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Old 06-24-2009, 02:30 PM   #276
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

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I don't get offended easily and I think the twins might have been a bit too much. Mostly because there is not a single black character who doesn't yell or act like an idiot in either movie. On their own, I wouldn't call them racist. But coupled with the actions of every other black character, I'm beginning to question exactly how Micheal Bay thinks black people act.

This is really the only problem I have with the movies.
Exactly. They're big eared, illiterate, "jive talkin" and one of them has a gold tooth. It's thinly veiled minstrelsy, just like Bagger Vance, or other modern "Magical Negro" (not my term) characters.

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Old 06-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #277
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

1. There's nothing redneck about Mudflap and Skids.

2. Nothing they do is funny.

3. They serve no purpose or relevance to the story at all.

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Old 06-24-2009, 02:44 PM   #278
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

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Exactly. They're big eared, illiterate, "jive talkin" and one of them has a gold tooth. It's thinly veiled minstrelsy, just like Bagger Vance, or other modern "Magical Negro" (not my term) characters.
So...the question then becomes, since they don't exactly sound outright black, unless you all just assume that it is only black people who have big ears, are stupid, talk jive, and have gold teeth...why are you getting offended when multicolored robots act ghetto, with these various elements?

Also, is there something inherently wrong with people with big ears, gold teeth, jive talk, etc?

I see some double standard possibilities here.

It's very much starting to sound like that kind of behavior, period, is what offends people. To each his own, I guess.

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Old 06-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #279
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

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So...the question then becomes, since they don't exactly sound outright black, unless you all just assume that it is only black people who have big ears, are stupid, talk jive, and have gold teeth...why are you getting offended when multicolored robots act ghetto, with these various elements?

Also, is there something inherently wrong with people with big ears, gold teeth, jive talk, etc?

I see some double standard possibilities here.

It's very much starting to sound like that kind of behavior, period, is what offends people. To each his own, I guess.
They're negative stereotypes that are clearly supposed to represent the ignorant and negative racial stereotypes associated with black people. Like Sambo or countless other blackface acts from the vaudeville era. To think that the Twins were not intended to pass off negative stereotypes about black people as being "funny" is totally naive at best and delusional at worst. And don't try to flip this as me being racist, you know as well as anyone else what the negative stereotypes associated with black people are. That doesn't mean I believe that they're true or think that all black people are representations of those stereotypes, it's simply a fact. Since when is pointing out well known stereotypes racist? Stow it.

And what if the Twins had robo-buck teeth, spoke in Engrish and were math wizzes? It would be the same thing. Or would you argue that those things didn't represent racist stereotypes either?

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #280
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They're negative stereotypes that are clearly supposed to represent the ignorant and negative racial stereotypes associated with black people. Like Sambo or countless other blackface acts from the vaudeville era. To think that the Twins were not intended to pass off negative stereotypes about black people as being "funny" is totally naive at best and delusional at worst. And don't try to flip this as me being racist, you know as well as anyone else what the negative stereotypes associated with black people are. That doesn't mean I believe that they're true or think that all black people are representations of those stereotypes, it's simply a fact. Since when is pointing out well known stereotypes racist? Stow it.

And what if the Twins had robo-buck teeth, spoke in Engrish and were math wizzes? It would be the same thing. Or would you argue that those things didn't represent racist stereotypes either?
I live in South Carolina and the population is predominatly african american and there were a lot of them at the midnight premiere. None of them were offended by the Twins and the couple in front of us thought they were a riot.

Why do people cry racism and every little thing? Seriously, these are the same people who complained that Resident Evil 5 was racist.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #281
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

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Exactly. They're big eared, illiterate, "jive talkin" and one of them has a gold tooth. It's thinly veiled minstrelsy, just like Bagger Vance, or other modern "Magical Negro" (not my term) characters.
Funny enough...it's the black directors that are creating that stereotype more than white directors.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:14 PM   #282
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They're negative stereotypes that are clearly supposed to represent the ignorant and negative racial stereotypes associated with black people. Like Sambo or countless other blackface acts from the vaudeville era. To think that the Twins were not intended to pass off negative stereotypes about black people as being "funny" is totally naive at best and delusional at worst. And don't try to flip this as me being racist, you know as well as anyone else what the negative stereotypes associated with black people are. That doesn't mean I believe that they're true or think that all black people are representations of those stereotypes, it's simply a fact. Since when is pointing out well known stereotypes racist? Stow it.

And what if the Twins had robo-buck teeth, spoke in Engrish and were math wizzes? It would be the same thing. Or would you argue that those things didn't represent racist stereotypes either?

