skywriter, JoJo’s Psychic Alliance? Mail? Village Of The Damned mind tricks?

      Sometimes it seems like somone is just short of saying, ‘well, these guys invented slavery, I assume, so if they had knowledge of the things about which they know nothing what’s the difference? If savages are going to be savages anyway, they might as well have been useful. I don’t think people are openly thinking that, there are a lot of weird justifications, explanations and obfuscations and I find it creepy.

  12. PrettyTarheel says:

    I have been apalled at some of what I’ve read today on this board. I’m white, and I recognize that while I am still at a disadvantage because I am female, I will never understand what POC, and especially WOC are coping with every day. I will never understand what it’s like to know a few generations back, my family was property. I will never understand, from the inside, the cultural implications that have resulted from an entire race being treated as property for hundreds of years. I can only lend my support, my encouragement, and try to understand how I can help.
    I grew up in the South, in a 100% white school, and I live in South Carolina with family in GA, TN, and NC. For anyone who dares to suggest racism is dead, you’re only displaying your ignorance. I challenge you to go spend some time, in a totally white private setting, in these areas and not see OVERT racism on display. My husband and I are rabid social liberals, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at us. We dress and act conservative. Therefore, people we meet casually feel free to throw their racial and social opinions around, assuming we will all be on the same page. Imagine their shock when we express our, sometimes hostile, opinions on the racist, misogynistic, or classist view that was just expressed. My husband almost came to blows with a guy in a bar in Charlotte last week over comments regarding our President.

    White men have been in power for so long that the idea of balance looks like a challenge to their authority. It’s appalling, but racism is still strong in the United States, and denying it’s existence is either ignorance (damaging) or a deliberate, systemic effort to continue the status quo (more damaging).

    • mytbean says:

      I would love… LOVE to sit and talk with you and another poster (txmom) about your experiences – there are so many posters here with so many backgrounds. Celebitchy rocks.

      It’s true that I can’t imagine coming from a cultural background with such immense pain. But it’s probably not unlike coming from a family full of emotional and severe physical violence and abuse. What confuddles me is, as I’d posted before – how as a society we can come to a place where everyone FEELS equal… and of course where everyone feels safe enough to accept equality (because that’s part of the problem too)

      • Naye in VA says:

        Im not knocking your past or the way you grew up, or saying that it is negligible. But you can grow up and leave, and although you carry the emotional scars with you, nobody else can see them. Nobody else can judge you for them. In some sense you are safer out in the world than you were at home.
        As a race, for us it’s opposite. The only respite is home (and thats in the best of cases). It often feels like the world (the world we know) is against us, and not in the melodramatic teenage nobody understands me way, in the “how will my countryman choose to degrade me today” way.

      • su says:

        Yes, we should wait around for people to FEEL equal and FEEL that others should be equal without actually adressing the issues that cause such adverse FEELINGS in the first place. How quaint.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        ‘Equal’ isn’t a feeling, equal is what I am

    • Naye in VA says:

      This is what (I at least) really want. Acknowledgment and active movement against racism. I don’t want anyone to feel guilty for the past, but understand that racism has changed its presentation, and it is still the duty of all Americans to acknowledge it and speak up when they see it.

    • Sisi says:

      I haven’t posted in the deeper discussions in this thread, because I don’t know how to put my thoughts to words (english is not my main language, however that is not the only reason: this is such a difficult subject). However, your post sums up very eloquently how I also feel.

    • annemarie says:

      Pretty, I have a somehow similar experience. I’m white, and I was not born in the States, I got there when I was younger. That’s when some white people in their kindness tried to ‘educate’ me about race relations in America. You wouldn’t believe the shit they would freely say in front of me just because i’m white. ‘The people leaving in that house are black, BUT THEY’RE NICE’ or ‘clean’ as a matter of fact. Or ‘teachers, professors, employers etc. favor them because they’re black’. I was thrilled when my racist neighbour’s daughter started dating a black guy. Feel sorry for the daughter though.

  13. Guest says:

    I will respectfully await ” Twelve years a Slave” . The slavery narrative is a personal one for me; My grandfather told me about his granfather “trials and tribulation”. We are the offspring of one child born after abolition; died by age 34. Our story is one of survival, I do not need the revenge factor ; nor do I care about the vile plantation owner; all I care that these narratives survive; irregardless. I like to read letters that slaves wrote or instances where they share their experiences: most of all I like the aspect of defiance. Our survival was dependent on people who refuse to buy the “company line”totally. Consequently I will wait for the story to be told by the slaves point of view. No disrespect towards QT. I am not interested.

  14. Redheadwriter says:

    Now to have QT create an accurate portrayal of how the white man destroyed the Native American culture.

  15. KellyinSeattle says:

    I’ll watch the movie, but I’ve always thought Jamie Foxx was kind of an ass; yeah, maybe he tries to be…but still an ass.

