As it turns out, according to Tate Taylor's adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's bestseller, the Jim Crow era was not due to centuries of institutionalized racism, but to Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her hang-up about "colored" servants going to the bathroom. In fact, poop is a dominant theme in this Steel Magnolias version of the civil rights movement, from Hilly's abhorrence of the help using her toilet to the humble pie that Minny (Octavia Spencer), her ex-maid, serves her as a token of reconciliation. It also seems that Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), full of high-falutin' ideas after graduating from the university, is the one who brought the system down by getting the domestics to tell their tales for her book. As for Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers, they show up sometimes on the TV. Like The Blind Side, this salves white guilt by scapegoating the wrong villains, crediting the wrong heroes, and exploiting the victims.