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Old 06-26-2009, 11:08 PM   #476
Jake Cassidy
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then all I need is a hot looking woman and I am set
I'll have Megan and you can have Isabel. Fair?

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:18 PM   #477
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

How about the other way around??

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:19 PM   #478
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I'm fine either way.

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:32 PM   #479
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That's pretty much the idea of how the Transformers speak and act like humans. On Cybertron, Prime was a leadership figure, so he sounds like one here. Jazz was...well, Jazz, and he appropriated mannerisms that fit his own existing personality. They appropriated personalities based on human culture.
If I'm not mistaken Optimus said that they learned their language from the worldwide web. He never said they learned their mannerisms from it.

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I think a lot of people do. It's humorous to watch people who don't know what racism is claim it exists here. But it's also sad.
Just to see if I am or am not one of those people, would you mind explaining racism to me? I just want to make sure I know the correct meaning.

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People are so sensitive these days
Actually that's another point I'd like to bring to this discussion. Was the guy who made the first blog post about the twins a black guy? What if he is a white guy, would you still say he is sensitive? If yes, why do you think he is so sensitive?

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im sure if they acting like rednecks there wouldnt have been a single outcry of racism
How many white people are accused of being rednecks without even being talked to?

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Nope, they would have just been called annoying if they were acting like rednecks. I hate and pity this society sometimes.
Don't you mean you hate and pity blacks? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth but we weren't exactly talking about all of society here.

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:44 PM   #480
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You DO know that one of the Twins was voiced by a black guy right? And they both "Kenny and Wilson" pretty much made up the characters whilest voiceing them...right?

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Old 06-27-2009, 01:19 AM   #481
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They Wernt Racists they sounded like me and my Best friend when we play halo

For Comedy Relief Characters they were pretty bad ass too

[My theater laughed at all their jokes too , Specially when they Called Sam's Roommate A Pussy]

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Old 06-27-2009, 02:14 AM   #482
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

I thought they were more vulgar than "ghetto". Jazz was worse

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Old 06-27-2009, 05:51 AM   #483
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I haven't watched RotF. I didn't care for the first Transformers movie so this one didn't interest me. But I have read about the twin thing, and seeing what Bay did with Jazz, it didn't give me much hope.
I may agree with most of what you have posted but this single sentence renders any argumment you may have null and void.
The same for many out there. You're judging something based on what you read somewhere or what someone told you?!
How about making your own mind, making an oppinion based on your own ideas, see it before passing judgement.
Then you'll have the right to judge. Otherwise you're just part of a mob, fueled by the belief and oppinion of someone else.

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Old 06-27-2009, 06:10 AM   #484
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I may agree with most of what you have posted but this single sentence renders any argumment you may have null and void.
The same for many out there. You're judging something based on what you read somewhere or what someone told you?!
How about making your own mind, making an oppinion based on your own ideas, see it before passing judgement.
Then you'll have the right to judge. Otherwise you're just part of a mob, fueled by the belief and oppinion of someone else.

For me it's not about RotF per se, this debate flares up from time to time about a lot of things, RE5 being a recent example, and it's the broader issues that I was concerned about. It's bigger than RotF, this kind of being unsympathetic, this rush to deny racism or stereotypes without any mention, knowledge, dismissal, or concern for historical context (it seems), and the hasty, at times hostile defensive denials (almost as if the deniers have a personal stake in saying racism doesn't exist, unless of course its blacks being racist against whites, the only racism, or reverse racism that doesn't get hoots from many posters, on this forum or others).

I did see the first Transformers though, and I thought Jazz was stereotypical and of course they killed him off, which was another stereotype. Perhaps Bay was trying to be funny and/or hip, but I feel it was at the expense of black people in the first film. They may not have been his intention, and it actually wasn't why I didn't like the first film. I didn't care for many of the Transformer designs, the action was hard to follow, I can't stand Shia LeBouf, and I thought the ending was stupid. I didn't care for Jar Jar Binks, but that didn't stop me from enjoying most of the SW prequels, the Clone Wars, etc. But it was something that pissed me off I must admit. But at least GL had Mace Windu, and several background Jedi were black. Transformers films have only had blacks as comic relief and Tyrese as the muscle behind Josh Duhamel.

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Old 06-27-2009, 07:19 AM   #485
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My responses will be in bold

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How is gangster rap the same thing as a minstrel show? Seems to me like it's almost the polar opposite. Negative, perhaps, but in a markedly different way.

Of course it is not a direct descendent. They are different in terms of being more sophisticated and up-to-date, but just like minstrel shows or later coon songs gangsta rap has devolved into turning black urban youth, primarily, into carciatures that sometimes seem too much like the images that animated the minstrel shows or came out of them. The gangsta rappers become tricksters (hustlers) or brutes/bucks (thugs), women are overly sexualized or scheming (jezebels and sapphires). Minstrel shows, coon songs, and gangsta rap are all similar in terms of being mass forms of entertainment that trade in racial stereotypes, mainly with black people being the target or butt of the joke.

