Maybe I was one of the last to see it, but I finally watched The Help tonight.
I want to start by just saying that I know sometimes on blogs people write things for compensation of some sort. While I am guilty of that at times, this is not one of those times. This is just cause I wanted to talk.
Anyway, so back to The Help. I don’t want to spoil it for the other 5 people who haven’t seen this movie, so I won’t talk about actual scenes from the movie.
Honestly, I don’t even know what I want to write about yet, I was just moved to write after I saw the movie. It made me sad. And ashamed. Not because I have ever acted that way towards someone because of the color of their skin, but because anyone ever thought that was okay. And this was post slavery… so this was somehow ‘the good life’ compared to what ‘colored’ people (as the movie called them) used to have to endure. I’m white. Who knows, my ancestors could have been one of those nasty white people from the movie. I hope not, but the reality is, that it is a possibility. That makes me sad.
My husband and I, whenever the subject of racism (specifically black/white) comes up, we are always taken aback when we think about the fact that it wasn’t really that long ago. Have you ever thought about that? The Help was based on a town in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960’s. That’s only 50 years or less, people! So, when you see black people on t.v. or in real life that act mad at white people and you think, “what did I do? I wasn’t alive when such and such happened!”, just remember that maybe their parents were alive. Or, if it is an elderly person they were alive and had to endure the separate bathrooms, theaters, drinking fountains, schools and more.
It is ridiculous that we, as a society, thought it was okay to treat another human being as if they had some disease just because they had a different color skin.
Okay, enough of the sadness. This movie also made me smile and feel good about the human race. Knowing they could risk their livelihood (and lives) to tell their story, some of ‘the help’ in Jackson come together to tell their story. And one woman goes against the way she was raised, to tell their story too. Now, I know this was a fictional movie/book, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be inspired by it!
Fifty years later and we definitely still have work to do on the racism front. Lots of people like to pretend it’s not still here, but it is if you open your eyes. As parents, we just have to not pass it on. It’s really not hard, either. And, that goes for both races… both are guilty of continuing the hate.
After watching The Help, I have sadness that we ever treated other humans in this manner. However, I also feel proud, that a few stood up and said, “This has got to stop!” Those few made it possible.
In my opinion, that’s how it is for anything we feel strongly about. The few need to stand up for what they know is right!
Have you seen The Help? How did it effect you? Did you like the movie?
P.S. I know that not all ‘the help’ were treated poorly. I know many were treated like family. And those of you from the South, probably have a lot to add to this and I would love to hear it. A friend of mine just told me a great story from her childhood about her ‘help’ that helped raise her and it was a beautiful story.