  16. BangBang says:

    Oh yes, we have to talk about race because, I mean we really really REALLY do not talk about it enough here in the States. Because talking and obsessing about race will make everything so much better. Race in yo face!! Because some ignorant Southern congressman puts something in his yard, he speaks for every white person ever. Just like some smarmy African American politicians make statements like New Orleans is a “Chocolate city”it speaks for every black person. Yes, we need white girls and white Hollywood directors talk about this very sensitive issue because they know better. I have gone to school with students from various African countries and they have all said that nobody back home respects African Americans because they consider themselves victims even though their lives here are far, far better than people in Africa.That it is a shame because they don’t seem to be going forward just blaming people today that had nothing to do with the slave trade.

    What about the fact that African tribes SOLD THIER OWN? What about the slavery that takes places right now in Africa? What about the white slave trade?

    I guess as long as someone feels so much better about themselves and rightous talking about slavery then we can all ignore these issues. I for one feel no guilt and refuse to be PC. I had nothing to do with any of it. It’s because I treat people with kindness not because the color of thier skin but the content of thier character. I guess that’s not ever going to be OK with Mr. Fox though because as he himself has pointed out, he’s never going to get over his own race.

    • kw says:

      Oh look derailment 101. People above have already countered all the arguments in this post. I’m going to need you to try harder with your dismissive derailment game. Try wrapping it up in some pseudo intellectual bullshit first.

      • BangBang says:

        Oh yes, so because I’m not afflicted with “white guilt” and make very good points that you might want to hear it’s “derailmet” lol OK. And no, not one person has ‘countered” my ponts that I don’t consider to be total bs. Why don’t you go do something productive like fighting the very real atrocity that is known as “black on black” crime? Or the vicious wars between lationos and blacks in my city of Los Angeles? Now THOSE are issues.

      • Naye in VA says:

        Fighting BoB crime starts at the top, as well as Latinos, who as of late have also found themselves on the short end of the stick. The problem is how white privilege doesnt extend itself to minorities. Whey does education fail so many more minorities than whites? Why does urban development push Blacks out of the cities? Why is the percentage of minorities in jail greater than that of whites when the percentage of minorities in the country is less than that of whites? Why do you think minorities have these problems. Is we just can’t get our sh-t together? Or is it years of physical gerrymandering, and siphoning money out of the communities. It’s only our fault right? Like I said, I have been very fortunate, and yet unfortunate still to see the present day effects of racism in my own high end shopping mall. Go learn something.

      • Aotearovian says:

        @BangBang: If you go to the trouble of reading the full thread, you’ll find that every one of your points has been countered several times over.

    • Naye in VA says:

      Youre totally right, what have I been doing all this time worrying that my daughter will be discriminated against because she’s black when Africans are dying. Thanks so much to White power for giving me the opportunity to walk around on the street because i could be in Africa right now getting shot. It doesnt matter that they are building jails just for me and my kind, or that I worry about whether I’ll be turned down for that job because my name is kind of ghetto, or why are the cops searching my car AGAIN, when i have to get to work. Or that the scholarship I got to the ivy league school was just a front to get me in the door tho get their Black numbers up so they would turn around and not offer me another dime and i’d have to drop out. And no its no problem that my neighbor called the police because i was standing outside with a group of friends. It’s all really trivial, and i should be grateful. Thanks for putting it in perspective.
      I dont give a fat rats ass what your African friends think. i know plenty of Africans raised in America that go thru the same things we do, and NONE of them think we should just bow our heads and accept it.
      BTW im not looking for African respect buddy, and i don’t sit around complaining, just stating facts. I think I said somewhere on this post before, I have had a very fortunate life, and I have busted my ass with work and education, which gives me even MORE right to be PISSED when I see a depiction of my President as a monkey, or when I get pulled over and have my car searched for absolutely no reason, or when i get followed around a store, or ignored by reception or of that crap, and see my people dumped in projects with no help, or the minority illiteracy rate, or I’m called lazy because I couldnt support myself and my daughter on a $28000 a yr salary in the 3rd richest county in the country, and know that this is the crap she will have to grow up in.

      • kw says:

        Sister. I love you. You have just been speaking so much truth, all over this thread. And all the ignorance, from human race, i don’t see color, to my personal favorite white privilege doesn’t exist. Girl I don’t know how we do it sometimes.

      • BangBang says:

        Wait are you blaming black and latino crime on white people now as well? It cannot be them, it’s got to be us. You bringing up why more black people are in prison when they are minority is interesting but we can draw several conclusions from those statistics. I’m betting you won’t like some of them at all. Personal responsebility is never an option.

        What about my people, the Jews? We’ve had a raw, raw deal and we are doing really well. Really well. I wonder why? We put great value on education, responsability, etc etc. maybe it’s not white culutre that’s the problem.

        It’s great that you are doing nicley for yourself and your daughter but guess what? ALL people work hard to get a nice life. But you think white people somehow just got stuff handed to them.

        It sucks that you were racially profiled but so have I, from black people.I would stand by your side and defend you while you would make excuses for my tormentors. That’s the difference betweeen me and you.

