The Bible, Subliminal Satan, and Racism
Left: Satan wearing his hoodie. Right: without hoodie.

I have been watching this miniseries . . . err . . . religiously. What can I say, I love Sand & Sandal epics, even if they are epic fails. This thing is horrible on a number of levels, but I’m not here to review the series.

While watching the most recent episode where the snake turns into Satan and Satan turns into President Obama, I was shocked! Most people have only seen the still, but I caught it as it was broadcast. However, it was a quick flash. It happened so quickly. You never got a really good look, because the
face was mostly shrouded in darkness except for that quick flash.

I suddenly blinked thinking, “Did I just see what I thought I saw? Nah! That would be too blatant.” In the end I decided I hadn’t seen what I thought I had seen.

Then . . .

The meme and controversy with the still [above] started immediately the next morning. That’s when I was convinced there was no fucking way this was accidental. When I was in my 20s “Subliminal Advertising” was the book to read and I’ve reread it several times since.

Then . . .

I’ve now seen the Christian Fundamentalist and the Reality Show Creator (both professions which are an evil abomination foisted upon our society) deny this was intentional several times. I still ain’t buying it. Controversy sells. They have a product to sell.

Note the resemblence Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni
has with President Obama? Me neither!

Then . . .

I saw a publicity photo of Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, the actor who played Satan in The Bible. He looks nothing like President Obama. It would take a great make-up artist to make him look even remotely like President Obama.

Then . . .

Remember I said that I’ve been watching? I have noticed something subtle. Most of the leads in the miniseries are White or Mid-Eastern (which qualifies as White on every census here). However, there would have been too much backlash if the producers hadn’t included some Black folk, especially since there were loads of ’em back in biblical times.

However, the Black folk depicted tend to lean more towards either Satan, or Samson. Now this Samson is the darkest Black person in the entire miniseries so far. He’s as dark as a man can be without actually being a crow. And, he had long dreadlocks! YA, MON!!!

But . . . it’s the depiction of Satan that made me sit up and take notice. In the miniseries Sampson is usually behaving like a raging animal. Oh sure, he had his soft and tender side (and the Delilah depiction made for an interesting interracial relationship). And, credit where credit’s due, when he spoke he didn’t sound like a moron, but an intelligent and thoughtful man. However, most of the time Sampson was simply destroying shit. And, when he destroyed shit he grunted, and growled, and shouted long, unintelligible cries of hate and anguish.

Since this was one of the few leads who was Black, as opposed to a supporting character, I couldn’t help but think that this was also a conscious: Black Guy = Raging Madman, who has divine justification because . . .  because . . . because he’s on a mission from God.

Taking a page right out of Fox “News,” the station that perfected this tactic, I like how the producers of The Bible found a Black man to explain why Sampson is Righteous, with a capital R, even tho’ he’s a Scary Black Man™. Bonus points: He’s also named Sampson. Watch:

Yannow who else was on a mission from God? That’s right!

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.