Thursday, November 12, 2015

My thoughts on "The Purge" and a Modern Comparison of Systematic Oppression


I know, I know. I'm late to this party. 

Very late.

Whatever.

I finally watched The Purge: Anarchy this last weekend. 

I just wanted to give some thoughts on it because both movies were pretty brutalized on review sites.

I don't see either of these movies as great horror movies or classics that are going to keep you watching over and over again.

I am, however, fascinated by the Dystopian message in both of them.

It sounds crazy that we would ever have a future where the government is sanctioning a night where anything goes, including murder, right?

Well, not really. 

We are living in this reality much more than you may already realize.

I'm going to touch on a few points in the movies, and then follow them up with our current reality.

1. Rich people are able to keep safe, because they have the money and resources to do so.

The wealthy in this country don't face the same level of terror that the working class does. The wealthy don't face police brutality, emergency services rush to help them when/if there is a problem, they generally don't live in high-crime areas because they can afford not to, and they have the money to live in gates communities with private security. 


2. The wealthy and the government don't care about poor people dying, in fact, they encourage it. 

I'm going to get really specific here- WHITE PEOPLE don't care about poor people and minorities dying. The #BlackLivesMatter movement shows this. Only when a minority group stands up for themselves do white people feel like it's okay to shout from the rooftops about how much THEY matter. (#AllLivesMatter shows this) Bad cops who MURDER people of color are given off without regard for the innocent lives that they destroyed, further encouraging other bad cops to do the same thing. When the media reports the issues, the media is targeted as "race baiting", which is totally wrong.  When little white kids go missing, it is covered on every news station around the clock, but when black or minority kids go missing, it's hardly mentioned. We hide behind this guise of racism and white supremacy not being real, when it is in the very fabric of our lives. Everywhere we go, everything we do, it's all stemming from a system of white supremacy. We don't talk about it because it's not "polite", it's not "appropriate". That's all part of the socialization we've been taught to remain in appearance with what's "good". Protests, standing up for marginalized groups, and speaking directly to the problem goes against the very grain of white supremacy that we have been taught to believe as appropriate behavior. Our privilege has become so normalized that we don't even notice it.


3. The wealthy run the country.

YES! This is literally not even an arguable point anymore. The top 1% of this country controls the wealth in America. This group pays for lobbyists and gets tax breaks, loopholes, and just continues to get richer while the poor continues to get poorer. Look at our politicians and their super-pacs! We are literally ALLOWING our government officials to be bought!  Do you think those politicians will make decisions that are truly in the best interest of the majority of working Americans when they are in office because of these super pacs? I think not.


4. The wealthy/government want to keep the poor poor and keep them in one area.

Low income areas, especially in project housing units, are basically set up to keep the poor people poor. This is all part of white supremacy and systematic racism. Welfare systems are set up under the guise of "helping people" when in reality they keep people from being able to break barriers to get employment (the day you are employed, your benefits will frequently stop). By keeping low income groups (especially minority groups) into one area, the schools are poorer (because our schools are funded by property taxes) therefore the opportunities are lessened and as a result we have generation after generation being forced to live through the exact same cycle because there aren't systems in place to truly HELP THEM. We love to say things like how they need to just "rise above" yet we all seem to forget that America was built on the backs of the oppressed. 


Schools and colleges show a huge bias against people of color, and yet people act like being a POC will get you into college. Without a degree, a chance of any quality job (and to break out of poverty) is non-existent. This is ALL part of systematic racism and oppression and a way to keep the rich white men in power and control.






5. The government sends people in to round up and kill the poor.

Again, gotta bring this back to race. Yes, the government has a clear and terrifying bias against people of color. 1 in 3 black men will be incarcerated in their lifetime. Before you tell me that they shouldn't be committing crimes, let me ask you, would you feel the same if this was a statistic on WHITE men or would you be demanding reform in the system to prevent this from happening? 





So, are they sending out teams to shoot down poor minority groups? Maybe not so directly, but indirectly- absolutely.


These are just a few comparisons, but I just wanted to point that the "social commentary" is pretty much right on. In Anarchy, when I watched the wealthy white people laughing and talking about the poor and people of color standing on the stage like their life was nothing, it gave my heart a pull. 

Because this is what happens everyday. 

People laugh and point when black lives (and lives of other people of color) are taken needlessly, they justify their deaths, they stomp on their tears and scream "Fuck you!" when they ask for justice. 

This is our world. 

We have to do better. 


As always, leave me some comment love.




1 comments:

Dave and AnnLouise said...

Enjoy your writing. Here and in TRA. Thanks.

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