      • annemarie says:

        I’ve a question. Kind of out of the left field so I apologize if it sounds irrelevant. Also my question is in all candor, no hidden meaning or anything.I wrote upthread that I’m white and foreign born. I now teach lower-level college and it is my experience that black males tend to drop or fail courses, much more than the black girls and the kids of other races. It really pains me. I hate it when any student drops the course. I’m aware of the socioeconomic factors and that young black males have all the odds stacked against them. I also find that they lack self-confidence. Question is: what can I do to give them that confidence?

      • Naye in VA says:

        Womp rewind. I am not defending BoB crime here. What I am saying is solving that specific sort of crime deals directly with education and opportunity. People living those lives don’t have a lot to look forward to. And that is a direct result of the things I mentioned before. Dont dare to assume that I would stand by and defend a rapist or murderer simply for being Black. What I’m saying is this has been a trickle down effect from years of being given the short end of the stick, by our own government no less, not just a neighbor who didnt like our religion. (and I’m only counting America right now). And coincidentally enough being Jewish isnt easily ascertained when walking down the street, in fact its hard to tell even by last name anymore. And whites would much rather live next door to a Jewish family than a Black family. And the problem is not that we dont put value on education. Thats what Ive been trying to say. Its the EVEN WHEN WE DO we are still held as sub-par. That is the whole point of what has been said this whole post.All people work hard, but we have to work HARDER to get HALF as much. So yes by BIRTH there are certain things handed to you on the basis of your skin color, things you NEVER have to concern yourself with, and that is called PRIVILEGE. I’m disappointed in those that have the opportunities that I have had and squander them, but I know that there are many more that never even had a chance, which is why it is necessary to talk about it. i also know many who have taken full advantage of their opportunities only to be turned away at the door, because of their SKIN COLOR.
        I am actually part Jewish, Native American, and Irish, and I made an effort to do my due diligence on my full background and that included my Irish history and Jewish History, and while the history is littered with sad stories of barbaric activities of human against each other, none of them have faced in America the type of humiliation and degradation that Black have from slavery to this day (like the words from your own mouth). The only thing that could come close to matching is Native Americans, so save your sob story, you wouldnt sign a card to be Black any day of the week.

      • Naye in VA says:

        @ annemarie
        Im not a guy so I cant pretend to know really. But i think there are several different factors. Sometimes it’s because they have to work to support a home. Sometimes they no longer have a home. Sometimes they get jobs and the money starts coming in and it’s more attractive. Ive had some ask me whats the point of a degree in this economy. I have heard of so many rapper dreams i could almost choke on them. Really. But that is the image thats out there. Besides Obaba and a handful of others all the successful Black men play football, basketball, or rap. That’s the example. Also, in the lower level community colleges there is less of a college environment to keep them in check. They go to school and then back to their communities where there friends are hanging out and making money other ways or doing other things, and the social pressure is different. I live in a more affluent suburb and you still see some of the same things as you do inner city. I know plenty of guys who were in school doing fine and then they caught some sort of charge, and flunked out, and now they can no longer get financial aid to go. The Black girls I know tend to have a more stable home life, or better support systems, even those with kids. The guys kind of seem to have had someone wash their hands of them. I dont know what you can do except find out what they really want from life. Most have taken on a certain attitude by adulthood that is hard to break. I spent the latter part of my teens running with “that” crowd, and honestly a lot of them dont know there is more out there for them. They are 2nd or third generation townies and mom and dad are satisfied with their having graduated high school, and nothing much more is really expected of them. I remember wishing that high school had prepared me for the possibilities because there are so many different careers that could fit any type of person, and I never felt there was anything that could fit me, until I was actually in the work-field and speaking to others about it. So i think a lot of them dont fit in and dont think they will ever fit in (hence the rapper bit). It’s probably why you end up seeing a lot of girls in the nursing field. It’s a means to an end and an easy fit.

      • GrandPoobah says:

        annemarie: I would say the best thing you can do is just be available to them to help if they fall behind or feel frustrated.

        I mean, I would say that for all of your students, but I would try to recognize the ones who are particularly at risk for dropping (always late, homework never done, never participate in class) and actively approach them about homework help and spending extra time with them to comprehend the material.

        That’s pretty much all you can do as a teacher, in my opinion. Students drop classes for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the teachers. Realistically there is very little you can do to keep students from dropping.

      • lrm says:

        unfortunately, I have seen people getting followed around stores more often; i’m telling you, class and caste are what will do us in….more than race.

        i’m a 43 year old white female, and have that ‘innocent’ look about me…and i’ve been followed in stores while ‘browsing’, many times in the last several years.

        i’ve seen policies instituted in stores, security guards in the strangest locations, in all neighborhoods, cops being a-holes to everyone…
        in a large urban area, noone is immune.

      • lady X says:

        I am sooooo not gay …. but I am soooo in love with you on this thread….. like you are PREACHING…. The doors of the church are now open on this one baby …. love it …. keep it up …
        Oh i remember being pulled over here in L.A because I was 24 at the time driving a mercedes… he asked me what I did for a living 99 times and wanted to know how on earth I could afford a car like this at my age… probably because my car cost more than he see’s in a year … i think if i had said I was a whore or a stripper or had married well he would have been better off LOL

    • kw says:

      I love when white people bring up black on black violence. Because it shows what you really this of us. You think we’re so stupid, that we don’t know what’s going on in our own communities. I mean forget the thousands of marches, the national black church initiative, the naacp, the thousands of community meetings, the sitdowns with rival gangs. I guess that shit doesn’t count.