You are so very wrong with that statement. It's stereotypes on culture, NOT race. There are plenty of white guys in the hoods that speak the same way remember.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #283
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

They weren't blatantly racist, per se, but the problem is that they weren't funny in a sense that there was no limit or balance between what was meant to be funny and what was meant to be stereotypical or satirical. They wanted them to be the comedy relief between the otherwise, pretty serious Autobots.

Look at the humor in The Boondocks or Chappelle's Show. They knew how to use a balance of stereotypes and humor to create a form of satire that played off each other. In the movie, they took it a little too far and it became a little offensive, but it depends on your view of things. I don't think the characters themselves are racist or anything, but I think that when you came from having a character like Jazz in TF1 to these characters in TF2, you've got to wonder what the makers of this movie were thinking here.

I think what it could've worked better is if ONE of them was your mroe extreme case of an hyperactive young street thug type of character, and the other was more of a straight shooter kind, a more intelligent and technical sort of character. Like a Riley and Huey kind of parring. Surely The Fallen is meant to remind you of a big, imposing kingpin of the African American persuasion, but otherwise, in terms of language and dialogue, he's just as stereotypical as any other villain we've been introduced to, so his cultural influence is very limited. Still, one could argue that this could be racist as well, but then again, how often is the villain of the movie a big powerful, evil Black man?

I wasn't really bothered by the street-wise aspect of the characters, or I should say, i wouldn't have minded as much if they were more funny than they were offensive. Aside from Jazz's initial introduction, Jazz was a much more serious character than these two were. He wasn't a gangster type or a street-wise guy. He was just a badass fighter. I guess you could say that there is a difference here. Surely people can find negatives in anything, but to me, Jazz was actually a rather tame exaggeration of a stereotype, which actually played a role in the plot of TF1. That definitely helped then, but it doesn't work as well with The Twins here.

Ok, in either case, the term "racist" is not quite appropriate. I think the stereotype lies with some of their lines, but not the characters THEMSELVES are not necessary "negative". I mean, people seem to complain about every little thing nowadays. People complained when proper Black guys show up in movies and they also complain about this other end of the spectrum as well. I think it goes to show you that the stereotypes and people's recognition of them has more to do with the eyes of the beholder and not the culture themselves.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:25 PM   #284
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

I think the gold tooth thing is what gets people's proverbial goats. Now if Kenny voicing them is supposed to be a tongue in cheek "white suburban kids interpretation of urban culture" then it's a clever thing, but not too many people can get that kind of subtlety, if that is indeed what it is.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:28 PM   #285
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:31 PM   #286
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

Edit: Damn it all, TNC beat me to it.

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They're negative stereotypes that are clearly supposed to represent the ignorant and negative racial stereotypes associated with black people.
Except that...

They're not, during the course of the movie, portrayed in the slightest negative light.

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Like Sambo or countless other blackface acts from the vaudeville era.
Wow. Reach much?

Let me be frank. We have reached a point in our culture where "ghetto", while still not quite mainstream, is nevertheless not frowned on as it once was. It's become part of our culture, and is accepted by many. Period.

It is neither negative or positive to most people, it simply is a part of society.

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To think that the Twins were not intended to pass off negative stereotypes about black people as being "funny" is totally naive at best and delusional at worst.
How is some black people being fun to be around a negative stereotype?

Now, since you think this is all supposed to be some veiled racism, explain to me why many people loved it. Why many people loved The Twins and their antics, and why they're portrayed as fun loving, easy going, and ultimately, oddly capable characters, instead of being ridiculous losers through and through.

Explain to me where the film even remotely suggests that their elements are negative ones.

Quote:
And don't try to flip this as me being racist, you know as well as anyone else what the negative stereotypes associated with black people are.
I also know that in 2009, the stereotypes seen in the movie aren't only associated with black people.

You all want to talk about these "negative stereotypes", and you miss the point that there is a part of society that considers them positive. MTV is freaking BUILT around that stuff these days.

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And what if the Twins had robo-buck teeth, spoke in Engrish and were math wizzes? It would be the same thing. Or would you argue that those things didn't represent racist stereotypes either?
Which part am I supposed to feel is overtly racist, exactly?

I don't think a lot of you understand the difference between racism and racial stereotypes.

Racism is a lot more than simply "Hey, these are some common beliefs about a race".