Here is a coon song I got from wikipedia. How much is this different than most of the content of a gangsta rap song today?

Last night I did go to a big Crap game,
How dem coons did gamble wuz a sin and a shame...
I'm gambling for my Sadie,
Cause she's my lady,
I'm a hustling coon, ... dat's just what I am.[



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

If you can explain to me how the bots in the movie actually qualify as racist, I'm all ears.

I haven't seen the movie. I don't know if its racist or not. I didn't say that it was. But I defend the right of people to call it that if they see it, and it bothers me that others rush to dismiss it out of hand without really asking why it would be, like you have done to some extent.

But from what I have read about the film, I can say this. In general when you single out a certain group and ascribe negative traits to that group or the representatives of that group (without a counterbalance), you make that group less than (i.e. we don't read). I'm sure that other Transformers might not have been able to read that language, but did they make a big deal about it, did they announce it? Also, the gold teeth and I'm going to pop a cap in your ass statements, which would likely be seen as looks, vernacular from black culture, and when then these two are the most prominent 'black' characters in the film, it reinforces ideas that all blacks are like that, that black culture is ignorant, and might imply that if the culture is ignorant, then the people who produced that culture are ignorant. I.E. not like us, and perhaps less than, or inferior, to us.

As I said before, I didn't see the film and I have no intention of seeing it, for reasons beyond the twins stuff. I can speak on the first film though. I think that Jazz due to Scatman Carruthers playing him on the old cartoon, and his name to some extent, could be seen to be the 'black' Transformer. However, Scatman wasn't gangsta/ghetto or I guess in his case a coon type of character. The old Jazz was just a robot voiced by a notable black star of a bygone era. The new Jazz was more gangsta rap stereotypical, it's like some people only see black people a certain way, and then just project that way onto all black people, black youth in particular. With his hip hop slang and of course they killed him off, and didn't bring him back. Which is another trope of movies that has become so obvious over the years that comics and directors themselves have noted the concept, played with it, or turned it on its head.


The majority of black people in the mass media are depicted as ignorant and gangster?

Really?

Do you really want to stick with that statement?

You are correct. Perhaps I should've said ghetto instead of gangsta. There is a predominance of these type of ghetto roles/characterizations in the mass media. These type of roles are injected into stuff that doesn't even need them. I was watching the movie Baby Mama (the term itself taken from hip hop slang), the other day and the sole black character, a doorman, was introduced us rapping. Why? There was no need to do that, and it didn't really make him any funnier, or less, but I see this kind of stuff being done all the time. You have gangsta rap videos, reality TV shows, Oz, The Wire, countless gangsta/hood movies over the years (ex. New Jack City, Boyz N the Hood, Baby Boy, Menace II Society, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Waist Deep, American Gangster, Notorious), comedians, or these seeming default where all or many black characters have to come from the hood or have a gangsta/criminal background or tie. That is when black characters are even given a background. Which leads to another issue, a bone of contention, the lack of development of black characters in a lot of films, TV shows, etc. This image is so prevelant that FOX news thought they could get away with calling Michelle Obama a 'baby mama' during the campaign and RNC Chairman Michael Steele embarrasses himself and his party in his attempts to talk 'street' at times because he believes that is more authentic than just being straight up with people. The black experience in America, not to mention, globally, is multifaceted, but is often potrayed through a very narrow lense. When most people think of crack, poverty, gangs, welfare they connect it with black people primarily and I think mass media has helped make, popularize, and strengthen those associations. True that those social ills affect black people, but they are not the province of blacks in this country alone though they are often seen as endemic of black people and perhaps black culture. There is always talk of black culture in the mainstream media as if it is deficient, as if they don't share 'our' values, and stuff perhaps like the twins, if what the critics say is true, are not helping bridge gaps in racial/ethnic/cultural understanding.

Only for idiots. People who can't rationalize, and assess the reality of the world, with all the different kinds of people around them.

I disagree that racism or prejudice is solely based on ignorance. A lot of smart people throughout history, Thomas Jefferson and even Abraham Lincoln for example, have held racist or anti-black views. It's not just about being stupid. I guess its ignorance in a sense of not understanding or having knowledge of black history, black culture, of looking at it through blinders. I don't think its the kind of knuckle dragging ignorance displayed perhaps by some members, but not all, in the Klan. But I would contend that in our busy, hectic world that there isn't a lot of time to study, or explore other cultures. We all too often go with the condensed version that we see in bits/bite sizes from the mass media, and that can lead some people to think that all black people are poor, on welfare, think or act a certain way, and when they see one that doesn't, then they say, "He or she is not like the rest of them," instead of realizing there isn't a 'rest of them.' Plus, these images are pretty old, and IMO, have just been repackaged over the years, and at times have been embraced or at least internalized by white and black people, in Hollywood, and in the country at large. Heck, the world even. The child-like sambo (Tracy Morgan/30 Rock?), the fat mammy (Madea?), the buffoon (T-Pain, Flava Flav, Lil' Wayne?), the old uncle (Just about every Morgan Freeman role?), buck/brute (50 Cent?), the shiftless, lazy, criminally prone, sexually irresponsible fun-loving darkies (too many actors to count), these type of images have been seeded in our subconscious, and since Hollywood seems allergic to new ideas, often resorts to going back to them from time to time

Obviously it did have to be, in the director's mind. Because Bay values that style, that MTV culture that a LOT of kids have bought into.

