The ‘Sunken Place’ is real and white people know itMarch 15, 2017
In Jordan Peele’s film, “Get Out”, Blacks who lose their blackness fall into a “Sunken Place”. It’s a stage of mental paralyzation allowing the individual’s actions to be controlled by someone else due to the individual’s mind being stuck in a trance. The longer they remain in the hypnosis the less power they have to get out of it. Each day they’ll sink lower and lower to the lowest level of freedom and consciousness. They want to break the curse. They want to ‘get out’ but because they are paralyzed, they are stuck in the Sunken Place.
Peele made history with the film as the first Black Director/Writer to rake in more than $100M on a debut film. Hollywood didn’t see it coming but it’s almost a guarantee Hollywood got the message. Audiences are thirsty for films that will not only entertain but also present their voices and perceptions within contemporary cinematography. While film critics view the ‘Sunken Place’ as just a clever piece of a fascinating screenplay, blacks beg to differ. In fact, the only thing more scarier than this conscious horror film is how so many people disregarded the hidden messages in the movie and made attempts to simplify the complexity of the film’s cinematic activism.
People’s neglect to explore the possibilities of a Sunken Place only proved it is real. The even scarier dynamic is that millions of Americans are in a ‘sunken place’ of some sort and they honestly don’t know how they got there. They don’t know how to get out and many don’t even realize they are in it.
However, for Blacks, the Sunken Place is not a popular vacation destination. It’s not the bright lights of Las Vegas’ Casinos & Hotels. It’s not the stars on the squares of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It’s not the historic monuments in Washington D.C. It’s not the excitement and thrills of Bourbon St. in New Orleans.
For Blacks, the Sunken Place is just the opposite. It’s a tunnel of repeated oppression without resolution. It’s a cave of injustice painted with the blood shed by young Black Males to the weapons of reckless law enforcement. It’s a long sloping pit of inequality that sinks you to the lowest hole of consciousness. The Sunken Place is so dangerous because it suggests the people who are sunken have no power to change their condition. They are so sunken they begin accepting their current state of brokenness. They are so sunken they begin believing what they are told about themselves without even the slightest desire to learn differently.
Sunken becomes common. It becomes comfortable. When television shows reflect the lowest of sunkeness, it has become normal to accept it as popular entertainment rather than the exploitation and culture manipulation that it is.
Sunken is the new patriotic. It’s when the only way to be American is to subscribe to the version of America that has been established and branded by white supremacists passed down through the generations, trickling it’s way through conservative politics. When supporting policies which exploit the weak to sustain the entitlement of those who implemented division makes you feel “American”, you are sunken.
The Back person who is constantly trying to fit in with other races while having less and less engagement with his own people is sunken. When Blacks attempt to rationalize the effects of poverty and how it has plagued our inner cities, they are sunken. When there’s more effort to accept America’s excuses for the treatment of Blacks than there is to raise your voice about the injustices we face, you are sunken.
While the movie is labeled a horror film, there is only one real horrific point about the movie… that Blacks know it is true and millions of young whites know it is true as well. Old White America is horrified of the fact that their grandchildren are growing up in the browning of America and they are rejecting the concepts of our hideous past. Old White America is afraid the mixing of races will decimate their dominance. Old White America is terrified that their seeds are growing up in a diverse environment and they are learning to respect and understand people who are different from them.
What scares America is not the fact that a black director made $100M off of his first movie. What scares America is the fact that half of Peele’s audience may have been White people who, through the movie, have been given the opportunity to view how Racism and White Supremacy has also manipulated their actions as well. America is more afraid that Whites who grew up in relaxed racist environments may see this movie and they will be the ones wanting to get out.
Racism is a pollution worse than environmental damage. America has more than tolerated it. For centuries, America institutionalized it. Governmental practices have made it acceptable and common and natural and there are many people still alive who don’t want the pattern to break. Their worst nightmare is not that blacks will wake up. They are more afraid Whites will.