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My Rant: Ghostbusters

Okay, watch this. I’ll wait…

Done? Good!

What. The. Fuck?!!!

I wanted to be excited about this, I really did. My best friend is a huge Ghostbusters fan! I had big plans of going to see this with him, eating a metric ton of popcorn, and having a really great time in the theater. Granted, that still might happen, but…

What the whole fuck?!!!

At a time when racial tensions are as high as I can remember in my lifetime and racial sensitivities are as razor thin, as evidenced by the steam coming out of my ears right now, why, oh why, did they decide to make the black character the “street smart” one?! It’s totally cool to re-imagine the original characters as women (mild applause) but we couldn’t race swap one of the scientists? Really?!!!

“Oh, there he goes, playing the race card! Not everything about race, Derrick! It’s just a movie! Relax!”

No… I will not fucking relax! And fuck you for telling me to, imaginary person that I know actually exists!

Representation matters. It’s 2016. Representation matters more than ever. The presumptive Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States of America won’t disavow a known KKK leader. These cinematic representations that make black people seem intellectually inferior to white people stoke pre-existing assumptions that allow people like him to dismiss whole segments of the society.

I don’t want to take my kids to see yet another movie where a black person is the fool. We should be beyond this type of coonery.

On the heels of the second consecutive super white Academy Awards ceremony, someone should have had the foresight to say it does no service to our industry to have a beloved franchise become a minstrel show.

Friends, I’m all for comedy, I really am. But the optics here are so disturbing to me that I can’t find the humor. Dusting off old negro stereotypes and calling it a character is lazy writing and bad comedy. It’s not funny to be continually represented as unintelligent. It’s not funny to have black spirituality mocked on screen for the umpteenth time. It’s not fun when you have to gut check yourself while watching a trailer and ask “am I just being overly sensitive or am I and my culture being disrespected… again”.

I’m angry. More than ever we need representations of black excellence, black dignity, black autonomy, and yes, black power. I know it’s just a trailer. Maybe we’ll see more that will give some hope, but right now, I’m having a hard time imagining supporting this with the little cash that I have.


About derricklweston

Father of two. I co-host God Complex Radio, a show highlighting progressive voices in the faith community. (godcomplexradio.com) I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. I like lots of stuff. Sometimes I write about that stuff.


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