Originally Posted by DrCosmic
You're right about Cap, but seeing that Captain America is the *only* one who's not useless and evil (wedding guest cameos aside) doesn't really counter the idea that the book portrayed white people as bad. So it's not exclusive? There's still one good white guy, and he is so because he denounces and fights other white people, and he's useless during his first two appearances too, btw. You're still dancing, saying the book didn't *say* white people were evil, as though explicit communication is what we were talking about. You're justifying Hudlin's statements, but not acknowledging the affect of only making anti-white statements, as though them being true changes them from being anti-white. Similarly, sales do not change something from being anti-white either. Are you saying it's okay to be anti-white as long as what you say is true and you make money? Because if not, you're still dancing around the issue that you're responding to.
While racism affects Hollywood as a whole, we cannot certify that the execs of any particular studio are significantly controlled by it. Especially if their reasoning for not making it is couched in very real audience perception issues, which happen to be couched in the racism you seem to accuse them of.
If having white friends isn't crafty for a real person, how is it crafty for a fictional character? It's the same action with the same effects in real life or otherwise. You keep talking about white characters at the center. Was Ross the center of Priest's BP?
Captain America is a singular character, but he also symbolizes American (and some probably feel mainly white American) values. So I do think that it is very telling that the supposed racist Hudlin doesn't tear down Captain America who symbolizes white America in many eyes. In fact he lionizes him.
I think it's a matter of opinion to say that that Captain America was 'useless' in his appearances. From what I recall of his earlier appearances, his overconfidence allowed him to get bested by the Black Panther of that time. When you look how whites viewed blacks at that time, I had no problem with thinking that even an enlightened person like Steve Rogers might also underestimate 'primitive' or 'inferior' Africans, even on a subconscious level. Blacks' courage, intelligence, and physical prowess were all up for debate for some whites, not to mention their very humanity. I'm not saying that's what he did or how Rogers thought, but that is the kind of mental stew that a Steve Rogers would've been swimming in, born in the early part of the 20th century.
Also Captain America isn't denouncing white people in the Captain America/Panther miniseries. He rejected racism and fought against Nazis. Now if you think that those things are synonymous with whites that's on you.
I don't think Hudlin made anti-white statements when he was talking about Africa's history with Europe. He was pointing out the truth which some fans perceive is anti-white. Exploitation did happen, transatlantic slavery did happen, colonialism did happen, segregation/Jim Crow did happen, etc. To me Hudlin was drawing upon that history. He wasn't unfairly slamming whites so much as trying to put his take on Panther within a historical context.
About Hollywood it's not an issue of being overtly 'controlled' by racism as having negative ideas about race being part of people's conscious and subconscious makeup. Also there is a history of networking (that has been based on race, among other things) that has worked to lock out people of color from power positions in Hollywood, and across corporate America. This doesn't mean that there is a "No Colored Allowed" sign hanging over any office door in America, it's more that it is now an issue of culture, custom, of 'the way things are' or 'it just happens to be that way' kind of deal.
There was de jure segregation (by law) and de facto (by custom). De Jure Segregation has been struck down legally, but de facto continues. It's not as viciously enforced as it once was, but when you look at the continued problems of blacks in the job market, unequal policing, resegregation of schools, there is still a racial divide in this country. Many of the goals of the civil rights movement, and those before that, have yet to be met. Some have, and some things have gotten better, but others have not.
I don't get why you keep going back to this crafty thing. I do think it was crafty for Priest to use Ross as a point of view character to make it easier for white fans to get into Black Panther, because I think he knew how hard it was for whites to accept and support black characters or other characters of color in solo books. And if you look at the dearth of solo led books with characters of color even today, I think it bolsters what I think Priest did. I didn't agree with his method, but I can't say it wasn't a valid way get white readers to support his book.
I do think that Priest did make Ross the center of his Panther book early on to allay white trepidation about Panther. He was clear that in stating that he didn't want whites to feel that his book was going to bash them. And a way to do that was to make Ross the gateway character to introduce white readers into Panther's world. Now this method only lasted about an arc or so and Ross's role was scaled back significantly as the book went on. It was a skillful way of doing things that many films supposedly about blacks but invariably about white characters (The Last King of Scotland, The Help, Cry Freedom, Mississippi Burning, etc., etc.) fail to do.
Regarding Hudlin and sales, I mentioned that to argue that his sales reflect that maybe his books weren't as anti-white and vile as you believe them to be. Also that his approach-my opinion of it-was to expand his readership and I think he was able to do that, which resulted in him having the most successful run. Hudlin didn't run away from some thorny racial issues- and was willing to take the flak and the unfounded accusations of reverse racism-and he got more support in response. Priest touched on some of those issues, though with a more humorous touch, while sliding around others. He had a pretty good run as well, but not quite as impactful as Hudlin's.