Get Out

Get Out – White Supremacy and White Insecurity

By Ifeanyi Nwonye

In Jordan Peele’s movie, Get Out, the central theme of exploiting and violating Black bodies is used to portray the way White Supremacist’s often juggle their internalized superiority and inferiority complexes when it comes to Black people. The superiority is reflected through the White characters’ entitlement to the ownership and exploitation of Black bodies. This shows up in the very beginning of the film when Andre is kidnapped within the first five minutes and in the rising action when Chris is silently auctioned off at the family party. The White characters had no regard for either of their lives simply because the logic was “There is something wrong with my body so I’ll just use their bodies to fix it.” We can see how this White logic even manifests in real life when White cartoonists choose to draw in a Black character but don’t initially feel any obligation to cast a Black voice actor to play them, effectively reducing Blackness and Black people to an accessory. Or, in more extreme cases, when Black bodies are exploited for their athletic ability in sports. For instance, when these NFL and NBA players are roped into these outrageous contracts that basically indenture them to the mostly White employers. They make all this money off them while dictating everything they do until they players are thrown away because they’re no longer useful. 

Meanwhile, there’s also the fear and disdain for Black people which derives from their inferiority complex as well. In the movie there’s 1) the dad who’s fangirling over the major Black athletes who prevailed in previously White-dominated sports, 2) the random White family member that asked Chris’ girlfriend, Rose, if “it” was better, which referenced the stereotype that Black men generally have bigger penises than White men (and everyone else) and have more sexual skill in general, and 3) the family’s specific use of Black bodies to “better” themselves. The first two points require no deep analysis to understand how they manifest in the real world since they exist just as blatantly off-screen as they do in the movie. The third point, however, characterizes how many of these oppressive tactics throughout history have ultimately derived for this White insecurity. Consider the various obstacles that were in place to keep Black people from access to predominantly White spaces like higher education, professional sports, and even sabotaging the spaces we created for ourselves like Black Wall Street. If Black people were inherently inferior what’s stopping the White Supremacists from allowing us to make strides to improve ourselves since we’d be destined to fail anyways? The problem is that they know we aren’t failures or natural subordinates and their worst nightmare is that we might prove to be better. 

 

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