Jordan Peele’s hit film, “Get Out”, hit theaters in February and it still has people talking. Peele uses the film to show the true horrors of racism that still exist in America today. Despite the assumption that the days of discriminating towards someone due to the color of their skin are long gone, Peele’s film shines light on the different forms of racism that the world still faces today.
The film is filled with lots of symbolism and metaphors that depict the subtle, and not so subtle ways that people of color are treated in front and behind of closed doors. Perhaps the film’s most iconic message is “The Sunken Place,” in which the main character Chris enters once he is hypnotized by his girlfriend’s mother. This place is a metaphor for all of those who are trapped in a place where they believe that racism does not exist. Other characters, such as the housekeeping staff and the other blacks that Chris encounters seem to be different and are in so deep that they cannot get out.
Social media and the internet never disappoint and like many other situations, there were several memes generated from Peele’s film. There was even a “Get Out” challenge in which people ran in the same manner as one of the housekeepers in the movie. One reoccurring meme has been the blank staring face of Chris once he entered the Sunken Place for the first time.
The first victim to have his face put in the place of Chris’s was Kanye West. Some claim that he has been in the sunken place since his entrance into the Kardashian Klan, and some even suggest that Kris put him there. As the weeks have progressed, it’s been Ben Carson and his wife after his remarks that slaves were merely immigrants who came to America willingly. This week rapper T.I. suggested that Steve Harvey needs to “get out” after his plea with rappers such as Snoop Dogg to respect Donald Trump.
Jordan Peele took to twitter to explain that we are all in the sunken place. He tweeted “The Sunken Place means we’re marginalized. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.” So the real question is how do we get out when leaders and those of high power continue to treat the issues that the world faces when it comes to racism as if they’re insignificant? There’s no set answer, but we can start by continuing to not keep silent about all of the issues that matter. Everyone on this earth has a voice, and it’s up to us as to how we will use it when standing in the face of change. Rather than focusing solely on the negativity, we must join together and devise solutions for the problems we face that people choose to overlook. Rather than complain about people in power that are taking actions to keep us silent, we must educate ourselves on the very things that we complain that they are doing. The Armitage family is much like America in the film “Get Out,” they believed that they had the fate of Chris all planned out, that their home would be the end for him; however, he proved them wrong and persevered in the end, and that is what we must do as well.
Peele has not necessarily created, but opened up the conversations that need to be held. He gives viewers the ending that they want because Chris is able to escape. In my opinion, he’s telling viewers that they too can escape and rise above racism. The term sunken literally means to settle at a lower level, Peele reminds us with this film that we cannot be our best selves when we conform or settle to the ways of racism. The film “Get Out,” is definitely an eye opener that we cannot just sit back and act as if the country that we live in is still not facing injustice.
by Shanique Yates
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