by Danny Haiphong
“What is most useful about ‘Get Out’ is how the film’s portrayal of interpersonal racism between the white affluent liberal classes and Black people can be easily applied to the structure of US society itself.”
“Get Out” has received critical acclaim from moviegoers and film critics across the country. A number of liberal and progressive analysts have written pieces about the significance of the film, ranging from its bold critique of white liberalism to its satirical genius. Indeed, there are many lessons one could derive from the film. Apologies in advance for the spoiler alert. For it is the film’s conclusion that provides the most important lesson for radical thought and activity in the United States.
“Get Out” ends with the main character, Chris, escaping from capture just prior to being sedated for a procedure which would have conditioned him to be a loyal servant of the white liberal, affluent classes. The film builds up to this climax with a number of events that expose the depth of white liberal racism and its deep connections to privilege and power. Chris doesn’t try to reason with his oppressors. Once free to escape, he strikes back at them. Only this ensured his escape from the clutches of enslavement.
The corporate media often avoids genuine criticism of white liberal America in order to appease the capitalist interests that control Hollywood. “Get Out” depicts racism mostly within the confines of interpersonal social relations, with a few references to the connection between white liberal racism and the profit motive at large. What is most useful about “Get Out” is how the film’s portrayal of interpersonal racism between the white affluent liberal classes and Black people can be easily applied to the structure of US society itself. The film makes clear that racism is an institutional mechanism designed for the oppression of Black Americans. Its message can be extended further to expose the totality of US imperialism’s broad design.
“The Democratic Party has rapidly become the face of the War Party.”
The Trump era has both intensified the antagonisms of US imperialism and confused many as to the true character of the system. Similar to the theme of “Get Out,” there are many white liberals who have become energized to “Dump Trump.” However, a significant section of these same white liberals have aligned themselves with US intelligence in the process. Recent allegations that Attorney General Jefferson Sessions held meetings with a Russian Ambassador continue to escalate the broader anti-Russian narrative being concocted by the US intelligence establishment to delegitimize Donald Trump. Agencies such as the CIA are primarily interested in the destabilization of Syria, Iran, and Russia. Destabilization is the preferred strategy of finance capital, which hopes to increase investment opportunities in the midst of chaos.
That white liberals align with US intelligence against Trump should come as no surprise. US intelligence is an appendage of the Democratic Party, as are the majority of white liberals. The Democratic Party has rapidly become the face of the War Party. The War Party is a longstanding alliance in Washington, comprised of Democrats and the GOP, which pushes for endless war abroad. The War Party has two faces, but one objective. One face is the GOP, which has for a generation been organized on the principle of white supremacy. The other is the Democratic Party, which has for the same period of time served as the graveyard of social movements and the more digestible form of imperialism for so-called progressives.
“The film makes clear that racism is an institutional mechanism designed for the oppression of Black Americans.”
Just as Chris found that his partner Rose was a racist in disguise, so too are millions of people in the US finding that the Democratic Party is an imperialist party in disguise. Russian revolutionary and Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin defined imperialism as capitalism in the monopoly stage of development, a stage where finance capital divides the world utterly and completely. The Democratic Party is fully controlled by monopoly capital in a stage of imperialist development that is much more acute than the period Lenin described. This is evidenced by the recent finding that global wealth has become overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of six individuals. These six individuals own more wealth than half of the world’s population. And a number of them, such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, are staunch allies of the Democratic Party.
The complete wedlock of the Democratic Party to billionaire capitalist elites has created an existential crisis for Democratic Party supporters. Democrats have long seen their party as a multinational, progressive institution that speaks to the interests of working people. Indeed, labor and much of the nation’s Black political leadership is huddled under the Democratic Party umbrella. However, servitude to billionaires also means loyalty to their interests and institutions. And white supremacy is indispensable to the process of profit accumulation generally.
Viewers of “Get Out” watch Chris struggle through a number of experiences that discredit the definition of racism as an individual, interpersonal phenomenon. The white, affluent classes conspire to rob him of his labor and humanity. The film subtly defines racism as an institutional mechanism of oppression, but it could be taken further. The Democratic Party provides a quintessential example of how racism is not merely an institution of oppression against a particular group of people that acts on its own. Racism is built into the very structure of monopoly capitalism.
“The film subtly defines racism as an institutional mechanism of oppression, but it could be taken further.”
It is time to “get out” of the Democratic Party trap and begin treating the institution as nothing but a political wing of the billionaire capitalist class. Democratic Administrations from Clinton to Obama are behind the intense escalation of racial oppression and exploitation that has occurred in the late 20th and early 21st Century. The Bill Clinton Administration destroyed welfare, militarized police and immigration enforcement, and vastly expanded the incarceration state. Obama took the reins from George W. Bush to expand police militarization, deportation, and surveillance in the United States. Both Democratic Party Administrations since 1993 have expanded the war apparatus, leaving only rubble behind in nations such as Libya, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine.
This is only a short list of ways the Democratic Party and its Republican Party allies are just as vile as the current Trump Administration and the GOP. Now Democrats have hitched their hopes to the dirty games of the CIA. But the CIA is under fire for hacking nearly every phone and computer device in the United States, thanks to a recent WikiLeaks dump. In hindsight, it is perfectly appropriate that the Democratic Party align itself with an organization that has funded, armed, and trained actual fascists such as those currently in power in Ukraine. The Democratic Party continues to lose all ability to hide behind the shadows of GOP bigotry. The sooner we build a movement that compels the working class and oppressed masses to “get out” of the Democratic Party trap, the better.
MAIN IMAGE: Still from film Get Out.
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