Chris Dahmen's blog 12
The film Boyz-n-the Hood fits squarely within the post-hippy 1960's self hating white ideology that filmmakers and audiences in the 90's loved so much and still love today. I get the feeling that whites audiences really love to prostrate themselves to victims of any kind and always manage to find themselves as the group to blame. I enjoyed the part in the beginning which was actually just a fleeting moment but it said so much about American culture. The part I am thinking about was the scene with the white lady teacher who has a monotone voice that makes her sound like she is evil or a part of the "system" and must be resisted no matter what. This has particular effect when she talks to Tre's mother on the phone. The situation is set up as she can be disposed by Tres mother a black woman any way she wants to because she is white and an intellectual. But maybe more because she is not even pictured, we just hear her voice on the phone. It is easy to not take intellectuals or white people seriously if you don't even have to see them. The anti-intellectualism that Americans are so famous for is examplified nicely in this scene. Clearly it is not just a racial phenomenon. Also, the fact that the mother si getting a Master's degree and the girlfriend of Tre is also studying is an accurate construction of females being more educated than males. That is also not a racial phenomenon but includes women across the racial spectrum here. The other family characteristic that I liked was the contrast between the family with boys who had a father and the one across the street who didn't and how that effected the way the boys developed and who they became. One could also argue that that is also not limited to race. Single mothers raising sons is an extremely common phenomenon now. In the required reading Chan mentions a major obstacle for black especially men in progressing into a more successful condition. "A deep-seated distrust in the political and social bureaucracy is a natural extension
of the frustration that African Americans feel, particularly in light of capitalism's
complicitous links to the narcotics network and of the oppositional potentialities of
racially inspired conspiracy theories. This distrust is intensified by an insidious and
often subtle racism that permeates the system and that hinders many frorn rising
beyond the economic state they are born into." It is really easy to blame whites for the status quo but sensible blacks like Bill Cosby know everything can't be blamed on white people which is so fashionable to do because it is so easy and requires no restraint, critical thinking, and instantly absolves one from any accountability. This is another claim that Chan makes in his article. The idea of autodestruction of blacks from self-hatred and angst from lack of prospects. This is almost like a self destructive behavior from a lack of self esteem. Nothing exemplifies this better than the use of the "N" word so much and a lack of respect for each other. It is worth mentioning also the mother of doughboy doesn't seem to show as much respect for doughboy as for his brother. Undoubtedly it is because she percieves that he has options for a better future and doughboy doesn't. Or at least he doesn't show any interest in creating opportunities for himself. But again, without a father it is hard to teach oneself how to become a man.