Re: The Twins: Racist?
People have this weird idea that racism only constitutes aggressively mean-spirited images and stereotypes, when this isn't usually the case.
Yes, Jar Jar, the twins, et al. are intended as "innocent fun", only there to entertain children, and not threatening or utilized as in-your-face for shock value. They are portrayed as "friendly stereotypes", which are also, in the end, hurtful and degrading.
But so was Uncle Tom, Uncle Remus, Little Black Sambo and the crows from Dumbo. They were just fun-loving characters adored by white people and viewed, by white people, as light-hearted interpretations of black behaviour. Song of the South was a beloved Disney film for decades! Only in retrospect are they grossly offensive and out-dated.
Just because these characters aren't screaming the N-word it doesn't mean the very use of them isn't a subtle instillment of racist values within mainstream society. Subliminal messages are powerful things and while you may not be a hateful person (and I severely doubt MOST of you are), these images do significantly warp perceptions. This doesn't begin and end with black culture either. Look at Aladdin's interpretation of middle-eastern culture, or Gremlins representation of the chinese (inspired by an outdated offensive caricature). Even Drag Me To Hell and Gran Torino are, theoretically at least, worth seriously pondering.
However, black stereotyping is the most problematic within the US, due to relatively recent (in the long term) history and modern day quasi-segregation, troubling criminal profiling habits and poverty (Katrina, anyone?). My God, the south is still something of a nightmare in terms of still lingering resentments. As much as white folks would love to move past this and get on with it, we're still a long ways away from solving the racial tensions and moving past our subtle widespread media saturating the culture with images which simply things for our own comfort. Ultimately it's going to take new generations to help erase these conflicts, but it's gonna take a long time.
Last edited by Episode29; 06-23-2009 at 04:36 AM.