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George Wallace, the racist governor of Alabama during the civil rights movement. Hear me out.
He starts in the 1950s running as the relatively pro-civil rights candidate for governor of Alabama (as much as you could be a pro-civil rights candidate there at the time). He loses to the segregationist, and he vows never to be "out-[n-bomb]'ed" again.
Sure enough, he becomes the face of the pro-segregation forces in America in the tumultuous 1960s. When he's finally elected as governor, he says in his inaugural address, famously, "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
At the time, Alabama governors couldn't run for reelection, so when his term is up, what does he do? He runs his wife, who had been a homemaker before being First Lady. Everyone in the state knows she's simply a proxy for her husband, but she wins anyway. But then the plan backfires: she passes away in office, and the lieutenant governor, Wallace's hated rival who was actually pro-civil rights, becomes governor.
That's when George decides to run for president, in 1968. As his Democratic Party is moving away from being the party of southern racists, Wallace runs as the American Independent Party candidate, and actually wins a few southern states. He remains the last third-party candidate for president to win electoral votes.
In 1970, back in Alabama, he gets his revenge on the new, pro-civil rights governor, winning the office back in what Jimmy Carter called "one of the most racist campaigns in modern southern political history," which is really, truly saying something. To answer complaints that he would be an absentee governor, Wallace promises during the campaign not to run for president again.
The day after the election, Wallace starts his 1972 presidential campaign, this time running in the Democratic primaries. No one in the party establishment is worried: sure, he'll win some southern primaries, but who cares. Then he wins Maryland. Well, that's pretty close to the south. Then he wins Michigan. How far can this go?
Then he gets shot. That's right, the would-be assassin doesn't kill him, but he's paralyzed for the rest of his life. His 1972 campaign is over. He tries running for president again in 1976, but everyone views him as weak and powerless since he's stuck in a wheelchair, and his campaign goes nowhere.
But that's not the end of the story. In the 1980s, he runs for governor of Alabama again. He wins one last term, and this time, the face of segregation appoints a record number of African-Americans to state office, and, as far as anyone can tell, has completely turned on civil rights. Or was that secretly his position all along? And does it matter?
tl:dr: George Wallace's life is fascinating because it touches on so much of the most intense moments in the civil rights movement, and usually from the bad side. And his life had so many twists and turns that touch on the way we viewed southerners, women, and the disabled.
This is a great idea. That is why I love Apocalypto, they didn't add random white people and made it about them. I don't know how accurate it is but I'm glad they had the balls to make a movie like that.
About the only really accurate parts are the tribal life in the beginning, and the ritualistic human sacrifice part. The bits about captivity are a bit embellished for dramatic effect. The Mayans and Aztec had a very different outlook on life and death.
To them, being sacrificed was considered an honour, as you wouldn't want to give up something BAD to the Gods.
You would also be doped up out of your mind when they killed you, so you wouldn't feel the pain.
It varied incredibly, as I'm sure you know. The issue is that people experiencing or claiming "White-guilt" have this tendency to describe Native Americans all similarly.
... They existed on North America. All of NORTH AMERICA. AN ENTIRE CONTINENT.
Some of them lived in mountains, some of them lived in caves, some of them lived in deserts, some of them put on feathers and war paint and cheered a lot, some of them put on the mutilated remains of their enemies and practiced cannibalism, some of them were the nicest sweetest pacifists in the world by many regards.
Probably because it would inevitably be disappointing. The man seriously was one of the most incredible men that has ever lived. People would either bitch about the movie not being accurate enough, not being spectacular enough, or not being critical enough on him.
I'm waiting for Andrew Jackson. He got shot in duels twice (but won). He crushed the central Bank of the United States. And he defeated the British general that defeated Napoleon by making deals with the Pirates of the Caribbean to attack British ships and provide him with cannons.