– Abdurraqib posits that the racism in the film is completely pointless to the story. Sam Rockwell's character Dixon is a police officer who is known around town and among the precint for torturing black suspects, but it's only purpose is to let us know he's a violent asshole. The actual story is supposedly about Frances seeking justice for her daughter being assaulted and murdered.
– There are no actual black characters in Three Billboards. The only one with any presence in the film is the Good Police Chief™ played by Clarke Peters who fires Dixon for beating a man and throwing him out a window. Like Woody Harrelson, who didn't fire Dixon or anyone else for torturing black inmates, Peters is just there to assure viewers that most cops are good guys and the bad ones can learn to forgive themselves or something.
– Abdurraqib points to a scene early on in the film where Frances' character uses the n-word, calling Dixon an n-word "torturer". Dixon then spits back with "persons of colors torturer", also using the n-word, and it goes back and forth like a bizarre comedy scene where he's the quirky racist cop.
"If your entry point to your story is that you're torturing black people, your redemption arc becomes a little more steep. You have a sharper incline and a longer way to get there. And there's nothing wrong with complicating a character, and there's nothing wrong with making a character who has done some wrong things also be heroic. But the problem with Dixon's redemption arc at the end is that it's not tied to any actual redemption.
We're introduced to him early in the film by way of finding out that he's tortured black suspects, we see him unjustly imprison one of the only black people in the town, and then by the end of the movie we are almost asked to root for him, or at least feel for him in a way that he's being complicated, but there's no redemption tied to his complication, we don't see him make amends for any of the ill he's done. He just reevaluates himself."
Had a second where I was like wow what a misquote NBC I never said this— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) March 3, 2018
then remembered I said exactly this, perhaps several times https://t.co/TuPNdVmlfX
Right after I shot THREE BILLBOARDS I leapt in front of the car in GET OUT so I could fuckin DIE— The CGI Deer From Three Billboards (@imthedeer3B) March 2, 2018
*Frances McDormand weeps @ poorly CGI’d deer*— Ben “Alma Tripped On Purpose” Empey (@RealToddHaynes) January 29, 2018
Elderly whites: this is the greatest piece of cheenema that has e’er been wrought
Sorry The Florida Project, you were a subtle and humane look at living poverty, but Three Billboards had a hilarious racist cop and kept saying "retard" a bunch of times— Alex Blagg (@alexblagg) January 23, 2018
Three Billboards is... problematic. White Critics Love 'Three Billboards' Like They Love Their Racist Uncles https://t.co/udnhjSXG0P— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) January 8, 2018