Recently we watched the much-talked-about movie, "The Help." I'm not big on going to the movie theater, nor is my husband, so we enjoyed viewing it on a new dvd in the comfort of our own living room. I'd heard many comments and critiques on the film, so I expected it to be a good watch. I wasn't prepared, however, for the emotions I felt while sinking into the depths of the story.
I found myself on a roller coaster. Anger grew in me with the treatment the help endured at the hands and mouths of the snotty, wealthy, employers. Yes, I know....it was 'like that' in the fifties and sixties in the south. I took all of that into consideration, but still, my ire was real. No one should have had to endure such degradation because of the color of their skin.
Tears fell when lies were invented in order to cause a loyal housemaid to lose her job. Watching a child beg her only loving care-giver to stay, when the woman was dismissed, broke my heart. Knowing a husband was physically abusing his wife was disturbing to me. Retaliation by the other-wise placid workers made me laugh. And....I applauded the bravery of the domestic workers, as well as the writer herself, for their courage in telling their stories in a day when so much was at stake.
Having been born and reared in a small, northern town, I grew up and went to school with a group of children...the majority of whom were born and reared there as well. There was a small percentage of African American students, the children of those whose parents attended school with my own mother and father. We all knew each other. We all got along. I don't remember any racial trouble among us. In fact, the first I remember hearing of discrimination was in the sixties, when the race riots were taking place in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and the killing of Medger Evans took place in Mississippi. The whole idea that people were being treated in such a manner was appalling to me. I felt so strongly about the subject, I used the topic for my term paper for history class. It was truly a heartfelt project for me. I needed to get out what I felt, and the result was a very good grade...probably the highest I'd ever earned, especially in history class.
I still feel strongly about discrimination. I don't care whether it's aimed at those who are from a different country, skin color, or any other reason. It, to me, is equal to the bullying of one child against another in school, but far more ridiculous because it is adults who are so narrow-minded and hurtful.
I realize that it was fictional film, however, it held more truth in the story than most of us would want to admit. Never have I been so enraptured by a movie. I'm sorry that this story HAD to be told, but I'm glad that it was, because it sparked the thoughts in me that have been somewhat docile lately. It has prompted me to remember..... we're all here, sharing the same terra, breathing the same air, and biding our time. Let's all try to be a little kinder to each other.