Bay may 'value' that style, but I wish he didn't. MTV culture is not synomous with hip hop or black youth culture. What might be a cool, hip style for him can have a serious impact on black youth and their life outcomes. Whereas white kids who embrace hip hop culture and its views and standards regarding dress, behavior, etc., can more easily merge back into the dominant culture when its time to enter the job market, the glut of these type of ghetto/gangsta images might make it harder for blacks to get jobs because they are already perceived as being a certain kind of way. And if there isn't a strong counterbalance to that, it makes people more accepting that what the media tells them is the truth.

If anything, I don't think there are many black people who are on the Hills or a lot of the other shows on MTV in large numbers, except perhaps Pimp My Ride. MTV has been a bastion and purveyor of white middle class and maybe upper class youth culture and I think black people fit a certain niche there, but I don't think MTV has been all that good at promoting a full idea of black youth culture or even the music in that culture. It takes what it wants and leaves the rest to wither on the vine. But BET or VH-1 aren't any better in that regard.


Well that's all well and good...

But what does that have to do with Transformers?

As I was reading through the comments, I saw a few black people also saying that the twins weren't racist. And they may not be to be fair. But I just wanted to point that just because some black people might be okay with it, others may not and that its okay for the critics to say their piece.


That is an entirely seperate issue. And what, in this movie, suggests that all blacks are like this?
Outside of Tyrese, are these twins the only 'black' characters in the film? Or the ones with speaking roles? And if you have a diversity of white characters in the film but only two 'black' ghetto characters, what is that supposed to imply about black people (African American youth culture)

In a lot of majority themed films, you have a limited number of blacks and they sometimes are portrayed in a negative light. Now, if this happens over and over again, I think it reinforces negative ideas about black people, because the same type of portrayals are seen time and time again, it becomes almost a truism. It's not just one film. For me, this issue isn't about one film. It's about the history of cinema in regards to how blacks have been portrayed. That's why when I heard that this twin thing might be racist or offensive, I wasn't shocked. It's not that uncommon. It hasn't been in the past, or in the present. And perhaps not in the future either. Until there are more black people involved in all phases of the creative process in Hollywood and some of the non-traditional black portrayals start making money, the cycle isn't likely to be broken.


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Old 06-27-2009, 07:32 AM   #486
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For me it's not about RotF per se, this debate flares up from time to time about a lot of things, RE5 being a recent example, and it's the broader issues that I was concerned about. It's bigger than RotF, this kind of being unsympathetic, this rush to deny racism or stereotypes without any mention, knowledge, dismissal, or concern for historical context (it seems), and the hasty, at times hostile defensive denials (almost as if the deniers have a personal stake in saying racism doesn't exist, unless of course its blacks being racist against whites, the only racism, or reverse racism that doesn't get hoots from many posters, on this forum or others).

I did see the first Transformers though, and I thought Jazz was stereotypical and of course they killed him off, which was another stereotype. Perhaps Bay was trying to be funny and/or hip, but I feel it was at the expense of black people in the first film. They may not have been his intention, and it actually wasn't why I didn't like the first film. I didn't care for many of the Transformer designs, the action was hard to follow, I can't stand Shia LeBouf, and I thought the ending was stupid. I didn't care for Jar Jar Binks, but that didn't stop me from enjoying most of the SW prequels, the Clone Wars, etc. But it was something that pissed me off I must admit. But at least GL had Mace Windu, and several background Jedi were black. Transformers films have only had blacks as comic relief and Tyrese as the muscle behind Josh Duhamel.
It's not about RoTF. It's about the trend that is growing of people talking about stuff they don't even know about just because they hear or read about it, they go with the flow.
I don't denny the existence of racism, i'd be a fool if i did. But racism isn't a white people exclusive, there's racism in every race for every race and sometimes even between people of the same race. Maybe one day that will change. Hope so.
As for Jazz, even though he died, he was a badass, he went down fighting, even knowing it didn't stand a chance. Epps is the muscle? He a "Tech Sargeant", he's responsible for comms and strategic deployment, a job that demands intelligence. But when the time comes he's also a badass. If i went to war and i had to choose between Epps and Lennox, i'd choose Epps.
And funny scenes at the expense of black people? I saw funny scene with characters tha just happened, in some cases (Glenn, mostly), to be black.
Go see any recent Wayans Bros. film (Scary Movie and all the following "(...) Movie (or Flick)" series) and you have stereotype white characters everywhere. Does anyone cry "RACISM"? No.
It all comes down to the feel of a character. The Twins.. they're stereotype dumb bickering kids, gangsta wannabees, whatever you call it. But did i feel any racist intent towards any particular group? Did i immediately think "black guy"? No. Kevin Fedderline idiot type,maybe.
I keep saying people are reading way too much into this. If you hated the first movie, i won't tell you to go watch this, all i'm sayin' is don't judge them without actually seeing them and getting that feel. Then yes, make up your mind.

