I should never have seen ‘The Butler’

I had been putting off seeing the movie ‘The Butler’ for a long time, I don’t know why, I really wanted to see it but I couldn’t bring my self to do it.

I finally saw it yesterday, and I now realize I SHOULDN’T HAVE SEEN IT!
It just took me on a wild ride of emotions, one minute I was shocked, then I was angry, then I was sad, this is the first movie I’ve seen in a while that brought me really close to crying.

2 main things that have been running through my mind since I saw that movie
First, I really don’t understand how some hearts hold so much wickedness, so much hatred?
There’s really no other way to describe that than as hatred? and for what purpose. the scene in the movie where the KKK people attacked the freedom bus haunts me still… there was so much hatred on their faces, like it was a spirit just pushing them. I would really love to talk to one of them and just find out why? Like what was the main reason? What was their vision maybe?

And the second thing is that sometimes, the same experiences mean different things to different people. Consider this… when Obama became president, everybody started talking about how great it was that an African could be president in America but even though we all thought it was awesome, for an African person who lived through the 50s and 60s in America, it represents a whole lot more.
Its the same way that we all talk about Mandela and everything he did, for some of us, no matter how much we connect to it, we still will never fully understand it.

I’m guessing that’s why its easy for us to throw around cuss word like “Nigga” and “bitches” because we just don’t know, we don’t feel the pain that those words once caused, we don’t understand the hatred that fueled those words.
We might say things have changed and words have evolved, but that’s not true… for everyone who lived and died through those words and times, though they move on and and maybe live on, every time someone throws around those words like it means absolutely nothing, I see them wince and gasp in pain as they feel the lashes across their backs once again.


On to the next one – “12 Years a Slave”


20 thoughts on “I should never have seen ‘The Butler’

  1. Tomiwa Olajide says:

    Hmmm. And our ignorance of it does not mean it is not so. #Deep.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.

    • I know right? My sister tells me the same thing, plus everything I’ve been reading about it tells me to run the other way.
      Also, I have to question the motives behind making these kinds of movies, don’t they just open up old wounds? I mean, yeah they’re good for history and stuff but is it really worth it?

      • I think the point of these movies is to help visualise the stories.There’s just something about telling stories through movies. Ps, I’ve seen a lot of ‘hard to watch’ ‘based on a true story’ movies about war, The Holocaust, slave trade, etc; “12 years a slave” is something!

  2. hmmn we must ‘feel’ things the same way. I had the same dread about watching Butler and when i finally did, i cried. Told myself i wouldnt watch 12 years a slave- my friends wanted to know if i’d cry so they forced me. i didn’t disappoint them. i wrote something about it afterwards. Check brownpapyrus on the last day of the month, lets compare notes…..

  3. N says:

    I was gonna say it (re:12 yrs a slave) but av been beaten to it. I didn’t really regret watching the Butler because i felt in the end it chronicled a struggle whose end (at least on paper) we are all familiar with by now. 12 years a slave was a different story (I actually put off watching it until last week myself), sometimes, you try to console yourself that it’s just a movie but knowing that that was someone’s personal story is just overwhelming. Be warned, D.

    Anyway, now that we have adequately warned you, i think the effect will be less painful for you :). It’s the world our fore bears lived, and sadly the same we still live today in many other ways.

    To answer your question about what the point is, of making these movies when they just stir up old wounds, i think you answered part of it already yourself, with the significance of words like “Nigga”, “Negro” being lost on us when we use them oh-so-nonchalantly. It reminds us of how far we have come, but also of how long more we have to go as there are still so many injustices today. I would love more than anything to leave the past in the past but these movies are also historical records, our kids and their kids who are curious enough to understand a little something about their past will be able to find it in its rawest form, not watered down when told in the 4th or 5th person in a few generations. Tell me you are not a little but more determined to stand up for the dignity of your race after watching this movie :).

    Nice write-up. You put many of my thoughts from last week into words.

  4. Hi Aeysha, I think as painful as these stories are, the world needs to know them, and movies probably reach more audiences than books. Why do we need to know what happened? So that we can appreciate the struggles of our ancestors & the price they paid for freedom; so that we we & the world will say no to modern-day slavery. There’s truth in the saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

        • Okay, here’s what I think… it opens up old wounds for one and another thing, these kinds of movies in equal parts make people aware of history and also makes them more sensitive because of it… consider a person who lived through those times, who is still carrying around so much hurt and pain and maybe even anger, when he sees a movie like this, what do you think happens? and then there’s the chance that even those of us who never experienced stuff like that will suddenly start to see other races in a whole new light, we could start to interprete normal interactions or communication as something other than it is because this new knowledge is just there on our minds now.

          But like I said, I agree with you on the advantages

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