Jordan Peele‘s new movie “Get Out” is blowing up, it’s a thriller about a black man nervously going to meet his white girlfriends parents and once arriving things go from awkward to horrifying. But this blockbuster also brings up some ghost from European and U.S. history.
One such ghost was eugenics. Eugenics starting in the early 1900’s, was the pseudo-scientific racist theory that formed in Europe and spread to the United States and Canada. It’s theory was that the human gene pool could be controlled by increasing “desirable” characteristics and getting rid of “undesirable” ones. The hope was to create the “perfect” race.
Huge supporters of this general theory were people like Margaret Sanger in the late 1800’s who popularized the term “birth control” & opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, she wrote numerous books about the need to stop certain people from breeding and getting undesirables onto birth control. Planned parenthood would come out of much of her writings and beliefs.
Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler believed certain groups of people should never be allowed to marry other groups and excluded the immigration of certain people into his country. Influenced by eugenics, he forced the sterilization and destruction of folks deemed “unfit” for the human race.
The movie “Get Out”‘ had sub plots that touched on these issues and also the twisted experimentation on unwilling blacks, which harks back to the evil Tuskegee Syphilis experiment. This was a clinical study conducted from 1932 to 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. In this study, 600 black men were unwillingly experimented with. Some unknowingly given the syphilis disease and others had it already but the 600 men we’re purposely not treated to study the progression of the disease while being told by our government that they were being cured.
The film, “Get Out” is definitely a must see, one of Rotten Tomatoes highest-rated movies with an approval rating of 100%! It addresses the myriad levels of racism, pays homage to some great horror films, has a distinctive visual style — and is somehow flat-out funny as well!