As for SW, my beef with Jar-Jar isn't that he's a stereotype, he just pisses the hell out of me, he's annoying. And Mace Windu, come on, Samuel L. Jackson is the king of cool, it would take a lot to ruin that character. He was killed off. Should we read anything more into that? No.

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Old 06-27-2009, 07:46 AM   #487
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It's not about RoTF. It's about the trend that is growing of people talking about stuff they don't even know about just because they hear or read about it, they go with the flow.
I don't denny the existence of racism, i'd be a fool if i did. But racism isn't a white people exclusive, there's racism in every race for every race and sometimes even between people of the same race. Maybe one day that will change. Hope so.
As for Jazz, even though he died, he was a badass, he went down fighting, even knowing it didn't stand a chance. Epps is the muscle? He a "Tech Sargeant", he's responsible for comms and strategic deployment, a job that demands intelligence. But when the time comes he's also a badass. If i went to war and i had to choose between Epps and Lennox, i'd choose Epps.
And funny scenes at the expense of black people? I saw funny scene with characters tha just happened, in some cases (Glenn, mostly), to be black.
Go see any recent Wayans Bros. film (Scary Movie and all the following "(...) Movie (or Flick)" series) and you have stereotype white characters everywhere. Does anyone cry "RACISM"? No.
It all comes down to the feel of a character. The Twins.. they're stereotype dumb bickering kids, gangsta wannabees, whatever you call it. But did i feel any racist intent towards any particular group? Did i immediately think "black guy"? No. Kevin Fedderline idiot type,maybe.
I keep saying people are reading way too much into this. If you hated the first movie, i won't tell you to go watch this, all i'm sayin' is don't judge them without actually seeing them and getting that feel. Then yes, make up your mind.

As for SW, my beef with Jar-Jar isn't that he's a stereotype, he just pisses the hell out of me, he's annoying. And Mace Windu, come on, Samuel L. Jackson is the king of cool, it would take a lot to ruin that character. He was killed off. Should we read anything more into that? No.
I'm not going with the flow. As I said, this issue does pop up and the responses are almost always the same. And I wanted to put my two cents in there, on the broader issue of images in the media.

I would contend that racism doesn't go both ways, at least not the way I think you are implying. I think there is a power component to racism that black people have never had in this country. Black people have never had the power to alter the life outcomes of white people, to determine where they will live, what type of jobs or education they will receive, who they will marry and so forth. And when that has been done, to the detriment of one group for the benefit of another, I consider that racism. Are some black people prejudiced or biased against whites or others? Yes. But that hasn't translated into policies codifying those biases to affect other groups, like it has been with whites and blacks in this country.

I'm sure someone somewhere had problems with the potrayal of whites in Scary Movie, and if they wanted to write an article(s) about it I defend their right to do so. Just like I defend the right of blacks, brown, whites, yellows, etc. who might have problems with the Twins in Rotf. I don't think its such an issue among many in the majority because they have so many more movies or options to choose from in terms of how they are viewed as a group. This is a majority dominated culture, in which whites can more easily be individuals when a white person does something bad or is a buffoon, or take group credit, vicariously perhaps, when a member of the group does something noteworthy.

Blacks' position, IMO and I'm speaking only as one black person, have a less secure position. All too often, we are still lumped together and have to explain ourselves, sometimes for the behavior of other black people. For example, one criticism of blacks during the campaign was they were voting for Obama because he was black and that was it. It was very insulting but I think a lot of white folks had no problem with that premise. And it's funny that many who believed that never questioned who they were voting or had in the past or why, or looked at the record of black support for white Democrats from FDR on down to John Kerry. Nor did they remember that Al Sharpton, Carol M. Braun, and Douglas Wilder got almost zero black support, despite each of them running for the Democratic nomination-Wilder in '92, Sharpton and Braun in '04. Conversely, Colin Powell's support was seen as purely racial, when I didn't see him supporting Alan Keyes during his many runs for the presidency. Its just an example of the tendency to lump all black people together at times. Typically white people don't have to deal with that type of problem.

