Movies come and go and it’s rare that I’m compelled enough to leave my house and spend a small fortune. I always say I will but I don’t. (I haven’t seen Annie or Selma, 2 movies I’ve been rooting for since I heard about them.) I think it’s been a year since I’ve seen a movie at the theater. It never fails though. I’ll feel a way (positive or negative) about something and someone will hit me with the flippant “Why do you even care?” This time it was; “Why do YOU even care?” That is the cute implication that the particular topic should not or does not concern me.
Have I seen or will I see American Sniper? Nope! Will I or have I read American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History? Nope! I have to wonder why this story is so important to tell now. As I write this Black people are literally fighting for freedoms that we should have had from birth. The freedoms that were fought for back in 1964. Islam and Muslims are marginalized yet viewed as the biggest group of terrorists in history. Nobody should feel as if they aren’t free to practice their religion. Why should a woman in America fear wearing her hijab to the market?
Call me un-American call me whatever I’m not supporting the murder of brown people for ANY reason. I certainly will not support a narrative hell bent on villainizing a group of people. When did Americans become so desensitized to murder that we’re willing to glorify it and ask God to bless it? The truth of the matter is that the sensitivity has never been present for Black and Brown people. The killing of over 160 would not cause a stir especially if the murdered could be labeled as terrorists. It becomes acceptable to boast about a person being the “most lethal” or taking honor in being called The Devil of Ramadi when your people aren’t affected.
“His remarkable career total has not been made public by the Pentagon.” We all know the uncomfortable truths of war and I will never look down on someone’s service rather I agree with the war being fought or not, however in this instance this is a story I don’t think needed to be told. This story defiantly didn’t need to be told in the manner that it was.
American Sniper is another example of the attitude privileged America has about brown people. It is the attitude that allows patriotism to be used as a guise for racism. It is because of that attitude that events such as the massacre at Charlie Hebdo elicit no more than a shrug from me. Freedom of speech isn’t always free. Once again no matter the extremity of the reaction how can we judge an oppressed people for the way they choose to say enough is enough?
I don’t believe for one minute that Charlie Hebdo is protecting democracy. I do believe that they are practicing defense of bigotry. I won’t judge a whole religion based off of extremists that are willing to die for their beliefs. The fact that the judgment of all is handed out so willingly is baffling but then again it’s not when things like American Sniper exists.
This movie is problematic for more than just the glaringly obvious dose of propaganda that Eastwood is trying to cram down our throats. Are we going to ignore the fact that the movie has been called “one of the most mendacious movies of 2014?” One critic called American Sniper a “war-on-terror fantasy” Shall we ignore the fact that Chris Kyle describes killing as “fun” and admits to looting apartments? How about the fact that Kyle has been called out for being a liar his lies have been debunked?
What are your thoughts on the American Sniper movie or autobiography?