The Mortification of Malcolm Little

In Malcolm X, Lee displays Mr. X’s difficulty in acclimating to the prison. Lee imbues the Mr. X’s incarceration with realism as it appears to relate to Erving Goffman’s mortification process, as described in Asylums. Continue reading “The Mortification of Malcolm Little”

A Brief Look at Why Most Black People Do Not Vote Republican

In a previous post, I wrote about the scene in Get on the Bus where Wendell gets thrown out for his ideologies. The revelation that Republicans were riding the bus caused a general feeling of astonishment between the bus riders. Evan Thomas Sr. encapsulated this by stating, “I don’t see how any Black man can be a Republican” (1:06:09). This movie was released in 1996, however there does not seem to be a significant change in how Black people view the Republican Party 20 years later. This begs the question, why don’t Black people support the Republican Party? Continue reading “A Brief Look at Why Most Black People Do Not Vote Republican”

Why Did Kyle Get to Stay on the Bus?


wendellIn Lee’s Get on the Bus, there is a scene where we learn that both Wendell and Kyle support the Republican Party. Wendell goes on a tirade about “niggas like Jackson” to make the point that Black leaders seem to be always asking for some form of patronage, leading him to say, “They all say the same thing, ‘Hire us. Feed us. Affirmative Action’. Like we need America to keep a nipple in our mouth” (1:05:58). Kyle reiterates this point in his defense. He says, “Democrats wanna keep us powerless, docile, begging for handouts. Running around having babies without even a minute plan for their future” (1:06:17). So why did Wendell get thrown off the bus, but Kyle didn’t? Continue reading “Why Did Kyle Get to Stay on the Bus?”

Man Camps: The Real Issue with Increasing Oil Production

Violence against Native women was the main subject of the event. Many of the speakers either made sure to acknowledge the victims of sexual violence, or told personal stories proving that this issue must be addressed. Indigenous women who are sexually assaulted are sometimes ‘disappeared’, and even when they are not, justice seems to be hard to come by as a result of their brown skin. Continue reading “Man Camps: The Real Issue with Increasing Oil Production”

About Time for Prison Reform?

After watching Malcolm X this most recent time, I found myself most interested in the positive transformation of Malcolm X. We see Mr. X go from a child who was forced to endure the experience of watching his family become decimated by both racism and the state. Then we view his time as a young man enticed to join a criminal crew, before becoming a petty burglar, which then leads to his incarceration.

During his incarceration, Mr. X is lucky enough to meet Baines, a man acting with full devotion towards spreading the Nation of Islam and the teachings of Elijah Muhammad to all the prisoners truly willing to listen and learn. Mr. X, hesitant at first, eventually seizes this opportunity and transforms himself into one of the greatest thinkers, who utilizes his newfound mental and oratory prowess to join the fight for fixing the race problem in America. A problem that affected him from his birth.

For me, the most notable aspect of his transformation, was that it was catalyzed by his time in prison. Prison, at the time in the film and even true today, is not seen as a rehabilitative institution; its purpose has been to carry out punitive measures. But if Mr. X could transform from petty gangster to the ultimate charismatic intellectual, what about the other prisoners?

Mr. X found his opportunity for growth through Baines. Many prisons in America have side programs that provide a certain level of education, depending on the type of prison and location. But what if we reoriented the absolute purpose of prisons? What if we turned the institution into one that not only takes in criminally guilty people, but is also meant specifically to provide those people with the opportunity to better themselves? There are many prisoners who do not have a Baines, and as a result, they do not have an opportunity to transform the way Malcolm X did.

GTA: San Andreas a Problem?

In 2006, Spike Lee dropped his new joint Inside Man. In this film, the only child hostage, a young black boy, is playing a overly violent video game that has the typical ‘black thug’ as the main character. I think that this is meant to be an indictment of the hugely popular 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Continue reading “GTA: San Andreas a Problem?”