Netflix’s American Son is an American Fail

Netflix’s American Son centers around an educated Black mother and her estranged white FBI agent husband and their son who is in trouble with the law. For the most part of the film, the audience does not much more about the son’s whereabouts other than he was pulled over by the cops with two other Black friends. Written by trial lawyer Christopher Demos-Brown who is a playwright, the film is less a movie than a too-generously funded play.

In trying to attack stereotypes head-on, the story of this film only furthers them. For instance, this film is based on the myth of the single-Black mother raising a troubled son whose father isn’t around for whatever reason. The myth of the single-Black is not busted in this film, only seasoned with a different form of bias and perpetuated.

From the beginning, Kendra, the mother, has a falling out with the sole cop helping to give her information on her son. While some of the dialogue feels real, most of it seems forced. Instead of coming off as a concerned mother aware of a biased policing system that does not value the lives of Black men, she comes off as a person looking for any opportunity to use the race card. Everyone knows the culture of law enforcement inherently denies Black men equal protection, but this film does not approach the issue in a manner consistent with that lack of equal protection.

Moreover, Kendra spends over half the movie arguing with her estranged husband. He comes off as a jerk who may be a little racist. She comes off as too racially aware to have ever dealt with a man such as him. Yet they stayed together for almost 18 years? How? There is a weak attempt made to explain their union when the two discuss the things they like such as hard work. But is the love of hard work enough to bring together an educated Black woman who is aware of racism and a white FBI agent who is racially indifferent, if not outright racist? That would be a stretch.

While arguing with her husband, Kendra goes off when he uses what she calls “white trash” language, bemoaning the fact that she did all she could to keep her son from using “slang.” She basically contends that she whitened their son up so the world could accept him. Their son is rebelling because he wants to be some sort of artist even though he’s basically a genius and his father wants him to be more practical. It is an age-old tale of parental oppression, and it fails here.

The writer is attempting to point out the prejudices in America that makes being Black a hazard. The writer attempts to raise a play to the level of motion picture. The intentions are there, but they lead to a hell of racial biases and failures.

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Dave Chappelle’s Hilarious “Sticks and Stones” Stand-Up May Break Some Sensitive Bones

Dave Chappelle’s Hilarious “Sticks and Stones” Stand-Up May Break Some Sensitive Bones
Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special “Sticks and Stones” is a rude knock on the door of political correctness and a sizzling challenge of America’s casual socioeconomic racism that has thwarted Black progress for generations. Standing on a stage emblazoned with his “C” logo, Dave Chappelle is as comfortable in his green jumpsuit as an comedian about to ruffle every feather of sensitivity they can.
Touching on the fiery issue of race, Dave Chappelle digs his heels into what he calls “drug-addicted whites.” With a smile on his face, he delves into America’s opioid epidemic, an epidemic crushing the white community as crack did to the Black community.

After laying out the facts about the fateful ripples the opioid crises in America has caused in the white community, Dave says, “I even have insights as to how the white community must have felt watching the Black community go through the scourge of crack, because I don’t care either. Hang in there whites.” Dave says in a mock white, nerdy voice, “‘Just say no. What’s so hard about that?’” This is a hilarious direct calling out of the slogan “Just say no to drugs,” a slogan used to fuel the racially-motivated war on drugs that ripped the Black community to shreds.
At one point, Dave recalls a time when he was called into the Standards and Practices office of Comedy Central about using a slur in relation to gay people. When Dave asked why he could say the N-word and not the gay slur, the person in charge told him, “You’re not gay.” And Dave retorted, “I’m not a n**** either.” Through his sarcasm, Dave subtly points out that his fellow whites thought of him as the N-word.

With an ear-to-ear grin as he covers “drug-addicted whites” and gun violence, Dave encourages every able-bodied Black person to get a legal firearm, warning that they will need guns to survive in this faltering white America. He even relays a side-busting fictional anecdote in which he kills a “drug-addicted white” who had broken into his house to rob him.
Dave Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” is a must-see. If he makes you uncomfortable, he has done his job. Dave is back, funnier than ever while telling truths that many chose to so conveniently ignore.