"So let it be written... so let it be done."
"Where's your Moses now?"
"Bring this deliverer to me!"
"Egypt shall fall."
Like most Americans, I grew up watching Charleton Heston free the people of Israel from Pharaoh. Every Easter, like clockwork, buncha slaves freed.
Why is it we are all taught to love Moses when he curses the innocent first born children of Egypt to death, that his righteous vengeance is okie-dokie even if it means babies are going to bite it because his people are victims of slavery, but you don't hear so many admiring mentions, or see any De Mille extravaganza about Nat Turner? Didn't he say God was talking to him, too? Weren't his people in slavery, too?
Instead of a overblown film with Gentiles playing Jews, we can't even talk about that anger in our own churches. That's messed up.
Now, forget the inaccuracies of the movie - in the Bible Moses was never a Prince of Eqypt - but the thought that strikes me is how Americans cheer the righteous anger of the Israelites, as well we should. When the slaves are whipped we are angry, when the "Children of Misery" are abused and starved, we want for justice, and Aaron attacking the overseer, saving his beloved from rape, brings righteous satisfaction. We cheer. Grab that whip and kick that guy's ass! We absolutely understand the anger, frustration, rebellion that stirs in the hearts of the Israelites, and even now, several thousand years later, still we understand the abiding anger that bubbles just beneath the surface.
One has to wonder... would America feel the same why if the Israelites were Black? Their overseers White Americans of 200 years ago? Would we understand the anger, the frustration? Would we cheer them as they clubbed the overseer to death? And if over four thousand years aren't enough to soften the feelings of a TV audience toward Pharaonic Egypt, shouldn't the anger removed a mere 160 years from bondage burn that much fiercer?
Cinematic Israelites screaming "God Damn Egypt!" for a history of oppression is okay. Blacks... perhaps if we wait a few thousand years it will be okay, too.