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #287
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

I'm in the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. right now, and was watching that above clip, and these two dudes from Austraila walked past and were like, "did you see Transformers yet?" I was like, nah I may check it later this week, and one of them said, "man, those two ****ers were straight racist, it was awful." I doubt this is gonna deter people, but you don't want these things to tarnish the TF name either...even though Bay already has in some people's opinions.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #288
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

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You are so very wrong with that statement. It's stereotypes on culture, NOT race. There are plenty of white guys in the hoods that speak the same way remember.
Yeah, and jive talkin' has always been a way to negatively stereotype white people, right?

Just because white dudes do it doesn't mean that jive talkin' is no longer a negative stereotype associated with black people. In the era of vaudeville the performers would portray black people as bumbling simpletons who loved to dance and sing "Camptown Races". But I guess if they just had robots do that stuff it wouldn't be racist, right?

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:37 PM   #289
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Edit: Damn it all, TNC beat me to it.



Except that.

They're not, during the course of the movie, portrayed in the slightest negative light.



Wow. Reach much?

Let me be frank. We have reached a point in our culture where "ghetto", while still not quite mainstream, is nevertheless not frowned on as it once was. It's become part of our culture, and is accepted by many. Period.

It is neither negative or positive to most people, it simply is a part of society.



How is some black people being fun to be around a negative stereotype?

Now, since you think this is all supposed to be some veiled racism, explain to me why many people loved it. Why many people loved The Twins and their antics, and why they're portrayed as fun loving, easy going, and ultimately, oddly capable characters, instead of being ridiculous losers through and through.

Explain to me where the film even remotely suggests that their elements are negative ones.



I also know that in 2009, the stereotypes seen in the movie aren't only associated with black people.

You all want to talk about these "negative stereotypes", and you miss the point that there is a part of society that considers them positive. MTV is freaking BUILT around that stuff these days.



Which part am I supposed to feel is racist, exactly?

I don't think a lot of you understand the difference between racism and racial stereotypes.

Racism is a lot more than simply "Hey, these are some common beliefs about a race".
It's "hey look at these stereotypes! Aren't they funny! They're funny because they're supposed to be accurate depictions of people who are different from us white folks!"

Did I say you were supposed to feel racist? Just using racial stereotypes for yuks instead of using them to point out something satirically or using them to make social commentary IS racist. Duh.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:37 PM   #290
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Damn, I just realized, Blazing Saddles is Racist!!! OMG!!!

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:46 PM   #291
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It's "hey look at these stereotypes! Aren't they funny! They're funny because they're supposed to be accurate depictions of people who are different from us white folks!"
Uh...where does the movie even imply that?

Did you ever stop to think that maybe the movie, maybe Bay, is simply celebrating the approach to their work these two have VS the average transformer? Maybe he likes that element of ghetto/black culture.

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Did I say you were supposed to feel racist? Just using racial stereotypes for yuks instead of using them to point out something satirically or using them to make social commentary IS racist. Duh.
Careful with the "duh".

It's "racial", but I don't believe it's "racist".

Because I was taught, in my semester long college course on diversity, much of which was spent on race and ethnicity and whatnot, that racism requires some sort of belief that one group is better than the other, or that one group is inferior.

Or, as Wikipedia puts it:

"Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"

And...

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups. The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines racism as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular racial group, and that it is also the prejudice based on such a belief. The Macquarie Dictionary defines racism as: "the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others."

Hmm.

Notice that even when they talk about specific characters, they throw that whole "superior" thing in there.

There's also something about discriminating based on race that tends to be inherent in most instances of racism, and I don't see that here either. The Twins are an accepted and apparently valuable parts of the Autobots defense. In other words, their characteristics are not portrayed as limited.

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Yeah, and jive talkin' has always been a way to negatively stereotype white people, right?
1. I don't think they were talking jive. Jive is mostly nonsensical to most people, as it's essentially speaking in code, and I understood The Twins perfectly.

2. You keep saying "negative". Jive talking tends to be looked on as a weird, albeit somewhat interesting element of conversation these days. And again...the movie doesn't present it as negative. It presents it as interesting, exciting, and fun.

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Just because white dudes do it doesn't mean that jive talkin' is no longer a negative stereotype associated with black people.
What's your point? Are you simply unable to think about this concept in context, or must you rely on what you THINK might be happening because of what some people feel about jive (which again, is not even in this movie, near as I can tell)?

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In the era of vaudeville the performers would portray black people as bumbling simpletons who loved to dance and sing "Camptown Races". But I guess if they just had robots do that stuff it wouldn't be racist, right?
Ok, so since The Twins aren't singing Camptown Races, this clearly isn't racist.

I kid, I kid.

