The Loving Story
dir. Nancy Buirski
Jeff Nichols’ Loving would have made a great Best Picture in 2002. An important moment in history reenacted beautifully with bizarre legal asides; it would have been in contention everywhere, gloss with an edge. Unfortunately the movie came a decade and a half late and not nearly as effective as its source “The Loving Story”, a 2011 Emmy-winning documentary showcasing actual footage of Richard and Mildred Loving’s struggle to live as an interracial married couple in the sixties and the resulting aptly named Supreme Court case (Loving v Virginia) which nullified the laws that kept them apart.
“We never knew nothing about all of this racial stuff that they talk about. And if the government had left them people alone, it would never have been no problem there,” a friend of the Loving’s in Virginia notes in his interview regarding a couple unaware their family was going to make history. A culture concerned with the intimate details of its constituents’ lives has limited America through history. Shall we burn these witches? Different religion. It involves nudity. It is the devil. Why shouldn’t gays get married? God says it’s wrong. Stability would assume acceptance. It’s an abomination. Races mixing? Let this devout woman take a stab at that one:
Well to-do, pale as cotton, religiously backed, and left unnamed; she explains racial pride with a zeal and assuredness reserved for Matthew McConaughey and his love of cannabis. In her eyes exists certainty that her speech is accurate: the Lord God Above wants the races to be separated and assume their role in society. Horror exists in the words of this woman:
Races can never be, and should never be considered to be, “separate but equal”. That type of racial and economic discrimination still persists today but constant coverage. Black and Latino men shot, strangled, killed on video not posing a threat, and the officers get off free. Pair this with Ava DuVernay’s 13th is you want to keep the ire going, and remember the James Baldwin doc I Am Not Your Negro lands in a few weeks. Get the juices going to get yourself informed and ready for a rough couple years of federally mandated bigotry.
Laws in Virginia urged whiteness to 99.9% racial history, a cringeworthy selective breeding that should not even be regulated upon German Shepherds. Those who Hillary Clinton referred to as a “basket of deplorables” were those people who would insist the legitimacy of such a law–the KKK, alt-right narcissists, religious hate groups. Staving off these groups from controlling the legislation in the country should be the greatest concerns of “The Intellectual Elite” and all the rest of us who believe every person should have an equal treatment, appropriate protection, and fair compensation. It’s taken generations to get as far as we have, and now the patriarchy is even more pissed than usual. They’ll eventually be drowned out; the election maps show as the older generations disappear, it’s nearly impossible that this type of conservative government can persist.
This was the political and social climate around the time my mother was born, barely over 50 years ago. In that time, we’ve made progress socially, but we have developed a white working class gullible and deluded enough to elect The Great Fascist Cheeto to wreck their lives further. It has made for volatile, angry times that are hardly going to diminish in the next four years. I’m prepared to follow Michelle’s advice and go high. It’s time to speak clearly, let them get angry, and maintain my composure and see if they were provide a true fact or fully address a stance.
I’m already expecting to just hear, “That’s my opinion,” and demands that I stop questioning their beliefs.
As for 1the Lovings, these were not people who were out to change the world. These are people who wanted to be together, nothing more. Writing to Robert Kennedy was an effort to return home. “We were trying to get back to Virginia,” Mildred asserts. The opportunity to live in the location of one’s choice and build the family that fits one’s needs: isn’t that the American Dream we’re meant to chase? Not always, according to many of those who most like to tote their freedom. Personally, I insist on that American Dream as the only opportunity to have a society that lives free.