Monday, October 3, 2011

The Help

I've been in the States long enough to get awfully self-conscious about race, the whole black and white thing. So I tiptoed into The Help, having been told by the critics that it was a feel-good movie for white folks.
Actually, it seemed quite tough to me. Of course, almost all the white folks except for our heroine had to be vapid and mean, the black noble and stoic. But, my conservative friends, that's how it was in the good old days. If you weren't quietly noble and stoic while being black, you might well land up dead.
One thing struck me, right at the start. The first question our heroine asks the black maid, presented as the most poignant question, is: How does she feel spending her days looking after another's children, not her own?
Well, right now a multitude of mothers, Honduran, Philippine, Mexican and more, may not be looking after other folks' children, but are scrubbing their floors and cleaning their windows all to make a better life for their own children back home. Their dark-skinned, mostly pint-sized husbands and brothers are sweating away in our yards and fields, rattling along in another language, so handy for us, liberals with a conscience, because it does distance us from their problems.

If, as the comics say, Moslems are the new black, then you could say that these folk, who have been more like an accustomed grey in our lives but now face a growing anti-immigrant world, are definitely getting blacker all the time.

1 comment:

  1. This is so on the money. I wish everyone could read our words and thoughts.