Originally Posted @ We Are Respectable Negroes – While we wait for the epic sonning that Tom Brady, the Hooded One, and Josh McDaniels are about to put on Mr. Tebow this evening (that trio sounds like a country rock group, no?) here is something to pass the time.

There is a good conversation on Clutch magazine’s website about the interracial gender politics of Red Tails, George Lucas’upcoming Tuskegee airmen movie. One of the primary tenets for those who study the politics of popular culture is that audiences (or “publics”) receive, process, interpret, and circulate ideas on their own terms. Of course, there aren’t any number of corollaries and complications to this argument. But, the basic idea is that populism “matters”; once a “text” is out among the public, part of our work as critics is understanding the “why’s” and “how’s” of their investment (or not) in it.

I reviewed Red Tails months ago. There, I made mention of one aspect of the story–the romance between a black airman and a white Italian woman–that I thought was superfluous to the plot and could easily be left on the cutting room floor. I did not read this plot point as subverting the overall story, or as being deeply symbolic of the state of the family and love relationships in the African American community in the twenty-first century. Moreover, there were many love and sexual relationships between black GI’s and European women in all theaters of World War Two. Given the “historical” nature of Red Tails, a wink to this fact would not be out of order. Ultimately, my observation was based on efficiency in story telling. It was not some deep aversion to the idea that a young man far from home would find comfort in the arms of a beautiful woman.

Populism can be empowering. It can also be confusing, distracting, and lead to any number of interpretations–some of these are cogent and compelling, others much less so. What strikes me the most about the comments on Clutch magazine’s site is not how some readers (in a vacuum not having seen the movie) are making impassioned claims, but how short the leap is from Red Tails the World War Two action film, to “black women in Hollywood are misrepresented all of the time and hated by the mass media,” to “black woman are unloved by black men and Red Tails reinforces this fact,” to “Red Tails should be boycotted because there are no black female love interests.”

It would seem that there is much pain in parts of the black community, where the seemingly trivial and benign are interpreted as the significant, the poignant, and the meaningful.Thus, I must ask: Are matters really this dire?

Originally Posted @ We Are Respectable Negroes

  • LemonNLime

    @sli – I have posed this question to him several times but he seems to keep ignoring it. I just want to understand too.

  • Shannon P

    Well our Black brothers are in this movie soooo… lets support it. Additionally, the director is a brother.

    Listed on IMDB…there is a black female actress accredited; her name is Edwina Findley.
    Perhaps this movie will open up more doors for other movies to be depicted about us. Its all based on money and what the public demands anyway… so if you do not support something like this.. statistics will show no one wants to see these types of films and the funding won’t be there for other films like this. So I am going to support it!

    Shannon

  • DivineBrown

    WOW ANOTHER topic on Red Tails? What’s the problem? Can’t I refuse to see a movie if I don’t want to? Can’t I keep my money? Don’t I have the right to refuse a good or service? Why is this so drawn out? Especially for people who say black women are “complaining”. People “confused” over supposed hypocrisy. I see they sicked Tyler Perry on black women. Like only they could do because they know black women are fools for Perry. That last article was despicable and flew right over most people’s heads. Nothing more than sending “your own” to do their dirty work because they know it WORKS. He’s like the neighborhood drug dealer. Send him in to “sell” it to his own people. Remember, it was him, along with Oprah, who SOLD you Precious and you LISTENED. He sure came through for George Lucas laying it on OH SO THICK with that subtle(well not really) touch of Hysterics(“Oh NooOooooOOoooooo!!!!!! Black movies are going EXTINCT…RUN DON’T WALK TO SUPPORT THIS. MAKE SURE YOU TELL A FRIEND AND BRING YOUR WHOLE HOUSE…QUICK QUICK!!!!!!!!!”)

    Here’s the funny thing though… if the excuse given by Lucas and Perry are valid ones then it doesn’t matter if we support this film or the next. The OTHERS still haven’t changed. You know, the “OTHERS” who don’t flock to see “black movies”. The OTHERS who you have to appeal to. So in essence, they keep telling US to support it so that WE give them their dollars back. And WE’LL have to be the ones to support future endeavors since the OTHERS go unchallenged as to why they can’t PUT RACE ASIDE and see a “good film” NO MATTER IF IT’S AN ALL BLACK CAST OR NOT. What mindf-kry.

    Also, if THIS does do well, then all that says is a black MALE cast WITH a non black woman will WORK just fine. It STILL won’t break glass ceilings like some of you are claiming. LOL. Aren’t black women tired of being pimped and used? What am I asking? Of course not. That’s why they sent in Tyler to raise his Pimp hand.It’s so strong. If a PASTOR writes in next, then I’m through. LMAO they got black women down to a SCIENCE. So educated yet easily manipulated. I’m embarrassed…and I shouldn’t be.

    Oh and btw, for all those saying it’s a movie about the MEN and no need to highlight the love story. Um LOVE and WAR sells. The movie, TOP GUN was about airmen, focused on them but guess what? Tom Cruise(Maverick) had to have his leading(white) lady.

    4 topics on this ONE movie. There is no more life in this horse left to beat.

    PPS. Even the men should be ashamed. Checked the trailer. It last all of 2 seconds and then all you hear is Redtails…Friday. Like they’re HURRYING up as not to UPSET people. In 2012, where ONLY black people are “Reverse Racists” and hung up on race are they TELLING you a movie like this was hard to produce. Black movies don’t do well overseas. And doing a SHORT ass trailer..not even giving a great synopsis and showing awesome scenes to get you HYPED. Now, black men you get…”Redtails…Friday”

  • lostluv224

    Always calling to boycott something.

    Why don’t we go boycott these bad ass kids killing each other outside our front door steps.

    Its a movie. support it or dont…..but if you don’t, dont be on these here blogs crying when you NEVER see a cast like this again.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    some black fighters had affairs with white women while in europe. that is the history.
    i do not approve of IR but i am not asking to rewrite history. lucas shows the period when they were in europe fighting and there where no black women there. as far as i know all these brothers married black women when they returned to the US.

    there were thousands of black soldiers in europe. these men were war heroes. i am saddened that some black women want to boycott because one of them had a white woman on the side.

    i don’t see any calls to boycott awkward black girl when she chose a white man over a black man. seems like a double standard to me. sisters your hypocrisy is showing.

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