The reason the vaudeville stuff is so racist is not because the characters sing songs like Camptown Races, etc, it's because the characters who did those things were looked on as lesser people in these performances, as if their only existence was to entertain those who were better than them, because they were not capable of anything else.

There's no value judgement made on the Twins but your own here. The movie doesn't tell you how to feel or react. Since everything else is so MTV, I suspect Bay knows how much of his intended audience will react: favorably. Notice that in the movie, no one's laughing at their stupidity or their inability to read, or any of that, they're simply accepting their style of conversation for the most part.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:47 PM   #292
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Damn, I just realized, Blazing Saddles is Racist!!! OMG!!!
QUICK!!! Someone tell Mel Brooks that he is a racist **** and that his movies are garbage.



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Old 06-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #293
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I'm not the sensitive type at all when it comes to race in movies but this was offensive. There was no reason for them to have monkey faces. They're use of language including "pussy" was just uncalled for and stupid. None of the other Transformers looked like that. And I don't know how it was in other theaters but people didn't laugh at them very much in mine.

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:01 PM   #294
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Monkey faces? Don't pretty much all the Transformers have "monkey faces"?

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:06 PM   #295
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Optimus and Iron Hide look like they have monkey faces

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #296
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"punk ass decepticons"
did anyone else like that line?

It was funny one time when Ironhide said it. But then the Twins bashed the whole trash talk over the head, shot it, then pissed on its grave

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:11 PM   #297
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I wouldn't say Skids and Mudflap were racist as much as they were annoying and forced. Some of the things they said were kinda funny, but it was just so forced, you got sick of them.

Anyways, they were portrayed as ignorant fools that you'd see if you rolled up in the hood. Just because they had gold teeth and like some hoodlums, a black person automatically comes to mind? Ways of speaking, clothes, (etc.) can be used by any race. For example, not all skater kids are white kids. That's the wrong way of thinking. A black dude who happens to speak and act like the Twins did? They are just ignorant people because they are ignorant (or try to fit in, be "cool," etc.), not because they are black. The thing is, why is it that when people saw the Twins, they automatically thought "oh, black people." You couldn't think "oh, hoodlums" or "oh, some ignorant fools"? People always have to play the race card and throw out a color.

Seriously, that's the wrong way and an ignorant way of thinking.


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Old 06-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #298
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I wouldn't say Skids and Mudflap were racist as much as they were annoying and forced. Some of the things they said were kinda funny, but it was just so forced, you got sick of them.

Anyways, they were portrayed as ignorant fools that you'd see if you rolled up in the hood. Just because they had gold teeth and like some hoodlums, a black person automatically comes to mind? Ways of speaking, clothes, (etc.) can be used by any race. For example, not all skater kids are white kids. That's the wrong way of thinking. A black dude who happens to speak and act like the Twins did? They are just ignorant people because they are ignorant (or try to fit in, be "cool," etc.), not because they are black. The thing is, why is it that when people saw the Twins, they automatically thought "oh, black people." You couldn't think "oh, hoodlums" or "oh, some ignorant fools"? People always have to play the race card and throw out a color.

Seriously, that's the wrong way and an ignorant way of thinking.

I agree 100%...

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"You can leave a penny, you can't take a penny. You can leave a penny anytime. You have to spend $10 to take a penny. Store policy."
"Since when has this been store policy?"
"Uh, since my boss made up the policy. You gonna pay? You're holding up my line of one other person. You can't afford your milk, step aside. What, daddy didn't give you enough milk money? Little baby gonna cry about it? Just step aside."
And that is how Uncle Ben dies.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:49 PM   #299
The Guard
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

So...did anyone else happen to notice that the Twins are two out of three of the Ethiopian/rastafarian colors, and with their gold teeth, all three are represented?

He said, dumping some fuel on the fire.

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Last edited by The Guard; 06-24-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #300
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guard View Post
So...did anyone else happen to notice that the Twins are two out of three of the rastarian colors, and with their gold teeth, all three are represented?

He said, dumping some fuel on the fire.
Weed is also in this movie and everyone knows that all Rastafarians smoke weed so you have just uncovered another level of racism

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"You can leave a penny, you can't take a penny. You can leave a penny anytime. You have to spend $10 to take a penny. Store policy."
"Since when has this been store policy?"
"Uh, since my boss made up the policy. You gonna pay? You're holding up my line of one other person. You can't afford your milk, step aside. What, daddy didn't give you enough milk money? Little baby gonna cry about it? Just step aside."
And that is how Uncle Ben dies.
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