That is an alternate title for this post about the movie “The Help.” More about that in a moment…
The movie is scheduled for release this weekend. It is a motion picture based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett covering racial segregation in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.
The book has been well-received. Enough time has passed that events which were a source of discomfort to so many people can now be rehashed. (Note to high schools students writing a book review: Ms. Stockett offers up the classic theme of “man’s inhumanity to man.” Also, note her use of the words “nauseous” and “alright.” Is this purposeful? Discuss...)
The book describes what it is like when a culture divides itself into a “dominant group” and a “deferring group.” In “The Help,” that division is based upon heritage and skin tone. It is a familiar representation to us, as we see it referenced as a political tool in America today. We also see this kind of cultural division centered in certain religious beliefs, particularly in Islamic countries.
Here in the United States, our current cultural division is based upon political beliefs. The techniques used to maintain that division are the same as those depicted in “The Help.” Cultural norms are contrived to favor a dominant group and promote its superiority and popularity. This is “the template” referred to above.