Yeah, I thought I was over and done with Django Unchained, but apparently Django Unchained isn’t done with me yet.
Tell me you agree with Q.T. when he says, “When you look at Roots, nothing about it rings true in the storytelling, and none of the performances ring true for me either. I didn’t see it when it first came on, but when I did I couldn’t get over how oversimplified they made everything about that time. It didn’t move me because it claimed to be something it wasn’t.” I won’t agree with you, but I’ll concede you and Q.T. have a right to your opinion (though how the storytelling in Django Unchained “rings true” escapes me).
You can even tell me Django is a masterpiece, isn’t supposed to be historically accurate because really, nothing else is either and we should be happy to see so many Black folks getting work and getting paid to get their asses whipped and fed to dogs.
I’ll even agree with some of that.
What I WON’T agree with is I was wrong about my original contention that Quentin Tarantino is a race hustler who thinks he has a ghetto pass to say and do whatever he wants in his depictions of Black people because he’s a hip White guy. Art is supposed to be provocative, but this is simply exploitative. Selling slaves as action figures is some SICK-ASS SHIT and you do it only for one reason. The same reason slavery was put in place: PROFIT.
Consider the possibilities. Little kids can play Calvin J. Candie and make Django and Stephen “Mandingo fight” or act like they’re selling Broomhilda or strip her naked and throw her in just call them “nigger” all day long. Sic the dogs on that lazy slave’s ass or whip ’em into line. The possibilities are endless!
This is not bad taste. It’s not even poor taste. It’s exploitative junk. You’ve heard of war profiteers? This is slave profiteering. Quentin Tarantino might not sell Black human beings into bondage, but for $54.99, he’ll sell you a toy of one. Everybody plays the fool sometime but only a complete fool support a race mercenary who pimps the oppression of an entire race for a buck.
Malcolm X wasn’t a film critic but he was highly skeptical of the benevolence of well-meaning White folks when he said, “I’ve never seen a sincere white man, not when it comes to helping black people. Usually things like this are done by white people to benefit themselves. The white man’s primary interest is not to elevate the thinking of black people, or to waken black people, or white people either. The white man is interested in the black man only to the extent that the black man is of use to him. The white man’s interest is to make money, to exploit.”
Malcolm was wrong in lumping all Whites as being motivated by selfish self-interest and he wasn’t thinking specifically of a cheap race hustler like Tarantino when he made those remarks.
But he could have been.
- Quentin Taratino Responds To Spike Lee: “Django Wasn’t Real But Neither Was Roots!” (v103.cbslocal.com)
- Slaves For Sale: “Django Unchained” Action Figures Released (newsone.com)
- A Glamberous Review: Django Unchained (glambergirlblog.com)