the help, the gym

as i was moving through the weight machines at the gym, trying to get in and out as quickly as possible, i was stopped by an older man and woman who had perched on two machines side by side, with no intention of moving anytime soon.  i wanted to use those machines, but it was clear that they were deep in discussion about something.  i was on a machine close by, already deciding that i would have to find an alternative way to get those exercises in for the day.  when i stopped to actually listen to what they were talking about, i became so discouraged that i may have rolled my eyes in the direction of these two people.  how mature of me.

the man was asking the woman if she had seen ‘the help.’

woman: “no, i haven’t seen it yet.”

man: “don’t.  that movie disgusted me.  it was just hollywood propaganda to make everyone hate the south.”

woman: (awkward smile)

man: “my ancestors had slaves…. we treated them well.”

[insert eye roll]

woman: (awkward smile)

man: “i mean, they are just out to get southerners.  we aren’t really like that.  that’s not really how it was.”

woman: (inaudible mumbling, as she has picked up that someone is listening in)

i had to get up and leave after that.

i guess it is human nature to sometimes be resistant when people are shedding light on injustices or revealing the obvious.  while i would agree that ‘the help’ does not accurately portray everyone in the south at that time, there is a large element of truth to it.  racism was real and it is still real today.  i am thankful for the book as well as the movie.  these are issues that need to be brought up over and over again.  i have heard people say “stop bringing it up and do something about it,” but i think it needs to be brought up more.