Can A Movie Make You Rethink A Word

white and red flag

Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

I viewed Free State Of Jones last week and I would like to hear some feedback. I will warn you if the word nigger upsets, you this might not be the post for you. However, if you are willing to really stretch your mind and look at the word for what it is, you might see things differently.

In the first 6 to 7 minutes Matthew McConaughey’s character Mr. Newton Knight started explaining to his pals about not wanting to be anyone’s nigger. The first time he said it, I leaned in and looked at my husband. The second time he said it, I listened a little more and then after he said it a few more times, it started to sink in. Anyone can be someone’s nigger. I mean the way the word was used throughout history was to demean a class of people that another group felt was underneath them.  That way of thinking not only went for black people, but for Irish and poor people as well. I feel like Mr. Knight was one of the smartest men that lived in the Civil War era next to John Brown. It really makes you look at the word in another light and it takes away the shame of it. Mr. Knight created a band of misfits, so to say and protected the displaced from the Confederate soldiers who were increasing taxes on people.

Often when we hear about the Civil War here in the South, we hear about how the Yankees did a lot of dirt, we haven’t really heard anything about how the South took from those farmers and increased taxes on people which really pushed people into near death situations. It was an eye opening movie because I didn’t know that people were exempt from the war if they owned slaves. I don’t recall learning that in college when I took the two classes on the Civil War. So, Mr. Knight was like the American version of Robin Hood. At one point in the movie when a black character was called nigger by one of the white soldiers, he replied by asking him in a round of about way, how was he not a nigger too. Mr. Knight went on to explain how the South was making all of the poor people niggers and how color wasn’t even the issue. Can I say that Matthew McConaughey was brilliant? He was Mr. Knight and he made me want to know about the man and shake his hand for being do darn smart. To me this was better than A Time to Kill, and I loved that movie. It not only made me see the Civil War in another light, but it kind of made me see things a little differently today.

Here we are fighting against one another while the people at the top are toasting to the chaos. If a Civil War were to break out today the Clintons, Trumps, Sanders, and Obamas wouldn’t be going anywhere. This country belongs to the people, but for some reason we have forgotten that. Why are we fighting against each other on the behalf of someone else’s pocketbook? For many of these people it’s about money and power. Do we even know who’s in it for us anymore? Watch this movie.

 

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