The Fraudulent Narrative Of The Movie “Butler”
It’s easy to support past struggles, long after their victory, long after police beatings, arrests, long jail sentences and long after all the spilled blood has been washed away and disappeared from public view. You can even feel good about yourself for taking such progressive and tolerant positions – about those past struggles. Slavery? You wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say how horrible it was. Segregation, Jim Crow, lynchings? How could they do those things? Concentration camps for Japanese Americans? That was just so wrong.
But, when it comes to today’s struggles, now that’s different. Those protesters are just a bunch of radicals who don’t appreciate what a good country they live in. They want jobs? There are jobs. They’re just lazy and don’t want to work. They want living wages? How could companies make money if they paid their workers such high salary? “Occupy” streets? Do they realize they’re going against our first black president? Now, that’s racist. We should be proud that we’re past racism, not protest. Some people will never be happy. Those protesters are breaking the law and disturbing the peace and deserve to be jailed.
The movie “Butler”, like others like it, shows sympathy to blacks fighting against racial injustice and for equal rights, in the 50’s and 60’s. It shows how some college students refuse to sit at their designated spots in a restaurant and how ordinary white people taunt, insult, spit at, and physically assault them. The makers of the movie have no problem showing their empathy for those assaulted innocent young men and women. They even admit that they were “fighting for the soul of America”, which is a code word meaning: “Whatever the past was and we agree some parts were ugly, America makes amends and redeems itself”.
At the end, the movie shows the butler, who served the presidents at the White House, all his life, come to understand and empathize with his son who, unlike him, always stood up against injustice and struggled against it. That’s quite a position to take, until you notice, how they choose to end the movie. Both the butler and his rebellious son are thrilled to see America’s soul saved by the election of the first black president. The movie ends by showing the butler in tears as he watches the news of Obama winning the presidency, while an excerpt of Obama’s speech plays in the background, ending in “yes, we can”.
Yes, we can sympathize with past struggles that saved “America’s soul” and made it more perfect. Yes, we can elect a black president that serves white billionaires in much more meaningful and effective way than a black butler ever could at their dinner parties. Yes, we can tell the world: we’re past racism now because the person who orders bombings and assassinations and aids apartheid and does what large corporations want him to do and okays spying on protesters is a black man. Yes, we can.