Tag Archives: Racism

A Controversy to Blow you Away

M. Night Shyamalan has decided to cast white actors in the main roles of the upcoming motion picture based on the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. The problem: Avatar featured an Asian world with Asian characters, including Aang, the titular character, and his friends Sokka and Katara.

Some people are pissed, pointing to other instances of whitewashing. There’s a letter writing campaign and a Facebook group.

Bingo anyone?

So now what?  I’m tired of reading the LJ drama aroudn all of this; but here’s what I was going to post about this somewhere else:

I dig on the Airbender;  it’s clever and funny.  It’s not as smart as Phineas and Firb but what is on Saturday mornings?  All that said, I don’t get this outrage at all.

Not a bit.

I’m not from North America, I come from a culture that is as old as any other, but I don’t “get” when people (who are predominantly not a member of my cultural group) both co-opt and defend my group.  It’s my culture guys, if I want to defend it, let me handle the heavy lifting.

I can’t speak for the billions of Asians, no way, but I can speak for me and let me simply state what the outraged seem to fail to grasp, there is a vital and vibrant Asian film production market, Asians get to churn out all shades of asian movies all the time.  If an Asian film maker wants to make a movie that resembles the Airbender story (let’s face it, it’s REALLY generic) with an all Thai cast (for example) then so be it.

In this case a Malay person is at the reigns (for the most part) and has cast some box office candy in the roles.  This outrage really smacks of Otaku-Fanism, as if sharing your toy with the unwashed masses will somehow dilute the experience.  I’m not grasping how this is Racist at all, it might be a bit desperate or money grubbing, but Racist?  Please.

Me, I don’t know if I will pay to see a movie adaption of Avatar, why bother, right?  The cartoons are out there for me to watch with the kids if I want.  Why waste cash on what is bound to dilute the experience by virtue of not being the source material.

The last movie I saw that really expanded upon and made the source material pop was Trainspotting, so I don’t think any adaption cum money grab is going to shake any trees.

If you are REALLY outraged, vote with your feet and just avoid the damn thing.

I (for one) will be disappointed if they do recast the roles that have already been set; I’d hate to lose a job over my ethnicity,  wouldn’t you?  That kind of sums it up right there, in some way there are people out there so obsessed with their own ethnicity that it allows them to attempt to victimize others (en-masse) to somehow promote and protect that ethnicity.  Imagine if there had already been a full cast of Asians in place and the reverse was now true?  A bunch of European fans get together and form groups around demands for Caucasian actors in the roles of the title character and the blind girl (along with most of the people in the snow kingdom)  then what?

In the end; the source material stands and the movie will be the movie.  If you feel that strongly about the movie’s cast, by all means, feel strongly about it, but why impose your beliefs upon the general public?  Avatar isn’t some cultural phenomenon like “Kung-Fu” it’s a somewhat well known Nick cartoon, the general public isn’t down with it, so it doesn’t have a cultural cache to pull from, it’s got a studio, some creative types and a need to make money.  If we (as the general public) could have our dreams casts in our favourite movies Pierce Brosnan would have been bond right after Roger Moore and the Next Doctor might have been Joanna Lumley (or Rowan Atkinson)  but we don’t get our dreams. Do we?

Fight on you crazy stars, it’s your right to complain about casting choices, but damn if I wish that the racism card wouldn’t be tossed around so quickly, and this is coming from a guy who actually profiles racists on his blog.  I know that the last qualifier reads like “I can’t possibly be racist” which is the furthest from the truth, I totally can be racist and catch myself being so.  It’s one of those human failings that we should recognise in ourselves.

The whole discussion of “I don’t see people like me on the screen” argument blows me away.  Seriously.  Outside of imported TV, I don’t see anyone like me on TV either, and when I do see someone like me on North American TV or Movies, they are buffoons (without fail).  So What? Should I bitch about it and keep a blog of how offensive it is?  OR have I learned one of the big lessons about life that some folks still need to learn, the prevailing culture of North America is a melange of cultures that end up in a stew or milieu that doesn’t actually reflect society instead it distorts society for it’s own entertainment, which the majority seems to like.  Case Closed.

As for “I can’t Be Ang if Ang isn’t Asian on screen” what?  How did you kill that kid’s imagination?  Is it drugs?  Seriously, that kid is having trouble seperating themselves from cartoons as fantasy.