      • cloud&feather says:

        You mean that stuff that totally NEVER happens because the person throwing out the example didn’t think for two seconds or see it happening with their own eyes or hear it with their own ears?

        That invisible make believe stuff?

      • BangBang says:

        Facts don’t lie. Facts are not racist.

      • MSL says:

        Statistics do not provide context. They can also be manipulated to fit anyone’s point of view so yes they can lie.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        You didn’t know? Well, I’ll let you in, one Bojangles to another: that’s the natural order, Buckwheat. You want to talk about a victim mentality? Some people just love to claim that other people’s struggles or what have you are invalid and evidence of self-pity. People can’t worry about themselves, they have to worry about those poor souls who actually have to share the planet with us. Gotta run, don’t wanna get pimp slapped by Chocolate Giddyup again!

        Cognitively, how does a person impugn one perceived behaviour whilst indulging in it? And the and more I see people talking about the haapy family and not seeing colour, the more I read I read from those same people about how blacks are always doing this and that.

        No one’s blaming anybody, no one’s foraging for white guilt, no one wants pity, it’s just that if you want to farther you need to know you’ve been so we know how not to get lost, distracted or circle. So much gets tacked on to our identity and it’s never anything good but that’s how they ‘know’ us. Whatever you think, effectively telling people to stop talkikng isn’t heroic. We’re all here to listen, not just talk. But I have to ask what’s got people thinking we’ve ALL got this defeatist attitude and only live to suck the life out white people, why do people fancy that they know ‘us’ better than we do ourselves and why chide as you would to a troublemaking child?

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        By that logic, we should should be hyper-vigilant in ‘white areas’ since waaaaaaaaaay more whites are serial killers and pedophiles by the stats than anyone else. What a gross sentence, but you can say some really unpleasnt and unfair remarks when you make numbers work to nefarious ends, that’s my depressing point.

    • txmom says:

      Heh, if you knew any Africans up close you’d know there are some real headtrips about European colonialism, which still affects everyone on the continent!

      Talk to Africans who live in the US to get an African view of racism in the good ol’ USA. Africans in Africa are experts on… their home country, not ours. Africans may not especially identify with African Americans culturally, but they do sure share a lot of the same experiences. My kids’ dad is a Nigerian expat. He doesn’t think Black folks are making stuff up — he has a boss who asked him if he used to wear a grass skirt!

      By the way, the denial of your experiences TO YOUR FACE was the most startling reveal of racism in the US to me. I (a White mom to Black kids) was told authoritatively by another White woman that ALL babies’ eyes are blue at birth. I explained to her that my child’s eyes were brown at birth. She got a kind of peeved expression on her face and repeated, more slowly, that ALL BABIES’ EYES ARE BLUE AT BIRTH. She was looking at my dark-eyed 3-week-old as she said this!

      • SJ says:

        I had the same eye lecture with my in-laws. I am Indian origin, husband is English. They wouldnt listen when I explained that the ‘blue eyes at birth’ thing is only for certain ethnic backgrounds. It is what White people of their generation were taught, a type of universalism that all cultures/races can be related back to the european experience.

    • Naye in VA says:

      @ Annemarie
      My mother is a professor at my local community college. I will ask her. The the poster above me said I think it’s about catching the ones that are slipping and staying on top of them. My mom is pretty intimidating and super involved, so that may be why she has such a good turnout with her classes.
      What I meant by asking them what they really want is exactly that. Make them find out what they really want out of life and that they need to make a real plan to getting it. I’ll get some tips and I’ll find you on tomorrows afternoon links post

      • annemarie says:

        I’m looking forward to that, and thank you all for your answers. I also want to say that I’m pretty involved, short of stalking my students, I’m always on their case to finish well.

  17. J7 says:

    Why do people continually identify themselves as a ” black person”?? When you do this, you are automatically making a division. Just BE A PERSON – full stop.

    Do “white people” go around saying ” I am a strong white women”, “where’s the white folk food”, if chicken is served at a function, do white people say ” why are you serving food for blacks?

    OMG, stop. Enough is enough. Why cant people just integrate and try to accept each other?

    • Chordy says:

      A major part of white privilege is not having to be identified by your race. Black people are not the ones to blame for their oppression, and putting the onus of responsibility for ending it on them is part of systemic racism.

      • BangBang says:

        “White privilige”????? LOLOLOLx127363644. Please. That just shows how completley and utterly out of touch you are and how you wallow in your own victimhood. Please open your mind and have some compassion. For the entire HUMAN RACE.

      • Chordy says:

        I’m white. I just happen to have enough open mindedness and compassion to listen to my fellow humans when they discuss their lived experiences with racism.

    • cloud&feather says:

      Part of the purpose of saying/thinking “I’m a stong black woman” is because at one point, in America, being a black woman was the worst thing a person could be. At the bottom of just about everything. It wasn’t bad enough to be born black–it was worse if you were born a black female.

