Last weekend, I took my dad to see Sicario—Denis Villeneuve’s gripping and graphic (very, very, very graphic) depiction of the drug war. Now, while Sicario has done well at the box office, it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster—nor was it intended to be—so with that in mind, plus the fact that we went to a 10 p.m. show at an obscure theater, I didn’t expect many people to be there. And I was right. There weren’t many people there. In fact, there weren’t any people there. My dad and I were the only people in the entire theater.
This meant no dealing with parking lines, ticket lines, popcorn lines or bathroom lines. Basically, instead of finding a seat 15 seconds before the movie started—which is standard for me because, you know, I’m black—we got to our seats in time to see every preview. All 21 minutes’ worth.
The longest of the previews was given to Our Brand Is Crisis—a movie about a presidential campaign in Bolivia and the machinations necessary to get a certain desired candidate elected. But after watching the preview, a much better title would have been Sandra Bullock Saves South America. Because that’s all the preview was. Sandra Bullock sweating while saving South Americans. Sandra Bullock swearing while saving South Americans. Sandra Bullock sitting while saving South Americans. And even Sandra Bullock showering, shaving and sleeping while saving South Americans.
Perhaps this isn’t the movie the producers and director intended to make. But they should have known that when you cast Sandra Bullock in a movie with multiple minorities, she’s going to do some saving. Because she’s the greatest white savior ever. No one—not Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds, not “Jake” the white boy soldier from Avatar, not even David Stern—has saved as many people of color as Sandra Bullock has. It’s almost like when some black or brown people need saving, someone puts a bat signal in the sky (perhaps one in the form of a black power fist) to alert Bullock so she can commence to saving.
And, if you have any doubts about Bullock’s saving bona fides, just look at her résumé:
Our Brand Is Crisis: Sandra Bullock saves the Bolivian election. And, by proxy, all of Bolivia. And, by proxy, all of South America.
Gravity: Sandra Bullock saves herself. Which is important, because you can’t save all the black and brown people if you can’t even save yourself.
The Blind Side: Sandra Bullock saves a giant black kid from poverty, school bullies, drug dealers, remedial math classes and Nick Saban.
Crash: Sandra Bullock joins forces with a bunch of actors too famous to be in this s—ttily pretentious movie to save race relations in Los Angeles. And in our hearts.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: Sandra Bullock doesn’t actually save any black people here. I’m not even sure if any black people are in the movie. But I’m sure many black women went to see this tale of mothers and daughters strengthening their bonds and left the theater wanting to do the same thing. So Sandra Bullock effectively saved black womanhood.
The Prince of Egypt: Sandra Bullock provides the voice for Miriam, the sister of Moses. Moses helped free a couple million slaves, but he didn’t do it by himself. Who do you think was giving them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas to keep all of them nourished and keep them from cramping in the desert heat? Miriam, that’s who. Sandra Bullock saved Africa.
A Time to Kill: Sandra Bullock saves Sam Jackson from the electric chair, the Ku Klux Klan and bucketloads of sweat. And by saving Sam Jackson, Bullock saves black fatherhood.
Demolition Man: Sandra Bullock saves the country from a bleached-blond Wesley Snipes. Since the bleached-blond black male trend never really caught on, Sandra Bullock effectively saved black beauty.
Thank you, Sandra Bullock.
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at email@example.com.