Meryl Streep and the Limitations of Acceptable Critique or The Loyal Opposition is still Worthless
By Matt Sedillo
The Southwest Political Report
This year at the 74th annual Golden Globes film and television actor Meryl Streep was awarded the Cecil B. De Mille award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Over the course of Streep’s storied career she has been nominated for a record 19 Academy awards as well as a staggering 25 Golden Globes. However one judges the acting skills of Meryl Streep her enormous impact she on the film industry cannot be denied.
Given the nature of the award and the depth of her achievements it would be very easy for Streep to spend a few moments to reminisce upon a storied career. Instead Streep chose to spend the time allotted her to speak to the political concerns felt by millions in the country and indeed billions across the world over current political American moment. The fact that she would turn her time over to such an exercise is being roundly applauded and perhaps rightly so. To give up one’s own platform to address the concerns of the larger world in and of itself is an admirable act.
What she had to say however should be judged on its own merits separate and independent from her decision to do so. And what she had to say was terrible. Because politically Meryl Streep is terrible and unworthy of even the slightest admiration.
Politically Meryl Streep is horrible and part of the problem
“But who are we and, you know, what is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places.”
Meryl Streep then proceeded to list a number of actors born in the US followed by a series of actors born in Europe and one born in Israel. She later to her credit listed some actors born in Africa and Asia areas of the world whose populations have been targeted by the Trump campaign.
At no point in time however did she mention any actors from Latin America. This is quite egregious considering the unmistakable anti Latino bent of Donald Trump’s campaign. The anti Latino nature of Trump’s campaign was unmistakable, Trump’s battle with Alicia Machado about whom he concocted then tweeted a non existent sex tape concerning for one. The then Republican candidate turned Misogynist Elect had done so in order to distract from the previous conversations where he had previously referred to Machado as “miss piggy” and “miss housekeeping.”
Breaking from decades old rightwing Republican presidential politics, even Gusanos were not exempt from Trump’s anti Latino onslaught. While campaigning in the Florida primary an independent robo call on behalf of theTrump campaign directly stated, “Don’t vote for a Cuban.” Trump also speculated on the sincerity of Ted Cruz as an evangelical based on his Cuban heritage. Trump also questioned whether Cruz father had a hand in the Kennedy assassination simply because he is Cuban.
In Trump’s Time Magazine interview as their Person of the Year he characterized Central Americans as as incredibly violent threats to US society saying “They’re killing and raping everybody out there. They’re illegal. And they are finished.”
Anti Mexican sentiment was expressed in the building of the wall, the demand that Mexico pay for said wall, the fact that the entire campaign began with characterization of Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists, the attacks on Judge Curiel, accusing the Mexican government of lying to the Pope about him, the fear of bad hombres, the fear of Dora the explorer, the fear of taco trucks and on and on.The Mexican question specifically loomed large over the Trump campaign and in many ways was central to the entire concept of restoring American “greatness.”
In the face of all this material reality, the world as it actually is, history as it actually unfolded all Meryl Streep seemed to have to say in defense of “foreigners” was that “Ryan Gosling like all the nicest people is Canadian.” Liberals are completely worthless.
It should be noted that Gael Bernal and Diego Luna were both in the audience and had made very big noise this previous year collectively with a starring role in Mozart in the Jungle a leading role in the Star Wars Franchise in the film Rogue One. Both have received much acclaim for their work on screen. Meryl Streep doesn’t give a shit though. She would rather instead insult entire sports that prominently feature athletes of color.
“So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. “
What upon the good green earth is Streep talking about? Less than two weeks ago Amanda Nunes of Brazil knocked out Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds in one of the most anticipated MMA cards of the year. On that same card in the co main event Dominick Cruz who is Mexican American defended and lost his title. In the two biggest fights of this past year Irishman Connor McGregor avenged his loss to Mexican American Nate Diaz and defeated Puerto Rican lightweight champion Eddy Alvarez. MMA is an international sport that features champions from across the world. It also prominently features many US minorities as champions and contenders. Nearly all the fighters come from working class backgrounds. Streep’s elitism is so far off the charts. It’s really hard to even know where to begin with her comments about football. Nearly 70% of the NFL is Black. This past year Colin Kappernick’s refusal to take a knee during the national anthem stirred debate far off the grid iron. Kappernick used his platform to call into question the racial policies of both major candidates. He wore a shirt that prominently featured Castro with Malcolm X and refused to give an inch to the forces of reaction. He took a stance far too the left of Streep.
