• My Black Best Friend™

    There's a blog post over at Abagond that focuses on the "Black Best Friend" trope that pops up constantly in the media (and in real life, too.)

    You can read the post for yourself, but I'll just skip to the meat-and-potatoes of the whole post:
    It goes beyond mere self-centredness on Wilson’s part. While Muharrar is hardly Wilson’s slave or Mammy-style servant, Wilson still sees Muharrar according to the same broad pattern that goes back to slave days: 
    • as someone who is there to serve white people,
    • as someone who is not fully human in her own right. 
    “Not fully human” might seem a bit exteme, yet it is Muharrar’s very failure to be a cardboard cut-out stereotype, it is her very humanness, that disappoints Wilson. And, in the end, it is Wilson’s unwillingness to see Muharrar as a person in her own right that ends the “friendship”.
    Nail, say "HI" to the fucking hammer.

    For generations, blacks have existed under benevolent white stewardship as, well, servants. They were brought over to this wonderful land we call "Home" for the expressed purpose of serving whites, more specifically the white upper classes who could afford to maintain a stable of these not-fully-human human beings. The ones who couldn't were encouraged by the Powers That Be™ to use blacks as a punching bag and a soothing balm for their own shitty situations, so they wouldn't do anything rash like, well, revolt against their socioeconomic condition.

    Like all "good things," this one couldn't last forever. The end of slavery as America mostly knew it meant there wouldn't be any more blacks who'd be inclined to continue serving whites, unless they didn't have much of a choice. Let's give a hearty welcome to "Jim Crow," ladies and gents. He'll be staying with us for the next 90 years or so. And as long as blacks were triple-fucked by prohibitions on jobs, housing, political power and social movement, and given a last buggering by continuous propaganda of supposed general inferiority due to ethnic and generic composition, they'd have no choice but to continue being "the help."

    Well, ol' Jim couldn't last forever, either. Not even when those nice fellers in the white robes and pointy hats gave him a heart transplant and a doctor's order for more exercise. Black folks got tired of being welcomed when they were "the help," but treated like dogshit everywhere else. In spite of what Jim had put into place, blacks gained political power via protest and activism, and eventually, the world got to take a good look at what Jim did with America's decor (it was a fucking mess.) Even the Soviets got a good laugh or three out of it. The nation's collective ego and facing a choice between Martin Luther King Jr.'s non-violent movement and the very-much-so violent movements encouraged by others, America finally sent ol' Jim, at this point drooling and rather senile, to the nursing home. Black folks didn't have to be "the help" any more.

    These days, it's Jim's beloved grandson, James Crowe, Esq., who's trying to make blacks being "the help" fashionable again. The guy's got Hollywood agents on the phone cooking up new movies treading the same "Magic Negro™ swoops in and fixes Everything™" or "white guy saves black community/civilization/village from themselves and Certain Doom & Destruction™" water. I'll admit, I have yet to see this "The Help" movie, so I'll reserve judgement until I do -- I tend not to watch movies until they've hit the DVD bins.

    Loved the video. Loved the ending. Black folks are seldom considered fully human, just human enough to "help" whites whenever they need themselves or something else taken care of.

    Americuhhhhh, you need to find somebody new.*

    *Yeah, yeah, they're kinda doing that with Hispanics, Mexican immigrants, specifically. It won't last, either.