Rachel’s Tavern is leading with an interesting story about the new Oliver Stone movie, World Trade Center. It seems to me that if this incident is authentically as innocent as the Production Assistants would have us believe, it’s a case of prejudice connecting to racism in a compelling way. Specifically, it appears there was an assumption of heroic whiteness at work. While I find that easy to believe, I find it harder to fathom that no fact checkers were deployed to get the story straight. In any event, as I remarked over at the Tavern (where the beer is always cold), this appears to be a case of low self-esteem gone bad.
Haki R. Madhubuti talked about this at length in one of his books. Americans, especially white folks (the general white folks here – not the non-anal, go with the flow few) have this need to be, at once, the best and worst, prettiest and ugliest, smartest and dumbest. This need to be first is interesting from a pathological perspective. In this case, it appears to have to another mythical hero in the pantheon of pale protagonists.
Since my post was subjected to a cyber-snatch, I’ll share what I wrote here:
“Nice post. Oliver Stone and I attended the same high school (I’m much younger). O can’t say that this is surprising. The pathological insecurity of people making such decisions is at the heart of the matter. I understand their fears and sense of personal weakness. I can’t say that I can, as a black man, do anything to help them. I won’t soften or diminish who I am for their sake. These producers and directors should simply “man up” or “woman up” and get real with themselves. A few moments of meditation each day would do wonders for their self esteem. It’s clear that the glamour and riches of Hollywood have been insufficient to cure what ails them.”