1: It is racist.
People uncomfortable with the N-word may not wish to watch this movie. Then again, they may also not wish to read Huckleberry Finn, and in both cases they’re voluntary missing out on some pretty great artistic depictions of pre-Civil War America. I’m uncomfortable using the actual word in this list because I suspect it would decrease site traffic significantly, but also because seeing it still makes me cringe a little, and I want to keep it funny for the time being.
Its use in Django should induce cringes. The objection that it’s overused is actually a stated preference for misrepresenting the brutality of the treatment of African Americans in the time period portrayed. That would be a far more offensive artistic choice for a director to make. It’s interesting the way Dr. King Schultz, and by extension Christoph Waltz himself, forms the word, as though his own use of it disgusts him, but he does so for the sake of the role he’s playing. When the villains use the word, it emphasizes their villainy. It makes us intensely desire the kind of justice they are eventually served. A person who uses the word maliciously is rightly perceived by the audience as a bad guy.
There’s also the matter of the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan. This is a hilarious farce of a scene meant as a response to the horribly racist Birth of a Nation scenes featuring the riders of the KKK as heroes. Depicting them here as nincompoops arguing over the bags on their heads is the comedic equivalent of shooting Hitler in the face. It’s a kind of racial justice Tarantino serves up cinematically to the ghost of D.W. Griffith.
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