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Film / Get on the Bus

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A 1996 American Road Trip Plot drama directed by Spike Lee about a group of black men (Charles S. Dutton, Ossie Davis, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, De Aundre Bonds, Isaiah Washington, Harry Lennix, Andre Braugher, Hill Harper, Bernie Mac, Roger Guenveur Smith, Gabriel Casseus, Steve White, and Albert Hall) on a bus trip to the Million Man March in 1995.

The movie also stars Richard Belzer, Wendell Pierce, Kristen Wilson, and Joei Lee with Randy Quaid in an uncredited role as a Tennessee State Trooper.

It was released on October 16, 1996.

Tropes for the film:

  • Boomerang Bigot: The movie has a successful car salesman who initially comes off as a Flawless Token as he encourages a black youth to focus on education to be successful...then in the same breath reveals he went to a "real college and not some nigger school", going on an anti-black tirade that might as well be spoken by a neo-Nazi with N-Word Privileges where he derides everything/everyone black, reveals he's a Republican though he's okay with Threefer, a gay, black Republican for the same politics regardless of sexual orientation, with the kicker being his revealing that he couldn't care less about the Million Man March (the entire point and is only there to sell cars. He finally works their last nerve by telling a racist joke about how "lesbians and niggers don't do dick", and is literally thrown off the bus into a ditch.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Flips tells a story about the time he tried out for his school's track team against his mother's wishes. She showed up at the tryouts with a belt so thick nobody could actually wear it, and, well... let's just say Flip hates wearing belts to this day. By contrast, the man with the white mother relates how she grounded him for a serious infraction, and the other men agree that their black mothers would surely have beaten them for the same offense.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Jamal tells a story about how he grew up a gangster and killing many other kids who hadn't actually done anything to him just for being in a rival gang. He insists that's just the way things were in his neighborhood, but Gary, whose father was killed by Gangbangers, isn't having it, and says no backstory can excuse murder.
  • Gay Conservative: The movie has Kyle, a gay, black Republican who essentially faces persecution from all sides. Having fought in the Gulf War, he has intentionally shot by his own platoon because of his sexual orientation and his race, and at least one other black character in the movie disapproves of him for these specific reasons.
  • N-Word Privileges: Played with; there's plenty of n-words being thrown around, but when Jerkass Boomerang Bigot Wendell starts actually using it like a slur, he's thrown off the bus soon after.
  • One-Letter Name: X is one of the men going to the Million Man March. Flip doesn't believe it's his real name, and it isn't - it's short for Xavier, but he's always preferred "X".
  • Racist Grandpa: Inverted with Jeremiah, who's the oldest man on the bus...and doesn't partake in any of the other's Politically Incorrect Hero tendencies, ie giving Gary shit for being half-white, harassing a white bus driver who's just doing his job, or being openly homophobic towards Kyle and Randall.
  • Strongly Worded Letter: The movie has a variation. One of the black men on the bus relates an anecdote about he got in deep trouble with his white mother, causing her to lecture him. The rest of the black men are unimpressed, saying their mothers would have surely beaten them for the same offense.