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The Chive

Dear White People

Other than Father Flanagan's obsession with teaching me his favorite game, Polish the Pope, about the only thing I remember from my childhood is that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. 

How is it that everyone else seems to have forgotten this simple nursery rhyme's timeless wisdom?  The Political Correctness Nazis have everyone so afraid of words that when the aliens finally do land they won't even need sticks and stones - let alone laser blasters and photon torpedoes - to enslave humanity.  A few harsh words will have the pussified PC masses begging for mercy.

Oh, wait.  Am I allowed to say "Nazis?"  Or "aliens?"  Or "enslave?"

You bet your fucking ass I am!  You know why?  Because despite the best efforts of all the jackbooted shitlickers working every day to censor anyone who doesn't share their "If something could potentially offend someone, somewhere, at any time for any even completely unsupportable reason, it must be forbidden." worldview, this is still the Don't Tread On Me, Live Free Or Die United States of motherfuckin' America, bitches!

Don't get me wrong.  Certain things, like racism, are disgusting, damaging and contrary to humanity's best evolutionary path.  But you can't triumph over racism if the cost is freedom of speech.  And you definitely won't magically discover the path to racial harmony by watching Dear White People.

Set at the fictitious Ivy League-esque Winchester University, Dear White People wants to make a statement about race relations in early 21st Century America worse than a junkie wants a fix.  Unfortunately, first-time director (and writer and producer) Justin Simien has zero idea what that statement is other than "Racism is bad, mkay."

Simien's simulacrum is a young African American (technically biracial) woman named Sam White ("And The 2015 Lisa Bonet Award Goes To" Tessa Thompson) who hosts the titular, Black Power campus radio show.  The "story" - really more an issues-driven diorama - follows Sam, Troy (Brandon P. "Abs" Bell), the son of the Dean, Lionel, (Tyler James "Taylor" Williams), a giant-afro'd gay guy, and Coco (Teyonah "We'll Always Have" Parris), a reality TV star wannabe, as they . . . what?  Fight racism?

It's harder than Chinese algebra to say for sure because other than the straw man university president (who actually declares that "racism is over in America"), his might-as-well-be-twirling-his-mustache-while-tying-Sam-to-some-railroad-tracks son, and a handful of moronic partygoers, the only people perpetrating or aiding and abetting overt acts of racism are African American students - usually one of the four "protagonists."  Sam's personal crusade is to re-segregate campus housing, for fuck's sake!

I know that the closest most Hollywood types come to diversity is having both a Mexican maid and a Guatemalan gardener, and that's why everyone's been quick to praise Simien's movie even though it's barely Spike Lee Lite, but let's call a spade a spade (which, for the record, is not a racist phrase - look it the fuck up), Dear White People is about as good at race relations as Donald Trump.

September 20, 2015 - New video release review rather than new theatrical release review.  Because fight the power.