Get Out is a taut horror thriller from Jordan Peele, famous as half of Comedy Central’s sketch comedy duo Key & Peele. In Get Out, Peele makes his debut behind the camera, directing fresh-faced Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror, Sicario) and Allison Williams (The Mindy Project) with his original script. But rather than comparing it to horror classics, I found it instructive to compare Get Out to another story with a relationship at its center – 2015’s film adaption of the hit musical The Last Five Years, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. They’re both masterful in the way they use characters to hone a sense of perspective. And Lord knows, when it comes to racial issues, evangelicals could use a healthy dose of the black perspective.
So one of the problems I see in our political discourse, is that we often use the same words but mean different things.
And nowhere is that problem more vexing than in our discussions about race. It’s been a problem for a long time, of course, but ever since the election of Donald Trump, there have been a fresh round of arguments springing up on cable-news pundit panels, message boards and social media feeds. And the typical argument goes something like this:
Progressive: [Insert recent news story] is a clear example of racism! That [incident, action, statement or idea] is racist!
Conservative: No, it isn’t! Why do you make everything about race? That had nothing to do with race. [Insert person at the center of story] is not a racist!
Progressive: You don’t know what you’re talking about! Your denial of racism is racist!
Conservative: You don’t know what you’re talking about! Your accusation of racism makes you the real racist!
Rinse and repeat.
This is a response I see a lot… all the time, in fact.
I saw it in response to the Ferguson shooting, but honestly I’ve been seeing it for years… decades, perhaps. It’s a common response from white people who don’t understand why everything is always about race with you people.
So I thought I’d write about it.
It may be miles and miles away from where you live, but Ferguson, Mo. is closer than you think.
This national embarrassment, this ridiculous cluster-you-know-what, is terrible, virtually indefensible on so many levels. But the seeds of this atrocity were planted a long time ago. What’s worse, they’ve been planted all over our nation.