The Ghost of White Privilege
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're altogether ooky...
Each year in America around this time we all indulge somewhat into the hysteria of Halloween. There is something fun and exciting about the "Big Scare."
We tell stories of ghostly events to help evoke and embellish this emotion of fright. We've long celebrated fictional characters such as Jason and the man wit the hat and claws, Mr. Krueger. There's even a hit show called "American Horror Story" that teases our pallete for those horror junkies (If you haven't seen it, you're doing life wrong.). And while most would agree, they are all fiction; it still presents a thread of realism and possibility. It begs the question, is this fake or realistic fiction?
One of the most horrific and scary times of our country's history is slavery and the lasting impact it has on the country.
Unfortunately, this isn't a fictitious account of history. It really happened. From throughout the 1800s, to Jim Crow, to the civil rights era, people of color and other minorities suffered greatly through these times at the hand of spooky white oppression. The film Saw was the remake of the real life events of the horror film Emmitt Till. His body was marred and mangled. His mother said when she finally saw his body, she could see through his head from one side to the other. That's not even the scary part. The scary part is that decades after his death, his accuser said she had lied about the events. He was innocent. FRIGHTENING!!!
The Purge series was just a copy cat of the factual decimation of an affluent black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1921, an affluent black community was rioted with privilege as their community was burned to the ground. It left over 300 black people dead and businesses destroyed. But, that's not the scary part. The most horrific scene of this real-life film is that nothing was done to right this wrong until 2001.
The crime: your skin is your sin. It was Nightmare on America Street. White Privilege Boulevard seemed to be the only street of safety. There was a group of people who even regularly dressed for the occasion. They'd wear these white sheets with hoods and, in true Halloween fashion, terrorize anyone not on the boulevard.
Fast forward to now, many would like to believe that things are different. And while many things have made us better, I contend that many things are still the same.
There was a hit movie called the Ghostbusters, where a team of 4 would find ghost lurking in a more modern society, where many believed ghosts weren't real. They'd seek out these ghosts and capture them. In a similar sense, many feel that the progress that has been made took away all the privilege and now there's equal opportunity across the board. But, in the spirit of Rosa Parks when asked to give up her seat, I say, "Nah."
And even now, in 2017, the legends of gore and horror have been upstaged by new characters in new films. Now playing, is the privilege of an NFL owner to make a statement such as, "inmates don't get to run the prisons" in response to a peaceful protest by NFL players against police brutality. Up for an Academy Award, is the privilege of a misogynistic, sexist, and racist guy who helps himself to a handful of p***y while ascending to the highest office in the land. Scared yet? Or how about the blockbuster hit of mass shootings by a "lone wolf" or "disturbed man" instead of a "terrorist." It seems that Jason's mask has come off and Freddy no longer looms in nightmares; his movement is full throttle in reality.
There's no debate to be had on whether white privilege existed. In my opinion, there's no question if it still exists. However, if I were to play along with those who contend it no longer exists, just like Freddy, Jason, and the white-hooded good Christians, it may be gone but the haunt of it lives on. It's just changed costumes for the new present-day films... Happy post-Halloween. Boooooooo...