Football like MMA or boxing or basketball or most sports for that matter draw its participants from difficult economic circumstance. Meryl Streep throw away bread and circus line shows her deep contempt for working people, particularly those of color, and those who appreciate their craft. But of course she has contempt for them. Meryl Streep’s own history has shown her to be deeply elitist and deeply racist.
In 2015 during the promotion for her film Suffragette Meryl Streep, sounding like a daughter of the confederacy, prominently wore a T shirt that read “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” Streep’s opportunistic grab for the rhetorical power of the African American freedom struggle actually falls quite neatly in line with white suffragette history. The profound anti black racism of the suffragette movement in its beginning was not unique to said movement. The totality of society was bent in that direction. However the white suffragette movement was not exempt from American society’s of the general anti black racism that permeated throughout all society. Then as now.
In 2016 at the Berlin Conference, I mean at the Berlin Film Festival, when questioned about the lack of diversity on the jury panel Meryl Streep responded by saying “And after all, we’re all from Africa originally, you know. We’re all Berliners; we’re all Africans, really.”
In the face of a question about diversity over an all white film jury Meryl Streep claimed universal African heritage. She is just absolutely awful.
Meryl Streep has been given credit however for standing up to Trump’s bullying of a physically disabled reporter.
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege and power and the capacity to fight back.”
First of all the reporter’s name is Serge Kovaleski. He writes for the New York Times. He has a Pulitzer prize. He won the prize on his journalistic take down of Elliot Spitzer the former governor of New York, a politician who many believed would eventually run for president. News of his sex scandal destroyed Spitzer’s political career.
Whatever one thinks of Elliot Spitzer, the New York Times, the New York Times treatment of Elliot Spitzer, the Pulitzer Prize or Donald Trump, Serge Kovaleski is not a helpless victim waiting for an “abled bodied” savior. Trump’s despicable attack on Kovaleski was deeply ablest but so was Streep’s “defense” which was a characterization of someone unable to fight back against Trump. Serge Kovaleski, other than Megyn Kelly maybe the best positioned person to respond to a Trump attack. There are a great number of other people who have come under the Twitter fire of Agent Orange far less able to defend themselves from this horrible demon’s cruelty.
The characterization of a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who writes for the New York Times as nameless, helpless and lacking in a “capacity to fight back” is disgusting and Meryl Streep should be ashamed. Her general concept of the what the press is, what the US is and who this government actually represents is also quite uninspiring.
“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.”
And as if on queue the founding fathers. The answer to the material threat the Trumpocracy presents to us all is not American Exceptionalism. American Exceptionalism will not save us from the rule of billionaires. Praising the founders will not save us from the rule of eugenicists.
George Washington was the wealthiest man in America at the founding of this nation. Adjusted for inflation his net worth would have been Five Hundred and Eighty Million dollars, the richest president thus far in US history second only to president elect Donald Trump. This nation has always been a nation of the rich for the rich. George Washington was a slave driver and an agent of genocide. This nation has always been a white supremacist project. These facts are not mutually exclusive.
Words like liberal and conservative are meaningless when it comes to the defense of wealth and power. There is the liberal defense of wealth and power and the conservative defense of wealth and power. Words like liberal and conservative are meaningless when it comes to white supremacy. There is the liberal execution of white supremacy and the conservative execution of white supremacy.
The answer is not within the softer tones of the current power structure but outside of it. Liberals like Meryl Streep will tell you how far, how fast and how hard you are allowed to resist, pretend to be on your side then eventually execute the program of class rule. They will never side against the system to which they are wedded. Liberals cannot lead the resistance for they are a part f the establishment as sure as the “good cop” is a part of the precinct. Do not give them your ear. You yourself have far better things to say, far better songs to sing, and a far richer role to play in far grander scenes upon the stage of historic necessity. For you, yes you, have the power to change the world. The loyal opposition by definition cannot. Do not follow Meryl Streep. This isn’t a movie.