The Butler’s negative reimagination comes at a real social cost. Watching the movie, the viewer comes away thinking that the civil rights movement has largely failed. But the actual record is more upbeat. It is unfortunate that Daniels did not start The Butler during the Truman years. In 1948, Truman decided to desegregate the U.S. armed forces by executive order.
My quarrel with The Butler is that its wrong narrative of the evolution of race relations serves to strengthen a set of misguided government programs at a time when it is no longer possible to bless all actions of the civil rights movement.
I do recall sending men to moon, transistor radios and Woodstock…