Lessons From Green Book – Part 1 – Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye – Matthew 7:5


As an African American female, I tend to choose my movies about racism very carefully, avoiding those that intentionally marginalize the inequality which continues in this world.  Green Book based on the life of African American Dr. Donald Shirley, an acclaimed pianist, excellently demonstrates the racial disparity of the 1960s, particularly the Deep South, whereby the need for a travel guide for people of color known as the Green Book.  Through the interaction of the two lead characters, Dr. Shirley and Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, a bigot Italian hired to be the pianist’s driver, several life lessons were learned.  

In this scene, Tony pulls the car off the highway to relieve himself.  But before exiting the vehicle, he retrieves his wallet.   Lesson:  Projection.  People will oftentimes form opinions about others based on traits not liked in themselves.  Case in point, Tony had earlier been recognized as stealing an expensive stone (jade); when confronted he excused it to be a worthless stone found on the ground.  Thus, the reason for removing wallet is that Tony presumes Dr. Shirley to have the same propensity that he has, to steal.

We are warned not to judge others; likewise are we instructed to perform a self-examination to determine within us any flaws.  Could it be possible that the person we choose to find fault with, someone we project to have a dislikeable trait of our own?