Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★★

* I do not agree with Fred Hampton theoretically. Outright socialism I vehemently oppose. So do I a violent revolution against a democratically elected government. However I respect and admire Fred Hampton at the same time. Because I think all his actions, whatever theoretical background they belong to, are reactions from a cruelly oppressed community. They are natural and just in my eyes.

* Simple exaplanations for my theoretical disagreements - I prefer a mixed economy where there is a balance between Capitalist freedom and Socialist regulation and welfare. Any outright approach whether it is Socialism or Capitalism I disagree with.

Democracy has many flaws. We all know that and it need to improve a lot. However, democracy is the best form of government we have had so far and is way better than any sort of dictatorship whether it is monarchy, feudalist or Communist.

* The selfish benefits of non violence - The first impression of non violence is that it is a a very selfless and self sacrificing approach only saints can do. That's how we look at people like Martin Luther King or Gandhi. I used to think of them as cowards for abhorring violence unlike brave men and women who direclty fight oppressors, someone like Fred and his fellow Black Panthers.

However on further reflection over the years, I saw a very strategic and selfish approach in non violence. I see two main reasons for it (there must be more) One, it attacts more people into activism and increases the chance for a mass movement. Most people don't want to hurt or kill other people or to be killed. So even if they agree with the principles behind the fight, many will refuse to join a violent struggle. However in comparison more people will be attracted to a non violent protest as they can do it without violence and chances of being killed are COMPARATIVELY low (Of course this path also needs bravery and all people won't join the protest. But in comparison to violent struggle, more will come)

Two, non violence is great as a public relations approach and media strategy. A majority of the public will rarely support violent struggle. In this specific case even white Americans who support civil rights and stood with MLK won't support such a violent approach.

As shown in the movie, media will always paint such violent struggle as terrorism. As opposed to MLK who got supprt from the liberal press all over the world and even got the Nobel Prize for Peace and thus could bring the problems of black Americans into international attention. Shame among the international community must also have played a part in important pieces of legislations the United States passed like Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. No one can deny MLK's huge role in these legislations.

I see that scene where O'Neal shows Hampton explosives as a criticism of Hampton's approach. It showed the difference between Hampton's words and action. Thus beside being a tribute to the great life of Fred Hampton and portrayal of an important time in African American history, I think this movie also becomes (intentionally or not) an argument for non violent activism.

Despite all this, I still respect and admire Fred Hampton as I said above. Faced with such violent and inhuman treatment, it is inconceivable that a violent reaction won't happen. I see it as completely natural and just. But for progress MLK's approach was better.

* Obviously all this have parallels with the recent Black Lives Matter protests. As it turned violent at times it gave right wing propaganda machines enough opportunity to paint the protesters as bad. The public perception of the protests even among liberals were not fully positive. A non violent approach may have given them more success. But who are we to judge the brave women and men who came to the streets without a care for their personal safety (not just from cops but also from Covid) to fight for the inhuman cruelty George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many African Americans faced recently and over the years? I only have respect and admiration for them just like for Fred Hampton. It was also a natural and just reaction.

* All this means Judas and the Black Messiah is a perfect movie for the political climate of our time. Through the character of William O'Neal it criticizes anyone who is apathetic or work against the interests of their own community. They must be still there everywhere. Wake the fuck up!

Thanks a lot BrayMitch01 for the motivation to see this.

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