Anyone who has been examined America’s history of racial animus understands that it is impossible to effectively argue against the assertion that Race changes everything.
The voluminous shadow of Race has and always will impact every aspect of American society. I make these poignant assertions with full understanding that this latest generation of Americans includes many individuals possessing copious amounts of optimism regarding the closing of a centuries-old racial divide. The alluded to naiveté is in a word, cute.
When I encounter the purveyors of such thought, I point them towards a daunting history of Race that effectively refutes their optimistic worldview. If such persons studied Race in America, they would realize that their current actions that amount to little more than being cordial and friendly to other racial/ethnic groups are nothing new. In fact, the Civil Rights Movement was full of moments where black, white, and Jew joined together in a concerted effort to break down the cultural/religious barriers separating them. Obviously, such overtures failed as racial animosity remains the single-greatest social problem facing Americans. It is reasonable to assert that racial discord is the stitching that holds “Old Glory” together. Although difficult to accept, the most strident attempts of our countrymen to lessen Race have been an exercise in futility because this nation is ravaged by Race in some form or fashion.
One needs to look no further than the highly-anticipated Marvel film Black Panther to garner the depths of how Race impacts every segment of American society. As crazy as it sounds, Race has constricted the minds and imaginations of what is permissible in the genre of Science-Fiction/Fantasy writing. Yes, Race is such a formidable opponent that it makes its presence in the fantasy world that houses the Ryan Coogler, directed film Black Panther. This highly anticipated film is the 18th movie emanating from the Marvel comic book world.
The moment that I saw the initial trailer for Black Panther, a voice in my head stated that this film was destined to polarize this nation for a host of reasons. I knew that an irrational population of whites would oppose the screening of a film focused on a black superhero and the requisite black supporting cast, but I also predicted that someway/somehow Black America would also divide itself. My intuition was correct as a segment of White America, a populace that knows no more about racial matters than their darker-skinned brethren, cried foul and advanced ridiculous arguments that asked African-Americans things such as “How would you feel if we made movies with white superheroes?” I paid little attention to such drivel as it is a reliable sign of willful ignorance regarding American racial matters. I am confident that you understand that I was more concerned with the reaction of my community to this big-screen debut.
Although it seems like a funny thing to say, the truth of the matter is that I know my “brothers and sisters” and fully expected that a significant portion of them would find something wrong with Black Panther. Anyone who has dealt with the so-called conscious community realizes that their search for conspiracy theories and racial paranoia lends itself to irrationality. Put simply, they are seeking an “Aha moment” that will explain why white Hollywood allowed this black superhero to reach the big-screen; for this crowd, profit motives are an insufficient explanation. The alluded to rag-tag band of pseudo-intellectuals and revolutionaries would most certainly find some way to educate us to the fact that Black Panther was a covert attack against African-Americans. As usual, my people did not let me down and offered irrational criticisms of the film such as:
- Michael B. Jordan’s dating of a non-black woman compromises the worth of the film.
- The Black Panther fights against other persons of African descent in the film. Obviously, this is social programming designed to encourage the black-on-black violence that is occurring in black neighborhoods.
Considering such asinine arguments, assertions, and positions, there is scant room to argue against my assertion that Race has driven this entire nation crazy.
The furor surrounding Black Panther proves that American racial matters are so pervasive that they exist in the comic book world. Let’s face facts, Race rules the minds of most Americans, it always has and always will. And unfortunately for the few sane individuals existing in this nation, there is not a darn thing that they or anyone else can do about it.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2018