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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Still, the cop who defended Dr. Shirley's right to a phone call was in Deep South.

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true.

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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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Sometimes I wonder how my parents would have acted had we lived in a severely segregated area. (We actually did live in segregation, but it was hidden and we assumed it was natural.) I'm afraid to say I think my Father would have tolerated it, while my Mother would have loathed it but would not have felt empowered enough to make a public issue of it. If we had a Black worker in our home (like that would ever happen ! We didn't have enough $$ to have hired help), I'm sure Mom would have been very cordial and pleasant. Maybe Dad would have been too, hard to tell. But I'm so glad I never had to deal with this sort of crap. I'm no saint but I sure don't countenance racism. We have a long way to go before we are all color blind, and part of the fabric of humanity is that people ARE different, we want to be different, so this makes it difficult to live in harmony. I doubt women wearing hijabs want me flirting with them, hahaha.

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Human beings have an incredible capacity to accept anything as normal. I'm sure that people from the future will look back on our society and goggle that we were able to accept... [possible example pulled out of my ass] driving gasoline-powered cars as normal and natural, instead of a selfish, immoral, and destructive act. I suppose that living in a segregated place was uncomfortable for anyone with ethics or a conscience, but they had families and a living to earn, and they couldn't just up sticks and leave the South, and they couldn't change the system. So they got on with their lives.

And then, of course, there were a few who loved it, because some people just adore being on the good end of an unfair system, and some people like nothing better than a chance to assault or murder anyone who pisses them off. Read up on the history of the Klu Klux Klan if you're interested in this subject, most people have NO idea how much influence this semi-legal terrorist organization had during the early 20th century.

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On point analogy. For me it's like using plastic bags, straws, buying bottled water, etc.

I know that's bad. I know that's wrong. But if 99% of all other people in your vicinity doing it, then what power do you have?

I keep trying as far as I could to reduce my plastic usage, but I also know I do too little to actually matter. The ocean is keep getting million tonnes of trash every year either way, with or without me contributing.

Even my wife uses plastic liberally. And I do nothing to stop her. I just don't want to always make a big fuzz about the seemingly "trivial" matter. Can't jeopardize my marriage over this.

It's exactly like the scene portrayed in the movie when Tony threw the cups to the trash bin. The wife found out and realized that it was wrong. Instead of confronting the bad behaviour, she silently picked the cups up and moved on. Hoping "someday" his husband would change his ways.

She felt powerless, and in the end, she did absolutely nothing. Just like me keep buying and throwing away plastic stuffs that I'm sure would end up in the ocean while driving my combustion engine car every day.

Not that I intentionally want to pollute the Earth. Not that I have an evil agenda to destroy the environment. I do feel bad about it, but that's all. It's normal.

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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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