So, yesterday I went with a friend to see Straight Outta Compton. The only way to describe the movie is with the word “dope,” as it’s the only one that makes sense with the story. It really was a great movie and I think it did a great job fusing multiple story lines into one greater story. I feel that too often movies with more than one main character have trouble focusing on all of them and doing each justice, but I don’t think this was one of them. It was fantastic.
Something else I think this movie did – my opinion and only my opinion – take it with a grain of salt. I think it served as a warning for this generation of law enforcement that black (and all) lives matter. Just like NWA’s song F*** The Police was meant as a warning that you can’t go around treating a certain group badly for little to no reason without it blowing up in your face at some point. I almost feel silly that I feel passionate about issues like these. I’m a 20-year-old, middle class, white, female college student and yet injustices like these break my heart. There are several scenes that show various characters in the movie doing nothing and getting harassed or even arrested by the police. There’s one scene in particular that really got to me (this might make some people mad and it’s also a spoiler…kind of…so I just want to let you know that it is a scene directly from the movie) when the guys (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy) are outside the recording studio just standing on the sidewalk. They get into it with some police officers because the officers don’t believe that they’re supposed to be there, but then the manager (who is white) comes out and tries to explain the situation to the officers, while telling the boys to go inside. Ice Cube is taking his time to go inside, so the manager keeps telling him to leave and one of the police officers tells him to “listen to your master.” I know this is history and I know this happens but when are we as a nation going to wake up and realize YOU CAN’T TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THIS?
I don’t care if you’re discriminating for someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation, size, likes or dislikes, it’s all wrong. You can’t hate a whole group of people for some arbitrary, stereotypical reason like the color of their skin or the god they sing (or don’t) their praises to. A divided nation will fall. I’m just sick and tired of seeing brutality and hate and discrimination. It’s exhausting and it makes me sad and mad and outraged. It’s not right.
Finally, people talk about gangsta rap and how it sets a bad example for kids. Something the movie stressed and I think is a worthwhile point to take away is that that’s real life. Rapping about it doesn’t make it glamorous, it’s giving a voice to a society and a way of life that people like to shove into a dark corner and not think about. Some say we as Americans are guilty of just throwing money at a problem. Kids need wells built in Africa? Throw money at it. Someone else will do it. People need vaccines in the Middle East? Throw money about it. Someone else will deal with it. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone, because I’m surely not going overseas to do any of this work, but we need to realize problems like these exist at home too. There is gang violence, extreme poverty that leads people to sell drugs because that’s the only way to make a living. A lack of education as a result of the extreme poverty, which keeps the cycle going. The only way to help these problems is to bring them out into the open. So, the next time you’re tempted to change the station when a “gansta rap” song comes on, don’t. Listen for the couple of minutes the song takes up of your life and for a second, think about the problems that exist in our own country. We may be the home of the free and the brave, but we’re far from perfect.
If you want to know more about something that wasn’t mentioned in the movie, check out this link. I think it’s worth noting and worth reading.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie if you saw it or anything I mentioned above. It’s an issue I’m passionate about.