I just finished a few books that gutted me emotionally and I am just a bit blue. I am also exhausted because the Game of Thrones showrunners decided that they just have to have a new show that will focus on what would happen if the South had won the first Civil War and slavery was still a thing.
Look I have read speculative fiction before (Stephen King, Octavia Butler, etc.) but based on the history of these two men who just ignored criticism that there show devolved into women being naked and raped it seemed I don't see them handling a sensitive topic like slavery very well.
And yes, I know they have two black writers. I still don't trust them.
It took me many months to even sit through 12 Years A Slave and no thank you. I can't see enduring a weekly show that is showing black men, women, and children as less than a white person. I won't sit down and watch fictional characters be raped, flogged, and have body parts removed. Cause guess what, that was what was going on in the U.S. when we had slavery. And as smarter women and men said the other day, we already got this show, go see 13TH by Ava DuVernay sometime.
And what really makes me sad about this whole thing is that I had to have a couple of conversations with friends in my real life who wanted to know why this was seen as bad by many in the African American community.
Yes, I have become the all knowing black woman in my friend group. That also gets old.
In no particular order this is what we discussed:
1. I quit GoT a while ago because of the depictions on screen. I still read recaps on Pajiba. Or at least I did until a tone deaf article they published about this yesterday. I am moving onto places like The Root. I just don't have the energy to be part of a community where people go around screeching censorship who don't know what the hell they are talking about. I have issues because these two men have chosen to ignore criticism about things they have shown on screen and then had their fans screeching about historical accuracy. Whispers to everyone: "Dragons are not real."
2. I really wish that African American actors could actually be cast in something that does not show them as a villain, maid, slave, drug dealer, etc. and get a damn Oscar. Seriously. Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress for The Help. Come talk to me where she portrays a CEO, an inventor and also gets an Oscar win.
3. Just in case you have not looked around, hate crimes are on the rise again in the U.S. Blacks interactions with the police have never been so close to just unspooling. I am not joking that I have had conversations with friends about what to do when the riots break out again. And I mean L.A. type riots where the whole city is burning for days on end. And yeah, I said when. Cause if people can't see the forest for the trees I am just going to keep my head down and mind my business.
4. Maybe if we didn't still have states in our Union who ignore their history (no the Civil War was not about states rights) or people holding KKK rallies in DC and setting up shop in Old Town, Alexandria I could get past the whole idea of this show. But that's where we are right now as a country. We put a man in charge of the Department of Justice who is racist. Full stop. Who is enacting policies that is going after the poor and the people of color. I feel like I woke up in the 1950s based on some of the goings on in our country right now. I don't feel safe anymore. Heck, maybe that safety I thought I had all along was just an illusion and I needed it to be ripped away.
Either way the show has been greenlit and I am sure that someone somewhere will watch. Not me though, this is a hard pass from me.