Monday, March 06, 2006

Pulling George's Coattail

Last night when accepting his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, George Clooney made an interesting statement. In response to the notion that Hollywood is out of touch with mainstream America because of its strident liberalism, he said that he was proud to be part of an industry that discussed issues and made films that pushed in social change.
In one notable example, Clooney praised the Academy for bestowing an award on Hattie McDaniels at a time when she was still forced to sit in the back of the theatre. Well, I hope that someone will remind George that the same Academy later denied Ms. McDaniel burial in the Hollywood Cemetary. Still I appreciate his intentions, and I have faith that he is esconced enough in his liberalism to openly acknowledge his ignorance. How mad can I be at him when I sincerely doubt that many of the Black actors in that audience themselves did not know that?
And I hope while the Hollywood elite celebrates the Best Picture win it gave itself for the self-congratulatory film "Crash," it will occur to someone that, yes, in fundamental ways it still remains out of touch with mainstream America. After all, Academy voters have yet to realize that the majority of Black people in America are not so hungry for their acceptance that we celebrate the nomination of our actors in the most stereoytpical of roles. As they party hearty over the win of the contrived, heavy-handed, and at time unrealistic treatise of race in LA called "Crash," many Blacks are mortified this morning that they bestowed an artistically mediocre and purposefully misogynistic rap song its highest honor.
Sorry, George, the Academy is out of touch in ways that should not make you proud at all.


AfroerotiK said...

Are many Black people outraged that an artistically mediocre and misogynist song got Oscar's highest accolade? I wish we were. Star Jones proclaimed how happy she was it won on The View. I think most black people were just happy to see Black people win and had no concern over the fact that pimpin was being glorified. I give Mr. Clooney credit for being one of the most outspoken white voices that is willing to speak out about issues of Black concern. Could he be better, more informed? Yes. I'm not going to knock his hustle, pardon the pun, because he's doing more than most. I do think we need to hold our own community accountable for their blind and mute support of a song that didn't deserve any recognition at all.

Unknown said...

I agree. Calling out white racism and holding our own people accountable for the internalized racism they broadcast are not mutually exclusive. Sadly, so many people don't understand that. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "Why do we care so much what White people think?" There is reason to care, but never mind them. What about the rest of the world, starting with our own youth?

I'm also tired of men of color who call themselves progressive attempting to politicize the misogyny of their less socially conscious peers in the name of racial uplift. How often long are sisters supposed to swallow our feminist complaints to prove we don't "bash" our men and play into white supremacy's hands before the brothers start to reciprocate the love and hold each other accountable? I'm at the point where if you can't call out a misogynistic brother even if he does things to women you would never do, you have no grounds to call yourself a "good Black man." If you look the other way or attempt to rationalize when another Black man engages in oppressive behavior towards Black women, sisters, then you are an accomplice. No more excuses.