"Coming to America": A Classic Piece of African-American Cinema

In watching "Coming to America" again as an adult I was able to appreciate the nuances of characters and plot development, something, when looking at current African-American films, is often lost on the screen. In the midst of all the genres of film and in looking back at how original African-American film was only ten or twenty years ago, it's amazing to find that so few films are original, daring, and intune with society or smart enough to know how to mock it.

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"Outrage" over inequality and hypocrites

"Outrage" Documentary Early this month HBO premiered Kirby Dick's documentary on hypocrisy in government from politicians who boldly vote for anti-gay legislation while leading a closeted life as homosexuals. Outrage focuses on various politicians, many Republicans, who have been outed by members of the press, in particularly Blogactive.com founder Mike Rogers.

The outrage is over politicians who can be so strong in their convictions when it comes to voting against equal rights such as same-sex marriage, gays in the military, same-sex couples being able to adopt, AIDS/HIV funding, etc. yet have no problems with entering into a sexual relationship (be it NSA or long-term) with someone of the same sex. It boggles the mind of everyone who speaks on the matter as to how one can be so blatant when it comes to condemning a part of themselves and hiding it by living a "normal" life that is accepted among their conservative majority.

Politicians such as former Senator Larry Craig (Idaho), Representative Ed Shrock (Virginia), Jim McCrery (Louisiana), and David Dreier (California) are some of the people who have been outed on Blogactive.

Dreier is a "confirmed bachelor" who is potentially having a relationship with his chief of staff. Someone who is noted to travel with him to some exotic places.

Senator Craig may have entered into a marriage of convenience and spoke at length with Matt Lauer refuting any inkling of homosexuality in his being with his wife at his side. Both Mr. and Mrs. Craig state how ridiculous it would be to enter into a false marriage for the sole reason of helping boost his career in the Republican party.

McCrery is bashed by those who knew him way back when for having been an athiest and cursing the government for being immoral and not pushing through bills that would give gays and lesbians equal rights.  McCrery has ads starring him and his wife urging voters to trust him as a man looking out for their best interest albeit denying his compromise of his liberal standards once he got backing from the Republican party and a church financially for his political career.

One of the most disturbing stories is the ongoing one of Florida Governor Charlie Crist who continually blocks gay & lesbian equality laws and openly states that he is against marriage that is not between a man and a woman. There's been many accounts of homosexual trysts that Crist has engaged in, but because he is currently in office (and more than likely has quite some pull) those who know the truth are not willing to go on record. Crist does not agree with same-sex couples adopting children in Florida even though a Florida judge ruled it unconstitutional. Crist has seated two judges onto the Florida Supreme Court who are highly opposed to same-sex marriages. Crist has been a bachelor for a very long time getting divorced about 30 years ago after six months of marriage. He recently wed a young woman last December and is currently looking to join the U.S. senate in 2010. His website states: "He proposed and worked to pass Florida's landmark civil rights legislation, the Marvin Davies Civil Rights Act of 2003, to pursue those who engage in willful discrimination against others." Seeing that he's an advocate for civil rights but not gay rights seems hypocritical in itself.

There are some interviews with politicians who have since come out and are very relieved to have done so. Democratic representative Barney Frank (Massachussetts) admits that it is a relief to not have to hide who he is or to try to act as a moderate when it comes to gay & lesbian rights for fear that someone will think he is one. Former representative Jim Kolbe (Arizona) came out in the 1990s after being threatened by an opponent that they'd out him. Kolbe's honesty turned out to be "the most lifting experience I ever had." And further to the point he stated that friend and fellow representative John McCain didn't care about his sexuality because he thought Kolbe a good politician further stating that he "was always gonna be my friend." Hearing such uplifting remarks one would hope that others would follow suit in not only coming out of the closet but for others to openly accept them for the person they are and not the bedfellows they choose.

Former NJ governor James McGreevey concurs in the fact that finally coming out of the closet relieved him of a huge burden in having to live a double life. McGreevey connected homosexuality with lewd and disgusting behavior because of the ways he hid it. Having sex in back alleys and at rest stops enforced a feeling of wrongness that wasn't true but that he couldn't come to grips with when he was younger. It's through support and education that McGreevey can see the reasons for his shame and acknowledge how much happier and better his life is now that he's being honest with everyone, including himself.

Taking a peek at the other side Dina Mattos McGreevey was interviewed with hostile feelings being evident in her stern speech and facial expressions. "What part of my marriage was real?" she asks, wishing that McGreevey's uncertainty hadn't lead them to the alter. The women that are hidden to the fact of their husband or fiance's conflicted feelings do become victims themselves of entering into a relationship that is based on falsities from the very start.

There are comments from those who've been fighting for gay & lesbian equality to those who hid their truth away for years before being able to come "clean," their stories relay intriguing and harrowing tales of how far gay & lesbian rights still has to go across the country. One commentor piggybacks Harvey Milk's statement that if everyone came out of the closet and accepted their truth then "we'd win." It's many people's hope that with a handful more U.S. States allowing same-sex marriages and other equal rights for gay & lesbian couples and individuals that sooner (rather than later) we'll see progress all over. Which means that there'll no longer be a reason for politicians and people alike to feel a need to hide or hate.