Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Selma Critics

     Can I get real about the LBJ part of the film? I do not get all this whitewashing of history -- that the march was LBJ's idea? Why did I go through the 60's and 70's thinking that the highest office of government wanted MLK to go away and indeed they may very well have been in some way responsible on some level for his assassination then. I appreciated that the director chose to put that chilling scene where LBJ picks up the phone to call FBI director Hoover in the movie. It left that real question that was being thought and the dread that people of color and white anti racist allies recognized and truly felt then.
      I appreciated that it was made clear to the audience that being able to talk to the President, having access to powerful people made King vulnerable not more protected because that's a truth that people of privilege do not know but many people of color who have been in similar situations know to be true -- that King's life choice was as dangerous and isolated as could be. That, in fact, King was safer with the grassroots peoples -- who all faced violence together -- than he was by himself in the white marble halls of power with suited men with handshakes and smiles. I liked it when the film showed King and his other national organizers going into towns, received by the local organizers -- like in the breakfast scene, so real that many people of color could feel that welcome and camaraderie and the smell of breakfast, as well as the scene when the local organizers were guarded about King and other national organizers sweeping in and the consequences they may be left with when the national organizers returned to Atlanta. Who hasn't been there if they are people of color and organizing. 
     There were so many truths captured by this film and shared with those who could not know, no fault of their own, the back story, the inside story, the feelings. It's hard to tolerate these critics, whining because of some whitewashed factoid experienced by them from their own corner of reality is left out and in doing so are blind to what jewels have been included that they didn't know? Please! It's a big enough story; make your own film. Make that film that puts the clergy who answered King's call the center of a film. Hell, if you want to make LBJ the hero of the Civil Rights Movement rather than a President trying not go faster than he's ready and failing because even a President cannot control the extent of HATE and VIOLENCE Alabama police meted out, and a President cannot control the decent folks who stood up when called to put their lives on the line, many from clergy, fine. Make that film. It deserves to be told -- (about the clergy, I mean). But dammit, so does Du Vernay have the right to tell this one. If you are going to be swine missing the pearls which the wonderful director of this movie chose to include, I feel sorry for you, but please stop your damn complaining. Let us enjoy the sweet moment of a two hour film which actually captured what we remember and which transformed a nation.

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.