Jordan Peele's Get Out is certainly America's movie of the moment...and deservingly so.
BEWARE...THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE, COME BACK LATER!!!
I'll admit that when I heard that half of Key & Peele's comedic duo was doing a horror movie about racism in America, I was annoyed. I scoffed thinking it was yet another ploy by the man that shucked & jived for years on Comedy Central for white frat bro's to make bank at the expense of Black caricatures. IDK. Call me crazy, but that's all I got from watching his show. However, after hearing rave reviews and seeing reactions to the movie on social media, I decided to take in a late night showing of the #1 movie in the country. I still feel like Jordan is exploiting Black people with this movie and think a large majority of it's success is because of that. Regardless, the movie left me throughly entertained and still has me experiencing "a-ha!" moments while deciphering it's subtext.
As far as the social commentary in Get Out regarding race and, specifically, liberal racism, here are some of the messages that stood out to me most:
1. WHEN A BLACK WOMAN TRIES TO WARN YOU, PAY ATTENTION
Y'all! This one took me a minute to get because of the subtlety. Georgina was literally spilling the tea!!! Even from the depths of her sunken place, this woman was trying to regain control of herself and come through with the assist in the name of all things Black. Granted, there was no way that Chris would've been able to gather a legitimate warning from a "simple accident", but the attempt was astounding.
Black women truly are everything and will save your ass every time. You just have to be willing to listen.
2. SEEKING WHITE APPROVAL LEADS TO THE LOSS OF SELF
I get it. Smoking is bad...but...
SO WHAT! We all have our own vices and they are what makes us who we are. Unless Chris was extremely ambitious about quitting and already decreasing his daily intake, he shouldn't have allowed someone else to "get in his head" and make that decision for him. Relationships, from the most basic to the most intimate, are come-as-you-are. Attempting to change for someone else's approval is a recipe for a disaster and Chris's eagerness to undergo hypnosis as a bid for the approval of Rose's parents is a prime example of that.
3. "THEY" BELIEVE THEY CAN HAVE TO ANYTHING THEY ADMIRE
Black people are amazing, yes. This is true. I can't blame anybody for admiring the things that effortlessly make us great, as a people. I can, however, take issue with objectifying specific traits of Black folk and feeling a sense of entitlement to whatever those may be. We ain't for sale. Ain't no "buy one, get one free."
The idea of white people shopping for Black bodies and culture -- picking at the most "desirable" meat and tossing aside the unwanted bones that serve as a foundation of individual being -- is something that specifically struck a chord with me. This is consistent behavior that has managed to water itself down from the days of physical inspections on the auction block to the appropriation of Black cultural nuances by people that have never stepped foot into the communities in which they flourish. The way this notion is depicted in Get Out was incredibly clever.
4. THE APPLE NEVER FALLS FAR FROM THE (HANGING) TREE
Even I wanted to believe Rose, y'all. There was some part of me that actually thought that she was going to end up going toe-to-toe with her own family in order defend this Black man for the sake of their love. HA! The betrayal and disappointment was all too real.
While I'm not saying that it's completely impossible for someone with racist parents to be 100% "woke", I do believe that more often than not that just isn't the case. People are creatures of habit and shaking the awful indoctrination of racist rhetoric learned throughout your formative years might prove to be quite a task. Even in if there is some "woke" in you, there are microagressions that may subconsciously occur given your upbringing. It's simple logic and, though all the signs were there, Chris blindly believed Rose's loyalty belonged to him and that almost led to his downfall.
5. THOSE FLASHING LIGHTS WILL PROBABLY NEVER SAVE YOU
You know damn well, as a person of color, that if you ever find yourself battered and bloody in the middle of a suburban street with an equally battered and bloody white woman when the cops pull up, you're going to fucking jail...if not worse. Rose was gearing up to play the victim because she knew her privilege in the situation and was going to use it to her advantage.
Honestly, this is one of my biggest fears when it comes to interracial relationships and one of the main reasons I've never been willing to give it a try. I've been in situations where white people have used their privilege to get over and it really sucks. So, to see Rose's plan backfire when she was so sure things would work out in her favor was the biggest sigh of relief. When those blue and red lights pulled up to the scene, I just didn't think Chris was gonna make it. Thankfully, there was a plot twist that saved the day. If only all interactions with authority by African-Americans ended this way....
...then again, it's a only movie.