Tonight, we watched Remember the Titans. It was on Disney+ while we were scrolling for something to watch; and we picked it. I’ve seen this movie enough times to know what’s coming up, and the next line. It was one of those feel good movies when it came out. Tonight we watched it as part of a nightly ritual we began on Friday, to watch movies that address racism in some way.
Remember the Titans addresses issues of white supremacy, ingrained racism that gets embedded into the very fabric of a culture, segregation and integration, and privilege.
There are several moving scenes in this great film: when they jog through the woods at football camp to Gettysburg, when the team starts to come together at the end of camp.
A line that aged very well happens at football camp when Gary, the Captain of the football team calls Julius on his selfish attitude; to which Julius responds “attitude reflects leadership, Captain.”
For me, in tonight’s rewatch, the most impactful moment was when Coach Yost refuses to forfeit the next game, knowing it will cost him his place in the High School Hall of Fame. Throughout the first half of the game, referees are indiscriminately flagging plays and making calls that blatantly favor the other team.
Every time Coach Boone, the black Head Coach, tries to approach the refs they aggressively tell him to back off. When Coach Yoast, Defensive Coordinator, realizes that the refs are in cahoots with the Chairman of the Virginia School Board to throw the game, he walks toward the ref, tells him he knows what he’s doing and threatens to go to the papers even if he goes down too.
He knows he won’t be inducted into the Hall of Fame, because his nomination was contingent upon his losing the next game.
Using your privilege is a costly thing. Whether you are using your whiteness that lets you approach an official on behalf of someone who is being oppressed, using your social media platforms to educate and inspire; at some point, using your privilege to elevate black voices will pose a risk to your relationships, invite critique about your Christianity or morality, label you a troublemaker and an instigator.
The Jesus I follow was an instigator, too. I will choose to follow in his footsteps every day.