The documentary “Uncle Tom” taunted as an oral history of American Black Conservative and co-written by radio host and black activist Larry Elder, filmmaker Justin Malone and Ryder Ansell a generalist who specializes in sound and cameras had its debut on June 19, 2020 as an online movie. Uncle Tom can be rented or purchased at https://www.uncletom.com/ . The documentary is insightful and educational for anyone who does not know, what the film deems the truth about civil rights in America and how blacks are not victim narrative. America knows this is only part of a sector of black history and also knows “it’s complicated.”
The complications of systemic racism are not evident in “Uncle Tom” the documentary, but in the overwhelming data that has been researched and analyzed by academia and institutions focused on the disparity between minorities and the poor. One of the researchers is Raj Chetty an Economics professor at Harvard University. Raj Chetty and his team of about 40 researchers and policy specialists dropped everything—including work on inequality in housing, higher education, and longevity—to document the pandemic’s impact on poor and minority communities. The result is a data tracker that gives a day-by-day, state-by-state, and neighborhood-by-neighborhood view of the Coronavirus economy, funded by The MacArthur Genius Grant. (Reference: Bloomberg Businessweek)
Chetty and his team of researchers found that the post effect of COVID-19 is disproportional to lower income people and specifically to the black community.
By late June, the gap had widened further, even though many businesses had reopened. In fact, the segment of Americans who are paid better had recovered almost all of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic. Even as the better-off watched employment rebound and the stock market surge, the virus’s economic devastation was all around them, in failing restaurants, hair salons, and gyms. Like many of his contemporaries, Chetty is a data driven guy, “the more the better“ he says. His goal in diagnosing the source of the economic pain is to help find ways to cure it. His team will pitch their finding across party lines and to anyone who is willing to get on board with fixing this problem.
Uncle Tom the documentary gives a simplistic perspective of how some non- victimized black Americans view America, but is clearly not the broad based. Uncle Tom claims the modern era of civil rights was rooted in the Republican Party. Dating back to 60’s President Barry Goldwater, who the film claims career suffered at the hands of a Democratic driven media crucifixion, but also says how Goldwater predicted the destruction of democracy as we see it today. The film admittedly offers how one party has walked away from black America and how the other takes it for granted and has no intention to fix the problems. Problems plural, it’s complicated.
We know what and how to fix the problem in America, yet a small minority continues to drive a distraction narrative. The film lauds Martin Luther King for his efforts and insight on the struggle. Prophetic are Kings’ words in retrospect:
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the
strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”