In recent years, the progressive movement has gone far beyond the mundane matter of acting like they uphold equality across race lines. The line has also progressed beyond the real discrimination that exists between men and women. We do not mean “putting down” by the word discrimination here, we mean “showing the ability to distinguish one from the other.” The act of putting someone down because they are of some certain group or the opposite sex is more properly defined with the word bigotry, so that is what we are going to use here.
For a while, the progressives seemed to at least be grounded in the part of reality that notes that women are different than men, and that people around the Earth look different from one another. Things like skin color and hair color led the way. Oh, yes, and whether somebody is right-handed or left-handed. That is a big and old distinction that has also thankfully been consigned to the trash heap of silly superstitions.
But enter the movie Black Panther, in 2018, in the era of Black Lives Matter and especially after the 2015 Supreme Court decision regarding same sex marriage, and now we have journeyed into an alternate reality far more unpleasant than the beautiful and noble Wakandan civilization and people. And what is particularly nasty about this is the Social Justice warriors are now up in arms because there were no gay or lesbian characterizations or even hints thereof in this movie. For a few weeks, Panther was heralded as a cultural triumph for black people.
Except it wasn’t. It can be properly heralded as an African hero movie. This is NOT the same thing.
Here is why.
The social justice movement concern for groups like Black Lives Matter and its related ilk are in no way concerned with African culture or the indigenous values from that part of the world. Think about it. Have you ever seen a BLM person explain that the reason white cops should all die is because they are trampling on a noble culture?
No. They are usually mad because the white police officer (and sometimes black police officers) are upholding this nifty thing called the Law. The Law says it is not right to do certain things, such as stealing cars or other property and money that does not belong to you, and it also holds that drug-use is highly dangerous to the functioning of a stable society, and particularly does not think it is great to influence children and teenagers to lives of drug use and concurrent crime. The Law further holds that pointing a gun at another person and shooting them for any reason other than purely self-defense is, well, wrong.
Look at these images. How does this:
Relate to this?
Not so much, right? We don’t even have to make a comparison to something that is not real.
But in all this what we see in Black Panther is a great combination of beautiful aspects of many African cultures. Guess what though? Homosexuality is not regarded highly in any part of Africa, even in liberal South Africa, where same-sex marriage managed to get legalized.
And why is this? One big reason is because of Christian influence by both colonizing nations such as England, Spain and France, but also the ancient Orthodox Christian identity of countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia, that even now is spreading into Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Christian teaching on this matter is very clear – it is a behavior which does unspeakable damage to the people involved, so much so that the apostle Paul referred to it as “an abomination”, a term he ascribed to no other sinful behavior. One thing that many Christian missionaries who have worked in Africa will attest to – when these people take on Christian life, they do it seriously.
Secondly, and more mundanely, this is an action movie, in a fictionalized universe of action movies. The most graphic scene Marvel has offered viewers is Tony Stark and Christine Everheart in the first Iron Man, and since then, the scenes have never passed a kiss shared between a man and woman. Why? Because, we are not interested in seeing Marvel sex. We are interested in watching superheroes be superheroes!
Now, granted, there is no shortage of superhero movies that get into personal lives, such as The Watchmen, a very gritty rendering of a very gritty graphic novel. But Marvel and DC fare are usually very mundane, popcorn-crunching films; a lot of kids (of all ages!) love to see them, and there is simply no place for sexually-related virtue signaling here. To place it in any of these movies would almost certainly turn people away. The Star Trek franchise has apparently not yet learned this lesson, but it will, and so far, screen presentations of Star Wars have also neatly avoided sexual matters of any type.
The Progressive Thought Police seem to live in a very miserable world, if they honestly cannot be happy unless progressivism is implanted in mass media so that everyone can see how no one is being discriminated against (except for Christian, and traditionally-living people).
But for the rest of us, we are happy to be witnesses to the spectacle of Wakanda, not because it’s black, but because it is revealed to be an extraordinarily beautiful and cool place. We are not virtue signaling because of the athletic ease of the Wakandan royal greeting, because it seems to give a nod to something distinctly “homeboy”. Rather, again, it’s cool. The characters are who they are, and we see them do interesting things. We have tons and tons of mass media ready to give us social commentary. But we go to Marvel and Star Wars and other such flicks because we like to not think about such heavy topics. We want to see heroes have adventures and save the day.
The adventures people have with no clothes on, though, we’d rather leave behind closed doors. And we are happy that Marvel has shown quite a lot of respect in this matter.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.