The arrogance of Quentin Tarantino is truly astonishing. Last night I finally watched the video shared with our email list by Black Feminist, Selina Nwulu. In the interview with channel 4′s Krishan Guru-Murthy Tarantino, without a hint of sarcasm, states that ‘I am responsible for people talking about slavery in America in a way that they have not in 30 years.’ WOW! Wow, WOW!
What can we take from that? Well, that Tarantino knows very little about what black people actually talk about. In his world we spend all day long mindlessly babbling the same expletives ‘n***er’ ‘motherfucker,’ ‘fuck,’ ‘sheeeet.’ Pushed on a subject he does not want to discuss, the possible links between violence on film and in the real world, he replies that he is not a ‘slave’ and a ‘monkey’ and Guru-Murthy is not his ‘master’. Thank you Quentin for using slavery as a metaphor to deflect an unwanted and difficult question. No diminishing going on there, clearly!
To add insult to injury, he goes on to messianically assert that the primary aim of the movie was to give ‘black American males a western hero that could actually be empowering.’ Forget historical facts like the Stono and Nat Turner slave rebellions.
Presumably there is nothing to give black women when it comes to this subject. When it is pointed out to him that the violence in this film includes rape, he looks bemused and quickly replies there is no rape in his slave movie. Yet Tarantino is banking on an audience whose collective understanding is that rape was a commonplace occurrence in the lives of slave women. Arguably, the very premise of the film, wronged husband seeking to rescue enslaved wife, hinges on the very fact that Django wants to save her ‘honour’. The rape of the black woman is really only important as an index of the damage done to the black man’s sense of honour and respect. Obviously the systematic rape of black women by white men is not interesting or nearly enough of a big deal. Rather it is the suggested insult to black masculinity that rape signifies is what is most important here for Tarantino.
It is unsurprising then that Tatantino fails to recognise the insulting nature of his sexist and racist shoot with Nichole Galicia for W Magazine. The shot plays on the trope of the white master’s ability to doubly abuse black women’s bodies. His silk Hugh Hefner imitation dressing gown suggests wealth and the acquisitive clutch of the (taboo) black booty, domination. Lest this framing of Tarantino appear too unnerving in that it tacitly plays on rape as an all too common fact of slavery, the naked (vulnerable) black woman is made to look sexually seductive, confident and happy with her lot. Nichole’s look wordlessly (how apt!) repeats the old racist saying ‘the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.’
I have not seen the film, nor will I waste the very precious hours of lifetime I have further enriching idiots like Quentin. He has, clearly, disappeared so far up his own ass hole he can’t quite understand that as a white man the freedom of his ‘artistic imagination’ should be sensitive to the very deep hurt his treatment of slavery has caused.
So, there we have it, another white massa/messiah come to save us from our collective ignorance.
by Lola Okolosie