Category Archives: Movies

The Modern Day Black Buffoons

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Black actors and actresses such as Steppin Fetchit, Rochester and Hattie McDowell all playing buffoons or mammies in the movies of yesteryear was being discussed after Morgan Freeman who stars in the movie “Evan Almighty” was stated to be in “Full-on Magic Negro Mode” by Slate magazine. Prince Joe Henry who wrote an article called “Evan Help Us” where he states “However, those aforementioned blacks were heroes to the black masses. Their gifted antics relieved stress in time of need. They taught blacks how to laugh at themselves while under duress, as well as joke about how they were treated. At times laughable quips served better than medicine.”

Now I have to admit that blacks were under a tremendous amount of stress as we are at this time. So to have a way to blow off steam was and is a great idea, but I am wondering at which point did playing the buffoon turn into a repetitive ongoing role. It seems that we have just as many or maybe even more buffoons today than in the past. We have our Michael Epps, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Tyler James Williams, Anthony Anderson and oh so many more who no doubt are totally accustomed to playing our modern day buffoons. Unfortunately the females are in the running as well becoming so adept at playing the Hattie McDowell mammy character like Queen Latifah, Oprah, Whoopie Goldberg, Nell Carter, Rah Digga just to name a few.

We just don’t seem to get it; we are either playing the role of savior to whites, their worst fear or comic relief. What is wrong with that, it seems that we are getting a variety of roles within these parameters so again what’s the problem? The problem is that we don’t have many if any roles that portray a black person who is in touch with their roots. Yes we have our Will Smiths’, Denzel Washington’s Don Cheadle’s and Morgan Freeman types playing the leading black male etc. The problem with the roles these black males are playing is that they are racially ambiguous. It would be so easy to slip in a Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck into the role and the character wouldn’t change just the way the acting comes across.

Whenever you hear about blacks playing the buffoon or whatever black stereotype you can name, someone says that they had no choice if they wanted to make it in films or that if they didn’t do it someone else would. Why, is all I can think of, why is it that they had no choice you always have a choice? No one forced them into these stupid roles. If they and or any other black being offered these roles had some integrity then NO one would have played or will ever play these idiotic roles that always seems to be affixed to black people. Being that it’s all about me with most people, if one of those aforementioned actors didn’t do it, then you are damn sure someone else would have.

If an actual film or television show like the one portrayed in Bamboozled, you probably could get some “all about me” blacks to dress up in black face and put on that minstrel. Then sure enough you would have a gaggle of blacks watching and see nothing wrong with the show and in fact right now a bunch of people reading this see no problem with the roles these blacks are pushing on our community. What I think is that as a community we should own our persona and take steps to protect it. This will ensure that the black people especially children will have some positive role models.

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Sicko Bashing

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What is it that makes people so resistant to socialized health care? It couldn’t be that privatized is so much better. Maybe it’s the money that privatized health care is lining so many big wigs coffers. Michael Moore has a new film called “Sicko” which is all about the American health care industry. A lot of people are talking a lot of trash about it and Mr. Moore. Whether you like the guy or not, I think that our health care system needs to be looked at; no more than that, this system needs an overhaul.

You can’t deny that there are way too many people in America without the benefits of health care, it just so happens that my family and I are some of them. It is hard since I have a baby and he needs to see the doctor every two months (at least), and those guys ain’t cheap. Well anyway, I was reading a review of the movie called “One sick flick” written by Peter Foster in which he gives Moore a bit of a bashing for his portrayal of the health care industry being driven by dollars. Well isn’t that the goal of these corporations? They wouldn’t stay in business otherwise. He called the movie “an attack on the American way of life (my laughter here). Why is pointing out a problem attacking, shouldn’t it be that he is exercising his freedom of speech to shed light on a growing problem (and I don’t mean his prostate)? But, I guess what Peter Foster is doing is the American way, bash the squeaky wheel until it falls off, don’t bother to oil it.

I find it interesting that those who have healthcare are the first to cry that nothing needs to change about the system, leave it alone. Is that another case of “I got mine, now you go get yours” type mentality? I would hope that everyone even this Peter Foster can see the benefits from some type of universal healthcare. I know that everyone will cry “but it will bankrupt us”, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before and I say hogwash. It hasn’t bankrupted France, Britain, Canada or even Cuba for that matter amongst others.

In the movie Moore actually takes a bunch of the 9/11 ground zero workers, who by the way have no health care, to Cuba to get the care they needed but couldn’t afford here in America. I guess that is an attack on the American way as well, you have no right going elsewhere for treatment, you stay here in the US and kill over from your sickness. Same thing we always hear, don’t buy your drugs from Canada or Mexico they aren’t safe. But, aren’t the drugs in Canada and Mexico made by American companies? Yes, I believe they are, so are they telling us that they are giving those people substandard drugs and the only safe stuff is here at home where they are twenty times more expensive?

Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to get a whole lot of answers out, just more questions. But, until we do something drastic, all we will have is questions like why did that person die from such a simple ailment. But we all know that it won’t make any difference to most people with healthcare until that question strikes home and they lose their precious health or healthcare.

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