Mike Lunsford: Racist of the Week

In case the original article goes “poof” here is the basic text

Surprise, shock and some fear in a local neighborhood, after an anti-Obama display is hung from a tree. The display is at a home at Symmes and Hicks Road in Fairfield.

And the person who put it there says the message isn’t political, it’s racist. Shawn Ley spoke with the man who isn’t shy about his views.

There it is, right above the “McCain-Palin” sign: a make-shift ghost, hanging from a noose. A Barack Obama sign attached upside down. Obama’s middle name: “Hussein” spray painted and misspelled above.

Mike Lunsford hung the ghost in his yard. He spoke to us off-camera, saying his views could hurt his employers business … but he says make no mistake: He doesn’t want an African American running the country.

Lunsford says he believes Barack Obama is not a “full blooded American.” And he says the United States is a white, Christian nation – and only with white Christians should be in power. With Lunsford not willing to share his views on-camera:

Source: Local 12

Mike Lunsford age 52 (Fairfield High School  1970 – 1974) maybe a former GI

In the morning Mike Gets out of bed and looks out into an empty field, wondering where his world went wrong.  He was sure that he and his kind would rule the world some day, but alas, he was born about 50 years too late, and in the wrong country.

One wonders how he gets by on such hated, I know a few racists and even they aren’t quite so “in your face” about it. They tend to hide it under a “scholarly” hat, as in “I’m justified in my beliefs because of this historical or anthropological fact” this guy really takes the cake.

Anyone else know more about him?

There really are some racist bastards out there

According to parents and students in Greg Howard’s seventh-grade social studies class, Howard on Friday, Sept. 26 asked the class a question regarding Obama’s call for change, and proceeded to write out what the letters C-H-A-N-G-E stood for.

“She told me that he wrote on the board ‘Can You Help A (expletive) Get Elected, and then laughed about it,” said Shelia Christian, a mother of one of Howard’s students.

Marianna teacher ‘told students what ‘CHANGE’ stood for’

As if this isn’t enough;  this comment was added:

Posted by ( leroy ) on October 03, 2008 at 9:00 am

LOOKEY MOM I FIGGURED OUT WHAT THAT THERE CAPS LOCK IS FER.

I’M NOT FEELING ENOUGH OUTRAGE HERE I GUESS TO DO THIS UP PROPER WE NEED TO GET AL SHARPTON AND OLE’ JESSIE INVOLVED.

The Teacher was trying to make a joke (if the facts are presented correctly) a poor joke that might have been accepted from the mouth of a comedian, but not to a bunch of middle-school kids, right?  That being said, if the semi-anonymous comments on the article are accurate, the teacher in question (Greg Howard) has been making loaded comments for a while now, while protected by the complacency of the school administration.

Myself, I’m not outraged, people say stupid crap all the time and laugh or tell inappropriate jokes, that’s the way of the world.  I don’t think any one group is inferior to me because of how or to whom the are born; but I will certainly crack jokes at the expense of an individual or a group based on stereotypes, that’s kind of how humor works.  Fat people like to eat, Hard Core Christians are willfully ignorant, smart people are nerdy and so on.   Broad stereotypes form the foundation of some humor and I can’t condemn anyone for using them for humor’s sake.  I can’t, however, condone slurs for the sake of a joke, especially to kids.

So Greg, I don’t envy you, you’ve put your foot right in your mouth, it’s time to either face the music and step down or weather the storm (if you can) and work for forgiveness. However, if you have an axe to grind with Obama, and this is how you express it; you probably deserve what’s coming.

From a web article the looks like parody about Toby Keith Backing Obama:

PAarmyWife See Profile I’m a Fan of PAarmyWife permalink

Toby Keith is a country singer with an extreme conservative base. I just came from his concert tonight and just stumbled upon this possible fact that Keith supports Obama. IF this is true, and a big IF, he can be certain that backs will turn and it’s possible he will lose some of the very fan base he has created over the past few years built upon conservative principles. My husband is a military man and is not very fond of country music but has always respected Keith for what he has done for the troops and his outspoken patriotism. This would be a huge disappointment to my family if he was no backing a piece of filth. But then again, to mainstream Hollywood, it’s the “cool thing” to do. I have always assumed Keith was above all the Hollywood hype.

Did she call Obama a piece of filth?