Here’s a question I’ll try to get around to answering if I can make it to the movie.
I just saw the Gridiron Gang last night, and I have a question. Am I being disloyal to the white race because I really enjoyed it when the black kids kicked the asses (metaphorically speaking) of the white kids in the final game of the season? Not that I feel like I should root for the white kids over the black kids, but shouldn’t I root for racial harmony, and if it comes down to a metaphorical race war (which it did, I think) then how do I make sense of the fact that I wanted the black race to win?
UPDATE: Saw the movie last night, and have some thoughts.
Dear C McC,
Young Black Movie Mens (YBMMs) don’t play the same role in the white liberal psyche as Actual Young Black Mens (AYBMs) do, and therefore your feelings aboutYBMMshave a complicated relationship to with your feelings about AYBMs, about whom you’re very ambivalent. You want the AYBMs to do well in the world, because you’re a compassionate person and you don’t want to have to worry about what responsibility, as a white person, you have for what you assume is their tragic black plight. You’re also afraid of them, particularly when they look gangsta and it’s late at night, but you also suspect that what you assume is their hostility for you is historically justified by the oppression inflicted on them and their ancestors by the white race. And then, of course, you resent them because no one likes to feel responsible for the depredations of the white race, and you’ve always been very respectful of black people and always thought that Martin Luther Kind Jr. was a great man.
What’s happening in Young Black Men Overcoming Adversity with the Help of Tough but Fair Father-Figure Teacher-Coach Type Movies (YBMOAHTFFFTCTMs) like Gridiron Gang is that your feelings about AYBMs are split. The fear and resentment is projected onto either the Other Young Black Men Who Are Too Far Gone and Who Are Trying to Bring Their Brothers Down (YBMWATFGWATBTBDs), or onto the Racist Privileged White People Who Have No Respect or Compassion For Black People (WHITEYS).With thefear and resentment tranferred to Those Other People (TOPs), you’re able to experience a purified hope and good willfor the Good Black Kids (GBKs) and you can achieve a nice catharsis when they triumph over the peer pressure of the nihilistic blacks and the contempt of the soulless whites.
More to come…