I watched Django Unchained last night for the first time (a little late, I know). I liked it a lot, and I most definitely appreciate it for the art form that it is. (Christoph Waltz is genius.)
I know that it isn’t historically accurate by any means, as is never Tarantino’s main concern. But the attitudes, condescension and brutality towards black people, I have no doubt, closely depicted the times of the 1860s. I know this, I have known this, I’ve learned it. But seeing it play out in a story still made me cringe (which obviously was the purpose, and added to the story).
I am happy that I was able to wake up this morning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Obama’s deliverance of his second-term inauguration speech. I am so glad that this is my world. I am glad that my country, my environment, my upbringing has brought me to a place where watching any form of inequality and injustice, whether it be in a film or in real life, is pretty much intolerable for me to stand.
I know that many do not agree with me, or see things the way I do. I understand that we are a diverse nation with different backgrounds and upbringings. But equality and treating all others humanely and the way we would like to be treated should be fundamental. I know that in my country, there is much, much more room for improvement. There is still a lot of work left to be done.
But I hope that our country’s past reminds us how far we’ve come, and that our country’s present continually inspires us to keep moving and keep striving.
‘“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.’
–President Barack Obama