US film review(spoilers) by C.C. Saunders

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In its contemporary context, blackness assumes a violent coupling. Filmmaker Jordan Peele (Get Out) tackles this coupling in both a literal and figerative sense with his latest release Us. Peele depicts humans as “coupled” by a being who mirrors their exteriority. In challenging the presumed singularity of identity, the coupled being obscures reality, simultanously inciting the following query: Are humans replaceable?
Well, according to the film’s doppelgängers, who wear red jumpsuits accessorised by gold scissors, the answer is yes. Viewers meet Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) as a child who goes to a mirror house and encounters a girl who looks exactly like her. After this encounter, Adelaide is never the same, and later viewers learn that Adelaide is never the same because she and her doppelganger switched places on that faithful day. Though Adelaide’s parents noticed a difference in their child, this difference, viewers learn, with therapy, could be negotiated. In no time, Adelaide resumes the nurture of her parents and becomes the girl they raised.

The original, for lack of a better word, Adelaide grows up to lead an uprising where the different or the othered, kill their counterparts. Us features a battle between those who reside behind the mirror—at society’s peripheral, and those who look into the mirror and reside at the center. Peele never makes it clear who or what these beings are. The sole reference to identity the film gives is Red’s proclamation that they too are “Americans.”
Red (or Adelaide depending on your perception), to ensure that her initial plan remains in motion, eventually kills the girl whose place she took years. Her son is the only one who knows her secret, a connection she hints at with the early line “stick with me kid and I’ll keep you safe.” Here, Adelaide foreshadows the choice her son will eventually have towards the end of the movie, to share or remain silent. Red/Adelaine’s offspring is also coupled, as he encompasses both the center and the peripheral. Thus, the secret is a gateway to his understanding of self, a gift obscured from the realities of his sister and father.
The film as a whole exhibits a coupling distinct from what it delineates in part. Peele couples black actors with their American counterparts. Specifically, the media exhibits black bodies by way of representation, but the exhibited blackness remains superficial.

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For example, though Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o, who occupy the film’s lead roles, encompass a physical blackness in their melanin-dominant appearance, both play roles that could easily be played by white actors. Black actors in race-less roles, marks what the western world calls progress; however, this colorblind casting depicts the violent seizure of power from black people. Colorblind casting extracts black personhood from the black body. Specifically, colorblind roles attempt to circumvent the presumed problem of race. Race in this context also functions superficially; as color is a part, not the whole, of racism. Yet, Peele’s film attempts to showcase those often eliminated from lead roles because of their complexion in a role where their complexion is merely a coicidence. Us eliminates race in a world build on this falsified concept made real in the systemic disenfranchisement it continues to afford black people.
Thus, US makes “us,” or the black person, invisible by casting melanin dominate actors as coupled with an American identity that has never truly been theirs.
US and Social Reproduction of the Invisible [Wo]Man
Though I do not think it was intentional, Peele presents a diasporic discourse with Us. Particularly, the coupled identities that dominate the film illustrate the black individual as coupled by a collective identity. The envy dynamic present between Adeline and Red illustrates the envy many blacks within the diaspora have towards the black displaced in America, or what I will call the “invisible man.” The phrasing “invisible man” alludes to the Ellison novel where a nameless protagonist struggles to see himself in a world built on his invisibility. My use of “man” does not cite gender but references “human.” This invisible man remains largely invisible to his diasporic brethren who often view him or her as a “favored child” in the disillusion of black disruption. Us, in its depiction of black persons as the invisible man, depict the coupling of the black body and personhood as crippled by disallusion.

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By the film’s end, Adeline loses her life because her diasporic doppelganger (Red, who eventually becomes Adeline) wishes to be her; so, Red assumes Adeline’s space and takes her place. This is very much the reality for black people throughout America who have witnessed the perils of racism and prejudice, perils strategically aggravated by immigration. Buried by the fantasy that is American idealism, the invisible man remains invisible to many of their diasporic brethren who are often unable see to past this veiled reality. Instead, this invisible man becomes a hyper-site for a social reproduction that affords white hegemony its violent stagnancy.
In Us, Adeline encompasses the “invisible man” ideal that her counterpart seeks to socially reproduce. Red sees the space Adeline occupies as a bridge to a better life. She (Red) deems her position in American’s peripheral as inferior to the central placement of her doppelganger (Adeline). This notion is particularly complicated by Peele’s colorblind roles, where the black actor remains in the periphery despite seemingly central placement.
Nevertheless, I digress.
Red believes that she is more deserving of the space Adeline occupies and thus would occupy said space “better.” This is often the ideology many Africans in America face with our diasporic brethren who become “model minorities” in seeking to occupy the American space “better” than their kidnapped kinfolk. America, for the being of black form, is a site of physical and mental abduction perpetuated by the continued pressure to assimilate. This assimilation, despite its societal perception, does not mark achievement but cultural compromise. Thus, it is Red’s desire to socially reproduce the invisible man that drives her sadistic and physically violent attempt to take-over an exclusive space. It is this desire to socially reproduce the invisible man that makes the mentally enslaved black predisposed to attack those who look like them and not their true oppressors. As long as the oppressed see themselves as the enemy, the narrative remains focused on the oppressors. Thus, Red/Adeline and her diasporic counterpart cannot co-exist because then the narrative runs the risk of becoming “us,” and within this global paradigm of white supremacy, it must always be about “them.”

