12 Years A Slave was one of the most moving films I have ever seen. It was amazingly difficult to watch, and even though it did have an semi-uplifting ending and I could be amazingly awed by the performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o – the movie still left me incredibly sad. It’s a wonderful movie, the acting, directing, cinematography, it deserves all of the awards but it’s a damn hard movie, and one that will move you to tears and make you angry and make you think about slavery and the ramifications it still has today. Do you know how sometimes movies make you feel like you are in church? That some movies deserve to be respected and contemplated? That’s how it makes most people feel.
Unless you are Amanda Palmer.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with that drama, after Macklemore performed at the Grammy awards and did a touching wedding ceremony with 33 couples, both gay and straight, there were a lot of homophobic and awful tweets directed towards him and his performance.
But it in NO WAY can that even be compared to 12 Years A Slave, or slavery, or the fact that 4 million African American men, women and children were used and abused and tortured as slaves before abolition. Or as I said on The Twitter:
I’m not even sure how you can make this comparison, or as I also said on Twitter:
It sucks that Macklemore got some nasty tweets for his nice little song about equality. But to compare it to the excrutiating suffering that slaves went through as depicted in Steve McQueen‘s movie? Whaaaaaat?
My kids have not seen 12 Years A Slave yet. They aren’t old enough, due to the graphic content and the fact they are still too young to give this movie the respect and thought it deserves. But I’m starting to think a lot of people aren’t mature enough to watch this movie, especially when their takeaway from it is so racially tone-deaf and cringingly misguided. Yeah, it sucks a rich popstar got some nasty tweets for his Grammy performance, but in no way can it even compare to a historical movie about the harrowing experience Solomon Northup went through.
It’s disgusting that gay people are subjected to prejudice and harassment and at times horrific crimes are committed against them due to their sexuality. But racism and bigotry are two totally different discussions, at least in this case. When Macklemore gets bigoted tweets, he doesn’t suffer any consequences other than maybe being annoyed and angry at the tweets he gets. When black people are the recipients of racism, it affects their career paths and earnings and a million other things, including getting beaten by police or shot when they are trying to make their way home in a neighborhood. For Palmer to try and make a correlation between slavery and ugly Tweets just makes me thunk my head against my desk.
*In case you want more evidence of how problematic good ‘ol Amanda is, check here.
(Images: Getty Images/Wikipedia)