Editor's corner/ Over a cup of tea
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the
Year for the State of
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Forrest Gump is my kind of guy
By Heidi M. Pascual
realization of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had wanted all along -- a society where Blacks and Whites live
harmoniously and peacefully, with equal rights, equal opportunities, as well as, of course, equal responsibilities. Due to
centuries of being treated as non-equals, however, it has been very very difficult for Black people to really be on equal
footing with the White folks in our country. Thus, people like Forrest Gump, if there’s any, could speed up the needed
change through their own actions.
Forrest was “blessed,” and his rewards came in many forms, despite his intellectual disability. His blessed character
seemed to reflect a lot of White folks’ career tracks; the major difference, however, is that Forrest had a good heart and
no tinge of racism in it. Which was not real; it was made in Hollywood.
Reality is much different and reality hurts a lot of people of color, not only Blacks. With Trump’s victory and his actions
and pronouncements that “segregate” and separate “others” such as the Muslims, the refugees, the Mexicans, and
people from countries suspected of coddling terrorists, the ugly head of racism is back (or, it never went away, it was
just on hibernation). White supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the Ku-Klux Clan come out openly and courageously,
believing that Trump is with them.
The Charlottsville saga stemmed from the refusal of the White nationalists and Ku Klux Clan members to remove the
statue of Confederate General Robert Lee in the city’s Emancipation Square. They have held demonstrations earlier
this year to protest the city council’s vote to remove the statue, a symbol of what the South fought for during the Civil War
— keeping the institution of slavery, the workhorse of the South's plantations that kept slave owners wealthy. The most
recent demonstration of hatred became deadly as three lost their lives — one, when a car rammed through the
demonstrators, and two police officers in a helicopter that crashed near the demonstration site. Hundreds were also
injured as counter-protesters showed up as well.
Violence has been erupting in America due to this open display of racism, bigotry, and hatred from the far right, the
Whites who strongly believe their superiority over all others, and who want to recreate their past glory in history and
forcefully put people of color to places they once belonged.
If Forrest Gump were a real person witnessing all these, his simple question would probably be: “What is wrong?” I
would answer him this way:
“Forrest Gump” is my favorite movie of all time. Not because of Tom Hanks (though he
showed great acting here!); not because of the comedic scenes and dialogues; not because
of the technical genius of the special effects director who was able to insert Tom Hanks’
character into some historic episodes; and not even because of the beautiful Feather Theme
music by Alan Silvestri (though it’s one of my favorite piano pieces). It’s my favorite movie
because it focused on a White person from the South (Alabama) whose ancestor was a Ku
Klux Clan leader, yet didn’t have any racist gene in his bones, nor hatred in his heart against
anyone whose skin is different from his. His best friend in the army turned out to be Bubba, a
Black guy, whose mother “served” White families, just like her ancestors in days past. Bubba
and Forrest had plans to jointly own a shrimping boat after leaving the military, a plan that
never happened as Bubba was killed during the Vietnam War. But Forrest fulfilled the plan as
he promised Bubba, and in the end helped “free” Bubba’s mother (and family) from the
modern form of slavery they were in.
This particular point in the storyline truly made a big impact on me. It served as my ideal, a
Almost everything is wrong, Forrest. Our
society has become anti-Black, anti-
Muslim, anti-Latino, anti-Asian, anti-
immigration, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-
old retirees, anti-social services, etc. etc.
You are such a blessed soul. You’re not
worried about anything bad happening to
you. Blessings come your way without you
asking for them. You're such a privileged
citizen! You are blessed, Forrest, simply
because you’re White. The oddest thing
is... you don’t even know it!
And I know how you'd react to me. You'd
simply say: "Oh?" And perhaps you'd offer
me a box of chocolates, quoting your late
mom's words, "Life is like a box of
chocolates; you'd never know what you'd
Unfortunately for people of color like me, I
do know what I'd get in America...and I got it
all right. Fortunately for me, I have a place
to go back to. And there I can have a full box
of chocolates all for myself, too!