Stand by Me

Sunday, I watched the BlackKKlansman again and I wrote an entire post about the movie. Spike Lee in this film is totally brutal and honest. Today its Wednesday and I had to change everything I wrote on the post. Another person of color got killed, George Floyd, another person of color got threatened at the park by a crazy lady ranting that she was going to call the cops for no reason, many more situations that don’t get a chance to be filmed are still happening behind closed doors. As Spike Lee’s movies shows and directly talks about racial issues and the non-conformity, the fight for the right to be treated as an equal. His movies should be showed on a baseball field for the all the people (read “Superior Race BullSh*”) to watch and after that, they should have a test. “Do you understand why this scene is portrayed like that?” “Do you understand how can I be harmed just by looking different?” Then they should write an essay after that. We have to start educating these people. Educate people so their kids, don’t kill your kids.

The BlackKKlansman tells the story of Ron StallWorth, a black cop from Colorado Springs, who decides to infiltrate the Klan. On the phone, it’s him, when he has to meet in person, his co-worker Zimmerman, a Jewish cop, takes his place. The movie is based in the 70s and is a real story of how Ron actually participated on the investigation. Even crazier, he also got a membership card from the organization. The movie never felt more real and raw to the reality of these days. I watched it in the theater, back in Chicago and I cried alone in the chair. When the leader of the Klan, David Duke chanted “America First” to a group of white man, it hit me hard. This past Sunday, I cried again and this time it was even harder to contain the tears.

David Duke played by Topher Grace, is alive and well.

It’s an outrage for all the atrocities the characters talks about, like being the superior race, the one that came from Europe are pure white, the eugenics and how horrific anything that doesn’t look like them. The scene where they watch “Bird of a Nation” from 1915, celebrating the people of color being punished and screaming slurs, while Ron watched hiding at the upstairs window, is almost too much to bare. That’s when we need to keep our eyes open. No more pretending these things don’t happen anymore. No more fast forwarding. We need to be united and we need it now.

As an immigrant, I can put myself in the shoes of the segregated group, some people of the so called “Superior Race” think that the immigrants are the rats, we invaded the country, we shouldn’t be here. I saw see a meme a few years ago, of a guy in a cockroach costume, with a broom in his hands saying “cockroach immigrants should leave” or something like that. At that time, I was a newlywed, to my American husband, still waiting for my documents so I could finally be legal. The first time I have ever regretted choosing the United States as my new country. Just a reminder that Trump was not even thinking about being elected. After he got elected, it derailed because people felt entitled for whatever reason, they were unleashed, showing their true colors. Now we know who they are, we have some educational work to do.

https://www.micahbazant.com/buy-art

“Micah Bazant is a trans visual artist who works with social justice movements to reimagine the world.”

We are not minority anymore. That’s the idea the media gives to the people, so they don’t feel underrated for whatever reason, because they can’t feel oppressed by any means. People were enslaved for 400 years, starved, rapped, families torn apart, their culture ripped into pieces, but for God you can’t use your mask for five minutes at the grocery store, because it’s your right not to. Wait a minute, so does your rights work just for you, or everyone else? It’s a pick and choose situation. Karen does what Karen want.

Throughout life, I learned to embrace, celebrate and respect diversity. In Brazil, we were colonized by so many countries, that it’s hard to find who is particular from there, we don’t have a stereotype, maybe because of a piece of literature some of us might be identified as cinnamon skin colored, like the Jorge Amado character, Gabriela. Like North America, we have all types of skin and hair as we are a very mixed people. In Brazil, the prejudice comes by class. You’re either super rich, rich, somehow financially stable, struggle or poor. I was in the limbo of struggle.

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In writing news, for this week I started to watch Spike Lee’s “master class” on indie film making. I’m flying through the classes and I’m about to use all the ink to print the class book. A few things that resonated with me the most were the words “If you want to be a writer/director you need to learn how to film what you have written.” That’s the part I didn’t have time to learn at creative writing school, as the speed of the classes were like 100 MPH, I feel like me and my class’s didn’t specialize in anything, we just brushed up on the topic. The second part is writing what you are familiar with, the situations you have knowledge about. I have a feeling that’s why all the stories I have written, the ones I considered the best, are the ones about immigrants. I know the feeling deep into my core.

So far I learned:

– How to film what you wrote

– Write what you are familiar with

– Be bold with your character invention

– Use index cards

To conclude, all I wanted to say is we have to stand by each other, immigrant friends, people of color, LGBT+Q community, people of the non colored groups who have been discriminated against, I will be here for you. I will be here to learn about your struggles, and I will tell you about mine.

Stay Safe,

J.G. Snelly

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