Hollywood, CA – In what has been touted as the “most highly anticipated comic book movie this year,” Marvel’s “Black Panther” premiered to much fanfare at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater almost two weeks ago and is set to open in theaters everywhere in three days. But “Black Panther” is not the rallying cry for blacks about a world that could have been if not for the effects of colonization. Instead, “Black Panther” is a myopic, opiate-riddled movie to dull the senses of blacks so as to allow them to live in denial with their own reality and putting the responsibility for their advancement on the shoulders of those around them.
Set in the fictitious African Eden of Wakanda, “Black Panther” tells the story of a black superhero, T’Challa who defends his rightful kingship in his native land and whose superpowers are fueled by a mystery metal vibranium. Much like Africa today, Wakanda is a portrait of inconsistencies, at once rural and urban, futuristic and painfully backward, yet it’s advancement comes not from its people or its institutions, instead it is vibranium, which makes Wakanda rich. The same way that the natural resources in Africa keep a small black elite jetting about in Gulfstreams while the rest of the blacks drink water from pools of overrun. In Wakanda, spaceships zoom over soaring buildings with thatched roofs and hover trains zip over a market with hanging woven baskets. The albeit visually-stunning scenes could not be more relevant to Africa today, where the latest Boeing airliners glide over peat fires in Dar Es Salaam and brand new Teslas drive past open sewage in Lagos. If you’ve never heard of any of these cities, don’t beat yourself up about it, they’re up there with Wakanda.
They say “life mimics art” and nowhere is this more true than in Wakanda. “Black Panther” treads the same narrative that blacks have been telling themselves for centuries which has left them permanently handicapped and their continent persistently backward – “if the whites weren’t in-charge, Africa would be great.” In the movie, Wakanda is an African paradise presumably because it has never been conquered and evaded the ravages of both colonialism and postcolonialism, because blacks have been in-charge all this while, they have managed to build a technologically superior society.
In reality, Wakanda has a real-world equivalent – Zimbabwe. Although colonized by the British, Zimbabwe or Rhodesia as it was known was handed over to the blacks on a silver platter. With modern infrastructure, agriculture and institutions, Zimbabwe was once the “bread basket” of Africa. Today, after decades of black rule, 90 percent of Zimbabweans live below the poverty line and are literally starving. Farms which were once some of the most productive on the entire African continent are rotting wastelands, grabbed from white farmers and handed over to incompetent black cronies of Zimbabwe’s corrupt black leaders. If blacks want to aspire to the possibilities of being masters of their own fate, they need look no further than Zimbabwe today – it’s a shithole.
In the movie, T’Challa who is the Black Panther, has to fight scores of his fellow blacks to defend his crown and it seems that the only form of government that blacks are capable of swallowing down is some sort of dictatorship with a royal court stuffed with cronies. In this area Wakanda excels. T’Challa’s court is filled with siblings and other inbreds who work as his royal advisers. He has a harem of female bodyguards, similar to African dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Therein lies the weakness of blacks and their struggle to lead themselves. On the campaign and revolutionary trails, scores of black leaders call for “black unity,” only to abandon the concept as quickly as they come to office. No more evident is that then when Barrack Obama entered the White House. Blacks hailed it as a watershed moment, the belief that “if Obama could do it, so can I,” – except that Obama didn’t do it for blacks, he did it for himself and by the end of his presidency in 2016, according to the Federal Reserve the average black family had a median net worth of $17,600 whereas the average white household was worth $171,000 almost ten times as much. During the Obama presidency, blacks actually got poorer (if that’s even possible) while whites, especially those closest to Obama such as the Clintons, got filthy rich. No black leader has exploited the call to “black unity” more so than Obama. While preaching “unity” and “equality,” Obama practiced division through a system of patronage, cronyism and nepotism, corrupting the very highest levels of government and the federal bureaucracy.
As scores of liberals march to the movie theater, patting themselves on the back for watching the “Black Panther” and crowing about how it’s time the blacks finally have a superhero, the only ones who should be congratulating themselves are the movie’s producers who will be laughing all the way to the bank. “Black Panther” is yet another lame excuse for blacks not to take responsibility for their own lives and their own futures, disguised as a movie about empowerment and potential. Instead, “Black Panther” treads an all-too familiar narrative – it perpetuates the narrative that blacks would be successful “if not for.” It is this mentality then that is the black person’s greatest stumbling block – the belief that life’s vicissitudes are always “someone else’s fault.” No, African Eden doesn’t look like Wakanda and if Wakanda were a real city in the world today, President Donald Trump would probably have imposed a travel ban on its people and labeled it a shithole as well. Long live Wakanda.