In many ways blacks are fighting against negative portrayals from centuries back that white people have never had to deal with. Even when most black comics poke fun at whites they often regurgitate the ideas that whites are smarter and more hard working, though they might be stuffier or can't dance or play basketball or whatever nonsense, which I personally don't consider that much of an insult. But the comics often trade in some of the same terrible stereotypes about black people that white have been using, and some still use. Blacks being lazy, smoking drugs, being criminals, etc. Dave Chapelle's lauded show is a prime example of this. It took me a long time to get into that show, and it bothered me because I began to see the largely white audience laughing at Dave and his characters, not laughing with them. And it made me wonder if this type of 'humor' really bridges gaps or just confirms what people already believe?

I agree that Jar Jar is quite annoying He would be without the stereotype stuff, but that makes it even worse. Of course I had no problem with Jackson dying. That was what was supposed to happen to the Jedi. Though I do wish that we had seen more of his character active, and many other Jedi, in the Clone Wars, but before anyone gets hot, I don't see that as any GL agenda, just his poor direction and lacks in his scriptwriting.

About Tyrese, in this film does he actually use any intelligence or does he mostly just follow Dumahel's lead? I didn't see him doing much strategizing in the first film. Though I didn't have a problem with Tyrese in the first film. He's just a second banana. A black buddy/sidekick type character.


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Old 06-27-2009, 07:55 AM   #488
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a kids commercial from the twins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmV4EuHXy1c

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Old 06-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #489
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I'm not going with the flow. As I said, this issue does pop up and the responses are almost always the same. And I wanted to put my two cents in there, on the broader issue of images in the media.

I would contend that racism doesn't go both ways, at least not the way I think you are implying. I think there is a power component to racism that black people have never had in this country. Black people have never had the power to alter the life outcomes of white people, to determine where they will live, what type of jobs or education they will receive, who they will marry and so forth. And when that has been done, to the detriment of one group for the benefit of another, I consider that racism. Are some black people prejudiced or biased against whites or others? Yes. But that hasn't translated into policies codifying those biases to affect other groups, like it has been with whites and blacks in this country.

I'm sure someone somewhere had problems with the potrayal of whites in Scary Movie, and if they wanted to write an article(s) about it I defend their right to do so. Just like I defend the right of blacks, brown, whites, yellows, etc. who might have problems with the Twins in Rotf. I don't think its such an issue among many in the majority because they have so many more movies or options to choose from in terms of how they are viewed as a group. This is a majority dominated culture, in which whites can more easily be individuals when a white person does something bad or is a buffoon, or take group credit, vicariously perhaps, when a member of the group does something noteworthy.

Blacks' position, IMO and I'm speaking only as one black person, have a less secure position. All too often, we are still lumped together and have to explain ourselves, sometimes for the behavior of other black people. For example, one criticism of blacks during the campaign was they were voting for Obama because he was black and that was it. It was very insulting but I think a lot of white folks had no problem with that premise. And it's funny that many who believed that never questioned who they were voting or had in the past or why, or looked at the record of black support for white Democrats from FDR on down to John Kerry. Nor did they remember that Al Sharpton, Carol M. Braun, and Douglas Wilder got almost zero black support, despite each of them running for the Democratic nomination-Wilder in '92, Sharpton and Braun in '04. Conversely, Colin Powell's support was seen as purely racial, when I didn't see him supporting Alan Keyes during his many runs for the presidency. Its just an example of the tendency to lump all black people together at times. Typically white people don't have to deal with that type of problem.

In many ways blacks are fighting against negative portrayals from centuries back that white people have never had to deal with. Even when most black comics poke fun at whites they often regurgitate the ideas that whites are smarter and more hard working, though they might be stuffier or can't dance or play basketball or whatever nonsense, which I personally don't consider that much of an insult. But the comics often trade in some of the same terrible stereotypes about black people that white have been using, and some still use. Blacks being lazy, smoking drugs, being criminals, etc. Dave Chapelle's lauded show is a prime example of this. It took me a long time to get into that show, and it bothered me because I began to see the largely white audience laughing at Dave and his characters, not laughing with them. And it made me wonder if this type of 'humor' really bridges gaps or just confirms what people already believe?

I agree that Jar Jar is quite annoying He would be without the stereotype stuff, but that makes it even worse. Of course I had no problem with Jackson dying. That was what was supposed to happen to the Jedi. Though I do wish that we had seen more of his character active, and many other Jedi, in the Clone Wars, but before anyone gets hot, I don't see that as any GL agenda, just his poor direction and lacks in his scriptwriting.

About Tyrese, in this film does he actually use any intelligence or does he mostly just follow Dumahel's lead? I didn't see him doing much strategizing in the first film. Though I didn't have a problem with Tyrese in the first film. He's just a second banana. A black buddy/sidekick type character.
Very well thought out statements, man.

