The movie The Purge has now become a franchise, comparable to The Fast & the Furious, spawning five films and a television series. It has brought in more than $500 million. It tries to be darkly comic, but the real joke is that it portrays the opposite of what’s happening in the country today, and its message is deeply anti-white.
The Purge, which began the series, was a campy home invasion flick. In its world, one day a year, crime is legal. The villains, who dress like stereotypical WASPs, try to hunt down and kill a black man who takes refuge in a white family’s house. The mob also tries to kill the white family. The patriarch dies, but the black man is saved, a reversal of the conventional wisdom about horror movies (the “black guy dies first.”) The white family’s suffering seems to be a struggle against its own inherited white privilege, and the wife and children are almost indifferent to the death of the father. The black man is the movie’s moral center.
In later versions, we learn the background of this day of rage. “The New Founding Fathers” have overthrown the government and eliminated crime and violence by giving Americans a single day to kill whomever they like. Envious of your rich neighbors? Kill them. Mad at your boss? Kill him. The message was “kill rich whites,” but it was relatively subtle in the first film. There is lethal class competition, too, and a rich black woman is among the last group of killers. The movie also raises questions posed about whether we really can have a society when we do not share culture, identity, or any sense of patriotism.
With each new installment, the series lost subtlety. The first two sequels, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year, were thinly veiled attacks on populism. By 2018, in The First Purge, we got a truly laughable story about a nefarious government testing the program on non-whites who would never think of committing violence. Evil whites incite “the community.” The Purge goes from asking questions about the nature of society to suggesting that reactionary whites are the hidden hand behind black crime. In case we miss the point, the advertising copiedPresident Donald Trump’s MAGA hat.
It’s the message from Boyz n the Hood, in which the wise black man lectures the audience about the ways “gentrification” drives blacks to use drugs and shoot each other. Nothing is their own fault.
The latest installment, The Forever Purge, reaches new heights of absurdity. After being displaced, the “New Founding Fathers of America” have retaken control and are unleashing a “forever” purge. Americans flee to Mexico and Canada, while heroic non-whites fight the racists. It’s so ham-fisted it would embarrass Soviet propagandists, but some journalists seem to think it is straight from the headlines:
- The Forever Purge review – butchery on the US-Mexico border, by Simran Hans, The Guardian — “It’s a timely argument against self-regulation instead of safeguards, and an admonishment of a government that views human collateral damage as an inevitability.”
- Immigrant heroes. White supremacist villains. How ‘Forever Purge’ stuck a chord, by Sergio Burstein, Los Angeles Times — “[Screenplay author James] DeMonaco, then came up with the twist of white supremacists determined to keep their state-sanctioned bloodbath raging indefinitely — a literal “Forever Purge” — a notion he said was inspired by the daily mayhem stirred up throughout Donald Trump‘s presidency.”
- Director brings Mexico to forefront in ‘The Forever Purge’, by Berenice Bautista, Associated Press — “Though ‘The Purge’ saga is fictional, with the very real rising levels of divisiveness, intolerance, and violence in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could fiction become reality? . . . And when it seems the complicated relationship between Mexico and the United States has been introduced, the film reminds us that long before the border issues, Native American people were in the region. In a prominent role, an indigenous ally (played by Gregory Zaragoza) who guides them through the desert points out that they have been fighting oppression and extermination for 500 years.”
Does anyone really think white nationalists are gunning down people throughout America? The series celebrates killing off “white nationalists” in the most graphic ways possible. If any other group were being so enthusiastically slaughtered there would be outrage at the “dehumanization.”
Still, The Purge is straight from the headlines, just not in the way the movie-makers thought. First, someone killed a woman and wounded a man at a showing of the movie in California. The killer is Hispanic; the victims were white.
Second, The Purge is like the lawlessness that reigned in many American cities over the last year and a half. The premise of The Purge is that crime is legal and the police aren’t allowed to do their jobs. That certainly seemed to be the case during the riots. In the fictional Purge universe, you can do whatever you want to anyone but politicians. What do we see today? Blasé treatment of widespread urban crime and hysterical panic over a farcical “insurrection” that spooked our “lawmakers.”
Finally, something like “the purge” is happening all the time in some cities. Gunmen shot 15 people in Chicago on Monday, killing one (luckily, they are terrible shots). Last weekend, 11 people died and 73 were wounded in shootings in the city. “Violence Interrupter” and community organizer Tio Hardiman said, “It’s a purge, sort of a like a purge going on in Chicago,” apparently referring to the movie.
There’s little outrage about this outside white conservative media. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot feels politically strong enough to stick to her policy of giving interviews only to “reporters of color.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the mayor’s “anti-violence” plan is failing, despite promises of more “resources.” In West Pullman, fatal shootings are up 566% from two years ago. The “Our City, Our Safety” plan the mayor released in 2020 said the “underlying causes” of crime were “systemic racism, disinvestment, poverty, failed policing, [and] lack of social services.” Her efforts are failing, but she’s not paying much of a price. She’s on the offensive, complainingthat the city’s press corps “looks like it’s 1950 or 1970.”
Chicago has a reputation for high crime going back to Al Capone. However, in 1950, the city was over 80 percent white and even by 1970 it was still about half white. Now, a typical weekend in Chicago produces a bigger body count than the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. If the press corps really reflects America’s racial past, it’s too bad the city doesn’t, too. Crime was much lower. The occasional murder would be a scandal rather than something barely newsworthy.
The Purge is straight from the headlines because we do have lawless zones in this country. However, they aren’t masterminded by reactionary whites. They are tolerated by non-white politicians who seem unmoved as their co-ethnics butcher each other. Nonetheless, the propaganda is so strong that many Americans probably do think that it’s the NRA, the Chamber of Commerce, or Donald Trump who are setting peaceful blacks against each other.
The truth is banal. Blacks commit more crime, more police are required to stop them, and if the government doesn’t impose order, you get “the forever purge.” Few in the press ask about this; if you’re white, you’re not even allowed to.