These days not only ‘Barack Obama’ the first black president of the USA, but also a lot of black people have their ability acknowledged and enjoy equal rights without being discriminated. However, can we tell the racism completely disappears? It doesn’t seem to be as serious as in the past, but lots of people are still being discriminated because of their skin color. In the middle of 1900s, the human right was given only to white people in the United States. At that time, black people were regarded as belongings of white people, were the victims of lynch simply because they were colored people. They couldn’t even use the same toilet owing to the nonsense that they transmit diseases. And whites were threatened and ostracized by whites if they sympathize with blacks. Surprisingly, there is a movie that accuses racial discrimination. The Help is an America movie that is based on the novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett which was written with the motif of her memories and recollections about a black help who took care of her when she was a child. Even though this novel was actually refused from 60 publishing companies, it ranked as No.1 bestseller for 116 weeks in Amazon since it was published at last in 1999. In this 122 issue Movie article, I would like to introduce the movie The Help which warms our hearts, and gives us great impression by dealing with the serious theme of ‘racial discrimination’. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
There are two main characters in the movie The Help, who lead the story with their drastically different lives. Skitter, a white woman dreaming to be an author is very different from her friends who think it is the best life for women to get married to a rich man and be a lady of house with a maid and beautiful garden. After graduating from college, Skitter gets a job at a local newspaper for her dream. She works as a ghostwriter for a household information column. She requests a favor of her friend’s veteran maid Ablelyn.
While ghostwriting the column, ‘Skitter’ also tries to publish a book about black maids who are discriminated. She asks to have an interview with Ablelyn because she needs black women’s interviews for writing a book. It was extremely dangerous for black people to get people’s attentions in such a severe racial discrimination. Ablelyn refused Skitter’s offer since she was afraid of white’s revenge. But when she saw another maid Mini is having a hard time after she was fired for having used the toilet inside the house because of violent storm, instead of using the ‘colored people only’ toilet outside the house, she decides to help Skitter. She tells Skitter every anecdote she experienced. Ablelyn lost her child by an accident, but still she took care of 17 white children. And in the movie, Ablelyn works for Elisabeth and always tells Elisabeth’s daughter “You is kind. You is smart. You is important” especially when her mom scolds her or hands over her parental duties to a maid. This line has many implications. Especially audience can be moved by this expression “is”. Meanwhile, Mini also joins their publication when she coincidentally visits Ablelyn’s house.
Through interviews with black maids, Skitter realizes the seriousness of racial discrimination. Finally she reacts sensitively towards her friends’ comments or actions against blacks and her friends get uncomfortable with her attitude. But Skitter isn’t intimidated and speaks out what she believes in. Moved by her actions more black maids tell their story for her book. When the writing was almost finished, Mini mentions her secret revenge. Thrown out on a false charge, Mini went to the owner Healy to apologize with a chocolate pie. But there was poop of Mini in the pie and Healy ate it deliciously. Skitter writes this revenge story in the book. When the book becomes a bestseller, people of Jackson town get shock. Healy gets very angry and she tries to put Ablelyn to jail by putting false charge of larceny. But Ablelyn was no more afraid of whites. Instead, she tells her to call the police confidently and if she ever does, she’s going to tell everybody that you ate ‘POOP.’ At the end of the movie she tells the daughter of ‘Elisabeth’ “You is kind, You is smart, You is important”, and walks away from the house.
Racial discrimination is not the problem of United States. It is the problem from all over the world. T here is still a group that hates Koreans in Russia, and here in Korea, we also have discrimination to South-East Asians. There are so many foreign workers and students around us. We are usually kind to Westerners. On the contrary, we tend to neglect and ignore people from China and South-East Asia just because they are poor and smelly. Then are we different from whites of Jackson, Mississippi in the movie The Help? I want us to reflect on if don’t discriminate people and we have Skitter’s attitude. The right of being happy should not be discriminated by skin color, country, language and poverty. All people should have this right equally. I want to ask to Gachon University students, “Have you ever racially discriminated even slightly against a person with any actions or remarks? Are you treating every people equally regardless of their skin color and nationalities? Please think about the wounds that discriminated people would receive and are receiving.