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Is Sandra Bullock better than Michelle McGee?

Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 at 4:59 am

Author: Renee Martin

When Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her role as a White saviour in the movie “The Blind Side,” she spoke movingly about her husband Jesse James and what their relationship means to her. It had to be quite a shock when it was revealed a few days later that James had been unfaithful. From Barbara Walters to Betty White, Americans have rallied around Bullock.

Unsurprisingly, Jesse James’ mistress, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, has been slut-shamed in public. McGee has been compared to Bullock, and found wanting. Critics have pointed to reports that she gives the Nazi salute, has participated in a photo shoot wearing Nazi regalia, and is reported to have White supremacist decor throughout her home. She also has the letters “W P” tattooed on her body and though she claims that the letters stand for “wet p*ssy,” based on her previous behavior, it’s more likely that the letters stand for “white power.”

Meanwhile, Jesse James’ former wife is now married to an admitted skinhead. Finally, in what is perhaps the most telling detail, the logo for James’ company is eerily similar to the German iron cross. There is now open speculation as whether or not his affair and the logo signify that James is indeed a White supremacist.

Judging from the fact that she has left the home she shared with James, it is safe to assume that Bullock was not aware of her husband’s lecherous behavior, but can the same really be said about his alleged White Supremacist leanings? White supremacists are not known to be quiet about their political leanings. If James is indeed a White supremacist, it is unlikely that he would be able to hide his bigotry for a long period of time. So what does this tell us about Sandra Bullock, America’s Sweetheart?

Bullock won an Oscar for dutifully playing an altruistic White woman, saving Blacks from themselves. Melissa Anderson of the Dallas Observer, describes “The Blind Side” as:

“the movie [that] peddles the most insidious kind of racism, one in which whiteys are virtuous saviours, coming to the rescue of blacks who become superfluous in narratives that are supposed to be about them”.

Perhaps the racism displayed in “The Blind Side” is of a more palatable nature because it extols Whiteness as a virtue, whereas considering the possibility of active White supremacist ideology is untenable, because it implies an overt form of hatred that Americans have convinced themselves is the only signifier of racism. In the so-called post-racial world, accusing someone of being racist is considered a very loaded charge. This is why we often resist questioning situations that are truly problematic.

Alexander Smith once said, “Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.” What did James and Bullock see in each other? Why isn’t anyone asking themselves this question? If James is indeed a White supremacist, Bullock would have had to knowingly accept this as simply a character flaw, or she was in complete agreement with his racistm. Regardless of her stance, this situations reads like a testament to Bullock’s views on White privilege.

One can only ignore White supremacy if race or racialized matters bear little to no import on one’s life. My mother would often tell me as a child that birds of a feather flock together, and that who we choose to actively engage with is a reflection of our belief system. This was no casual relationship; James was an active part of Bullock’s intimate life.

None of the stigma of James’ behaviour has attached itself to Bullock. James is constructed as the “bad boy” and represents a teachable moment to all women who insist on loving the rebel. When we say “poor Sandra,” we propagate a cautionary tale of what happens when a supposed “good girl” mixes with the wrong crowd. Was James ever really the wrong crowd as far as Bullock was concerned, though?

Couples will have differences about finances, the frequency of sex, etc., but core beliefs tend to be something that there is an alignment on. There is the old adage that opposites attract, but even in our supposed opposition, there is always some form of consensus to form the basis of a relationship.

What we choose to compromise on in a relationship reveals how attached we are to our moral positions. Even if Bullock finds racism abhorrent, having an intimate relationship with an alleged White supremacist reveals that perhaps the level to which she believes in equality is questionable at best.

There have been many instances in which one half of a couple has engaged in illegal behaviour without the other spouse being aware. In the case of the Madoffs, you have Bernie stealing millions of dollars without his wife’s knowledge. The major difference here is that Bernie’s situation involved finances, as opposed to a core philosophy. A corporation is a separate entity, whereas White supremacy is not something one can just shrug off like a work jacket at the end of the day.

How blind is love, really? We already know that Bullock had no problem playing the role of a racist White woman in the movie “Crash,” and a White saviour in “The Blind Side.” Perhaps, the truth is closer to fiction than we realize.

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  1. Interesting article. In fact, I had a discussion two days ago about Sandra Bullock when a psychologist friend brought her up in regard to being married to a man like Jesse James. As the article suggests – she had to know which way this man was leaning philosophically speaking. Then again, Mr. James may have been using S. bullock to clean up his image. Yet, he couldn’t resist returning to the slop in the hog pen.

