I just viewed Captain Phillips and must take a moment to express my extreme outrage regarding the film. It was the most overtly, disgustingly racist thing I have viewed since The Lord of the Rings. It is racist propaganda, straight up. It is films like this that rile up us crackers, making us get out our hoods and lynch our way through the inner city, and perpetuates the vicious, racist stereotypes that rightfully enrage the African American community. Were it not so vital to get out the word about this nasty film, I would have popped a handful of roofies to erase the awful memory, just like I do whenever cognitive dissonance rears its ugly head.
While the film purported to tell the true story of an American cargo ship being attacked by a band of Somali pirates, the way the tale was told makes me doubt the entire veracity of the underlying events. Have the true details of the event been lost down the bowels of Faux News and the right wing American media complex? As we all know, history is written by the victors, in this case Captain Phillips and the American military.
The first thing I noticed about the film was that the hero was a stereotypical white man. I guess the idea of an African American ship Captain was too much for the American public to accept. Can’t have another African American getting an Oscar, now, can we? And there wasn’t even a woman on the crew at all. Do they expect us to believe it is still bad luck to take a woman on a boat? I thought that kind of thinking went out of vogue with Roe v. Wade. But that was just the beginning. Once the story got going, the first thing I noticed was that all of the Somali fishermen were African American. Every one of them. Come on, casting director. Did you think no one would notice this lack of diversity? Really? They set up the typical ‘white man good,’ ‘black man bad’ narrative right from the start.
And, as if this wasn’t bad enough, the African American Somalis were portrayed as vicious, drug abusing criminals who weren’t even smart enough to remember to bring their shoes with them rather than the humble, peaceful fishermen I suspect they really were. If I have learned anything from my study of history in college, it is that all uncivilized, non-capitalistic societies are peaceful, loving, egalitarian utopias, and Somalia can certainly be no different, despite how they may be portrayed by the racist American ‘media.’ And even if there happened to be a few bad eggs in the Somali society, the film didn’t even attempt to explain their behavior based upon their obvious victimhood from American slavery and white oppression. Have I mentioned that for years I have been in favor of sending Somalia reparations for slavery to mitigate just this kind of thing, but I digress?
Not only was the ‘white good – black bad’ narrative clear from the start, the white hero was blatantly racist in his perception of the unfolding events. When Captain Phillips saw the Somali fishing boats approaching, what was his immediate reaction to them? His first assumption was that they were pirates wishing to do him harm, even when his military advisers told him they were probably just harmless fishermen. And why? Based upon nothing but the color of their skins and their automatic weapons. He leapt to the immediate conclusion that dark skinned people were bad and wished him harm, merely because they possessed weapons with which to defend themselves. Somalia has been reported to be a dangerous place, after all. The Somali fishermen wouldn’t want a diverse group of pirates to come and take their catch of the day, after all. But, just like a white guy clutching his wallet a little more tightly when he passes an African American ‘business man’ on the street, the white Captain immediately assumed they meant him and his crew harm, and the audience was supposed to follow him to the same conclusion as well. Insidious.
Throughout the film, the Somalis repeatedly say things like, “I love America” or “I’m just a fisherman,” yet the Captain, and the audience as well, are supposed to just assume these are lies. We are just meant to assume the inherent deception of the black man. But I think the most racist hat tip to the audience was when the Somalis repeatedly stated, “Not al qaeda! Not al qaeda!” Why is this? Was this for the benefit of the audience? Did the film maker think that the audience couldn’t distinguish between a swarthy Arab and an African American? Wouldn’t want us to confuse which race we were supposed to be hating at the moment, I guess. Disgusting.
But the most disgusting part of the film was the conclusion with the SEAL team. In the film, the SEAL team is portrayed as a bunch of white guys with shaved heads (skinheads, anyone?) who are gleefully murdering the poor Somali fishermen, and then gloating about it to the leader of the Somalis afterward, stating to him, “Captain Phillips is free, and your friends are dead.” Then, as is the plight of all African Americans, the poor Somali fisherman is sentenced to 33 years in prison for the crime of driving a boat while black.
The bottom line is that Tom Hanks should be ashamed of himself, and we all must do our best to boycott this drivel and send the message to Hollywood that his kind of racism in films cannot be tolerated. It is films like this that are keeping Obama from ushering in his era of peace and unity. Who’s with me?