I should have known when the creators and showrunners of the hit TV series Game of Thrones, David Benioff, and Dan Weiss, had “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons”, being lifted into the air by a swarm of Black people, shit was gonna go left real quick with David and Dan.
Before I start this blog, in full transparency, you must know that I love Game of Thrones. I have watched Game of Thrones since the dire-wolves still had milk on their fur, since Cersei had long hair, and her brother, lover and father of her children, Jamie Lannister, had both hands. I have watched Game of Thrones since Arya was play fighting with “Needle” before she became a skilled assassin and a girl with no name. I am so emotionally invested in Game of Thrones, when Khal Drogo called Khaleesi his, “Moon of My Life,” I imagined that he was speaking to me. When Khal Drogo died, I thought, “What is the point of going on with this show?” But I was invested in the fan outcome of finally seeing the long-held theory manifest that Daenerys and Jon Snow are brother and sister meant to rule the kingdoms.
I watch Game of Thrones faithfully, pulling in friends and family to join me each Sunday as we hum along to the opening tune.
I waited with bated breath just to hear Arya say, “Winter Came for House Frey,” one of the greatest lines in TV history. And then, the next day came, David Benioff and Dan Weiss announced that they were greenlighted to create a show called Confederate, that will explore an alternate timeline where the Confederate States of America won the Civil War, and take place in a world where slavery is a “modern institution.”
Say what now?
I should have known.
Y’all have put me through the beheading of Ned Stark, the abhorrent evil of Joffrey, the sadistic actions of Ramsay Bolton, the emotional turmoil of the Red Wedding and now to top off this emotional ride; you now want me to follow you to another show about slavery never ending?
Have you lost your damn mind?
I have several issues with this new show Confederate:
1. Why do White people always find a way to profit off Black pain and suffering? For White people to always use the “Get over it that was so long ago excuse,” when it comes to slavery, it seems this excuse flies out the window when it is time to make a profit. White Hollywood (which does include television) always loves to relive slavery. It is like telling the story of slavery is a guaranteed Oscar/Emmy win or nomination. Haven’t White people taken enough from Black people? Why do White people feel compelled to continue to profit from our suffering? Were Black people picking cotton in the fields, not enough? How much more money do you want, David and Dan, from slavery?
2. Why do White people always want to hijack Black stories and history? Our history is not YOUR story. Our history is not for YOUR profit. If the story of Black history is to be told, it must be told by Black people. We do not need White people to whitewash OUR history. White people have done that enough. White people CONTINUE to benefit from slavery by telling OUR stories and STEALING our art and creativity. Black people are gifted and equipped to tell THEIR OWN STORIES! Someone posted that David and Dan are Jewish. Hmmm… Why not write a story about what if the Holocaust never ended? Why not tell YOUR story if you want to fantasize about history? You don’t want to pimp your history, but you are fine pimping ours.
3. If White People are so obsessed with Black History, why don’t they portray the truth and just speak on their collusion in the slave trade, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights? If you are going to tell the TRUE story of slavery, Jim Crow, the struggle for Civil Rights, why not tell the REAL story? Why not tell the story from the White perspective? How did White people act during slavery? How did White people act during Jim Crow? What is the TRUE story of White history regarding slavery? What did your father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, great grandfather and great grandmother do during slavery? How many slaves did your family own? How long has the plantation home been in your family? How much money still benefits your family due to slavery? Which side was your family on, friend? Tell that story. I would be curious to see that movie. The REAL TRUTH! Stop telling the story of slavery without mentioning YOUR PART. Show us YOUR PART.
4. Why do White people love to fantasize about what the world would look like if slavery never ended? As a Black woman, I fantasize too. I fantasize about what Africa would be like if White people had left Black people alone. I fantasize about what Africa would be like if White people did not rape it for its resources. I fantasize about what it would be like to know my heritage, to speak my language, to eat food native to me. I fantasize about the advancements Black people could have made without White people stealing our ideas and creativity. I fantasize daily about what this nation would be like, if Black people were never brought to this land. Make that TV show. How would America look if Black people were NEVER brought here? Would White people have picked their own cotton? How would White people do without peanut butter, the fold out bed, potato chips, riding on a train, shoes, the light bulb, blood transfusions, receiving mail, the telephone, pacemakers, video games, cataract removal, any movie with 3-D special effects, super-soaker water guns, the refrigerator, birth control, the elevator, the computer, the microphone, the traffic signal, sugar, the cell phone, scooping ice cream, the dustpan, the squeeze mop, the clothes dryer, the ironing board, diamonds, paper, home security systems…The list of our contributions is endless. What would White people do without Black people? Tell THAT story.
What David and Dan fail to realize is that they do not have to write and produce a show based on the theory of what if slavery didn’t exist. Michelle Alexander already wrote the script with the New Jim Crow, and Ava DuVernay already made the movie with the documentary 13th.
David and Dan do not need to fantasize about what slavery would look like in modern times. It is taking place all around you but when you are White sometimes you cannot see that. Take a step from behind the camera lens and look at the world. Black people live this reality every day. What White America has done is simply fool the world by changing the name slavery to mass incarceration. To be Black in America is to live under a state of slavery. To drive and wonder if you will make it to your destination alive, is slavery. To have your head cut off in Jackson, Mississippi like Jeremy Jerome Jackson, is slavery. To be lynched by dragging from the back of a truck, like James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas, is slavery. To be choked and murdered on a New York street, like Eric Garner, is slavery. To be imprisoned for three years without a trial, like Kalief Browder, is slavery. To die on a jailhouse floor, like Sandra Bland, is slavery. To have corporations financially benefit from the incarceration of Black men, is slavery. To create policies to secure inmates to produce products for corporations, is slavery. To still be fighting for basic civil rights, is slavery!
YOU, DAVID AND DAN, see a profit! Because Black trauma has always been made to tap dance for your pleasure! Black pain has always added coins to your coffers.
BLACK PAIN, LIFE, SUFFERING, HEARTACHE IS NOT AN HBO, MADE FOR TV SERIES!
This is the REALITY OF THE WORLD THAT WE ARE LIVING IN!
If you want to tell A STORY, do not point the cameras at us. Point the cameras at men and women that look like you. Tell that STORY!
Until you do that, I borrow a phrase from your hit TV show, Game of Thrones; YOU KNOW NOTHING! AND YOU WILL NEVER KNOW NOTHING ABOUT OUR STORY!
Categories: Current Events, Race Relations, Thoughts, Musings and Reflections
I get the motivation that crafted this piece.
I also know that the fanfiction that motivates what is going to be created into a series has a long history. I remember a comic back in the 1980s that dealt with this theme.
There is an audience in this country that will eat this up. Now, I imagine there will be subplots of subversion and heroism and the like, but this a capitalist move to make a buck off a mortally wounded sense of white superiority.