8 things Black Panther got totally wrong about black power

Categories Opinion

If the movie is an ambassador of black power and brotherhood, it communicated all of that wrong. I am giving you just 10 reasons, there are tons of them in the movie:

1. Blacks can’t stick together. Movie starts with the Jabari falling out and ends with border tribe falling out. And, then a brother kills another. Point: Blacks are trademark leaders at infighting.

2. The kingship is apparently based on merit. Here merit is brute physical strength. But when T’Challa is humiliatingly defeated, he is saved because of his lineage. His family and lover conspire against the new king just as any other royalty who has lost power. And, quite predictably, use righteousness to enforce what is a simple case of dynastic rule. If you argue that it was a battle between right and wrong, watch again. They had taken sides much before the king had declared his ‘evil’ intentions. Point: For all the varnish of fairness, Wakanda is ruled by an authoritarian, dynastic regime.

3. T’Chaka kills his brother who wanted to help oppressed black brothers the world over. Basically, a good guy. And, his son who wanted the same in a more aggressive way is murdered too. Both had the intention to share Wakanda’s wealth and resources. Point: Wakanda is like that black rock star who becomes white once he is moneyed. No sharing, bro.

4. The women in Wakanda are bound by a functional caste system. They are pretty liberated; they can be warriors, techies, mercenaries and all that. But they can never be king. Point: Wakanda has a glass ceiling and it’s made of vibranium.

5. When Killmonger, I would rather call him Erik, is busy looking at the sunset and dying on that cliff, a reluctant T’Challa offers to pardon his life. Erik proudly reminds him that just like his black brothers who chose jumping into the sea and dying, he would prefer death over bondage. Point: That’s a slavery reference bro and T’Challa letting him die makes him the ship owner, metaphorically, of course. Thus, essentially, T’Challa is white, again.

6. Now, let’s come to the movie itself. The movie ends. We leave as credits start playing. The usher sends everyone back in from the door because, apparently, the movie is not over. We sit through the credit – some sitting, some standing, most bunched at the exit. A minute of useless crap is played. And, the credits come on, again. We start to leave, again. We are sent back again. We sit back for some another ten hours of credits only to watch what is a hook for the next instalment. Point: Blacks are anarchists and horrible at climaxing.

7. Everyone is suspicious of Agent Ross in the movie. The conspiring king mother raises heckles the moment she sees him, M’baku and his tribe make sure he is scared shitless just because he is white. In the end, he completely unbecomes whatever he had become and is only an accessory in their mission. And, that is a good white. Point: Blacks are racists. You can call is revenge-racism, but, that’s still racism.

8. Again, about the movie itself. The movie that announces black power to the world is all about infighting and Fratricide. They are not fighting alien oppressors or whites (oppressors on the planet). From the start till the end, they are fighting each other. Point: Fantasy Africa is not too different from present real Africa – too busy in petty, all consuming infighting. I know I have made this point before. But it is so damning it needs reiteration.

P.S.: Why 8 and not 10? Because I am too lazy and then I had to give you an opportunity to add to the list.