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Banished-DiscGuide - "Banished Discussion Guide 1 Describe...

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“Banished”: Discussion Guide 1. Describe a moment in the film that you found especially disturbing or especially inspiring. What was it  about that moment that touched you? Two of the more disturbing parts for me were the footage of the KKK & White Supremacist protesters at the 1987 march and the part when the film maker asked the older man why he had retired to Harrison and the man said that the main reason was the “lack of blacks.“ The march disturbed me just because that kind of thing is hard to watch in part, because it’s one thing to know something happened and another to watch it. In the second part the old man gave such a matter-of-fact answer as though there was nothing personal. 2. How would you answer these questions posed by the filmmaker: a. Whose story is the true story? The African Americans‘ stories are more compelling and better researched. I don’t know about true, but their stories definitely look more factual. I think both sides believe they are true, but who knows. b. Who has a right to the land—the whites who live on it now or the blacks who abandoned it in terror in  1912? Legally, it sounds like the current residents have the right to it. Ethically, that’s tough. The black families definitely deserve a lot more than the white communities are willing to give. Full acknowledgement, including historical markers, at least, is a start. They kept saying that money couldn’t fix anything. I agree that it wouldn’t erase the past, but nothing could ever erase any past actions. Money is a standard part of reparations. Obviously, it can’t erase the past, but you can’t just say that and leave it there. There are lots of things in the world that can never be made right there will never be a classless society and the U.S. will always have racism, but that doesn’t mean you just throw your hands up and say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do.“ You still should do what you can to improve things and if a family says that the community paying to exhume their ancestor’s body as a token of reparation then do it.
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“Banished”: Discussion Guide c. The request to exhume the body of James Cobb seems like a simple request. Why do you think the  community was so hostile? Maybe they felt like that would be fully acknowledging what happened and they’re not ready to do that in such a public way. They haven’t fully apologized or made a serious attempt to make amends and the black families are finally calling them on it. Maybe they’re embarrassed about that. It could also be because of the camera. They don’t want to look bad on television so they’re putting on a face, but when asked to make some sacrifices as an apology they become hostile because they called their bluff on TV.
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