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[Editors Note] Of Anger and Alternative Endings (About the Help)

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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-25-11 11:56 PM
Original message
"For me as a hell-raising white woman, "The Help" bothers me even more. I love the strong women in it, but I know our history well enough to see how the movie's naive ending softens our history for newer generations. The story touches on the Citizens Council and Medgar Evers' murder by a Citizens Councilor, but viewers will not know just how entrenched Jackson was in 1963-64. Bill Simmons, the head of the Citizens Councils of America, used to spread race hatred from his Fairview Street home before it became an inn. He used to say he knew where every white person in Jackson stood on the race question.

That meant whites here had two choices: go along with the Council or live in fear of economic or violent retribution. "Help" viewers will not know that taxpayers (including blacks) paid for the Sovereignty Commission, which would spy on "agitators" (including a white gas station owner in Philadelphia who let a black man use his bathroom) and file "intelligence" reports. Then upstanding whites (not just Kluckers) used the information to organize boycotts and threaten the traitor whites. They fed it to local enforcement who were often members of the Klan (such as Chaney's license plate number prior to the Philadelphia murders). If they got caught, the Americans for the Preservation of the White Race paid legal fees collected from the wealthy to help them get off, often in front of Citizen Council judges.

That is, every white person (a) was in on the conspiracy, (b) didn't care enough to speak up or (c) was threatened if they tried to.

"The Help" just could not have ended as it did. Hilly, or her man, would have called the Council on Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. My guess is that Aibileen would have been severely beaten and never hired again in the state; anyone related to Skeeter would have been destroyed economically and at least one cross burned in her mama's yard; and Minny would have been killed and her house burned."

I have to admit Ms. Ladd was spot on in her analysis. The Help was entertainment, not documentary.
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NOLALady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-26-11 07:39 PM
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1. I cringed at Minny's antics.
I truly expected her to be killed.
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Kind of Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-26-11 09:31 PM
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2. Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry had some choice words
for this movie. She had the Last Word on it on Lawrence O'Donnell a little while ago.
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