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Old 06-27-2009, 10:06 AM   #490
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They Wernt Racists they sounded like me and my Best friend when we play halo

For Comedy Relief Characters they were pretty bad ass too

[My theater laughed at all their jokes too , Specially when they Called Sam's Roommate A Pussy]


Yeah it was funny and they kicked that sandsucking decepticon's ass

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Old 06-27-2009, 10:14 AM   #491
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I still find it funny that the only "black" characters in the film are the ones fitting the stereotype.

it's so backwards

I mean the fallen is played by (can't remember actors name) candy man and he's very black, he and his friends are very much into the egyptian motif along with pretty much being completely covered in black(protoforms)

-black baddie

Now Optimus is said to be a direct descendant from these special few
he's strong, assertive and really doesn't take no mess
(also he and tyreese have a good dialogue it seems)

-black leader hero

does he really need to hold his "pieces" sideways before it clicks with the sensitive audience that he's maybe black

I've said it before

if it wasn't for the "stereotypical" traits placed on the robot characters this movie would be filled with "white" aliens

sure jazz died, it's been said many a time that outside of optimus and BB that he was the only other character that had enough presence to have an effect on the audience
(a flaw in itself), an unfortunate coincidence or maybe bay is "racist"

in this movie, the simpleton characters intended for kids to really grasp onto whilst Prime is spitting out interplanetary peace philosophy, the ones that simply fighter each other and say funny things are the same ones given the "black" roles, coincidence again? (for if they were white i'm sure no one would care)

In the first one prime was one of the kids saying simple things and tripping over his feet, but this time because he was a real dude, I can understand why the producers gave the kids something
yes a bit on the jar jar side of things but then again at least they don't forget who they owe the franchise to(not 30year old kids) but 7 year olds. unlike say tdk which really just leaves children out to dry.

I remember a time when the best summer movies had fun for the whole family and were praised for it; the lion king for example, if it wasn't for the racy humor TF pretty much has all the same character elements.

I dare another film to try and be tdk in the middle of summer and not fade away(sans ledger)

but I digress, back to the race card

maybe if the "black" stereotypical characters weren't seen in such a bad light(i blame coincidence)

then again back to my optimus argument, if you'll accept that he's black. he's the wolverine(X2) of this movie

at the end of the day, stereo types are funny anyway you slice it, go watch stand up, sienfield(sp), pryor(sp)...racism and stereotyping are very different.
all the disney films use sterotypes to amplify their anthropomorphs, look at 101 dalmations.

but with bay a small critique usually turns into an entire rant...ie why do the robots need so many parts and why is everyone so pretty...

the way i see it, no race is safe from bay and that's what makes it fair
not only are jews played up but even surburban america.

can the guy who made bad boys really be racist?
well maybe against rastas lol.

end on ramble

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Old 06-27-2009, 10:16 AM   #492
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But the comics often trade in some of the same terrible stereotypes about black people that white have been using, and some still use. Blacks being lazy, smoking drugs, being criminals, etc. Dave Chapelle's lauded show is a prime example of this. It took me a long time to get into that show, and it bothered me because I began to see the largely white audience laughing at Dave and his characters, not laughing with them. And it made me wonder if this type of 'humor' really bridges gaps or just confirms what people already believe?


About Tyrese, in this film does he actually use any intelligence or does he mostly just follow Dumahel's lead? I didn't see him doing much strategizing in the first film. Though I didn't have a problem with Tyrese in the first film. He's just a second banana. A black buddy/sidekick type character.

I thought the Dave Chappelle show was hilarious even when he was just joking about getting high or whatever. I thought the show made fun of stereotypes but it wasn't enforcing them. Whoever looked at it the wrong way basically ruined it for the rest of us.

Tyrese's character is a USAF Master Sergeant and I viewed him as a reliable soldier and not a sidekick.



I don't view any of these robots as black or white , they don't have skin.

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Old 06-27-2009, 11:14 AM   #493
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

I think they should have gotten Flavor Flav to do the voices for Skids and Mudflap. That way we could all say they're robot versions of Flav, not racist stereotypes.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #494
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If I'm not mistaken Optimus said that they learned their language from the worldwide web. He never said they learned their mannerisms from it.
I kind of figured they learned the whole language/mannerisms thing, and added that to the basic personalities they already had.

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Just to see if I am or am not one of those people, would you mind explaining racism to me? I just want to make sure I know the correct meaning.
Well, see, anytime someone uses anything that could be considered part of black culture...that's racism.

In all seriousness:

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.

Quote:
For me it's not about RotF per se, this debate flares up from time to time about a lot of things, RE5 being a recent example, and it's the broader issues that I was concerned about. It's bigger than RotF, this kind of being unsympathetic, this rush to deny racism or stereotypes without any mention, knowledge, dismissal, or concern for historical context (it seems), and the hasty, at times hostile defensive denials (almost as if the deniers have a personal stake in saying racism doesn't exist, unless of course its blacks being racist against whites, the only racism, or reverse racism that doesn't get hoots from many posters, on this forum or others).
As opposed to the rush to confirm racism by broadly applying historical context?