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Peele’s colorblind casting alludes to the Duboisian notion of double consciousness in his depiction of the black person is physically split into two selves. So while viewers physically see black actors, the main role remains reserved for white cultural hegemony. What I mean here is that viewers see black actors but are forced to engage with the white space these black actors wish to occupy rather than the black actors themselves. It is the desire for American-ness, or to exist beyond blackness, that makes Us’s viewing experience a visual engagement with the invisible man. Specifically, with “Us,” black viewers witness what will become of them if espoused to an American identity. The film functions as a visual illustration of the “black American” or “African-American” concept that the abducted Africans in America must detach from as a rudimentary step in our collective liberation.

Buried under the American fantasy and entombed by the fiction of progress, there is no “us.” This fact is perhaps best illustrated when Red kills another black women to aid in a white plight to assume a space.
It is Red’s desire to socially reproduce the invisible man that drives her sadistic and physically violent attempt to take-over an exclusive space. It is this desire to socially reproduce the invisible man that makes the mentally enslaved black predisposed to attack those who look like them and not their true oppressors. As long as the oppressed see themselves as the enemy, the narrative remains focused on the oppressors. Red/Adeline and her diasporic counterpart cannot co-exist because then the narrative runs the risk of becoming “us,” and within this global paradigm of white supremacy, it must always be about “them.”
The singularity Red seeks and attains ensures that there is no “us,” if there ever was an “us.” Her actions represents the inevitable end for a group who remains disrupted. As a product of a festered disruption, the black collective, in part remains what they made of “us.” The black representation seen on-screen and throughout politics, education, and every other field, is not us and has never been us. It’s them.
Conclusively, as evidenced by his latest film venture, Jordan Peele also fails to represent us; rather, he remains vested in “them.”

Much love to my People(Taking a long hiatus)

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Peace family.  I hope you’ve all been well.  I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now.  Every day there’s some news about politics,racist incident,police brutality or celebrity gossip.  Most of the mainstream “news” is designed to distract us from real progress.  I have gotten a lot of information from WordPress,Facebook,Youtube,Twitter,Google,Yahoo and Instagram.  As well as the cable news and talk shows.Media2...

I do a lot of research for my posts.  It takes a quite a bit of work to find the right videos and pictures for a specific post.  But social media can be very draining at times. You can wear yourself out when trying to fight racism,expose conspiracies and decode this matrix we are currently trapped inside.  We are living in a synthetic reality.  I hope people have learned something from my blog over the last six years.  I have uploaded over 1,000 posts in that time.   But I couldn’t have done it without the help of other bloggers.  There are a few people who have shown me great support over the years.

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There are many bloggers and people I’ve chatted with on YouTube.  And many of them have opened my eyes to the deception around me.  They have made me look at things from a different perspective.  They made me challenge my own personal beliefs.  I’d like to thank fellow bloggers such as Moorbey,Land of Kam,Diary of a Negress,Original Black Woman,Onitaset Kumat,HungLikeJesus,Melanin Man,Chef Ahki,Shelby Courtland,Amos Magazine,Cliff Green,Lumumba Afrika,Chantel Keona,Sparking Thoughts,Cree7,Adunola the Oracle,Tahtahme Xero,Ajua Luv,Kelley,Sunny Delyte, CC Saunders,Jakke Brown,Brotha Wolf,No Black Pete,BlackMyStory,4thAngelsBowl,Queen Afua,Truth Angel,Naga Kanyah, Cynical Afrikan,Malaika Mutere,Alicia Monet,Trojan Pam(R.I.P),Queen Adira,Akings Truth,Hugh Cipher,Omay Farlane,Nidotopian Warrior,Wyzedome,Black Empowerment,Brother Osei, King Lo the Rastar,One Tawny Stranger,OldSchoolBlog,Roshumba Monique and Infinite Alkhemist.  I want to thank each and every one of you. You all have your own unique perspective on this crazy world we live in.  I want to thank each and every one of you for the information you’ve all given me over the years.  But I’ve been burned out as of late.  I have my own personal problems I’m going through.  I know you all have your problems as well.  I’ve taken breaks before but this one will probably be longer.  I have some things I need to work out.  And to be honest,trying to wake up people drains you.  I’ve been on this journey for a very long time.  It takes it’s toll on you.  But I do want to make something clear.  I have not giving up on my people.  Many times black people do let me down.  But I have not thrown in the towel on freedom and liberation.  That will always be priority number one. I’m not sure when I’ll be back blogging full time.  Even though I wont be blogging I’ll still be around.  I guess you could say I’m going “underground” for awhile.  I think 2019 will be a very stressful year for all of us.  I’m not sure what it will be but I feel as though something is coming. I think we all should be preparing in these uncertain times.  Look out for your family and friends. You guys take care. Peace and blessings. Your brother,KP.