    I would also add that even if Ruth Madoff didn’t know exactly how her lifestyle was being financed, it’s obvious that she didn’t WANT to know – or is extremely stupid (which I doubt). Being a “white collar” thief is just as bad as being a white supremacist in principle – if not worse. At least with a supremacist, you usually know what type of person who you are dealing with.

    Last, although I did not see the Blind Side, I don’t feel it should be categorized as the rest of the stories we have seen over the years, exalting white people with a saviour complex. This story was not manufactured in Hollywood, but is rather unique and genuinely based on a true story. Seeing the family tell their story more than once made me see that they were available to help a young man in need when he needed it most. This woman’s decision could have cost her her marriage, DID cost her friends and alliances, and changed her whole life – to accommodate this young man. Simple as that. Perhaps there were others who were black that could have stepped in, but they did not avail themselves to do so. So it is what it is – a story about love and sacrifice that reaped huge rewards in return.

  2. Amen!!!! It is funny how Bullock is being seen as an angel. She had to have known about hubby’s core beliefs. I wonder how the black actors and actresses in her movies feel about this and what stories they could/should tell.

  3. Renee, normally I’m with you on basically everything you write. This is pure speculation, though, and completely unfounded at that. Just because Sandra played a racist white woman in a movie that was supposed to highlight racism and show its negative effects (therefore making her much more likely to be against racism) and is married to James does not = racist. I agree that, as a white woman in America, she definitely has white privilege that she is most likely not cognizant of, but this? No.

  4. “How blind is love, really? We already know that Bullock had no problem playing the role of a racist White woman in the movie “Crash,” and a White saviour in “The Blind Side.” Perhaps, the truth is closer to fiction than we realize.”

    Also was married to a white saviour lawyer in Time to Kill. Whites are regarded as saviors because rich non-whites forget where they came from once they become rich. In India, whites are looked upon as saviors because after a natural calamity only whites help whereas rich Indians sit on their asses even though they may be among the richest men in the world.

  5. Great article! Good points.

    I still feel bad for Bullock. As a woman, I don’t want to see someone get cheated on. However, you bring up some interesting points about Bullock’s possible views on racism.

    I loved/hated the “Blindside.” I HATE HATE HATE movies where someone saves Black youth. I don’t care if it’s a Black teacher.. White teacher.. or just a White woman driving by (as Bullock did in the movie).. I hate it. I feel like, if they took the movie they used to make the movie and invested into a Black community, they could save more than a classroom of Black youth. I loved the movie because it was a good story… A

    Either way, your article has made me put Bullock under a different microscope.

  6. You’re an idiot! White supremacist? That’s all you people, yes, you people, ever have….the race card. You’ll play it even when there’s no game. God knows the white man needs a little more white power, before you idiots take over with your racist views and socialist likes.

  7. You people, and yes I mean you black people, never cease to amaze me…

    First of all, to make assumptions about Jesse James and then use them to “stick a fork” into Sandra Bullock sickens me. Have you no compassion? At the height of her career, she finds out that the love of her life has been cheating on her. As a woman, can you not identify with that, and feel sympathy for her? Who cares about James and his sex partners and what they think? They are idiots and writing about them only brings attention to their cause.

    Secondly, white people cannot do anything to appease black people. For example, in the movie, Blind Side, a wonderful family takes in this boy who has no one, and gives him a life he would have not had otherwise. What if they had just kept driving???? What would you have said about them then???? What if the family had been a privilege black family???? Would you be writing this article now? No…not at all, because that doesn’t get you noticed. Racism, does. Reverse racism fuels the fire now, and that is something that is tearing this country apart. Articles like yours and policticians like Jackson and Sharpon make a living doing it.

    This country has suffered enough. It’s time to stop pointing fingers at people who did nothing to you or your ancestors and live side by side as Americans.

  8. You would be black. This was the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. Sandra Bullock? A biggot?

    Heaven forbid we point out black people being racist. Most white people try to mingle amongst over races. So isn’t it racist that black people get scholarships for being black? BET?

    You have your “black power”, “white power” it should be “people power”. There is no equality in this nation. Blacks are already on a pedestal, how much more do you want?! So sorry you were treated differently back in the day! Get over it. Jesse James is a cheating whore. Black people have their cliques so let the angry whiteies be.

