Someone told us it would be fashionable to make play houses out of playing cards and we proceeded to build mansions out of miniature card stock. For the gratification of an accomplished gaze and the adulation of easily impressed onlookers who, with one misstep or haphazard movement could cause a gust of wind that would send the house plummeting to its destruction, we labored for approval. Those who beckoned to touch our creation got revoked for fear that the invention was too delicate to be handled by one who was not akin to its architecture, so we kept what was ours in solitude choosing isolation over injurious handling.
The holocaust of slavery is too delicate a subject to be mishandled by those who are not akin to its architecture because an injurious touch, or irresponsible mishandling of it by those who can’t directly identify with its systemization could cause destructive ramifications to the socio political context in which it should be viewed. This skewed viewpoint would cause onlookers who are easily impressed by mishandling and misinterpretation to undo the construction of the humane perception of slavery, that it is diabolical and denigrating, causing them to view it lightly. Someone or something told Quentin Tarantino that it would be fashionable to wrap his socially irresponsible cinematic hands around the delicate card house of slavery and he destroyed the sensitivity surrounding the tragedy.
Shock factor cinema should never be employed when attempting to depict a time period that was inherently gruesome and grotesque in the nature of it being a dehumanizing system. By further agitating the wounds of slavery that have already been agitated by the insidiousness of the slavers, you end up offending the oppressed by directing with gasoline when you should be directing to extinguish inflammatory innuendoes and stereotypes ignited by emblazoned bigots. He depicted the supreme bigot, played by Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, as an intellectual and sadistic overseer who in good conscience incited a slave to be savagely torn asunder by maniacal dogs, and obsessed perniciously over watching two Mandingos beat each other barbarically, gouging eyes and cannibalizing flesh for the sole purpose of his twisted entertainment.
If a film were made about the Sandy Hook massacre that was excessively graphic, showing bullets riddling the defenseless bodies of innocent children, showing limbs getting mutilated and faces getting marred beyond recognition from bullet fragmentation, America would be in an uproar. Moreover, what if the Sandy Hook movie employed comedy where compassion should be and riveted laughter through the rhetoric that should rivet empathy? What if the killer referred to murdered children as scum, routinely said they were sitting ducks and called the premeditated killing target practice? What if the Americans that enjoyed the film contended that the excessive torment was excusable because the film maker was trying to capture what actually happened during the massacre? Human rights groups, children’s rights groups and the government would assert that no filmmaker has the right to exploit dead children of a catastrophic mass murder. It would be considered inhumane, distasteful, disrespectful to the families of the deceased, and a blasphemous gesture.
However, that is exactly what is being said in defense of Tarantino’s audacity to depict slavery with the same exploitive graphic grotesqueness. We would call a filmmaker insensitive to the sanctity of massacred children’s memories, demented callous, and un-American, but we call the film maker who blasphemed slaver courageous, groundbreaking and thought provoking. What gives any human being the right to be so irresponsible with the tactless depiction of another race’s atrocity? Quintin Tarantino took the card house that is the sanctity of murdered slave’s memories, which belong to their descendants, and mishandled it causing it to crumble turning the sacrament, which is our ancestor’s sacrifice, into a demolition grounds. Undoing the image of slavery to those that residually belong to it is as criminal as undoing the image of god to those that worship him.
A message from the author, not Kinshasa.