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Dear Melanated People(Hidden Wisdom)

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DEAR BLACK PEOPLE PEOPLE(AFRICANS,SUN PEOPLE,INDIGENOUS),YOU ARE THE ORIGINAL MELANATED BEINGS.YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE OF ALL THINGS. THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS IS FORGOTTEN,LOST WHEN MAN WAS CAST INTO BONDAGE,BOUND AND FETTERED BY THE CHAINS OF DARKNESS. MIGHTY ARE THEY WITH THE FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE. SECRETLY USING THEIR POWERS,ENSLAVING AND BINDING THE SOULS OF THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE. DRAWING OTHERS INTO THEIR DARKNESS.  KNOW THAT THE SOUL IS LIVING IN BONDAGE FETTERED BY FEARS THAT HOLD YOU THRALL. BUT IN THE END THE RIGHTEOUS WILL PREVAIL.  THE EVIL DEEDS WILL BE PAID BY KARMIC DEBT. THIS IS THE WAY THE UNIVERSE HAS ALWAYS OPERATED SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. BUT JUST KNOW THAT THE HUE-MAN/WOMB-MAN CAN OVERCOME THE EVILS OF MAN-KIND. ONLY BY WISDOM YOU CAN BE TRULY FREE.

Definition of a True Warrior!

True Warrior...

How do you get over this horror?

Slavery...

Heroic Warriors or Mindless thugs?(Killmonger,Magneto,Koba)

Erik Killmonger...

What is a warrior? What is an ignorant thug?  What is a ruthless killer?  What is a revolutionary? What does it mean to have courage? I’ve been asking these questions to people I know recently?  In the film Black Panther the anti-hero is Erik Kilmonger. There have been many debates on Twitter,Facebook and YouTube about whether Killmonger was a hero or not.  Killmonger’s main objective was to liberate oppressed black people all over the world.  He wanted to level the playing field against white supremacy.  And he was seen as the villain.  Now don’t get me wrong,Killmonger was no angel. Far from it. He was ready to kill anything in his way. He grew up in poverty in a crime ridden city called Oakland. So he had a lot to be  angry about.  I find it interesting that although KIllmonger is seen as the villain,white supremacy is never named in the film.  The word “racism” is never said in the film.  It’s only implied.  And that is the REAL source of his anger and his oppression.   But anyway,nothing would stop him from completing his mission.  Even with the odds against him he stayed focused on the mission at hand.  But he was portrayed as an African-American thug.  The real public enemy number one.  This is why Black Panther is the hero in a white-created film.  They don’t want children to admire the traits of Killmonger because he’s a threat to the racist power structure.  That’s why I tell people Black Panther is full of anti-black propaganda. What exactly is propaganda? Propaganda is the effort to spread a belief or an opinion about a certain issue. Commercial advertisers,government,media,pressure groups and public officials all use propaganda. The whole point of propaganda is an attempt to get people to think a certain way about something.  I feel propaganda is most effective when people don’t realize it as propaganda.  This is why characters like Erik Killmonger are painted as the bad guy.  His motives are liberating for black people but they portray him as a mindless thug so you associate the behavior with the ideology.

Propganda...

I’ve seen this pattern of painting revolutionaries as the anti-hero.  I remember reading years ago that the Marvel characters Professor X and Magneto were based off of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.  Marvel comics founder Stan Lee also admitted that the X Men super powered mutants were based off of the black civil rights movement going on in the sixties.  This is one of the reasons Magneto is seen as the evil villain. He wants to liberation of mutants against oppression.  But when you listen to Magneto talk about the the situation of mutants he’s always making valid points.  And he believes if mutants want true freedom they have to do it ” by any means necessary”.Malcolm Magneto..

