Django Unchained: How Dare a Slave with a Gun “Kill all the White people” in a Movie?

But seriously, how dare a slave with a gun “Kill all the White people,” in a movie? A few days ago, Sean Hannity had a huge problem with Janie Foxx and his Saturday Night Live opening monologue last weekend. As you may know by now, in the upcoming film Django Unchained, Jamie plays a slave with an itchy trigger finger — imagine that, a slave with a gun. Yep, leave it to Jamie Foxx to play the first slave with a gun in a movie, who doesn’t start a revolution, right? Yeah, how’s that for Black History? I’m sure Nat Turner would be so proud.

In his monologue, Jamie most pleasurably jokingly mentioned that he kills all the white people in the movie. Now I’m no fan of Jamie Foxx, but even I — though I struggled — had to laugh because it was pretty funny. I mean, if you’re a slave with a gun in the 1850s, um, what else are you supposed to do? Exactly! It’s really a no brainer, right? But no, don’t tell that to Sean Hannity. Forever in search of the elusive Black Bogeyman, Hannity took offense and found Foxx to be racially offensive. Um, isn’t it hilariously funny how a host on Fox thinks that Foxx was racist.

Here’s what Jamie Foxx said on SNL:

JAMIE FOXX: My name is Jamie Foxx. Give it up, give it up, New York City, Saturday Night Live. Come on, make some noise, man. New York City, New York City, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, it’s crazy. I’m black, and I’m dressed all black cause it’s good to be black. Black is the new white. I’m telling you, how black is this right here? Nice fly, I’m saying. You know how I know black is in right now? Cause the Nets moved to Brooklyn. How black is that? They got black jerseys, black court. I mean, how black is that? And Jay-z is the owner, a rapper. How black is that? And Jay-z only own about this much of the team. But he act like he own all of New York. How black is that?

And I got a movie coming out, “Django,” check it out. Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson. “Django Unchained” I play a slave. How black is that? And in the movie I had to wear chains. How whack is that? But don’t be worried about it because I get out the chains, I get free, I save my wife, and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that? And how black is that?

And of course, Hannity found two not-so-unchained folks to have a discussion:

Not surprisingly, Hannity wasn’t alone in his criticism. Over at NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard opined:

How does it help race relations in this country when a black actor jokes on national television about killing white people?

One has to believe that his opening monologue was approved by SNL’s writers, meaning they were in on it.

Imagine the uproar if a white actor joked about killing all the black people in a new film he was starring in.

That would probably be the end of his career.

By contrast, for Foxx, this will probably win him another Oscar.

It’s a grave new world isn’t it?

Yes, it is a “grave new world,” indeed; but, obviously not much has changed since there’s a black family living in the White House. The truth is that neither Sheppard nor Hannity are interested in helping race relations in this country. If anything, what we’ve seen for the last four years especially, is that black is not the new white as Jamie Foxx suggested. But that may be my penchant for the tragicomic coupled with my ever-present Negro cynicism coming through. Forgive my pessimism, but when I look at the right-wing’s new black fetish, and how they rarely miss any opportunity to demonize people of color. Let’s just say that though it has been four years, I’m not feeling very post-racial. Case in point, check out the following video. Maybe it’s me, but the obvious appeal to the racial sensitivities of “certain people” in America, is blatantly obvious.

Yep, whether in movies or real life, black folks have done a lot of things in America since slavery. Hell, we’ve even been to space for crying out loud. That said, is it too hard to imagine or accept that we’re at a place in history where a black person can simultaneously be president of the United States, while another one uses a gun to “kill all the White people,” in a movie? Or is that, like truth, too much too fast for some to accept? Sorry, but the days of Blazing Saddles are long gone.