What's RE5?

How is logically analyzing a situation and saying "there's no racism here" in this instance somehow being unsympathetic to historical issues?

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Of course it is not a direct descendent. They are different in terms of being more sophisticated and up-to-date, but just like minstrel shows or later coon songs gangsta rap has devolved into turning black urban youth, primarily, into carciatures that sometimes seem too much like the images that animated the minstrel shows or came out of them.
How is it possible for the gangster rap persona, which is almost the opposite of the minstrel persona, to seem too much like it? Seems to me that might be why this persona has been embraced.

Quote:
The gangsta rappers become tricksters (hustlers) or brutes/bucks (thugs), women are overly sexualized or scheming (jezebels and sapphires).
True.

And Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno. Just to watch him die.

Quote:
Minstrel shows, coon songs, and gangsta rap are all similar in terms of being mass forms of entertainment that trade in racial stereotypes, mainly with black people being the target or butt of the joke.
Gangsta rap rarely has black people the butt of the joke in my experience. And therein lies the major difference between gangster rap and the minstrel portrayals.

Quote:
Here is a coon song I got from wikipedia. How much is this different than most of the content of a gangsta rap song today?

Last night I did go to a big Crap game,
How dem coons did gamble wuz a sin and a shame...
I'm gambling for my Sadie,
Cause she's my lady,
I'm a hustling coon, ... dat's just what I am.
How is it different?

Well for one thing...it's about five lines long, most rap songs are a bit beyond that, although many of them are the same five lines over and over...

I'm not seeing the paralells here with most rap, other than poor pronunciation, loose ethics, and liking a woman. And that's...that's pretty vague. Are there some similarities? Sure. Black people in rap often call themselves the n word (a variation on "coon"?), although it's a word they choose to use, not one that's usually been forced on them by a white songwriter (Although given the way the music industry works...nah). They talk about being successful, and yes, they often talk about criminal means, breaking the law, etc. And as a student of criminal justice, it's obvious where that's come from historically, from a race and culture that has often historically had limited social means. But not all of them do that.

Frankly, though, you can can find white songs that deal with those subjects as well.

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I haven't seen the movie. I don't know if its racist or not. I didn't say that it was. But I defend the right of people to call it that if they see it, and it bothers me that others rush to dismiss it out of hand without really asking why it would be, like you have done to some extent.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't "rush to dismiss it". I simply thought about what racism is, and if that element was in the movie, and I decided that no, it was not, and I found the overreaction hilarious.

Quote:
But from what I have read about the film, I can say this. In general when you single out a certain group and ascribe negative traits to that group or the representatives of that group (without a counterbalance), you make that group less than (i.e. we don't read).
That's just silly.

This isn't Michael Bay's history of race and ethnicity. It's TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

This whole "Well, they didn't show any of this or that, so they must mean this" style of thinking is just absurd. They didn't show without a doube that pedophilia is a bad thing...does the film endorse it?

Quote:
I'm sure that other Transformers might not have been able to read that language, but did they make a big deal about it, did they announce it? Also, the gold teeth and I'm going to pop a cap in your ass statements, which would likely be seen as looks, vernacular from black culture, and when then these two are the most prominent 'black' characters in the film, it reinforces ideas that all blacks are like that, that black culture is ignorant, and might imply that if the culture is ignorant, then the people who produced that culture are ignorant. I.E. not like us, and perhaps less than, or inferior, to us.
How, pray tell, does it reinforce the idea that ALL blacks are like that? You, and anyone else who has taken this mindset...are just reaching wayyy too much for meaning here.

[quoteThe new Jazz was more gangsta rap stereotypical, it's like some people only see black people a certain way, and then just project that way onto all black people, black youth in particular.[/quote]

Uh...how does two robot characters in a movie imply that all blacks are like that?

Quote:
You are correct. Perhaps I should've said ghetto instead of gangsta. There is a predominance of these type of ghetto roles/characterizations in the mass media. These type of roles are injected into stuff that doesn't even need them. I was watching the movie Baby Mama (the term itself taken from hip hop slang), the other day and the sole black character, a doorman, was introduced us rapping. Why? There was no need to do that, and it didn't really make him any funnier, or less, but I see this kind of stuff being done all the time.
Done because people think it's cool. Search me as to why, but that's why it's done. It's not done to demonize an entire culture.

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You have gangsta rap videos, reality TV shows, Oz, The Wire, countless gangsta/hood movies over the years (ex. New Jack City, Boyz N the Hood, Baby Boy, Menace II Society, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Waist Deep, American Gangster, Notorious), comedians, or these seeming default where all or many black characters have to come from the hood or have a gangsta/criminal background or tie.
And you have many things that are not in this vein. Many shows, movies, etc, that feature intelligent, capable black people.

