Psst! Slaves? We’re Calling It Even….
OK, howsabout a little test, shall we? The other day a well-known political pundit offered the following remarks about this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, Twelve Years a Slave :
“There’s no way that movie was not going to win!… There was no way — it didn’t matter if it’s good or bad; I haven’t seen it — it had the magic word in the title: Slave.”
My question for you readers is this: Concerning the opinion that this film has absolutely no merit (despite this person not having seen it), but that it was awarded the Academy’s highest honor simply because it has the word “slave” in it and thus addresses issues important to black people, which is more likely, that this view was expressed by a left-leaning person or a right-leaning person? Is not the answer obviously the latter?
(You can click here to discover who voiced this view.)
Now I would contend (with scores of others) that the idea that the Academy basically affirmative-actioned its Best Picture award by bequeathing it to an obviously undeserving black film is a rather racist point of view. I mean, no one said that the only reason Jared Leto won Best Supporting Actor was because he is white (although I’m sure plenty on the right think he won solely because he played “a gay”). Further, Leto actually beat out the black dude who played the Somali pirate in that movie about Somali pirates. If the pirate guy had won, would it have been because he’s black? If so, why didn’t Leto win simply because he’s white?
Are all right-wing types racists? Yes. Yes, they are. Just kidding, of course they’re not, that’s not the point I am making. My point is more subtle: While all conservatives are not racists, most racists are conservatives. I consider this to be pretty indisputable.
In fact, I’d like to broaden that claim.
It seems to me that the Christian Right in this country somehow manages to come down on the wrong side of almost every issue imaginable, regardless of how removed it may be from overtly religious concerns (and by “the wrong side” I mostly mean they adopt the least compassionate and most unmerciful of all available options).
Should we eliminate the minimum wage? Yes.
How should we treat illegal immigrants? As harshly as possible.
Should we seek a way to expand Medicare to cover all Americans? Absolutely not.
Should the federal government pass laws to curb pollution of the environment? No.
Should we drill for oil in ANWAR? Yes please.
Should taxes be directed toward helping the poor? Nope.
Should corporations be given the freedom to harm millions of people in order to raise their profits? Sure, why not?
With whom may we justifiably be at war? With any country a Republican president chooses to invade.
Et cetera, et cetera.
Look, I’m a Christian myself for crying out loud, and even I have a hard time stomaching discussions among fellow believers when political or cultural issues arise, so I can totally understand why the stench of my religion is repugnant in the nostrils of non-religious folks of the more compassionate variety. And I must say that I find it extremely ironic that the most oft-leveled charge against the Religious Right by its opponents is that they fail to uphold the second-greatest commandment of the divine law.
In a word, people dislike conservative Christians because they refuse to “Love Thy Neighbor.”