The Minority Report | Ashley Kim
It’s been eight months since Jordan Peele’s Get Out was released and received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers—even scoring a nearly a perfect score (99 percent) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Get Out was highly regarded as an eye-opening piece of mainstream media that exposed the harsh realities that people of color—specifically black people—face everyday. The film made such an impactful commentary on race that I was recently assigned to watch it for one of my classes.
Since its release, people have lauded the film for bringing race issues to light. The film allowed white people to claim that their acceptance of a movie like Get Out and recognition of the racist symbolism buried in the film made them more accepting and tolerant of people of color. Liking Get Out meant claiming a spot in post-racial America. But, the film fell short in its message.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Get Out. It was smart, funny, and it was needed. But, a particular scene at a party in the film unnecessarily included an Asian-American man that made racism against Asians seem obsolete. The man in question asks Chris about the disadvantages and advantages about being African-American. The presence of this man, though seemingly miniscule, did not go unnoticed by me—obviously.
Get Out arguably takes us two steps forward, but one step back. While I’ve been vocal about progress being progress no matter how slow, Get Out fails to effectively undo racist behaviors. This in part falls upon Peele’s decision to include an Asian-American man in the narrative against black people suggesting that Asians are not subject to racism as much as blacks, or their experience with racism isn’t as valid as the racism that black people experience.
It’s hard to accept the message of a film that works to expose and undo racism when it suggests that Asians are separated from the narrative of racism altogether.
This is not in any way discrediting racism against black people. That is very real and very alive. But, it is to discredit this notion that racism exists only between black people and everyone else.