The Help – In Defense of Me

16 08 2011

I seldom, if ever – usually as a rule – post anything… controversial.   And I don’t know that this is or will be, but I know it makes me feel all uncomfortable knowing what I’m going to write so at least in my mind, it’s controversial.  It makes me feel all icky because I hate conflict and controversy and I also worry that my reluctance to stand up and say something will make me waver and I’ll come across seeming unsure when in actuality, I’m just overwhelmed by the fact that I’m actually taking a stand that sometimes what I want to say gets lost.  So I really just avoid it all together.  But I just can’t on this one and after some soul searching, I am ready to embrace whatever backlash there may be.  I know what I am.  I know who I am.  And I am confident in that and will defend it if and when necessary.  This would be one of those times.

I’ve read a few posts like this one from Mocha Mama among others about The Help and their feelings about it.  And I do 100% see their points, especially from Mocha Mama’s post which was so eloquently written.  I encourage everyone to go read it.  I understand that several other books…  fiction and non-fiction have been written about domestic employees in the 60s.  And I know I’m just a white girl and like my friend said to me “it’s best to leave the determination of whether something is racist to those that actually experience racism” and I agree with that, until it it comes to my own morals coming into question.

I cannot help the fact that The Help was a good book.  I cannot help the fact that The Help was well received.  I cannot help the fact that The Help got good reviews.   All of which goes together to create the fact that I could not help that I wanted to read The Help.  And loved it.  And it had nothing to do with a “white savior” figure coming in to rescue the day.  Of THAT I’m certain.  It didn’t even cross my mind.   I don’t see color – maybe that’s why *I* didn’t notice the white savior.

I contend that the assumption that people of a certain color who love The Help are racist IS in and of itself…  racist.  I take offense…  actually no…  I am downright indignant over the fact that I could even be considered racist because I loved the book, have every intention of seeing the movie (OnDemand, because my husband will never go because it’s a chick flick) and more than likely will love that as well.

I am not saying The Help is not racist.  I do agree with my friend that I am in no position to determine if it is or not.  I have my opinion, but it’s just that, my opinion..  I respect most all opinions.  The opinions I do not respect are the ones that say *I* am racist because I enjoyed the book and eventually will enjoy the movie.  I am not now, have never been and never will be racist.

**breathe**

Oh I am also not saying that Mocha Mama said that if someone liked The Help they were racist.  She didn’t.  I loved her post, but a search lead me to more posts that I don’t even want to link.   Kelly’s post is logical and poignant and brings to light some topics and insights that I’ve never even thought of… 🙂


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