    BTW, I’m black.

  9. I agree. I swore I wouldn’t see The Blind Side because even the ads seemed smug to me. However my husband walked in with a copy (on loan from a friend) last night and as it was rainy and Spring break, we watched it with our 10 and 13 year old daughters. Sadly, my kids enjoyedit. At the end of the film I told them I found it highly offensive. They didn’t seem to understand why. We’re white and live in a liberal, affluentsuburb of NYC. I grew up in Chicago in the 70s with a black stepfather. I can tell you for certain if that film played in the house I grew up in we either would have laughed and gaffawed through the whole thing, of turned it off. This kind of corny, and inaccurate stereotyping only propogates the falsehood that po’ black folks need us white folks to get ahead.
    Ewww. We need to fight the urge to shut up and look away. The huge successof this corny, fairly bad film, shows that there is still a deep desire in Americans hearts for the false fantasy of old, Uncle Ben cookin’ in the kitchen, Mammy as the happy slave, and the gentle giant who needs the white mom to blossom and soar. Sorry but I hated it.

  10. I agree that who a person chooses to spend their life with does reflect their priorities….and yet.

    I’m always amazed at how many people I encounter who seem to defy that. My sister hates bigotry. She doesn’t have a particularly complicated view of racism, but she won’t tolerate open bigotry. Yet her husband (a man from Guyana who is darker than most black people) is a total bigot. And he actively hides it from her.

    I have another friend who is a complete peaceful hippy and is with a mercenary. (He doesn’t look at his job that way, as he is a medic.)

    My favorite quote on love is from James Baldwin “Love removes the masks you think you cannot live without and know you cannot live within.” I think he was trying to demonstrate that quote whenever he showed interracial relationships or gay relationships or any relationship that defied the social structures of hierarchy and oppression.

    I think he believed that love could uncover the dark parts of your heart and maybe, if you are lucky, heal them a little. Those relationships often ended in tragedy because the hate was still there. But you never got the impression that he thought they should not have tried.

    Or, then again, maybe Sandra just doesn’t give a damn.

  11. While marriage is a love contract, I also strongly believe it is an economic contract/common sense contract. She choose a poor risk for a life partner.

    Barely anyone talks about his three failed marriages , all caused BY infidelity. He associates with ppl who have defining unsavory characteristics. I know there are other reasons she married him besides love, and maybe she is now trying to figure out how to talk about this to the public.

    Basically, I don’t hold her as a victim. Its miserable when someone we are committed to breaks a promise, but we all have to consider the risks involved.

  12. Yikes. I was going to complain a bit that this comment system won’t email you when people make new comments. But then I read some of the other comments and I think I might be glad they aren’t entering my email box.

    This is supposed to start a conversation people. Those of you who got a little worked up – methinks thou doth protest too much.

  13. You seem terribly desperate to pin the blame for this is on Sandra Bullock. I can’t believe that you’re supporting a piece of trash like Michelle McGee just to smear Sandra.

  14. a lot of message boards are speculating about jesse james and his political attitudes. the ‘iron cross’ is more of a german symbol, not -necessarily- a nazi symbol. however people have said various things about jesse’s memorabilia collecting habits and his use of language… the problem is we need some kind of proof, because he also has a diverse group of people he works with in his business dealings and its a bit confusing as to his real stance on these things. however if he was crazy racist, people in general have been wondering about SB herself. i kind of doubt it. she is way too intelligent and quirky to get into that nonsense. i would need some hard hard evidence before i throw my girl ‘under the bus’ as they say.

  15. LOL Heather… “You people?”

    Oh how quaint…

    At least “White Power” people are a little more honest about their feelings on the matter…

  16. It would be a good article, except so often in marriages and relationships, people lie. If he was a white supremacist and knew that bullock disapproved, he could hide that, lie about it. as for bullock’s movie, why the emphasis on color? what is wrong about a portraying a white person who helps a less fortunate person who just happens to be black. Just because this is the situation doesn’t mean that bullock is playing white-knight and savior of the black race, she’s just telling a story, one that is feasible and could realistically happen.

  17. The Blind Side was not a racist movie! It was a feel good box office hit that was a true story! Are you saying that the real Leigh Anne Tuohy was a bigot too? The woman who opened up her home to a kid who was out of luck and provided him with a future is a racist because she is white and he is black? What did you want Hollywood to do? Make Leigh Anne Tuohy black just to appease the too quick to point fingers black public?

