Millions in America watched the Academy Awards in record numbers but one of the biggest wins of the night had to have been the 45-year-old actress Sandra Bullock who won Best Actress for her winning colorblind portrayal of a real-life story.
Ms. Bullock played Leigh Anne Tuohy who demonstrated great moral character in helping Michael Oher’s on-screen character when he was homeless as well as educationally rudderless. This was truly an example of Christian love.
Others in America were not so kind in their acceptance of Sandra Bullock in this role. Some called it patronizing and contrived to think that a white family would be so altruistic. Many in the black viewing audience believe that the woman who Bullock portrayed was sending a bad message to black America; that it was too syrupy and feel good to necessarily ring true.
Others in the raised even darker motives that were tied to what they felt was the stereotypical portrayals that Hollywood typically shows African American men who, as Christopher Chambers wrote for Race Wire – the color lines blog, “This is all about them rescuing us from ourselves.”
Yet Bullock’s portrayal seemed to run counter to the stereotype that has been raised. She did not show fear and loathing that was suspiciously turned into love for the needy black teen at the right cinematic moment. Rather she was consistent throughout the film. Bullock’s character showed Christian love and compassion without fear and suspicion.
It seems that perhaps those who want to see racial stereotypic bogeymen behind every movie screen will see them real or imagined. What many members of the movie’s viewing audience did see was a family in the Tuohys who were caring and colorblind in their on-screen and apparent real-life desire to follow a biblical traditional value to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Chambers concludes in his Hollywood critique of how the films Blindside and Precious were handled by stating, that unlike Precious (who supposedly symbolized the struggle of every black teenage mom who is confronted with every possible malady including toward the end of the movie being diagnosed HIV positive) the character who portrayed Oher was nothing more than a large prop.
He felt that this not only capsulated the movie itself but offers “an allegory for Hollywood's portrayals of black people, dramatized black dysfunction, and even how black males progress or not progress through our society, our culture.”
Well I have to say to Chambers and most of the other perhaps well-intentioned moviegoers who feel that it was white guilt that made this movie successful: don’t be so race sensitive.
It would prove a very insightful lesson for the naysayers to take two lessons from the movie. One borrowed from Rev. Martin Luther King when he said in his remarkable “I have a Dream Speech” – “We should not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.”
Second, take a cue from the guiding principles of the name of the school that Precious attended, “Each One Teach One,” and make that your dream – no matter the color of your skin.
Sandra Bullock, great job and great win for a color-blindside for America. It’s about time!
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