Screenings, premieres and seeing people true stories are based on

So, I’m on my way to a baseball game, because the Washington Nationals have a deal where you can pay $75 for standing room tickets to all of the team’s home games in September. And as I’m about to go into the Metro, my brother calls and asks if I want to go to a special movie screening at the Newseum.

Let’s see: Use the $5 ticket to stand up for a nine-inning baseball game, or get in free on a movie that will cost $12 when it opens in D.C. theaters on Sept. 23. Movie it is.

But here’s where it gets strange (for me. I’m sure other people do this all the time and are used to it). It’s at the Newseum, and there’s an open bar. Free drinks!

Waiters are carrying around hors d’oeuvres. Free food!

And as we walk into the theater, there are boxes of popcorn and candy and bottled water. Free snacks!

So into the theater and head up to the cheap seats, because, like, it’s free and there’s no such thing as a cheap seat when you’re not paying anything. But someone comes along and asks us to move to one of the rows closer to the screen, because they don’t want the stars of the movie coming out to talk to empty seats up front. OK.

But before the movie, there are speeches.

So we get one from a Disney executive, since it’s a Disney movie.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from Brooklyn.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from California.

Then we get on from a senator from Delaware.

And all of them make it a point to recognize the senator from New Jersey sitting in the row in front of us.

(Is this how we do movie screenings in the nation’s capital?)

And when they’re done, they bring out two people who are the main subjects of the film, “Queen of Katwe,” based on a true story about a female Uganda chess prodigy.

And then the two stars of the movie: David Oyelowo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie “Selma” and Lupita Nyong’o, who won the Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave.”

Here’s the background trailer:

So this is the second time in a week that I’ve been to a performance where the subjects of the story actually show up at the event. Last week, it was at Ford’s Theatre (yeah, the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated) for the second night of a new musical about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (And yes I realize how potentially tasteless that sounds, and no, the name of the musical wasn’t “Springtime for bin Laden.”)

The musical, “Come From Away,” was very good and is headed to Broadway. It’s the story of how the citizens of Gander, Newfoundland, pulled together to take care of the people on the 38 passenger jets that were rerouted to the small island community when all of the air traffic to the United States was grounded. The special appearances were by the woman who was the captain for a Paris to Dallas American Airlines flight, and a middle aged couple (Brit man, Texas woman) who met and fell in love during their five days in Newfoundland and later got married.

Following the performance there was a half hour Q&A with the playwrights and the subjects of the musical.

(Oh, by the way. The Nats lost in 10 innings.)

Decoded: Racist stereotypes that used to be the opposite

Let’s just say that somehow the racists still find a way to apply all of these stereotypes to African-Americans. Which can in itself be a loaded term, because Africa is a big continent, and it consists of black and white people.

Like how many of you refer to this person an African-American?

Yes, Charlize Theron is African American. She became an American citizen in 2007. She was born in South Africa, and when she won the Oscar for the 2003 movie “Monster,” it was considered an honor for the nation. Nelson Mandela said so, so it must be true.

Now if we ever become a land that elects a caramel clown for president, and people just like these two weren’t world famous but still had high moral character, which one do you think the alt-White/alt-Right folks would let in while claiming the other was a terrorist sympathizer?

That was a roundabout way of saying that the stereotypes in the first video aren’t applied to African Americans, they’re applied to blacks. And since all of these once ethnic stereotypes have been turned on their ear, repurposed into racial stereotypes, let’s deal with the fact that race, from a scientific standpoint, isn’t real:

And now that we’ve done our dissertation on skin color, let’s get to the issue that is guaranteed to further fuel the Trumpster fire that’s making America hate again.

Are Hispanics/Latinos white?

Well, yeah, there are whites who are of Latino heritage (I’m old. It’s going to take a while for me to reach Latinx).

One immediately comes to mind, and he’s a hero to the alt-racist crowd:

George Zimmerman says he acted in self-defence

That’s George Zimmerman. He’s the pseudo-Neighborhood Watch fascist who got away with murdering Trayvon Martin, a black kid headed to his father’s house, in 2012. Zimmerman was born in America (Virginia to be exact). His father is American and his mother came from Peru. But he was white until someone down in Florida decided to make him Latino so people would stop saying the murder was racist.

Which is was. And still is.

Peace in our time

Armed conflict seems to be the preferred means of dealing with international issues by at least one political party in the U.S. But, as the narrator says in this video, “That’s so 20th century.”

And yes, the video is correct about King Leopold II of Belgium. He was a war criminal, even though he never declared war on the Congo. He ranks up there with Hitler and Stalin in mass murder, and no one seems to know that. Read “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa” by Adam Hochschild for a fascinating history on the evil of colonialism.

Remember when Africans immigrated to the U.S. as workers on plantations?

Because that’s what textbooks are teaching children:

1460786346572746530Of course, this was found in a Texas textbook, but the book is used throughout the country:

In a section titled “Patterns of Immigration,” a speech bubble pointing to a U.S. map read: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” …

One parent posted the atrocity to Facebook:

In calling slaves “workers” and their move to the United States “immigration,” she noted in viral Facebook posts Wednesday and Thursday, the textbook suggests not only that her African American ancestors arrived on the continent willingly, but also that they were compensated for their labor.

Immigration? Workers? How about “Kidnapped millions who were crammed in horrid conditions on a boat across the ocean.” And “sold into slavery”?