MovieChat Forums > Green Book (2018) Discussion > Were there any good people who lived in ...

Were there any good people who lived in the American South at that time.


You never see them in movies like this.

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Most human beings are situationally good at best, hardly anyone is "good" all the time!

Especially people who live in a society where Wrong is not just legal, but socially enforced. White southerners who were against segregation tended to be quiet about it. The pro-segregationists could be extremely nasty about making sure their views prevailed, to put in politely.

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It's no doubt sort of troublesome to me that it's always portrayed that most every white person was a monster...or at the very least ignorant and insensitive.
I know there was racism and horrible injustices...but I also know that my parents and their families supported civil rights and did not support segregation or backwards thinking during those years. My mother would've been the most vocal, though, (in both good and bad ways) and there's no way she would've kept quiet if she saw anyone being treated badly.
We were from Georgia.
I would suppose that if they existed then I'm sure they weren't alone. I believe there were more people than is let on now that were against many of those practices but had no idea what to do about it. Or couldn't do enough soon enough.

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They specifically put in a scene to answer your question.

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where ??

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I had the thought "they did this to say that not all southerners were racist Hicks."

As they leave, they get pulled over again, this time to say that they've got a flat. The cop even directs traffic to make sure they don't get hit and then he wishes both of them a merry Christmas.

Also there was the cop who didn't want to make the doctor get out of the car and defended his right to a phone call.

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I thought they were further north when the cop is helping them.

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I thought they were farther North as well because it was snowing heavily in the scene.

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I thought it was in Pennsylvania. It was done to differentiate the police in the North vs South.

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No good person in their right mind would live in the south especially during segregation.

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Sounds like you're dehumanizing a large segment of society simply based on geography.

Aren't we all supposed to be against that type of identity-based bigotry?

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No everyone dehumanizes a large segment of the population. People hit on california and New York all the time, why can’t we pick on the south?

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Two wrongs don't make a right.

And who hits on California or New York? The entire frickin US media is based in those two states. They're the states that control the cultural narrative (and no, there is nothing offensive in what I'm saying - those Californians and New Yorkers include black and white, male and female, gay and straight, gentile and Jewish, and liberal and conservative, people).

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A lot of the "racism" in the South was institutional and structural, most white people went along with it because it was the social custom and in many cases the law, not because they personally wanted to lynch black people. In fact, most white people dealt with black people on a daily basis, since they were the backbone of the service economy. Many of them had black domestic help around the house or had blacks that did work for them.

Most of the hostile behavior towards blacks was from people at the economic margins, people who were most closely competing with them for jobs. Viggo's character is a prime example of this and he wasn't even Southern.

My dad grew up on the Missouri/Arkansas border in small towns and worked in Port Arthur, Texas in the early 1950s. His explanation of a lot of what went on was that many Southerners felt like they had a "working system", where Negros had their place and Whites had theirs. Blacks weren't the problem per se, it was the mixing that was the issue. Obviously this is a system of racism, but mostly it wasn't meant to be mean spirited (even if it often was in practice).

There was even some belief that whites should stay out of black areas (neighborhoods, bars, businesses) -- the rundown motel Shirley stays at has a "Colored Only" sign up. Some of this was thought of as beneficial to blacks because it let them have their own space without being subject to the kind of rules that would apply if white people were there. Of course some of it was to keep white people from fraternizing with blacks and "getting the wrong ideas" -- whether it be sympathetic notions of race relations, or "picking up bad habits", like smoking marijuana.

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food for thought. thanks

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You know, that's probably how a lot of white people saw race relations in the Jim Crow South - as a system that worked, and which included some elements of fairness, and where there was no mean-spiritedness... out in the open.

But the fact was that racial segregation was a system that was not primarily maintained by laws, but by the threat of violence, violence which was not legal but which was unofficially sanctioned by most lawgivers. Grown men didn't smile when they were called "boy" and accept hopeless poverty because they were okay with being poor or appreciated having their own ground-down neighborhoods, they put up with it because they knew damn well that any attempt to change things was likely to end in a horrific slow death at the hands of the same neighbors who smiled at them in the street. And no, I'm not saying your dad participated in such activities or condoned lynchings, but that doesn't mean that his black neighbors didn't live in fear of it happening to them.

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And oddly enough, the whites made the rules about segregation, black people had to 'adapt'. That alone destroys any sense of fairness or reason.

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