      You weren’t allowed to be smart, you weren’t allowed to be pretty, etc. For many, you weren’t considered a “real” woman in the first place since you wouldn’t have been considered human.

      “I’m a strong black woman” is a reminder that there’s nothing wrong with being black and female. Whether you respect the saying or not.

      If you want people to integrate (this has happened already, where the hell have you been?) and accept each other, you also have to start by reading up. You can’t leave that for “people” to do for you.

      You can’t come out with dumb examples like “do white people do xyz?? NO! So yooooou people shouldn’t” and then follow up with “acceptance.”

    • booger says:

      It’s only a matter of time before the “how come there isn’t white history month” and “why isn’t there a straight pride parade” comments come trotting out.

      • BangBang says:

        No but we can talk about why 80% of African American mothers are unwed, the culture of eternal victimhood, the way Jewish people have flourished under horrific circumstances, why black culture doesn’t promote responsability, learning etc etc.

      • cloud&feather says:

        @ BangBang: Just because you see examples of black people doing something specific (or not doing something specific) doesn’t mean it is endorsed by all black people.

        Because it is the culture for some black people to keep on feeling like victims and not being concerned with education doesn’t mean that it is “BLACK CULTURE!”

        What about the millions of blacks who are very interested in the education of their children and the continued education of black adults?

        They don’t count because of some ditzy ones you’ve encountered or imagined?

        Why do you assume the *negative* aspects to be indicative of the culture of an entire group of people?

        Because the examples of good are “few and far between?” That’s a good one, if you decide to go that route.

        Just because you see an example of something in your area doesn’t mean it’s the norm for others elsewhere.

        Jewish people have “flourished” and believe it or not, so have African Americans. To deny that would be pretty stupid. It is also not so smart to ignore black people trying to better their community with constant examples of “let’s talk about _____” as if black people never thought to do that on their own and are just sitting there taking and taking and not contributing a thing either for their own people or in general.

      • booger says:

        Dude. I’m not saying this to be a dick but with utter sincerity. Get help. Seriously.

        (bang bang that is)

  18. SandyStrange says:

    I am glad that QT is going full stop and really showing the brutality of slavery. It’s been sanitized for far too long. And I agree with other posters: he needs to do one about Native Americans. It’s almost a little sad that a director that is highly influenced by exploitation/camp films seems to more concerned about presenting accuracy/truth then the more ‘serious’ filmmakers out there.

  19. lambchops says:

    In my parents’ lifetime, they went to segregated schools. Their world was totally segregated. As their child, there is no way I believe racism is gone and we don’t see color anymore. Just listen to the junk Bill O’Reilly says about it not being a white man’s world anymore. It isn’t even thinly veiled how racist this guy is and he is on a major network. I am one generation away from Jim Crow in the South. My parents never had any close black friends and I have one. That’s sad. And it shows how segregated our world is and that we should not ignore tough race issues like the one this movie looks at.

    • booger says:

      You just don’t get it, lambchops. The titans of thought in this thread have proven that acknowledging systemic racism and demonstrating how it exists is in itself racist and a defeatist attitude! Also, that racism and discrimination experienced by a certain group of people is automatically null and void if people among them have been racist and discriminatory towards others! We should all just close our eyes and go about our days pretending that atrocities that are still being committed are nonexistent and that our world is a happy rainbow family!

    • PrettyTarheel says:

      I’m with you, lambchop. My dad remembers desegregation-he was in high school during that time. He played ball and developed a bond with black teenagers and they were his first introduction to another view of race. I think that’s why he manages not to be a total southern white supremacist dick all the time. Even with that exposure, and friends of other races and ethnicities, he still occasionally makes a comment that makes my head explode, without understanding that he’s being racist. I had to explain, in detailed language, that insidious racism is as damaging to a culture as overt racism, and would result in the denial of access to the only grandchild he will ever have (mine).

      Some of it is generational, and I do think people my age (20s-30s) are better than our parents. However, all you have to do is look at Facebook to know that we’ve got a long way to go. We STILL see young people flying the rebel flag, we STILL see teenagers calling the President of the USA a monkey, an N-word, and a host of other taunts. He’s the effing POTUS, he’s married to a badass, he’s apparently an awesome family man…HOW do you justify making him less than human? You want to hate on his policies, fine. You want to vote the other way, fine. You don’t have to like him. BUT using his race to attack him only exposes you as the useless POS you really are. He’s your President-pick your a$$ up and move if it’s so bad. Stop yapping about it.

      *Phew* Didn’t know I had all that anger still hanging around-I got a little off topic. Back to my point-there’s a lot of segregation left.

      Oh, and Booger-keep on keeping on.

      • lrm says:

        there’s also quite a lot of self-segregation/cultural and race wise, going on, as well.

        inclusion has to be desired by all parties involved.

        otherwise, tolerance it is. and perhaps that is the most realistic….
        whether religion, political leanings, cultural views, etc., sometimes ‘just getting along’ is the best strategy.
        i dont think ‘integration’ is going to happen on its own-from any angle/group.

