Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton

Straight-Outta-Comptonby Patricia L. Dickson8/17/15
When I first heard the movie Straight Outta Compton being advertised, I knew that I wanted to see it in order to fill in some historical blanks from the early 1990s. From late 1991 to January 1993, I was on an overseas assignment with the military. My overseas assignment was deep in the desert of Sinai Egypt. During those years, the military did not have access to cable television overseas. Because the soldiers in my battalion did not have access to CNN, we missed the Rodney King ordeal as well as the entire 1992 election coverage. I remember sitting in the lobby of our headquarters command at Ft. Hood, Texas improcessing after returning from overseas in January 1993, watching President Bill Clinton, Hillary and Chelsea walking down Pennsylvania Avenue waving at the crowd after his inauguration. I had no knowledge at the time of who he was (other than the new President). That was the first time that I had even heard his name.

Because I have never been a fan of rap music (other than the Sugar Hill Gang), I did not really know the history of gangsta rap music. I heard other troops talk about such artist as Ice-Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, however; I had not listened to their music (nor did I have any interest in it). I can vividly remember my fellow troops calling our First Sergeant (behind his back) Snoop Dog. Because I did not know who Snoop Dog was, I made sure to watch BET (Black Entertainment Television) so that I could see the person that my First Sergeant supposedly looked like. And yes, he did look just like Snoop Dog.

There were more white people attending the movie than blacks (the fact that it was Orange County may have been the reason). The movie was filled with profanity and the n-word (not surprising). However, the part that struck me was the supposed abuse that the young black men in the Compton neighborhoods endured from the LAPD. In the movie, the LAPD would just show up for no reason (without being called) grab these black guys, throw them on the ground, and handcuff them just because they were standing outside of their own houses or the studio where they were recording music. The white cops even called these black guys the n-word and addressed them as boy while throwing them faced down on the pavement. The constant harassment from the LAPD is what inspired Ice-Cube to write and record the hit song “F” the police. I do not know how historically accurate the portrayal of events are in this movie. Hollywood has a history of making up stuff and portraying it as factual in movies in order to support a narrative.

The movie included the actual video of the Rodney King beating and the rioting that took place after the cops were acquitted. The actual news footage of the ordeal was part of the movie. While driving home after the movie, I realized that if the LAPD harassed the young black men the way that it was portrayed in the movie, there is no wonder O.J. Simpson was acquitted by an all-black jury. Now I understand why people have said that if the jury had seen a video of O.J. murdering his ex-wife and Ron Goldman, they still would have acquitted him (in order to get back at the LAPD). If the events in the movie are true, I understand why there is such a distrust of the LAPD in the inner cities of Los Angeles.

PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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8 Responses to Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    But there’s always that “if”. I doubt it’s very accurate about events — though it no doubt reflects how blacks feel about events (partly spurred by race-baiters and their news lackeys, who publicize and exaggerate every possible police abuse of blacks and downplay every white victim of police action).

    I’m surprised you didn’t have access to something like The Stars and Stripes. That was our main news source in Greece, where there was no TV at the time (except on Crete).

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I have a very firm rule regarding “historical” films, “do not think they are recounting history.” They mainly recount history as a movie producer believes it should have happened.

    I happened to be in the U.S. when the 1992 L.A. riots took place. My lasting impression is that I could not believe the police did not take sterner action. I can remember some poor truck driver being pulled from his cab and being beat senseless with a brick.

    Korean shop owners were burnt out, as well as others.

    As I understand it, that part of L.A. has not quite recovered.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I recently read somewhere a writer who said Oliver Stone’s Nixon was a great movie, provided one realizes it had nothing to do with the real Nixon. I consider his movie on the JFK assassination a great alternate-history movie.

  3. SkepticalCynic SkepticalCynic says:

    I don’t know much about all this stuff that is going on…whether to believe it, half believe it or not to believe it at all. I do know this, even though I live in a very small town in NC, I will be in very dire straights when I call a cop to my house. Too many people have called the police and they or a family member or friend have wound up dead from cops guns.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Patricia asks perhaps the most important questions and/or illustrates the nature of the beast: Who do you believe?

    I have no personal experience with the LAPD. I would suspect that, as we’ve seen on the national stage all over, that anything the police do — even if perfectly correct — is re-packaged as “oppression,” “racism,” or “police brutality” — anything to keep the focus off of dysfunctional black culture (at least large portions of it) and to keep the narrative of victimhood (blame whitey) alive.

    I just assume, using common sense, that even someone who cries wolf will see a wolf once in a while. But I would be very suspicious of any “facts” coming out of a movie such as this.

    • Brad,
      I was hoping that you all would catch my sarcasm when I described the interactions between the cops and the main characters in the movie. Although I have never lived in the “hood” (thank God), I do know that the LAPD is so busy chasing criminals and fighting crime that there is no way that any cop would have the time to just show up in any neighborhood just to harass people (even if they wanted to). LAPD cannot hire enough cops to police Los Angeles county. There are huge billboards along the 405 and the 5 advertising for individuals to join the force. Hollywood movie producers are a joke. They want to portray the cops as racist and harassers out to get young black guys so that they can further the narrative. I know that there are some instances where cops have used unnecessary or excessive force, however I believe that the majority of the time, the cops are doing what has to be done.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The evidence of most of the incidents of the past year is that often what is called excessive force turns out not to be (as in Ferguson), and even when it is excessive there was something to spark it (as with Eric Garner in Staten Island and Freddie Gray in Baltimore). But it undoubtedly is true that many young blacks let themselves be tricked by professional race-baiters into believing that the police do routinely look for blacks to harass.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The sarcasm was probably was lost on me, Patricia. Many things are. 🙂 But I honestly have no idea as to the fine-tuned history of the LAPD. But much of what we live on today are the mean myths created by the Left — the same people who chide us for ones about Washington chopping down a cherry tree or Lincoln being born in a log cabin. Basically if one goes on the assumption “Everything they told us was a lie,” one will be in good stead. One still has to find the real story (not easy to do). But knowing the general lay of the land is enormously important. And generally everything the Lefts says is a lie, or at least a half-truth (which can work better than a lie).

        I assume there are bad cops. I don’t pretend to say that blacks have never had a cause for grievance. But they have, as a group, been crying wolf so often, they don’t get my benefit of the doubt. Reality these days is difficult to determine because so few speak the truth.

        And that’s why Donald Trump is up in the polls. He dares to speak — however brashly — on some of the indelicate truths. As Rush was saying on the radio today, the Trump phenomenon is not of his doing, per se. His power could be taken away in a second if the Republican Establishment candidates starting talking plain truths. But they won’t. So Trump gets all that support all to himself.

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