The sheer level of inanity has been raised even further regarding the not-even-filmed-yet HBO alternate history series “Confederate.”
Progressive journalists, racialist academics, and general social media mavens have all chimed in on the fictional tale of a victorious Civil War South, with at least one professor even calling for the show to be censored.
Now, a couple of academics have opined that the show is a threat … because the American public is just too dumb.
Writing in USA Today, Randolph College’s Kelley Fanto Deetz and Al Brophy of the University of Alabama demonstrate that they are a pair of “tolerant” individuals who believe in free expression … but —
“While artists should be allowed to tell any story as they please, the danger here stems from an uneducated public and a very real legacy of institutionalized racism,” they write.
“Moreover, it is likely that Confederate will simply feed into an already misguided and uneducated populace that needs no encouragement to misconstrue even the best and most meticulously researched documentaries and historical fictions.”
Right. If anything, it would appear their students are the ones who need a bit more education (and they’re in college!) as one of the profs says “my students’ reactions” upon viewing the 2004 mockumentary C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America was “wow, nothing much has changed.”
We as a nation are desensitized to black pain. This is why #BlackLivesMatter is important, and why mainstream white America doesn’t comprehend why. Black lives have been viewed as disposable for almost 400 years in this country, and Confederate, while intentionally provocative, will fall on the tone-deaf ears of mainstream America. Considering that Game of Thrones is a popular show among white Americans and has weathered significant criticism for its lack of diversity, one must wonder how the creators are going to tackle a subject that is, in many ways, completely out of their wheelhouse, and frankly out of their league.
Films and shows about race have become mainstream. Confederate will undoubtedly be popular among devout Game of Thrones fans, but there is a danger in provocative authorship if the authors are not aware of the social and educational fault lines present in their audience. As it stands, most Americans have very little knowledge of African American history. Creating a fictional double narrative that will surely mirror many of our actual social problems, but without critical discourse and mediation, is highly irresponsible.
Deetz and Brophy actually believe there’s a danger the show will “promote the neo-Confederate and white supremacist idea that slavery was good for blacks — that if things really haven’t changed that much, perhaps that freedom was wasted.”
“As we are far from having an educated base,” the profs continue, “this show would not work as conceived. It would cause more misunderstandings than understandings, which is something that we cannot afford at this particular historical moment.”
Ah, of course. “All artists should be able to do as they please,” unless it is something that can cause “more misunderstandings than understandings” … especially in this neo-apocalyptic age of Trump!
Who are the contemporary authoritarians, again?