      • PrettyTarheel says:

        @Irm…I have to respectfully disagree. People live where they can afford to live, and work where they can get jobs. If a significantly lower number of minorities live in a neighborhood, it’s generally for one of two reasons: 1) They are uncomfortable there because of their social experience or 2) a significantly lower number of minorities are earning the same as the default winners (white people). People are not choosing to raise their children in poverty/trailer parks/ ghettos-they are stuck in a cycle that self-perpetuates. This isn’t just for black Americans or POC. This is for all people living below the poverty line. However, the whole reason there are default winners is because of the centuries of oppression. It’s going to take a while before the balance is restored, because we, as white people, have had a hell of a lot more access for a hell of a lot longer than our minority counterparts. There have been 43 white male Presidents and 1 POC. Don’t try to tell there is a choice to self-segregate. There is a choice to avoid a history of oppression, racism, abuse, and violence, and there are a hell of a lot of people who are doing the best they can, living the best place they can afford, because that’s all they can get.

        We can’t correct it overnight. There’s no magic wand that will restore race relations to a default setting. There is only time, and effort to understand, and to say, “While as best I can tell, my ancestors were against the status quo, sadly my race wasn’t. I don’t support it, and I will not accept any attemps to continue racism.” I don’t expect it to be better in my lifetime. I fully expect that in 3 or 4 centuries, we might be truly removed enough to look at the racial situation as the past. For now…there are people ALIVE who heard MLK speak, who marched for their rights, who staged sit-ins. It’s an insult to their effort to try to sweep it under the rug, to blame it on the oppressed, or to make any number of comments I’ve seen on this post.

        ETA: Irm, you’re not the problem, and your post, while I disagree, doesn’t appear to be malicious. I’ve just seen a lot of comments on here today that are, as I’ve already said once, appalling.

      • lambchops says:

        When a respected main stream newspaper analyzes the president’s ‘swagga’, um, we’ve got a long way to go.

  20. Lindsey says:

    For those who are naive enough to believe that just because we have a black president that we have truly transcended race, do you also believe that when we have a woman president that sexism will magically end? Pouf, begone?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA @ you if you think so. The rise to power, be it economic, social or political power of historically marginalized peoples in this country has all but solidifed the naked hatred the “old guard” has always had for whichever group they’ve historically oppressed. I.e.: the plethora of men who hate single women and justify every kind of rape under the sun, people who are all too comfie saying they’d be more than happy to assassinate that “ni**er” in the White House.

    But yes, we’ve transcended race. Please keep f*cking that chicken.

    (and pardon my unsavory language)

    • booger says:

      According to the posters in this thread, sexism and racism will end if we pretend it doesn’t exist, because acknowledging it is “redundant”.

      I cannot believe that QUENTIN TARANTINO of all people is instigating topical discussions about racism, and forcing America to come to terms with an integral part of its history that it often glosses over. What has society come to? Is Guy Ritchie going to force us to address misogyny and rape culture?

  21. Lindsey says:

    One last comment and then I am out: For those few of you have resorted to “But the Africans sold their own slaves” and “Slavery started in Africa,” Let us acknowledge that slavery existed in pretty much any agriculture-based culture in SOME form, but that is not the point. What eventually became euro-american slave trade was a unique event in human history as it involved the enslavement of one culture, the near-extinction of another and the continued enrichment of a third.

  22. GrandPoobah says:

    I am very much looking forward to this film. I love Quentin Taratino’s style of filmmaking- its high camp, heightened reality, super stylized and usually extremely well written.

    I cannot wait to see Leo being a bad guy.

    As for all this racial blah blah blah, I’m a black woman. I cried watching Lincoln during the voting scene because it was a living portrayal of people essentially voting on the humanity of black people i.e. people like me.

    People posting on this board: please stop speaking to the African American experience if you are not African American. You couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to go through life with skin and hair that has been deemed unacceptable/lesser/animalistic by the majority in power for all of American history. My literal humanity is believed to be lesser by some of the people who govern me.

    • su says:

      ‘People posting on this board: please stop speaking to the African American experience if you are not African American. You couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to go through life with skin and hair that has been deemed unacceptable/lesser/animalistic by the majority in power for all of American history’

      MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. Its ALWAYS people who couldnt possibly share your experiences feel that they have the right to decry them. ALWAYS.

  23. Guest says:

    The Africans are the only ones who ever apologized for their SMALL part in the slave trade. No one else ever did.
    To update the unmarried black women stats. 87% yes 87% of black women will marry once by the age of 55. The unweds are high between 25 to 35 years. Many of us do not have children out of wedlock and by the way; there are over 30 million blacks living in NA. That translates into 30 million different types of unique personalities. We are no worse nor better than any one else.
    I loathe the simple generalizations; it is simply laziness.

  24. lucy2 says:

    I’m not a huge QT fan, but I like the cast and have been wanting to see it. All I’ve seen so far were 2 fairly campy trailers, but from the articles coming out now it sounds like this film is going to have a LOT to say, and to show.
    It truly is frightening what human beings can do to each other, and have done throughout history.

