Thursday, July 14, 2016
This is the latest trailer for "Loving," which opens late in the year just in time for Oscar consideration season. If this was all we ever saw of the movie, it would be a powerful statement of how far we have come, and how we constantly have to fight not to go backwards again, because we still...still in 2016...have a long way to go.
Fifty years ago in this country, it would have been illegal for a white American to marry a black American in far too many places in this country.
The Loving case was initially filed in their home state of Virginia, but it could have been filed in any number of places all over the nation, mostly places below the Mason-Dixon line, but not all of the states who had anti-miscigenation laws were in the deep South. In some states, in the backwoods bayous and farmlands far away from the looseness of the city folks, this is still looked at sideways and with disrespect.
Fifty years ago: think about how many friends and neighbors would have been potentially subject to arrest and persecution under cover of state law for daring to love someone of a different color. For a lot of us, that seems sad and ridiculous and completely illogical from our perch in 2016, knowing so many loving couples who fit that description and have done for years.
But for far too many in this country, they still feel that this is wrong. And in this nasty brew of a political season, these festering folks are starting to crawl out of the woodwork and point the finger of shame from their small-minded corners. For some people, the 1950s were a golden era of "values."
But they certainly weren't "Loving" values for all Americans, now were they?
This movie is being released in a political season that is desperate for real, honest, compassionate, factual conversation, at a time when listening to someone else's point of view or standing in the shoes of someone different from one's own is a lost art in public discourse. In my opinion, this movie could not have come along at a better time.
You love who you love - it is the soul within that calls to your own, and the outside package is just the window dressing. That's always been my thought on this, and it is what we teach our daughter. But that isn't the case for everyone, now is it? Some of us mouth the words in public, but think something else entirely in the silence of our hearts, even if we aren't flying a confederate flag in our truck beds to announce those thoughts to the entire world like some of the redneck yahoos do in my town.
To say that I can't wait to see this movie would take it too far, for I know there will be difficult scenes aplenty. But we should all go to see this, to think about who we are as individuals and as a nation, and where we ought to be going, to hold a mirror up to our own reflections and find what work needs to be done.
We need to give our nation a long, hard look a lot more often. From the looks of this trailer for "Loving," this could certainly be a conversation starter on an issue that needs a lot more thoughtful discussion. Bravo.
Posted by Christy Hardin Smith at 12:40 PM