The horror of smug liberals

I could subject you to my whole long riff on Vatican II and “The Exorcist.” (Don’t worry: I won’t.) I could link abortion to “Rosemary’s Baby,” women’s liberation to “The Stepford Wives” and Black Lives Matter to “Get Out,” in which black lives matter to the main white characters in only a ghoulish fashion.

The ingeniously plotted details of “Get Out” — not just what’s in the movie, but what’s left out — gather and distill complaints that black activists, writers and intellectuals have brought to the fore over recent years: the objectification and violation of black bodies; white people’s appropriation of black culture; the trope of the white savior.

“Get Out” has proved to be unusually rich fodder for commentary, a Rorschach test in which shadows and strands of the past and present are visible. It “perfectly captures the terrifying truth about white women,” according to the title of an essay in Cosmopolitan by Kendra James, who wrote, “American history is littered with the bodies of black men jailed, beaten and killed due to the simple words of white women.”

An article in The Atlantic theorized that the crucial role of photography in the movie may evoke “how important camera phones and video recordings have been for many African-Americans experiencing police violence.”

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