Join Date: Mar 2006
Re: The Twins: Racist?
The Guard, I would've like to address your last post point by point, but a lot of points were made, first by me and then by you. So, I'm just going to summarize of the things I want to address.
RE5 refers to Resident Evil 5.
Blacks and Criminal Justice System:
Your background is criminology. Mine is political science, and in my background I understand that statistics can be made to justify about anything. Perhaps a higher percentage of blacks, in relations to their numbers in the general population, have been involved in the criminal justice system. But the majority of people in jail are white. Just like a majority of people on welfare are white. But the higher percentages of blacks and brown folks, plus the media coverage and mass media add-ons paints a picture that's not totally true. Just like many movies about Africa focus only on the bad stuff on the continent and not the good. That doesn't mean that bad things don't happen in Africa or black America, but I think there is sometimes an overemphasis on the bad, as opposed to the good. I would like more balance.
You say there are a lot of black superheroes, etc. There are, but how many have movies? TV shows? How many headline books, etc., in comparision to white heroes? There is a great forum in the Misc. Comics thread that goes in great length about that subject. Over the last 20 years or so you've had Blankman, Meteor Man, Steel, Blade, Hancock, and Catwoman. Now, Blankman, Hancock, aren't even from comics, so that only leaves three characters taken from comics (perhaps actually two since Catwoman wasn't based on Selina Kyle's character). Compare that to all the white heroes taken from comics.
Blacks on TV:
Also with TV. How many blacks headline TV shows? Daytime or prime time? Network or cable? of any genre? Please provide examples. And tell me how many are comedies, drama, or something else.
There are a lot of black people in various roles, due to a significant degree because someone 'whined' about opening up access and black people, and others, fought to get access. But I still contend that we have a long way to go in terms of roles of significance in many TV shows, movies. Most of these black characters are ill defined and amount to background scenery or window dressing. Helpmates of the white main characters. So, in a way there are a lot more blacks in roles, but at the same time there is still a disparity in roles for blacks. How many films/TV shows feature black people as the heroes, as the central characters, who have inner lives? Who save the day? Who have a journey in which they change? That actually get laid? Now, how many can be killed/written off without messing up the show at all? How many are integral to the show's they are on? How many would get at least a special episode if they had to bite the bullet?
True there are a lot of archetypes/stereotypes seeded in our subconscious but how many of them have been used to justify the oppression or exclusion of groups of people in our society?
I disagree about your perception of gangsta rap. I think it is similar to minstrely and coon songs because it exploits a warped view of black people/culture, and sells it as mass entertainment. Where gangsta rap might be cloaked in money and jewels, and the boasting might appear confident, what are the values this music promotes? Similar to the coon songs, you could replace coon with thug or the n-word, and its similar to how some rappers boast about how proud they are to be one or the other. Also the sex and leisure of the coon song reinforces the idea of shiftless, pleasure-seeking coons, and a lot of gangsta rap songs are about money, weed/or some type of drug, a sexual conquests.
Negative images of Whites:
I've never said there weren't negative images of whites. But in the context of this conversation, which is about whether the Twins are racist or racially offensive, I've tried to discuss many of the various stereotypes that have been used to depict black people in the past and like I said before, still today. Also, whites, unlike blacks, have never had to contend with living in a hostile society, culture that devalued and dehumanized them with similar images. They've had far more flexibility to pick and choose among images.
What RotF means to me:
Once again, I'm looking at RoTF in a broader context. For you, it's just one movie. For me, potentially, its just one more movie where they do the same negative imaging again. And if there isn't prominent movies or roles on par to counterbalance the negative ones then it may impact how people (the people who watch the stuff anyway) see the world. I would argue that most people, including African Americans, views of Africa are shaped by National Geographic-type shows safaris for example. Just like I think the preponderance of street/ghetto depictions of blacks has shaped many people's ideas of what black people are like. And even innocent, harmless movies like RotF might perpetuate the madness instead of alleviating or not even going there.
MTV and the Top 40 aren't the same. The few times I check out MTV they usually have a TV show on, and not videos. Even VH-1 has restricted their videos to the morning and on the weekends. Only BET shows videos somewhat regularly, it seems, on 106 and Park. I don't know if Rap City is still on, but that's beside the point. I don't think there are any black people on The Hills and its usually no more than two at a time on any Real World. Hip hop, and particularly the gangsta rap variety are very popular among the youth of all races, but I think its too easy to say it is youth culture or the best representative of youth culture. Hannah Montana represents youth culture as well, so do the Jonas Brothers, not sure about Raven Symone, and a lot of stuff in between. The Top 40 is filled with rap, but it's also filled with rock (The Fray for example), pop, and even some country (Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift (?)).
Bay and the Black Experience:
I'm not expecting Michael Bay to deal with the entire black experience. No one could possibly grasp the entire black experience. I never called on him to do so. It would be awesome if he was aware of some aspect of it, at the very least the African American part. What I would like to do though is to go to a popcorn movie and not feel its exploiting racial stereotypes. I would like to go and just turn off my brain and enjoy a mindless spectacle, and not be insulted. I've enjoyed some of Bay's work in the past (Bad Boys I, Armageddon, and the Island-yes, even the Island), so I don't hate Michael Bay, though I really was disappointed in Pearl Harbor and Bad Boys 2. I also understand that character development is not his strong point. I just hope that in RotF he didn't resort to stereotyping for cheap laughs instead of making humorous characters that perhaps offend because of what they do, not what groups they might mock.
Also, I don't appreciate you calling me/my ideas silly or absurd because you don't agree with me. Believe it or not, I've had life experiences too that have informed my thoughts.
Last edited by DarKush; 06-27-2009 at 05:06 PM.