During spring break, I watched Jordan Peele’s Get Out. This American comedy horror film follows an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, as they visit the estate of the Rose’s parents. Get Out employs usage of “props” to illustrate the great racism, reminiscent of the 1960s, still apparent in contemporary society.
The film’s usage of cell phones in this film uncovers multiple truths. African-American Chris, the main character, utilizes the flash from a cell phone camera to extinguish the control the white consciousness has upon the black hosts’ mind. The camera flash seemed to have caused awareness for the black host that they are stuck in the “Sunken Place”; a dark area in the brain where one has no control over himself. During one scene, Chris’ flash goes off and one of the “possessed” characters warns Chris to “get out!”. This scene shows the audience that this flash is what awakens the awareness of the person whose body was stolen.
In addition, the film’s utilization of cell phones serves as a reflection of how cell phones have captured incidents of racially motivated police brutality. The deaths of Eric Garner, Walter L. Scott, and others were caught on cell phone cameras. In Get Out, the camera literally exposes racism. Similarly, people today utilize their phones to capture police brutally and cause awareness of rampant American racism.
On the other hand, Barack Obama ignored these cellular warnings as Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation claims that he “was reluctant to directly address…racial discrimination.” Obama refused to defend the lives of African-Americans, especially since he waited an entire month to acknowledge Trayvon Martin’s inequitable murder. However, Vignesh Gopalan’s blog post disagrees as he says, “his administration vocally targeted systemic issues that hurt people of color.” I challenge this because whenever Obama approached African-American issues, he spoke indirectly and straddled the fence as he did not want to upset conservatives.
Moreover, Get Out brilliantly employs colors to symbolize racism. At the family party, Chris is the only character wearing blue as the rest of the partygoers are wearing red attire. This contrast speaks to African-Americans’ outsider status in contemporary society. Also, Chris (wearing a blue shirt) and his girlfriend (adorned in a red and white striped blouse) sit together and form a human American flag. This imagery speaks to the currently corrupt American race relations.
Also, in the ending scenes, Rose psychotically eats fruits loops and milk. However, Rose eats the milk separately from the cereal. As the milk represents white supremacy, and the fruit loops embody colored people, this scene speaks to the contemporary structure of American society. In the urban, impoverished areas, blacks are the majority, while predominantly Caucasians take up residence in the beautiful, more modern neighborhoods.
Overall, Get Out’s ability to tie in race into the majority of the film points to the overwhelming presence that race has upon contemporary society. If people begin to focus less upon race, than others will feel less likely to get out of this sunken place (America) filled with racism and discrimination.