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Django : racist or misunderstood ?


Django a movie about a runaway slave turned free man stirred up lots of controversy in the news. Filmmakers such as Spike Lee came out to speak against the subject matter in the hit movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. Well Spike Lee speaks out against everything these days, but the overall consensus was Django was racist. Some went even as far to say that it was disrespectful to the black community how Tarantino filled the script with the big no-no that is the dreaded "n-word". This may be true but coming from an afrocentric family who taught me at an early age about the struggles of my ancestors, to my surprise I seen this movie to be the complete opposite of racist !

I would like everyone to know slavery isn't pretty. It was never meant to be politically correct, it was harsh, it was savage. I went into this movie expecting to see racist subject matter because honestly you don't get any more racist than slavery. This should be obvious to everyone but its either people forgot the conditions of the era, they are easily offended or they are just plain old naive.

Quentin Tarantino although comical at times put together a movie that was an accurate depiction of slavery down to the dynamics of the relationship between blacks and whites. He had everything in there from the runaway slave, the abolitionist white, the idiot ideology of the klan, the slave trader,and the house negro to name a few. I was amazed at scenes portraying social dynamics such as the "we sick massa" stockholm syndrome of the house negro in relation to his master.

Its easy to see how the movie would offend people. Scenes like dogs ripping a black man apart being held down by a group of white men were gruesome. Is this racist ? Yes. But you must understand this ACTUALLY happened in those times and way more frequently than Quentin Tarantino can show you or will choose to show you in Django. Like I said numerous times this was an accurate portrayal of a gruesome era often swept under the rug as some sort of an urban legend with the current generation. Yes white people said Nigger, just because its in every rap song now please let us not forget where the word originated from. Quentin didn't fabricate this into the timeline of world history.

This movie isn't all about the atrocities of slavery though...there lies the twist. Most of the time it is actually empowering because of the historically inaccurate role Django played in the movie. Django wasn't some broken man like Chicken George in Alex Haley's Roots, he was a runaway like Kunta. Django defied the expectations of the racist clowns he encountered as a free black man. He was able to look his white counterparts in the face and speak freely. This was mind boggling and a complete departure from what we are used to seeing from  movies placed in that era. Quentin Tarantino pulled off a spaghetti western starring a black man, that in itself has never been done. Spaghetti Westerns have a history of being inherently supportive of things such as Indian encampment (amongst other overlooked bigotries in American history) starring America's pride & joy Mr.John Wayne or our Republican homie Clint Eastwood. Little subliminal things such as Django burning down massas house with the house negro in it or Django whipping his former overseers, had an ironic underlying message that I think most of its critics completely missed. As an afrocentric young man I can say with the utmost confidence that I wish I've seen more movies with a black protagonist in that era playing such a powerful role. This one is a must see

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