Top Five Reasons Black Panther was Problematic

Let me just kick this off by saying that I really wanted to like Black Panther. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I went in excited and hopeful. I was not preparing to hate watch. I was excited about a Marvel movie that truly represents minority struggles and social justice issues revolving around masked oppression.

But it fell short, and this is why:

Issue one: Despite its advanced technology and incredible level of intelligence, the process of choosing someone to govern Wakanda was based on primitive practices. It’s ridiculous to imply that even though their scientific amelioration is superior to that of the United States, they can’t develop a more democratic or at least less violent system of government. The idea that the biggest kid on the playground gets to be king is dated and uncivilized. It perpetuates the idea that minorities are nothing but “savages.” This is one of the central stereotypes that I was hoping the movie would help debunk, but it just supported it.

Issue two: Terrorist attack scene. An African man yelling in Arabic and promising to murder a woman he has kidnapped and “forced” into a scarf. Last time I checked, they do not speak Arabic in that area. This was absolutely unnecessary. It contributed nothing to the plot, and it had nothing to do with the overall theme. This was a movie about the African American struggle in America. That’s wonderful. More of that, please. However, it is impossible to make a successful social justice film while perpetuating a stereotype that affects a large chunk of the African American population. The bulk of the Muslim community in America are African American. Instead of representing them, this film solidified the perception that they are nothing but violent religious fanatics.

Issue three: The idea that the African American community needs a country across oceans to save them. I would have loved to see the Black Panther be an American-born person who rose to the top to save his own people. We have so many bright and talented kids in this country. Validate them, please.

Issue four: It doesn’t make sense that a country on a different continent would get involved with African Americans, when life in their neighboring countries is beyond awful. The most impoverished country in the world is the Central African Republic, closely followed by Congo and Burundi—all African nations. It is neither logical nor fair for help to be extended to the United States when there are issues far more pressing going on right at home base. Aside from this, there is a serious displacement that African people who move to the United States face upon arrival. Fact is, they are often shunned by the people with whom they are “supposed to” belong, and they suffer the same injustices African Americans face without being accepted in their own community.

Issue five: It also felt like a lot of the funny moments (which were admittedly hysterical) were a distraction from the moments where the problematic issues were most pronounced.

In regards to casting and special effects, the movie was absolutely spectacular. Every actor was perfect for the role and played it excellently.

However, it felt as though this movie was more about finally having a black superhero than promoting social justice.

I haven’t experienced that big a cinematic let-down since HP6.

But that’s another story.

Be. Racist. Do. You.

Let me begin by stating that this is is no way a post about the horrors of racism. I am not tearing into my vocal cords to preach about equality and fairness and all those wonderful–or perhaps awful–things, because I refuse to waste my time. Racism is what it is. Please, go on to be self-righteous, bigoted and deluded.

Be racist!

I am, however, asking you to have the common courtesy not to add people on social networks and then proceed to bash their cultural, racial or religious affiliations right in front of them. If you absolutely have to deal with said group of people, at the very least fake it. Have a little class. It is extremely trashy to become friends with someone and then offend them. If you no longer use “teen” when admitting to your real age, you should know better.

That is aside from the fact that it can get you seriously hurt and throw off the balance of even the simplest daily tasks or routines. Many, many people have a much lower tolerance for bigotry than I, and most of them don’t hide behind sardonic remarks and backhanded compliments to make a point.

Again, I don’t say this because I want everyone to sit in a circle and chime “kumbaya.” That isn’t the issue at hand. People who are racist remain racist even when acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Yes, physics lies.

Newton didn’t know very much about white supremacy, yet.

Or maybe he did. I didn’t know him very well.

And because I wanted to use a more provocative title, I did not use my preferred, cleverly unclever, title for this post: “Racism Rears its Repulsive…Retinas.”

Yes, retinas. “Head” didn’t exactly fit.

I am addicted to alliteration.

Blame whitey. He/She/It fucked with my poor ‘lil head.