Can White Movie Racists Redeem Themselves?

We seem to prefer big-screen bigots unrepentant or dead at the end.

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The Green Book movie poster (Photo: Universal Pictures)

If we reject the idea that a racist leopard can change his spots, then what hope do we have in a post-George Floyd world?

For the three aforementioned films, a common complaint has been how easily racists are redeemed at the end, as if a few heartwarming gestures can solve systemic racism. In each film, a character begins the movie an unrepentant racist, recognizes the error of his racist ways over the course of the running time, and ends up changing for the better. The end.

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Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya in Queen & Slim (Universal Pictures)

I wish the blogosphere would start picking more challenging targets, like To Kill a Mockingbird. In the overrated 1962 classic, what a White lawyer endures to defend a wrongfully accused Black man somehow makes him more noble than the Black people of the time who had to go through much worse simply for existing.

In the end, it’s a matter of personal taste, but I wish the blogosphere would start picking more challenging targets, like To Kill a Mockingbird. In the overrated 1962 classic, what a White lawyer endures to defend a wrongfully accused Black man somehow makes him more noble than the Black people of the time who had to go through much worse simply for existing. No wonder it’s been so beloved by White audiences for decades.

Written by

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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