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Another character that was revolutionary was Koba from The Planet of The Apes.  Koba believed that apes shouldn’t trust humans.  The main leader of the apes was Caesar.  He and Caesar rarely saw eye to eye. I also noticed that Caesar was a darker skinned ape. Whereas Caesar has a more light skinned face. Koba also had a scarred face from the torture he received from evil humans.  So Koba even looked like an ugly monster.  This is also subliminal programming.  It’s to give the impression that if someone is unattractive then they must be evil.  Which we know is not true.  I’ve met plenty of good looking people that were selfish,vain,manipulative  and egotistical.  But people are trained to believe that exterior beauty translates to inner beauty.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s a synopsis from Gaspar Yanga:

“In the begging of this movie, some scientist wander into the apes territory ( theme of White innocence) and have a dispute with the Apes, in which one Ape is shot. Caesar, being the leader tells the people to leave and takes the injured Ape back home. Koba, having been abused by humans (Europeans), tells Caesar they should follow the humans back to where they are at. Koba comes back and tells Caesar, that he believes they should attack the humans before they get stronger. Caesar makes a snarky comment about how the only thing that Koba, learned from humans is hate. ( theme of seeking retribution against Europeans is wrong).

Koba, goes back into the human’s camps, only to find they are stockpiled with WEAPONS. The innocent humans that Caesar loves so much has a army reserve of military grade weapons. Some of the humans go back to the Apes home, while Koba was gone, in order to seek Caesar’s approval to search for a dam which could power their city. Upon, rushing back to tell Caesar of this great potential threat of humans, Koba is furious to find out that that humans have been allowed back into the Apes territory, along with the human that shot an ape named Ash. Koba and Caesar fight before Koba can tell Caesar, that the humans are preparing to for some type of war with all the weapons. Koba comes up with this genius plan, he goes back to the human camp to steal a gun so he can use it to shoot Caesar and tell the Apes that a human shot Caesar at night and that they should attack the humans. Koba’s brilliant plan works. Koba shoots Caesar at night time while some of those humans are in camp and he runs to tell the other Apes, that humans shot Caeser. Well, during the Ape attack on the humans, Koba gives a command to kill this human to another ape, this Ape refuses, Koba pats him on the back, then drags him by the head and throws him off the ledge showing the other apes who is the king of the hill. Koba, then arrest all those who are loyal to Caser and like humans. Koba is an example of supreme intelligence, military strategy, and brilliance. He removes a weak leader with a brilliant plot. He then consolidates power through force (Mao style) and he units the Apes, around their Ape identity. Koba is the ultimate Ape Nationalist and Freedom Fighter. The only thing that Koba does not tolerate is softness for enemies, he considers that WEAKNESS.

Caesar, in talking to the “GOOD HUMAN” (WHITE), says this ” Ape start war, Human will not forgive”. Caesar, blames his own people for the war. The humans created the experimental drug, the humans abused the apes giving them a reason to never trust them and the humans were trying to recolonize the world. Caesar, blames Koba and his people for starting a war that was caused by the humans (Whites). This, of course, is how the warped mind of the European is even in his movies and how he plants this false consciousness in others (mostly Black Christians). The writers actual ignore the history of the Apes and manipulates Caesar into this self hating, self loathing ape who has a soft spot in his heart for humans. Koba was punished in the movie for: 1. Never forgiving humans 2. Loyalty to his own kind and Caesar is made a hero for 1. Forgiving the Europeans 2. Seeing the good in all people.

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The problem is people want a kind and sweet revolution.  They don’t know what it takes to get real freedom and liberation.  A real warrior will do whatever he needs to do to get freedom.   A warrior is usually a person experienced in warfare.  Or a person that has shown great vigor,aggression and courage. In a white racist society they want to demonize revolutionaries so people don’t see them as heroes. These films want you to identify with the so-called heroes.  But if you’re an oppressed group you should be rooting for the revolutionary.  When the European colonizers came to America that killed everything that wasn’t European.  They killed millions of Native Americans.  They killed millions of Africans.  They raped women and killed babies.  They were heartless and ruthless and their quest for power and domination.  They were bloodthirsty and heartless!  That’s what they did in the America’s and in Africa. They know what it takes to achieve a revolution.  This is what brave Haitians did in the revolution in 1804.  These were real Africans warriors that knew who was the enemy.  They couldn’t show any weakness against the evil Frenchmen.  And these are the qualities that fictional characters like Killmonger,Magneto and Koba possess. This is why it’s important to recognize propaganda when it’s in front of you.  And these Hollywood films are full of them.  When I was younger I couldn’t see it.  But my eyes are wide open now.  They’re training you to root for the real villains.  So in essence,they have you going against your own self interest.  And ultimately your freedom.