    The blind side was a nice family movie that pointed out the good in people. Maybe you’re the racist one since the first thing you see is a white saviour and a black youth. The movie is about a nice family who took in a nice boy who had nothing.

    Michelle McGee is a piece of trash through and through. Who really gives a crap what the “WP” stands for? It just proves she’s trash. White people have to be so politically correct all the time
    while black people can go around screaming about black power and how blacks are the supior race and any white person who dares to question those actions are immediately labeled as a racist. Movies are always showing how white people treated black people wrong even after the abolishment of slavery. And how great and wonderful the few blacks who dared to stand up to the oppression were. I agree those people were wonderful they made a change for their culture and race. Have you ever thought about the fact that black people
    get a bad rep because there are tons of black people
    out there who comform to the negative stereotype? I was in L.A. I saw two black men walking toward me on the same side of the side walk. I thought about crossing the street but didn’t because I didn’t want to give in to the negative stereotype. You know what? They robbed me.

    Stop playing the race card and white a real article.

  18. I don’t really know anything about Sandra Bullock or Jesse James, and I don’t believe she is to blame for what is happening to her, but I do agree with the earlier commenter – I think I would choose not to enter into a serious relationship with a man who had such a long history of infidelity.
    Also, people do not understand that The Blind Side only got made BECAUSE the character played by Sandra Bullock was a white woman. I know true examples of normal black people who have adopted or helped in some way other black people who were in need. Even one of the ladies who lives in my neighbourhood adopted a teen and his brothers who are all orphans and has now started a charity so that she can pay for the education from primary school to university level for all the other children in his village. She is not even wealthy, she is just a teacher. But a movie about a black woman helping another black person would never, ever get made in Hollywood let alone gain prominence.
    People love to use stories like The Blind Side to paint the stereotype that only white people are altruistic enough to make sacrifices to help black people; and that well-off black people are just sitting on their rich, lazy behinds all day complaining and doing nothing.

  19. I’m sure this was a typo, but Annie ended her comment with “Stop playing the race card and WHITE a real article.” This sort of irony is why I love the internet.

    Renee, I also think it’s sorta funny that when you attempted to analyze Sandra Bullock’s true character through peripheral analysis, the only part that really concerned people was whether you were attacking the upper echelon of their Netflix queue.

  20. That being said, I am sorry that’s how folks are responding <- I should probably mention that.

  21. Let’s not forget that bullock did soft porn before making it in main stream acting. She’s not the goodty 2 shoes the press makes her out to be. Her and JJ were a good pair.

  22. Renee you obviously quite racist. There German cross goes way back in time and doesn’t mean racism just because Hitler used the symbol. It is not uncommon for black racists to not want to really read history about others cultures, tribes, clans…because they don’t want to know the whites were slaves. That blacks have black slaves… That most American white working class work damn hard, never had a servant, etc. and their kids are SLAVES to student loans while loans are available to “African Americans.” Bullock is hardly representative of the white woman. Or women in general. Stop making it about race and start looking at the evil. There is something really creepy about this woman and this story…celebrities of all colors becoming idols and having too much money and too much power. I have not had a white life and I’ve encountered amazing people of all “colors.” But as a woman, regardless of color, something feels really wrong with the contrived story of Bullocks. Similar to Jolie. It feels creepy and we as a people need to come together and be strong against elitists. I think people of all colors are being boxed in by them. I get angry at racist remarks about Germans and people’s ignorance about symbols. But I like that this article was written. Bullock is no better than McGee and took James away from the woman pregnant with his child. God bless this child Louis. And protect him from Bullock’s manipulation. Women to women–can’t you feel that something really weird is happening? A secret baby? It’s frightening. We need to stop supporting Hollywood. I think this baby is a cover for an evil. Not just a cover story as another Bullock PR move.

  23. sorry for all the typos in my post. i’ve seen evil in whites, blacks, jews, asians…but i see so much good in children of all races. it is our job to protect them. i’m European American but some people think I look Native American because of my dark features. What difference does it make? We must protect the next generation. Sometimes it feels as if all our children are being bought by these Puppet Masters. These Sandra Bullocks, Jolies…etc. While all we can do is watch. We rent movies because most of us can afford to do little else. Watch the movie stars have lives. Buy babies like fashion accessories.

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