'Get Out' Proves America Isn't Post-Racial
If you haven't heard already, the movie “Get Out” managed to unsettlingly scare the hell out of eager viewers this past weekend. It raked in millions at the box office.
And while writer and director Jordan Peele has said he wasn't aiming for political correctness, it's safe to say the film spoke volumes about overlooked flaws in society.
Most notably, Peele uses this movie to highlight how much we aren't living in a post-racial society, even though some of us believe we are, due to the fact that we elected a black president.
Now, if you haven't seen this thought-provoking film just yet, this may be a bit of a spoiler: We are introduced to our black protagonist – yes, you heard that correctly – who is visiting his girlfriend's family at their estate.
Just when you think his girlfriend has some next-level racial awareness, she gives us the racial explainer black people know all too well: She tells him her dad would have elected Obama for a third term if he could.
Her father makes it a priority to voice this as well. This is a lot like when people say they can't be racist because they have that one “token” black friend.
Conversations like these seem innocent, but if you have to make such an effort to show you're not racist by explaining your “good deeds” toward black people, it's a little sketchy.
Additionally, during this outing at the parents' house, our black lead encounters several comments that feed into stereotypes.
He is complimented on his muscles and build, and even questioned about his sexual prowess. These are all lingering stereotypes black people have to unwillingly wear every day, before they're even able to show who they really are.
Our lead's girlfriend's mom performs hypnotherapy, and we are transported where one goes while this is being performed: the sunken place. The sunken place is depicted as a state where you are stagnant and have no control over your body, even though you can hear and see what's going on around you.
Seems harmless, right? But think about it in this light: With the overwhelming stereotypes of black people plaguing society today, black people are seemingly put into this sunken place involuntarily because they have no control over the pre-existing judgements of their body, attitude or even their entire race.
The perpetuated standard of “blackness” – like all those insensitive comments our protagonist faces – is a lot like hypnosis. In fact, it's so much so, black people even feel obligated to fulfill these stereotypes.
This “hypnosis” or societal spewing of who black people should be can be jarring, and it can even ultimately form self-hate and disapproval.
In the same way the protagonist, Chris, was convinced he could sink into the floor, black people have been convinced to sink into themselves because one's skin is all that matters. It dictates how you're placed on the totem pole of society.
What's even scarier about the film is the fact that it also permanently detaches black people from themselves. There is never a real explanation why black people have been chosen for this “experiment.”
Racism works in the same way.
There is no reason for it, and unfortunately, it makes people co-exist with unexplained hate. Not having the answer why something like this exists is almost as bad as the FACT that it exists.
While this movie was rich with a lot of metaphors, the idea of us not living in a post-racial society stole the show. It really put into light our ignorance following the Obama era.