When reality becomes increasingly unbelievable, when mis-information and outright falsehood is spoken as truth, something is happening. When the idea of compassion for others is considered a weakness instead of humanitarian citizenship and the idea of citizenship itself turns into a Me, Myself and I ideology instead of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” as the vision for America, WE (all of US) just might be in The Sunken Place. The Sunken Place is a reference to the symbolic brainwashing of Black people through a process of hypnosis and imbedded “cultural triggered responses”, with which we are ALL familiar. This “process” keeps Black people silenced, marginalized and paralyzed in a manufactured state of denial, collusion and compliance, while allowing white folks to continue to dominate and write the narrative they want us ALL to live.
All of this takes place in the satirical horror movie called “GET OUT” written by comedian Jordan Peele. The movie is much more than it portends as mere entertainment. It is a critical commentary and a socio-political critique of our culture and the historic legacy of race and racial politics in America. The film uses the stylistic form of the traditional horror movie to capture and to dramatize long-held beliefs, practices and traditions pervasive among the dominant culture and validated, by a Manifest Destiny kind of mystique. The movie demonstrates the ways in which the marginalized “blacks” are objectified, controlled and neutralized as incapable to pursue any type of actual freedom, liberty or self- determination.
I am not a fan of horror movies in general and reluctantly went to see GET OUT. My curiosity was peaked mainly because of the critical discourse and impassioned conversations the movie has inspired around the country, on social media, and in RVA. The images, storyline and parallels drawn by the screenplay’s content and perspective all resonated within my psyche and were immediately affirmed by my “lived experience” as a Black woman in America. Are WE in The Sunken Place?
Many people continue to be amazed and astounded by what the media calls “unprecedented” when describing current events, or proposed BIG policy changes like Health Care or Travel Bans. Recently, even the basic determination of what America stands for and what she stands against has become less and less clear to the citizens of this nation and even more confusing to other citizens on a global scale. Why has it become so difficult to name what is True, Truth, and to call that which is false a Lie? Where is the outrage of those we once called Patriots to step up and protect us when our nation has been attacked by a foreign power in an effort to undermine our electoral process and weaken confidence in our democracy? Where is the moral and ethical courage to “speak TRUTH to Power” and demand integrity in our governing bodies? All three governing bodies – the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary – must be held accountable to the Highest Standards.
All things considered, past and present…we are clearly in an alternate space. What is happening? Where are we right now? What are we becoming? Are we paralyzed by imbedded “cultural responses”? If we do nothing…how will we survive? It appears we might be in The Sunken Place? #GETOUT #TheSunkenPlace