Taking the Negative: The Monster’s Ball Syndrome


From Wikipedia

Monster’s Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton as a widowed prison-guard, Halle Berry as a woman whose husband is on death row, and Heath Ledger as Thornton’s son. Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Misleading words and what I would like to call the:

Monsters Ball Syndrome

Misleading Words

Black and white are interesting words when use to describe race. While I have seen those terms quite often over the years, I have never with the same frequency seen the term yellow-people, red-people etc. We tend at least in America from my observation like things in two clear distinct choices: things like people are either black or white. In the polarizing ambiance of the election season, in the media  people are either rich or poor and everyone in the middle has disappeared, I would like to say figuratively but it’s hard to tell from where I am sitting.

It has always been my opinion at least for racial discourse that language or the lack of a sophisticated one to recognize all the nuances of race, is a great indicator of where we are a nation stand on the issue. Case and point our current president Barack Obama.  It is a widely known fact that  he is a man of mixed ancestry yet he is labeled black. There is no popular terms to describe what he is; mixed is too general a term. Anatole Broyard a Louisiana creole of mixed race, is a poster-boy for the racial self identity. He didn’t acknowledge is African and used his being able to pass for white to promote his career and social acceptance.

Interracial Sexual Relationships

The question of identity is an important one because it brings up rather interesting relationships, one of which I would like to talk about. From my own research I have noticed two things in terms of movies

  1. On-screen, interracial relationships between white women and African American, Latino, or Asian men occur so infrequently that it can be argued that there is an implicit censorship of these unions that demonstrates how certain subjects are rendered outside the realm of what is speak able. Even films that do pair a white woman with a man of color tend to keep the relationship platonic or avoid showing any intimacy in their relationship. Prominent black actors such as Cuba Gooding, Jr., Will Smith, and Denzel Washington have commented on Hollywood’s tendency to avoid the issue of interracial intimacy and the hesitancy of white executives to place a black male lead opposite a white female lead for a romantic story line. [taken from here]
  2. From Slavery there is a fear of black men having sex with white women. The black brute caricature is a stereotype originating around the time of the Reconstruction Era of the United States, which depicts African American men as inherently violent. While before the American Civil War, black slaves had been depicted as childlike and inferior beings, happy in their captivity, white supremacists now insisted that freedom would drive blacks towards crimes of theft, murder, and the rape of white women. To support these claims, newspapers would publish articles bolstering the image of black brutality to frighten and reinforce racist assumptions in white Southerners. [from wiki: Black Brute]

Images of the Black Brute Stereotype

I create this collage do you see any common themes?

Taking the Negative: The Monster’s Ball Syndrome

We live in new an interesting times. Gone are the days of Jim Crow, and the ban on inter-racial marriage in America was removed in 1967 though occassional we have some pastors who refuse to marry an inter-racial couple.

In 2009 an Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License By Louisiana Justice Of The Peace 

A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long. “I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday.

In 2012 Jim Crow Style: White Mississippi Church Refuses To Marry Black Couple

Charles Wilson and his now wife Te’Andrea had programs printed with their wedding date of July 21. The couple had already sent out invitations when they were told that they couldn’t be married in the church.

But what is clear is that there hasn’t been a Hollywood movie (to my knowledge) that will show the opposite of what we see in Monster Ball a black man having simulated sex with a white women well unless you are willing to look at porn where interracial sex is supposedly a popular. (I must add that Hally Berry is mixed, and that according to some [some here does not mean MrMary] is the reason she has been so popular  or able to advance further in her career than other black women.)  Don Cheadle isn’t going to be dogging Charlize Theron out any time soon because she just wants to feel good for once.

But let us take it a bit further. I did a Google search looking for some interracial porn site names and here are the results. Do you see a common theme? I see the same Brute stereotype here  but maybe that is just me. I have included brief site description in case the titles aren’t enough

  • BLACKS ON BLONDES  – Think of it like a sexual chess board with the black pieces filling up all the white boxes. You can see white honeys swallowing
  • MILFs Like It Black  – What these MILFs want, these MILFs always end up getting. What they want is big, black ——-
  • Watching My Mom Go Black – Black guys screw hot white women while their sons watch or their daughters join in on the action.
  • Lethal Interracial – Sexy white babes spread their soft white legs for big black —–
  • Blacks On Cougars – Hungry cougars dine on black meat
  • Black Cocks White Sluts – Horny white hotties having fun with multiple black
  • Abominable Black Man – This isn’t some creature roaming the mountains of Nepal and Tibet, but rather a big-dicked black guy roaming the streets of America.
  • My Daughters Fucking A Black Dude – Sexy coed chicks – usually white –

Earlier in the week I wrote a piece where i used a quote by on of my favorite writers Andre Malraux, which goes as such

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.

You may be surprised but we hide a lot about ourselves as a Nation and thus there is much disparity between the image we project and what we really are. Often really a joke is all that is needed to deconstruct many images and situations we take for granted as being common and exposing some twisted or dare I say antediluvian thinking.  Check this out from the VideoBox Blog:

Porn being something of an alternate universe, “interracial” does not simply mean persons of different racial backgrounds having sex. It refers to black men with white women about 95% of the time. Only about 40% of white girls will do a scene with a black man if the talent agency websites are to be believed. Even if you count the girls who are listed incorrectly in the non-interracial category, it’s probably still fewer than 50%. There are a few theories floating around about why some stars won’t do IR:

  1. They’re afraid of negatively impacting their career by upsetting their fan base.
  2. They’re afraid of upsetting their families
  3. They don’t find black men attractive

I’m sure they’re all true to one degree or another. Sarah Jane Hamilton is a poster on Adult DVD Talk and told this story in a thread about girls who don’t do IR:

Long time ago when I had an active fan club. I had a guy write to me just completely disgusted and irate with me. He said that he had been a big fan for years, but now he was completely appalled and turned off … because I did a scene with Sean Michaels. I laughed my ass off!!! And I kept the letter for years after. Imagine, he wasn’t offended when I was gang banged by 8 guys on a bridge, but his delicate sensibilities were rocked because I did Sean in a bedroom scene.

Conclusions

All this time I have not talked about how black women are portrayed in film  and their many stereotypes.  There is much more to be said. But I am still surprised that something a simple as “taking the negative” can uncover so much. But let me share with you a funny story.

I personally do not discriminate when it comes to dating women. I will date any women that regardless of religious creed, race, nationality, ability to speak English, financial status. At the end of the day I just want someone who, to quote the immortal Bizmarkie,  “got what I need” but has a cool personality, has some depth to her, who’s fun to spend time with. [You have to applaud me for making no innuendo or double entendre types jokes] Funny story, I dated this chic once from one of the new England states , a place in terms if population with about 1.1% ” black”  When I bumped into her later she told me that when we were dating she felt like she was doing something taboo and exotic, as she had never dated a black guy before all her friends were jealous. I guess the fact that I was from Brooklyn and worked out like  I might have served a prison sentence added to the whole mystique.

What do you think

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