  25. dsfdsf says:

    There’s racism from all ways. Asians to blacks, blacks to Asians, Latinos to blacks, blacks to Latinos, Asians to Latinos, Latinos to Asians, whites to blacks, blacks to whites, etc.

    It’s not just one group of people with the race problem. It’s not all white, it’s not all black, it’s a little piece of every group.

    My moms Colombian, and she gets discriminated against. When she first moved here when she was 19, she lived in a mostly black community. And got jumped quite a few times. My cousins ( who are Spanish) live in a mostly black community as well, and have been jumped many times.

    That’s why gangs happen. People from different countries come here, move to a poorer area they can afford, and start getting harassed by the people already living there. Then they seek out their own kind, for protection.

    Racism is still alive in America, just like it’s alive in Europe, and the rest of the word. But it’s not just white and black racism.

    I’ve been jumped by three black girls in the bathroom. Got the crap beaten out of me. Why? Because, as one of the girls put it, “Your white. Your privileged enough.”

    By the way, I have a friend from northern Africa. Meet her in high school, she was a foreign exchange student. I remember one time, this girl trying to make friends with her, and calling herself a proud African american woman. My friends eyes went wide and she asked, ” Your from Africa? What part?” The girl said, no, but she was black, and her ancestors were from there. By the way, why are you friends with a white girl? Don’t you know what those people have done to us? So my friend said, ” Since your so proud to be African, you must have been there at least. You must know what it’s like, there’s a lot of suffering going on there, and I’m sure, since you love Africa so much, you have at least gone to help, like my friend here has.” The girl said, ” Well, no.” So My friend, as her final comment said, ” Then how can you be a proud African woman? You weren’t born there, you’ve never been there, you don’t have Africa’s blood in you. This girl here is more African then you ever will be, at least she’s gone to help. You, you in your ignorance hide away in America, and ignore Africa. You claim you and I share the same experiences, when you know nothing of what I’ve gone through, what my family has gone through.” This girl was so embarrassed that she rushed away. My friend turned to me and said, ” You know, I feel lucky to be in America. Where I came from, was very violent, a lot of suffering. I wish you Americans, of all colors, would realize how fortunate you are.”

  26. artemis says:

    Man, Leo is hot! Can’t wait to see Django.

  27. Gracie says:

    This is kinda OT but, dammit, why is everyone writing dissertations? Some of these stories are horrific, things I could’ve spent my little ethnic life (black, Latin, Native American, Persian) not knowing. And now y’all are giving me feelz. The bad kind of feelz that make you sad, and introspective. I’m in highschool right now and all I honestly knew about slavery, was that they made them work, and sometimes raped them. (That would explain all the light-skinned people in my family). And now I’m hearing about a mask and the origins of swear words, and its destroying my concept of slavery. Maybe that was you alls point?

    • kw says:

      Yes it was. The fact that you knew so little about one of the worst atrocities in human history, speaks volumes about the public education system,and how it’s attempting to white wash the history of this country.

  28. lena80 says:

    I can’t do it with this post, the white tears and the white privilege that SOME of you are shoveling is outstanding..it truly is. My favorites that made me shake my head in disgust “We have a black President” and “What about black on black crime”. Seriously people? Really? There is NOTHING that can be compared to the African Diaspora look it up and read about it and it’s effects ALL over the world and it’s effects that are still in play today. My God, google is your friend. And please to those White people (I’m NOT including ALL) that think Black people want your apology…F you.

  29. lrm says:

    the first thing i thought re kerry w. on the metal masks is: well, it’s not just black people who’ve had to wear metal masks and be flogged, throughout history….
    slavery has known no color/race bounds, unfortunately.
    Class and Caste systems considered….
    just watching Elizabeth I and II reveals some effed up medieval sh*t, and that’s just a period drama,, not the real thing….nor a historical doc.

  30. lrm says:

    also, i don’t really get why ‘black people ‘would not eat cheese and ritz crackers….
    just like ‘white people’ would eat fried chicken adnd watermelon….they are not particularly ‘race oriented foods’ at this point in time [yes,f[ie, daily standard fare for many people is not quite varied…and i grew up eating watermelon and fried chicken, in a very white, rural new england area]….although, i don’t eat ritz anymore, cuz i eat organic, lol.

    honestly-do you think catering at an interview has to serve the individual’s personal cultural and/or dietary tastes?

    that sound more like a celeb diva than a race issue, jamie foxx….

    i mean, anyone can make nearly anything into an issue, and use it to ‘back’ their story.

    there needs to be some objectivity. in one’s personal filter system.

    and, is his point that if they’d serviced watermelon and fried chicken,he’d think they were stereotyping?

    that’s just stupid. what he’s really saying is that HE makes everything in his life about race. And he’s also basically saying that ‘they’ [and who knows who ‘they’ behind the scenes even are-could be a very diverse group of folks in charge of catering services, and maybe there just isn’t any coordination between departments as far as ‘who are we interviewing and what should they eat’?

    Maybe everything does not revolve around JF and HIS life.

    i’m not a fan of him, though I do think he’s a fantastic actor.

