White amerika is very adept in making entertainment out of its own sins. In doing so, it gives the impression that it has learned from these sins, relegating them to the past. It also trivializes them, numbing current generations to their real impact.
As a Black-made film with radical implications, “Get Out” is a challenge to white amerika, but it can also be easily absorbed, all with the veneer of liberal hipness. It would be a shame if the radical implications of this film are lost.
The film is a powerful indictment of white supremacy as a parasitic system that literally colonizes the minds and bodies of Black people in order to feed and sustain white privilege. The film can be experienced literally, as a thriller about a cult family in a bizarre, wooded suburb, as a racialized “invasion of the body snatchers”. Or it can be read metaphorically, with this family and suburb representing the parasitism of white amerika itself. It is this latter interpretation that leads to radical implications.
White amerika does indeed feed off of the suffering throughout the “third world”, colonizing the minds and bodies of millions upon millions of people of color who labor in the fields and sweatshops that provide white amerika with its unsustainable, privileged way of life. Why are grocery stores here always overflowing with bananas, coffee, sugar, food when billions suffer malnutrition? Where does the cobalt in white amerika’s vaunted high-tech devices come from? Who makes these devices? Who makes the clothes? Who picks the bananas? Who mines the raw materials? Desperate people forced in back-breaking, mind-stunting work do.
The circumstances that force people into their bodies and minds being vehicles in the service of “first world” privilege– are– in many instances– consciously, intentionally imposed upon the “third world” by the US government and its auxiliary organizations (e.g. IMF and the World Bank). Just as consciously as the wicked mother who hypnotizes the protagonist in “Get Out”. The US has consciously overthrown democracy after democracy in the “third world”, from Iran and Guatemala, the Congo and Chile, to Haiti and Honduras, just as it has consciously sought to “neutralize” revolutionary movements within US borders, from the Black Panthers to the American Indian Movement. This being done, no doubt, by imperialists who would have voted a “third time” for Obama. The rest of us here in the “belly of the beast” (including those of us oppressed by patriarchal, white supremacy) pay taxes so that the parasite system may expand while we so often mindlessly consume the suffering of others, distracted by the latest video games and shit for sale on Black Friday. Or whatever. Overpriced devices in a glass Apple store.
How is this feeding frenzy upon the suffering of hundreds of millions all that different than the parasitism of the freakish white family and suburb in “Get Out”?
Are we serious about “getting out” of this sick system? Or are we just playing, acting hip, dropping names and making posts on social media? It’s time for more than just a few of us to answer this question in the affirmative.
If we are serious, the answer is revolution, true revolution, not just ramming deer antlers through a pathological character in a movie. It means joining up actively with the many “third world” revolutionary movements already in motion, from Lavalas in Haiti to Via Campesino, from Black Lives Matter to the Standing Rock resistance, from the immigrants rights struggle to the Palestinian national liberation movement, from radical LGBT struggles to revolutionary feminist movements the worldover. It means moving to destroy the plantation system from within. Only then, will we really be able to “Get Out”. As Audre Lorde said, “the master’s tools will never destroy the master’s house”.