‘Get Out’ isn’t anti-white, it’s anti-racism


‘Get Out’ isn’t anti-white, it’s anti-racism

By Blair Paddock

“My dad would have totally voted for Obama if he could run for a third term,” Rose said to her African-American boyfriend, Chris, in “Get Out,” released in theaters on Feb. 24 and directed and written by Jordan Peele.

“Get Out,” a horror thriller focusing on the relationship between Chris [Daniel Kaluuya] and Rose [Allison Williams], follows the couple as they travel to Rose’s childhood home where her family and the rest of the town seem mysterious at first before it becomes clear they are much more sinister. 

The white people, who predominate the film, are targeting the few African-American people of the community with racist comments and brainwashing that foreshadow more dangerous things to come. For example, in one scene, a woman looks at Chris’ crotch and asks Rose, “Is it true?” Some took the themes in the film as an attack on white people, but it actually it shines light on “liberal racism” by addressing issues surrounding micro-aggressions and police violence.

Despite the film’s 99 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, viewer reviews also include comments such as, “You couldn’t make a more blatantly obvious ‘white people are evil’ movie than this. It’s like they tried to portray all white people as the Grim Reaper of Racism bringing apocalypse to all black men.”

However, this ignorance of social awareness has spurred an important conversation about the term “anti-white” and reinforces the need to discuss the ongoing racism surrounding the black experience in America.  

A Feb. 27 Huffington Post article noticed that people typically get defensive if a film addresses racism. The humor in “Get Out” makes it more digestible for some but not all viewers, as the negative comments prove.

Lauren Sarner, in a Feb. 28 essay for Inverse, an online magazine, contends the film is not anti-white because the racial fears it portrays are not far-fetched: Black people experience these aggressions every day, especially when they are placed in an almost exclusively white environment. That’s true for Chris in “Get Out,” who must deal with people telling him, “Tiger Woods is my favorite golfer,” and feeling his muscles. While some white people may think that showing these scenes depicts them as bad people, these are plausible examples of “liberal racism.”

Peele, of Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele” fame, addresses racism in a satirical, humorous and scary way. To be able to understand the jokes or metaphors in the film, viewers must be aware of white privilege. 

Fresh social commentary such as “Get Out” may be able to expand people’s views and abolish the belief that socially conscious art is “anti-white.”