There is a new movie that will be released in a few days called “The Butler.” It is the real life story of Cecil Gaines, a black man who overcame an impoverished upbringing and during the turmoil of the civil rights era became butler at the White House. He went on to serve eight presidents. It appears to be a remarkable story of human triumph, overcoming the odds, and is sure to gain wide acclaim. Some might call it a “must see.”
I won’t be seeing “The Butler.”
Why? I’m making a statement. It may be a quiet one and one that won’t be heard by many but it is my vote against two actors with whom I have a real beef.
Jane Fonda plays the part of Nancy Reagan. (Yeah, I agree that the irony of it is worth a chuckle.) In 1972, I was just back from having spent the previous year in Vietnam. I was assigned as an aerial observer, flying around with some pretty remarkable guys in single engine aircraft in the northern part of the country. Imagine my shock… then my disappointment… then my aggravation… then my RAGE when I saw the pictures of “Hanoi Jane,” an American, yuking it up in the turrets of some of the anti-aircraft guns that just months before had been shooting at me and my buddies. She went on to visit the infamous Hanoi Hilton where she admonished our prisoners, telling them they should apologize. She blasted our country and our servicemen in a time of war. She sided with the enemy. You won’t find 5 servicemen out of the over two million who served there who would give Jane Fonda the time of day. (Okay, I’ll give you the current Secretary of State.) I certainly won’t hand over the price of admission to support this movie, even though she is only a minor player in it.
One of the lead actors in “The Butler” is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah has built an entertainment empire through hard work and a lot of talent. She’s probably the most influential woman in America. If Oprah endorses you, you’re in. It was always her stated policy to keep politics out of her show. At least it was until Barack Obama ran for president. She became one of his biggest supporters and had him and Michelle on her show many, many times. I’ve heard that she felt slighted once he got into the White House. So, when he ran again in ’12, she wasn’t as vocal, but she still supported him. It’s her show… I didn’t expect that she wouldn’t support the first black man for president.
But along comes the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman case. Oprah, along with the professional race baiters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson screamed “RACISM” when the jury heard the case, listened to the witnesses, reviewed the evidence and rendered their verdict. Worse, she likened it to the Emmett Till case in 1956, saying she saw no difference. Others have made compelling arguments concerning the vast differences between these two cases. But it seems that all Oprah can see is a black-white issue. The hell with the evidence. The hell with Trayvon’s being on suspension from his school in Miami for multiple infractions. The hell with Trayvon’s love for fighting. So, who are the racists?
I’m one of those who sees our freedoms being eroded, the economy in the dumps, and racial harmony arguably at its lowest in 60 years. All of it being fed by a complicit media. I can’t imagine that “The Butler,”is going to do much to improve matters and Jane and Oprah don’t need my money anyway.
I’ll keep my $10, rent an old John Wayne movie and call it a day.