New York Times Maureen Dowd columnist made a big mistake last week: she reported the truth about the Left’s latest sacred cow, producer Oprah Winfrey’s box office disappointment “Selma.” The film falsely and needlessly defames President Lyndon Johnson as a villain, and Dowd had the temerity to say so.
According to Salon’s Brittney Cooper, reporting the truth only reveals Dowd’s “clueless white gaze.”
New York Times critic Maureen Dowd saw “Selma” last week “in a theater of full of black teenagers.” Her ethnographic impressions of the “stunned” emotional responses that these D.C. teenagers had to seeing four little girls blown up in an Alabama church basement and watching civil rights leaders viciously clubbed during a march in Selma reek of the kind of voyeuristic and clueless white gaze often used to devalue and pathologize urban youth. They become fascinating objects of study to those who don’t get to spend a lot of time with them.
And it is precisely these kinds of impressions from white people, the inability to make sense of genuine black emotion, the inability to recognize what filmic representations that respect the interior lives of black people actually might look like, that have contributed to the disingenuous backlash against the Selma film. …
Perhaps Dowd is hypersensitive about the alleged “artful falsehood” in “Selma” because racial politics in this country are a frequent and unrelenting exercise in “artful falsehoods.” That electing a black president signaled the end of racism is an artful falsehood. That police really care to protect and serve black and brown communities is artful falsehood. That racial progress is linear is an artful falsehood. These are the pretty little lies we tell ourselves to make the fictive narrative of America–the land of life, liberty and justice for all– cohere.
And then under about 17 paragraphs, Cooper reveals this…
As I have listened in my blackademic circles to the various critiques of the ways that “Selma” did not get the story right, I am reminded that for those who are caretakers and guardians of black history, artistic license feels too risky.
Yep, people are people.
Defenders of “Selma” do have a point. Many films twist history without facing the blowback “Selma” has.
“Selma” was as hurt by its timing as it was by its lies.
America is just tired of being race-hoaxed. After two dreadful years of Obama, Sharpton, Democrats and the media race-hoaxing America with Trayvon and Ferguson and Oprah’s Swiss purse adventure, we are exhausted by audacious lies and emotional blackmail.
And then “Selma comes along and again *sigh* lies about race.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a moral force behind his great cause. The film depicting his greatest triumph betrays King’s legacy by doing something immoral: portraying LBJ in an unjust way. The people behind “Selma” also bought into and spread the Fergsuon “Hands up, don’t shoot” lie.
King stood for what is right and just.
“Selma” tainted its own moral authority by spreading dishonesty. And the film’s friends are doing the film no favors with an Oscar campaign based on emotional blackmail.
The result is that “Selma” feels less a tribute to King than an attempt to exploit the great man to further the ongoing Race-Hoax Express.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC