Originally Posted @ We Are Respectable Negroes — While we wait for the epic sonning that Tom Brady, the Hooded One, and Josh McDaniels are about to put on Mr. Tebow this evening (that trio sounds like a country rock group, no?) here is something to pass the time.

There is a good conversation on Clutch magazine’s website about the interracial gender politics of Red Tails, George Lucas’upcoming Tuskegee airmen movie. One of the primary tenets for those who study the politics of popular culture is that audiences (or “publics”) receive, process, interpret, and circulate ideas on their own terms. Of course, there aren’t any number of corollaries and complications to this argument. But, the basic idea is that populism “matters”; once a “text” is out among the public, part of our work as critics is understanding the “why’s” and “how’s” of their investment (or not) in it.

I reviewed Red Tails months ago. There, I made mention of one aspect of the story–the romance between a black airman and a white Italian woman–that I thought was superfluous to the plot and could easily be left on the cutting room floor. I did not read this plot point as subverting the overall story, or as being deeply symbolic of the state of the family and love relationships in the African American community in the twenty-first century. Moreover, there were many love and sexual relationships between black GI’s and European women in all theaters of World War Two. Given the “historical” nature of Red Tails, a wink to this fact would not be out of order. Ultimately, my observation was based on efficiency in story telling. It was not some deep aversion to the idea that a young man far from home would find comfort in the arms of a beautiful woman.

Populism can be empowering. It can also be confusing, distracting, and lead to any number of interpretations–some of these are cogent and compelling, others much less so. What strikes me the most about the comments on Clutch magazine’s site is not how some readers (in a vacuum not having seen the movie) are making impassioned claims, but how short the leap is from Red Tails the World War Two action film, to “black women in Hollywood are misrepresented all of the time and hated by the mass media,” to “black woman are unloved by black men and Red Tails reinforces this fact,” to “Red Tails should be boycotted because there are no black female love interests.”

It would seem that there is much pain in parts of the black community, where the seemingly trivial and benign are interpreted as the significant, the poignant, and the meaningful.Thus, I must ask: Are matters really this dire?

Originally Posted @ We Are Respectable Negroes

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  • Usagi

    Bitter much. It’s a movie. Get over it. I would to love this movie.No, I am going to see this movie. There needs to be more black films woth a setting outside of slavery and Tyler Perry. It’s better that retarded chruch movie with Keke Plamer or whatever the hell her name is.

    • Hoopty

      Then go see the movie and shut up. If there are some black women that don’t wish to see it, so be it.

      Why you and some others on here act like your shat don’t stink is beyond annoying….

  • QONewcastle

    Apparently the editorial line over at WhatAboutOur(Ugly)Daughters? by the BlogMammy mentions all those things and more. I reckon the romance is in there because it was completely taboo and not to mention illegal, perhaps even in fascist Italy.

    If the movie is playing out here I will surely see it for the eye candy. I dont like war movies but I like good looking men. Same reason I saw Tigerland. Too much fineness on screen.

    • Soically Maladjusted


      You must be a Brit – you’re so good at winding up these humorless yanks. And they don’t get it do they?

      Well your jokes are not going to waste.


      ah shit

    • Socially Maladjusted


      but I actually like them better than some of us black brits. They’re somehow less bullshitty.

      If it’s pissin em off they won’t let good manners stop em from making noise about it, even it’s the stupidiest thing to be pissed off about.


    • Hoopty

      You and socimali need to take that azz-licking somewhere else….

    • Socially Maladjusted


      what are on you on about?


  • jamesfrmphilly

    i am confused. awkward black girl has a white man and that is great. red tails has a white woman and that is terrible. please explain.

    • Njshrty

      James I was dismayed at the ending of ABG and I abhor the double standard! SOME black women loooove them some Brad Pitt and would shyt themselves if Taraji was his LOVE interest and not his MAMMY!! But let a movie like thus show an interracial romance…..now we should boycott??? Please! I say love who you want respect others choices……still going to the movies on Friday!

    • Mr Jay

      The explaination is Black women are predictable in their hypocrisy.

    • LemonNLime

      ABG is taking place in 2012. Redtails in 1940’s America when a black man would have been executed for even looking at white woman. They aren’t comparable because of the times periods.

      How can you make a “historical” film about the issues and injustices these men dealt with and then have one of them hook up with a white woman? I mean that is fine, so long as it is historically accurate and we all know how that ends. I just am annoyed at people softening history to make others feel better about the atrocities of the past or to sell it to a wider white audience. The TA were supported back home by black moms, sisters, wives, cousins, girlfriends, etc and they were fighting for a country that didn’t even want to recognize them as human. I’m saying there should be an all female cast or black females flying next to them. It should just be accurate because it is our history and I doubt if any of the TA were out fighting for the white girlfriends they had back at home.

    • NOOOOO. don’t be giving away the plot! at least give me a spoiler alert since i haven’t seen the last 3 episodes. y’all killing me over here.

    • LemonNLime

      @Fiore Scott – Girl you need you catch up! Word of advice stay away from the ABG facebook page bc they have been talking about it for a while over there!

    • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

      Fiore: I haven’t seen it myself, but these idiots keep ruining it for me arguing nonsense. Who cares about the IR relationship? It is about rewriting history and completing eliminating any role for black women. I don’t know if these men are just dense or being purposefully obtuse.

    • sli

      Didn’t you say on the ABG post that there’s no such thing as “harmless media?” If that’s your belief, then what are your thoughts on how they cast the female character in “Red Tails.” What message do you think they are trying to send? You often have a lot to say about IR relationships, but seem to be mum about this. I’m not trying to be a smart ass, but I’m honestly interested in your thoughts on this.

