By Taylor MacHenry
Recently, I watched Larry Elder’s documentary, Uncle Tom. You should watch it too.
If you are an American, you should watch it. If you are an immigrant, legal or not, you should watch it. And especially, if you are an African American, you absolutely should watch it!
Uncle Tom is the raw, unvarnished, unapologetic TRUTH.
Elder and every person whose voices we hear in this nearly two hours of facts and testimony unashamedly speak the TRUTH. Yes, TRUTH with all capital letters.
As parents, what do you suppose will happen to our children if we raise them under a constant berating of: You’re too stupid. You will never accomplish anything because the cards are stacked against you. You might as well give up because the oppressors will keep you in your place. And the negativity goes on and on.
What kind of person will that child grow up to be? A great success? Doubtful.
Very likely that child will grow into a person not expecting anything of himself, not trying because it is of no use. He might turn to drugs and alcohol to sooth his bereavement of a useless life. Made useless because his parents did not believe in him from the beginning and oppressed him with hopelessness. That child will also likely grow up outraged, bent on vengeance against his envisioned oppressors. That child may take to the streets with his outrage and become violent against everyone who confronts him.
What kind of person will the child grow up to be if his parents praise him? If his father stands tall in his household, beside his mother. And together they teach the child good ethics of working hard and accomplishing goals. They set an example of high values. They teach their son and daughter that accomplishment does not come for free, but requires dedication, effort, persistence, never quitting, and most importantly, those parents reinforce to the child that he or she is not stupid but has a beautiful mind, filled with potential that is capable of wondrous vision and greatness.
What kind of person will that child grow up to be? A beaten dog? A violent, outraged person? A criminal?
Not very likely. More likely, this child surrounded with love and encouragement from his or her parents, despite the ugliness that confronts most, if not all, people of color, will grow into a person who does find success. Success grown from parents who set the example of high standards, high moral values, desire for achievement and education, and belief in God and in him or her self.
In his documentary, Uncle Tom, Larry Elder shows us an array of testimony, good examples of success and well-founded facts and examples that should leave every American furious. Filled with contempt.
Slavery and Jim Crow laws were horrible, and those ugly pages of American history must be remembered. Must be taught to our children so we can raise them better.
But is that America today?
Yes, we have horrible crime and danger in the minority communities of America, not just African American but in Latino, Chinese, Korean Arab, Indian, Native American, and in white impoverished communities too. And what is the common denominator of their despair? Oppression. Much of it made real by the conditions that not just surround them but bury them.
Oppression by whom?
By those who seek to keep these mostly minority people in the ghettos, keep those people ignorant, unread. Keep them not filled with hope but hopelessly angry with their despair.
Hitler learned that if he repeated a lie often enough that the people will believe it as truth. They will join his line of thinking–his narrative.
Here is the lie that we realize while watching Uncle Tom: The oppressive lie is that if you are born from African ancestry, you have no hope. The white man has everything, all the power, and he is keeping you in this place that you hate. And you hate him for it. You have no opportunity because of systemic racism, where people like you are deprived of reaching levels of decision-making power. Positions where you can make change and a difference.
Filled with this outrage, you believe that your only course of action to make change possible is to take to the streets and burn the cities to the ground. Meanwhile, you need to depend on a benevolent, overseeing government who will give you money, take care of your abortions, and perpetuate families with single mothers and lost fathers who live somewhere else.
Uncle Tom shows us how the same people that used Jim Crow laws and slavery to keep Black America deprived of opportunity, deprived of education, deprived of hope, those same people continue to do it today, but with filters and politics and rhetoric that convinces the people that they need the government to take care of their needs, because they have no opportunity to do anything for themselves.
And how is that so much different in this way of life from how your African ancestors lived in slavery?
You will have no Constitutional Freedom if you believe you do not have Constitutional Freedom!
You will simply be angry. Very angry!
I challenge every American and especially Americans with African heritage, and I likewise challenge every Latino and other minority to watch Uncle Tom. From beginning to end.
I promise that you will want to shut off the show. Because these people will contradict nearly everything you believe to be true. And it is NOT.
Watch Uncle Tom to the bitter end. Then sit and stew. Think about it. Think a lot about it. And ask yourself this: Is there anything that Elder or anyone else in this documentary say that is not the bitter, unvarnished, cold truth?
Two things that I realized after watching Uncle Tom are these:
1. Every student in every school in America, every person in America must watch Uncle Tom. Take it to heart, and realize that all of us must do better by each other. All of us!
2. Every student in every school in America, as well as every person in America, should read the biography of Booker T. Washington. Mister Washington shows us how a man born as a slave can rise to greatness. In his life we deplore his suffering as a fellow human being, as a child of God who told all of us to love each other as He loves us. But in his life we also cheer his heroism, his determination against daunting challenges to rise to greatness. Not simply as a former slave, a man of African heritage, but as an American. A great American.
We must do better. We must set up the ladders for our minority American brothers and sisters to climb to the heights, along with everyone else. And we as a society and a government must stop oppressing minorities by convincing them that they are hopelessly mired in oppression, have no hope except to fall in line with slaves behind a government that will provide for all their needs, and encourages their poverty and dispair.
One other thing that I realized after watching Uncle Tom: The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, if he lived today, given his values and his great faith, would likely get branded an Uncle Tom. Because he too believed that Black America needed equal rights, equal access and all the Constitutional Guarantees that every citizen of the USA is given. Opportunity to obtain a good education. Opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and realize them by his or her own hard work. Opportunity to achieve success in life.
I know that my left-bank friends will greatly criticize me for the stand that I take. It flies in the face of much of what they believe is true. How can I know anything about this subject, I am not Black?
No, I am not Black. I can never know what that life feels like. I can only try to help and not stand in the way.
But I do know this: Facts are Facts. Truth is Truth. Like them or not, Truth and Facts are Truth and Facts.
It is the liars and cheats and corrupt villains in our world who will try to convince you otherwise.
Don’t believe me. But watch Uncle Tom. It will make you angry, but it will also give you hope.
God bless Larry Elder for making this documentary, Uncle Tom. It is a beacon of light, and the darkness of oppression and hate cannot hide from the Truth that it shows us.