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AMC is having a Gone With the Wind marathon throughout Thanksgiving weekend. My mom is watching as I type this and occasionally bursts out in some praise or another of Scarlett because when she was young, Ms. O’Hara was viewed as some sort of role model, I suppose. No matter that it’s grossly inappropriate to have this of all movies on a loop in light of our most recent and most publicized miscarriage of justice, because Mom doesn’t seem to realize the irony of lecturing me on pride for my heritage one day and watching this nauseous sludge the next, though it could be worse. Birth of A Nation is still taught as canonical in every Film 101 class in America. We live in a country where lynching is still an acceptable fucking practice as long is it’s done by men in uniform*, and my Hispanic, raised-Catholic-in-the-fifties mother sits and watches Gone With the Wind and praises the fucking cinematography.

I have any number of reasons to take umbrage with this movie, starting with the profound racism, moving through the misogyny, and ending with the fact Scarlett O’Hara is weak, a coward, and a vicious petty ingrate, but the second and last of these are nothing compared to the fact that this movie that treats Reconstruction as a terrible ordeal for Southern gentry and acts as through Black slaves stayed with their white oppressors out of love and loyalty rather than terror of the devil they didn’t know is on TV and garnering praise from a woman whose opinions on race I usually respect two days after Darren Wilson was acquitted of murder, and it makes me want to throw things.

*Lynching here having the technical definition of taking the law into one’s own hands in a violent and usually racially charged manner, before anyone wants to argue. Shooting an unarmed young man with his hands raised in surrender is most definitely a perversion of the law, by my book.
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