    • LemonNLime

      @sli – I have posed this question to him several times but he seems to keep ignoring it. I just want to understand too.

    • jamesfrmphilly

      some black fighters had affairs with white women while in europe. that is the history.
      i do not approve of IR but i am not asking to rewrite history. lucas shows the period when they were in europe fighting and there where no black women there. as far as i know all these brothers married black women when they returned to the US.

      there were thousands of black soldiers in europe. these men were war heroes. i am saddened that some black women want to boycott because one of them had a white woman on the side.

      i don’t see any calls to boycott awkward black girl when she chose a white man over a black man. seems like a double standard to me. sisters your hypocrisy is showing.

    • southern belle

      awkward black woman? what does that mean? HOW often do you see a black woman with a white man in the media…BOT VERY. But as for a black man…ALMOST ALWAYS paired up with a white/non black woman. Yes this may have been based on a true story but as a black woman that is expecting a black child with her black husband…im tired of this in the media. AND they wonder why black marriage are down?

    • AJ

      Red Tails has a fictional WW. Nuff said. The Airmen in the movie girlfriends and wives all were Black. ABG does not have international distribution, nor a $100 million dollar budget to have her story told. ABG is not about history,it’s about a preference. Red Tails is about history, and chose to change BW to WW.

  • Tiff

    If black women who cares about their image is verge of getting erased out of Hollywood should consider boycott this film. Do you think white and other women would support movies that doesnt have at least them in it, hell to, but they expect black women to blindly support anything black, even against their own interests and the signs of utter disrespect.

    Also I dont think majority of black women has a problem with the interracial factor, it is just this movie is changing history by editing out black females that were in this movie yet, I am going by the people who had seen this movie and what Jasmine Sullivan said on twitter. So I will shutdown ignore fools quick thinking all black women has a problem with the swirl is their reason why they boycott. Black women were part of Tuskeegee Airman experience we just want our story to be told as well, especially since George Lucas and others are asking black women to support this movie. ,

    BTW, now Jasmine Sullivan, likely the solo main black woman with a small appearance, just confirmed she has been edited of this movie. She said so on her twitter page. So it is virtual no black women in this movie. Yet she still have class and want people to support it. But I refused to support it.

    • LemonNLime

      “Also I dont think majority of black women has a problem with the interracial factor, it is just this movie is changing history by editing out black females that were in this movie yet, I am going by the people who had seen this movie and what Jasmine Sullivan said on twitter. So I will shutdown ignore fools quick thinking all black women has a problem with the swirl is their reason why they boycott.”

      YES! I don’t care who people date. I date who I want – black, white, brown, red – it doesn’t matter. This is about history.

      And if one more person compares this to ABG…I swear. DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS PEOPLE!!! THEREFORE THERE ARE DIFFERENT HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL STANDARDS REGARDING RACE!!! Trust if ABG was taking place in the 1940’s I would be all over it too regarding the lack of historical accuracy!

    • AJ

      I agree LemonNLime.

      ABG – different budget, different impact, very small group of people who will see it, nothing to do with history.

      Red Tails – pushing false history, pushing BW as being ‘less than”, huge budget, worldwide distribution, erasure of BW from real history.

      Only the mentally deficient would compare ABG to Red Tails. You don’t hear any BW on here complaining about Grey’s Anatomy, or Pan Am, where BM are in IR with WW/non-BW.

      It’s not about IR, and the men on here saying that know it. They are just trying to corrupt the conversation, and the real issue behind it. Tonton Micahel and the rest are makingit clearthat they could care less about their own people, unless they are male.

    • how come nobody is asking mellody hudson what happened to all the black women in this movie? no? no one?

      and, will any of the clutchettes explain why lucas, a man who’s been with a black woman for years – and purported to learn so much about blackness through her – chose not to show how black men and women worked together to achieve a common (though misguided) goal back then?

      is it because he transcended race?

      he left out the REAL story of black men and women loving and supporting each other – entirely – and left in its stead the monkey wrench of the ‘white woman’. ah but he’s transcended race. so it’s not political. it’s just love…or wait…just preference maybe?

      oh. and lemonlime once again is wronger than plaid and polka dots.

      black servicemen more definitely saw that kind of “action” in world war i, never mind world war ii.

      read “home to harlem” the first few pages make mention of the protagonist coming back from the war and being annoyed how much sex with black women “cost” in the states; when overseas they were getting white girls for next to nothing.

      or try to figure out why so many settled in france.

      black men certainly weren’t executed for looking at white women in europe back then. that’s not a cheer at all for them, but just me taking an opportunity to show that you speak without having the slightest ideas of what you are talking about.

      i digress. hollywood is hollywood. they rarely make good films. yet we fly into an outrage when not included in something that we don’t own or control. and in fact has a history of excluding, playing and misrepresenting black people. according of course to the white guy who assured us that ‘shit white girls say to black girls’ wasn’t racist.

      the cherry on top in this is lucas saying – with out a shred of evidence – support MY “all-black” movie or hollywood isn’t going to make any more big budget black movies. and this is when black people want to get all “economically nationalistic” and give their money – blindly – to this film. i mean, is it any good? no? just support it because george – who wrote an important part of the story out – says so?

      this mentality is truly, fascinating.

  • kidole

    Black women can do whatever they want. However this black women will not be going to see this movie. I spend my pennies on movies like Kinyarwanda or Pariah!