Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No Way Out

It was one of those weird quirks of fate that sounds like the most shameless fabrication, but last night I grabbed a movie out of a small pile while everyone else was slobbering over election returns. It was a DVD marked only with the film title (as most of mine are) and all I remembered is that I had started watching it some time ago and I hadn't finished it because I either fell asleep or was otherwise distracted.

No Way Out (1950)

It is the story of a young black doctor (Sidney Poitier) as he contends with racism, being a novelty and the high standards he has for himself. He was to tend to brothers who were shot up in an altercation with police, and one of them dies as he is attempting to administer a spinal tap. The surviving brother, played by quintessential noir scuzzball Richard Widmark, accuses the doctor of killing him.

In what could best be described as an early form of Political Correctness, the hospital's chief administrator wants to sweep it under the rug, but Poitier goes to great lengths to assure that an autopsy is performed which will vindicate his decisions as a doctor. It is an interesting and nuanced story in which there is more honesty than seems possible in a modern Hollywood drama. And in Poitier's supervisor, played by Steven McNally, conservatives will see a character that speaks to them just as the hospital administrator so embodies much of what we loathe about the left.

For some reason, the pure dumb luck of viewing this film made me at peace with the election results. Obama has not earned my respect. Thus far I find him rather loathesome and his brain-dead supporters give me the creeps. But given our nation's history with regard to race it is hard not to see this as a good day for us. He's no Jackie Robinson. He isn't even Poitier's character in No Way Out. But the election result is what it is. There is "no way out" if you will. And I find that at least in the short-run my concerns for his presidency are tempered by the fact that this is an historic moment and the hope that black kids throughout the country take this as the sign of hope and the kick in the ass that the victimology pimps have for so long deprived them.

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