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‘Django Unchained’: The fallacy of famous detractors’ uninformed criticism


Some manifestations of white privilege are so self-indulgent that black America finds itself struggling to understand their implications long after they sink into our collective psyche. This may prove to be the case with director Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained – even for those people who have not — or will not — view the film.

It’s already haunting Tavis Smiley and Spike Lee, two respected black thinkers and cultural contributors who famously refuse to partake in the current Djangofascination. These two men, staunch and fearless advocates of justice and progress in black America, are not unjustified in their assessments of Hollywood and Quentin Tarantino; however, neither man can be taken seriously if their analyses of Django Unchained are defined only by bias and presumptions.

Let’s take Lee. “It’d be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors,” the legendary director said in a Vibe interview approximately one week prior to the film’s Christmas Day release. But, of course this is just one blip in a long-standing beef between the auteurs.

Lee has been extremely vocal in critiquing Tarantino’s fascination with the word ni**er. “I’m not against the word, (though I am) and I use it, but not excessively,” said Lee in a 1997 interview with Variety. “And some people speak that way. But, Quentin is infatuated with that word. What does he want to be made — an honorary black man?” It can’t help that Django uses the word over 100 times.

Tavis Smiley, one of the films most recent and vocal detractors, also said in an interview with The Daily Beast that he didn’t have to see the film to form a valid opinion.


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One Response to ‘Django Unchained’: The fallacy of famous detractors’ uninformed criticism

  1. Yonah El Reply

    February 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

    It is a movie. It came from Hollywood. Get over it.

    I saw the movie with an open mind because life has provided me with a unique perspective.

    I am a proud american. I am also appalled at the historical insanity that was part of the founding, growth and development of this country.

    Unlike some people, I have learned that you can like somethings a person does and dislike other things and end up with a confused relationship with that person that is both good and bad. There is a place between all and nothing. Life is not always and either, or proposition. There are degrees of compatibility that at times seem difficult to fathom, but nevertheless they are there.

    We live in a country where white people openly disrespect the president and the office of the president because he is black. ( But they will never admit it )

    They get away with it because they are white. This country has billionaires who make their money by taking advantage of people and it is legal. This country was built by slaves who were never paid and now their is a movement to rewrite history and lie about the founding fathers and slavery because it makes the country look bad…

    A black cop (Chris Dorner) who attacks other cops (his enemies) is mentally deranged, but white cops who attack and kill black people on a regular basis (black person killed by police every 36 hrs) is acceptable conduct.

    This is a country of contradictions and this was a movie about contradictions.

    It was/is entertainment. It was just that. What I saw was a spaghetti western set on the backdrop of slavery. The wronged hero who gets revenge was black. He rode off into the sunset after unleashing a carnage of blood and revenging himself on those who dogged him out. He had no compassion for people who supported the efforts against him either. He dispatched them with equal passion.

    End of story. Everything else is just stage props and commentary. The idea that someone black can do the things we have seen white people do for so many years is just a coming of age story that you take with grain of salt. (Okay, maybe a few grains)

    If you really want to see an accurate portrayal of what happened during those days, you will have to wait for another fifty years, because even though black american would only cheer to finally see and hear the truth,

    White America is still too afraid and embarrassed by the true story to let it be told.

    They have real problems letting a blockbuster movie be made with a black lead who is a true hero in his own right.

    This country for all its purported greatness was built on lies, deceit and legalized inhuman torture and systematic abuse of black people.

    And they are still living a lie and refusing to accept the truth that it was done and even today it is having an effect.

    It is so much easier to ignore it. Hope it will go away and in the meantime, talk about something else, even if they have to make something up… Their good at that.

    As for those who do not want to see the film on ethical grounds regarding disrespect for out ancestors… That is their prerogative. I will not challenge their decision, but, if they choose to critique the movie, for the sake of reality they should see it first,or just say no.
    As for the word “Nigger” people have gone crazy about this word. All of a sudden it is a crime to use the word.

    I am curious about what we should do with other words in the dictionary that have more than one meaning?
    The definition of a word is determined by its context. I love all my real niggers. I always have, and I always will.

    This country has so much potential… But we must get passed the lies. We have to learn to accept the truth about our history and shout it from the mountain tops and as for forgiveness. Then, let the healing take over.
    It we do that, we could really lead the world and people would cease to reject us…

    And movies like DJango wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

    But as long as we lie about our own history and continue to promote political deceit ….

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