Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Where are the white folk?

So the movie Harriet is all the buzz.  As usual, media outlets now serve as marketing tools for movies rather than simply give the movie makers a platform to promote their own craft - and then use their critics to laud or tear apart the given product.  Sometimes you wonder why studios need an advertising budget when the news media will do the job for them.  I'm thinking of Game of Thrones or Bohemian Rhapsody.

Well, we have yet another 'America's racist past and the heroes who fought it' story.  The subject is, of course, Harriet Tubman.  Now that could be a powerful movie about a pivotal figure in America's history. But so far, based upon the previews I've seen, I have to ask - where are the white people?  At least the good ones who helped her out on the Underground Railroad.  We Ohioans are proud of the Underground Railroad and our state's role in its mission, so it's something I have to ask.

Clearly, based on the movie, her flight to freedom via the Underground Railroad plays a major role in the picture.  Yes, freed slaves and black Americans certainly helped the Railroad's success.  But it was typically white Americans fighting - and risking much - who compromised much of the Railroad's activity.  I'd think something so key to a story would at least have someone in it who is white who is not itching to murder or beat them some black slaves.

Yet so far, in the previews at least, I've not seen any.  Maybe in the actual movie there will be some.  Since I likely won't see it, I won't condemn it outright.  I will say that if whites are not represented fairly, accurately and evenly, then it would be no different than a movie that dealt with the Tuskegee Airman that had an all white cast.  I won't rant and rave until I find out from those who have seen the film.  But I just send this out as a curiosity.  Especially since, if there are no white (men) who are seen as positive characters, it will obviously be intentional.  I would think it would need to be seen as a negative.  But that's just me.

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