  31. Amy says:

    It’s interesting, I was clued in to the “white man’s guilt” thing by my black roommate a few years ago. I don’t suppose every white person feels guilty (I’m white), and like the above poster said, a lot of black people don’t want any apology from white people.

    Well speaking as a white person, sometimes you just can’t help it! You look at the history of slavery and racism in this country and it’s all you can do not to feel guilty because you were born white and you can’t really ever understand the suffering black people went through. This is not something I will ever just shrug my shoulders at. Black people may not care that I feel guilty, but I am going to feel guilty all the same. Should I apologize for feeling guilty?

    • kw says:

      Don’t feel guilty, your tears mean nothing. Educate yourself, call out racism when you see it, speak out against policies like stop and frisk, speak out against the prison industrial complex. Work to promote equality and diversity. Do what you can to dismantle the system of white supremacy.

    • lena80 says:

      Amy you do not have to feel guilty. As black person, and I’m speaking for myself not all black people, I think just you simply acknowledging that it’s something you wouldn’t just shrug your shoulders at is enough, there is literally nothing you can do, just like I’m no position to take in abused children. You are human, there is no shame in being sensitive.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      You don’t need to feel guilty for what happened to them, that wasn’t your fault any more than it’s mine, but tears don’t steer the ship, so letting mourning thow a dark film over your life because of being overwhelmed, do something with it. Connect it to a passion–I used to be a piano teacher, which was a metric fktonne of dull. The only times I liked it were when I gave free lessons for a couple of hours once a week for special needs kids.

      Funny story: once of my students (she was six of seven at the time) always made me read a story in her piano primer about George Frederic Handel’s boyhood at the end of the lesson. Handel loved music, his father was adamant that he become a lawyer. Secretly, his mother and aunt procured and stashed a used spinnet (really small, really quiet keyboard) into the attic so he could pratice at night without his father’s knowledge. One day, there was a school concert and the presenter asked her to talk about Handel’s boyhood.

      She Said:

      Handel’s father didn’t want him to play, so he practiced all night on an old spinster his mommy stashed upstairs in the dark.

      I nearly peed myself. From rotary club to mean streets.

  32. sfdsfds says:

    “It is a popular misconception that slavery in South Africa was mild compared to America and the European colonies in the Far East. This is not so, and punishments meted out could be very harsh. From 1680 to 1795 an average of one slave was executed in Cape Town each month. Decaying corpses would be re-hung around town to act as a deterrent to other slaves. ”

    Tulbagh code:
    A curfew existed for slaves, who had to be indoors by ten o’clock at night. If they were out later they were required to carry a pass and a lantern.
    Slaves were not allowed passage through the streets of Cape Town on horseback or in a wagon.
    Slaves were forbidden to sing, whistle, or make any kind of sound at night.
    Slaves could not enter public houses or bars
    Slaves could not congregate in groups on public holidays.
    Slaves were not allowed to wait near a church entrance during service.
    Slaves could not stop to converse on the streets of Cape Town, at risk of being publicly caned.
    Slaves who made false claims or insulted freemen of the Cape were to be punished by public flogging and to be held in chains.
    Slaves who proffered violence to their masters were to be put to death, no mercy may be shown to such offenders.
    Slaves were not permitted to carry, or own, firearms.

  33. lbeees says:

    Long thread– just a few thoughts:

    As a white woman, I try to give every person I see the respect they deserve as a human. That’s me doing my part to recognize you (whoever you are) and your worth. Eye contact, a smile, and a ‘how is your day going?’ —We teach by example. Teach respect by example.

    As for some of the posters questioning why people identify themselves as black, I say, go for it. Black and proud. Say it loud! Empowerment is the ideal.

    Just my two cents. Now I have to go take out my laundry and study for finals!

    Good luck on this thread everyone. Don’t stay here too long or you’ll go crazy!

  34. sasa says:

    I have read through the whole thread- some very interesting and useful discussion. That’s the kind of thing that makes issues eventually better, airing stuff out in the open.

    I think both sides of the argument are right. Yes, it’s neglectful to not acknowledge racism. And yes, dwelling on negativity doesn’t produce progress. However, two rights don’t make a right in this case.

    The way I see progress being made isn’t by distancing ourselves from atrocious things and assuming moral high ground. Or by perpetuating the problem in a circle of racism.

    It’s by accepting the fact that we are the very same people who tortured, killed and belittled other people throughout the history of mankind. We are evolving and what was acceptable then isn’t acceptable now, but dramatic changes don’t happen over a century or two.

    We all still carry the potential for evil. Which is a word with arbitrary meaning and I’m using it here to describe acts that hurt others, for whatever reason. Usually it’s not being evil for the sake of being evil but being misled or having pack mentality tendencies or whatever. Doesn’t make much difference for the person on the receiving end.

    Once we come to terms with humans being generally flawed (which seems quite natural considering the feats we put ourselves through for the sake of progress, real or imaginary) the issue of skin color looses relevancy.

    There is this prevalent (miss)concept that if you take personal responsibility for the sins of humankind you are bound to be swollen by the negative thus failing in being a progressive, tolerant and open minded human being. I think that only after you feel the burden as your own can you truly start working towards making it better.