Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Jason Dixon isn't Racist. (1000 words)
Three Billboards is a very very
“Raped While Dying and still no arrests, how come chief Willoughby ?”
After he’s committed suicide, Mildred receives a letter from Bill Willoughby in which he tells her that his suicide had nothing to do with her initiative, except that we, the audience, know that he stopped his cancer treatment because of her and that she thus has a responsibility in his putting an end to his life. Also in this letter, he jokes about the fact that the whole town is going to believe that he actually committed suicide because of her and that they might try to kill her for this… and did he do anything to prevent this from happening ? No. Isn’t he saying that he’s on her side ? Yes. Why not writing an official letter then ?
So, did he or did he not commit suicide because of her ? In my opinion, he did, but as he considers that Mildred’s initiative might actually make Angela’s case go forward, he pretends otherwise, but that’s not my point. My point is that in Three Billboards, appearances can be very deceiving because the truth behind them is quite complex.
I saw the movie because I loved the poster and actors. I didn’t know anything about it. So when I read reviews afterwards and saw how people perceived it I was surprised on many levels.
Here, I’d just like to ask one question: Where did people see that Jason Dixon is racist ?
I know, it’s obvious… so obvious that there’s zero moment in the movie at which he says or does anything racist.
Yeah, I know, he is being careful with what he says because he doesn’t want to get into trouble... except that he clearly is the kind of guy who gets into trouble because he doesn't think about the consequences of what he says or does. So maybe… he doesn’t say anything racist because… he’s not.
If he’s such a racist racist, why is the movie so ambiguous about it ? And it IS ambiguous, very ambiguous. Jason Dixon doesn’t utter one racist remark in the whole damn movie, when actually other characters do (Mildred and Abercrombie).
What about the “nigger torturing business” story ?
Well, let me tell you what does this look like. Jason Dixon lost his cool during an interrogation and beat the crap out of one suspect who happened to be black. Bill Willoughby covers him because actually the “suspect” was a fuc**ng asshole and he totally understands how Dixon could have lost control of himself… you know, like when you’re investigating the murder of a girl who was burnt alive and raped.
Nevertheless, it is now "known" everywhere in town that “Dixon beats black people who are brought into custody” and… and that’s all. And that’s a serious problem when people cannot see the difference between this possibility and the one that a man could be racist.
- So how is it all going in the nigger torturing business, Dixon ?
- It’s ‘Persons of colors’ – torturing business, these days. If you wanna know, I didn’t torture nobody. What’s the matter with you, saying that goddam stuff on TV. My momma watches that station.
- Your momma doesn’t know about the torturing ?
- No, she didn’t know anything about it. She’s against that kinda thing.
In this exchange, we can see that Jason Dixon doesn’t deny having hurt a black person. But when he says “I didn’t torture nobody” he could have said “I didn’t torture no nigger” or “black man” but he says “I didn’t torture nobody”… because black people are on the same level as white ones in his book.
He then gets angry at Mildred for talking about the story on TV and she uses the fact that he is mixed up in an incestuous relationship with his mother to make him lose his countenance.
And that’s something critics and spectators won’t talk about. We’ll talk about the raped girl, about the courageous mother, about the racist cop, about the discriminated against dwarf etc… etc… but taking into account the psychological abuse that a mother can inflict to her son… naaaa. The characters make fun of him, they bully him and take advantage of how it makes him completely incapable of thinking properly whenever someone brings his mother into the conversation, but that's fine, it makes him laughable to be a victim that it's not yet fashionable to defend in 2018.
When Jason and his mother are chatting on the porch of their house about how he got fired, she proposes to go to the police station and ask them to give him his job back.
- And to get rid of that black guy.
(Jason rolls eyes)
- They ain’t gonna listen to some guy’s mother, asking them to get rid of some black guy. Things have moved on in The South !
- Well, it shouldn’t have. Will they give you some money for being laid off an’ all ?
Here, I’d like to point out how much Jason’s words aren’t racist. He got fired by the “black guy” and doesn’t even say “nigger.” No insult, no rage, no general derogatory name calling etc… no “things have moved on in The South. Niggers can do whatever they want.” Nothing. He is talking with his racist mother here, there's no witness.
And finally, there’s his reaction when the new Sheriff arrives.
- You have got to be fucking kidding me !
And that makes him a racist, because, you know, the guy is black. The fact that the black guy hasn’t given any explanation for his agressive attitude, any documentation that would prove that he is telling the truth and has entered the police station like he owns the place and nobody was informed of anything beforehand etc… etc… doesn’t matter, Dixon’s reaction can only come from the fact that he is a racist.
- You really wanna see my documentation, fucker ?
I really doubt this guy is going to be as inspirational to all these cops as Willoughby used to be.
So yeah, Jason Dixon isn’t racist. Nor is he an asshole. Or an idiot.
He is a repressed homosexual who suffers from an abusive relationship with his mother and who cares about justice and about the poor girl who got raped and killed.