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November 1994, Week 2


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James Tichenor <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 13 Nov 1994 17:07:59 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Gloria Monti said:
>I cannot believe that concepts like this one still need
>to be explained in 1994: the whole usage of the *n* word has everything
>to do with who uses it--remember history?  It makes a difference whether
>it is an African-American appropriating the word for him/herself or a
>white man perpetuating a racist tradition of using it against
>African-Americans.  Enough of this if-you-see-Spike-Lee's-films-then-what's
>wrong-with-Tarantino's-films.  Tarantino is a white man, that's what's
>wrong with his usage of the *n* word.
>        Personally, I disagree with anybody's usage of the *n* word, but
>another story.
OK, point taken. The only thing I will say is that using the word *against*
African-americans is obviously wrong. What about using it *with* them?
>> I didn't see the racism in the movie.
>        Obviously, you have never had to stop and think about the effects
>that racism could have on *you.*  Try the other side for a change.
I've thought many time what the effects of racism could have on me, thank
you. I liven in Philidelphia for a few months when I was a kid and spent
many frightening moments walking down the street listening to "I hate the
whities. They smell like shit. Hey little honky boy... Fuck you, white boy."
I know. I know what it's like to be ignored for 45 minutes in a Japanese
restaurant because I'm the only white in the room. I'm sorry that other
people have to put up with that and worse, many more times in their lives
than I have to. But I call myself "whitey" and my black friends call me
"whitey". No problem, unless they want to hurt me.
But this has nothing to do with the point. _I_ saw no racism in the film.
You say I'm wrong and I say you're wrong. You're wrong.
>        How can a white man appropriate something that was originally
>his?  It is the African-American who has appropriated something that was
>used against him.  The "cool blacks sorry african-americans" (sic) did
>not invent the *n* word to be cool.
But now they and others use it to be cool.
>> QT is a smart guy. He knows exactly what he's doing.
[cut quotes]
>There is a
>price to be paid for the kind of smartness you laud Tarantino for.  The
>point is, some people pay higher prices than others.  And that has got to
You know what. I'm sick of white guilt. I'm sorry for the past my "color"
forced on other "colors". It's horrible, sad and wrong. But I have enough
to worry about day-to-day than to worry about attoning for the sins of my
I'm also tired of PC bulls**t. It's a movie. Whatever your quote or
citation says about the power of film, it's only powerful because you
allow it that power over you. That I can't control. And I won't be responsible
for. QT is not responsible for that, either. You are. Don't be racist. Don't
be offended. Don't watch the film. The world is ugly and mess up - always
has been and always will be. Whatever racist views you see in PULP FICTION,
I don't share. I don't hate "blacks, Afro-americans, African-Americans,
Niggers, Whities, Indians, Native Americans, whatever". I may disklike a
particular person, but that's my choice, isn't it? You tell me, from
personal experience, who is "paying for" Tarantino's kind of smartness?
We gotta lighten up about these movie things. Always suspect the movie
that says it has a message to teach. PF ain't got it. It's fun. It's
gross. And very, very clever.