Quote:
That is when black characters are even given a background. Which leads to another issue, a bone of contention, the lack of development of black characters in a lot of films, TV shows, etc.
I consider this a problem, period. The lack of development to most characters.

Quote:
This image is so prevelant that FOX news thought they could get away with calling Michelle Obama a 'baby mama' during the campaign and RNC Chairman Michael Steele embarrasses himself and his party in his attempts to talk 'street' at times because he believes that is more authentic than just being straight up with people.
Clueless people think it's cool. I don't know what to tell you. It's a problem, but it's a not a racist problem. It's a problem with people thinking that being annoying and poser is cool now.

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The black experience in America, not to mention, globally, is multifaceted, but is often potrayed through a very narrow lense. When most people think of crack, poverty, gangs, welfare they connect it with black people primarily and I think mass media has helped make, popularize, and strengthen those associations. True that those social ills affect black people, but they are not the province of blacks in this country alone though they are often seen as endemic of black people and perhaps black culture. There is always talk of black culture in the mainstream media as if it is deficient, as if they don't share 'our' values, and stuff perhaps like the twins, if what the critics say is true, are not helping bridge gaps in racial/ethnic/cultural understanding.
You're generalizing.

Yes, these things are seen in society from time to time, but you're still generalizing. Not everyone in this world believes that blacks commit all crime, or that blacks created every problem society has.

And if they did, if they perceived that a lot of blacks are criminals, there's a reason for it.

"Is The Guard racist", they all cried?

No, The Guard went to school for criminology. A lot of crime, and I mean a lot of it, is committed by blacks. This isn't just people's perceptions. It's based in fact on some level. It's sad, and it's something I wish would change, but it's also not just people's perceptions.

But anyway, statistics are boring. Are you really trying to tell me that the majority of black people in the media are portrayed as ghetto? The majority?

Quote:
I disagree that racism or prejudice is solely based on ignorance. A lot of smart people throughout history, Thomas Jefferson and even Abraham Lincoln for example, have held racist or anti-black views.
Then they were obvious, in some fashion, ignorant of something, weren't they?

I'm talking about people who see all the types of people there are out out there, have life experiences, and still manage to come to the conclusion that "hey, because I saw something in a movie, all people, regardless of my experience, must be like that". That's pretty much ignorant to me.

Quote:
It's not just about being stupid. I guess its ignorance in a sense of not understanding or having knowledge of black history, black culture, of looking at it through blinders.
I have almost no understanding, beyond the basics that I learned in high school and college, of black culture. Somehow I manage not to think that all black people are gangsters.

Quote:
I don't think its the kind of knuckle dragging ignorance displayed perhaps by some members, but not all, in the Klan. But I would contend that in our busy, hectic world that there isn't a lot of time to study, or explore other cultures. We all too often go with the condensed version that we see in bits/bite sizes from the mass media, and that can lead some people to think that all black people are poor, on welfare, think or act a certain way, and when they see one that doesn't, then they say, "He or she is not like the rest of them," instead of realizing there isn't a 'rest of them.' Plus, these images are pretty old, and IMO, have just been repackaged over the years, and at times have been embraced or at least internalized by white and black people, in Hollywood, and in the country at large. Heck, the world even.
You keep implying that images make people think that all black people share these traits.

Who?

That's just not been my experience in the real world. It's the first thing a racist goes to when they're crying to decry blacks, but bust people...I'm sorry, I'm just not seeing that.

And again...statistics and studies have backed a lot of this stuff up, or the media wouldn't proffer it. There's a general trend at work, and not just people's perceptions. When I see a story about poor black people in my hometown, I think "Wow, there really may be a lot of poor black people". I don't go "All black people are poor".

Quote:
The child-like sambo (Tracy Morgan/30 Rock?), the fat mammy (Madea?), the buffoon (T-Pain, Flava Flav, Lil' Wayne?), the old uncle (Just about every Morgan Freeman role?), buck/brute (50 Cent?), the shiftless, lazy, criminally prone, sexually irresponsible fun-loving darkies (too many actors to count), these type of images have been seeded in our subconscious, and since Hollywood seems allergic to new ideas, often resorts to going back to them from time to time.
You know what else is seeded in our subconsciousness?

The childlike retarded person
The fat white woman
The fool/buffoon, slacker, whatever you want to call them
The wise old uncle, grandparent, or father figure
The psychotic white man
The frat boy

White culture has it too, and has for a long time. This stuff isn't limited to black culture.

Blacks are also featured as:
Superheroes, fireman anc cops, medical professionals, lawyers, political figures, and...well, just about everything else white people are portrayed as.

I get it, you wish these other things didn't exist because the world is sprinked with ignorant, lazy minded people who have taken a lot of it at face value, and use it to justify their hatred or ignorance. Fair point.

Quote:
Bay may 'value' that style, but I wish he didn't. MTV culture is not synomous with hip hop or black youth culture.
When was the last time you watched MTV or turned on the top 40? It's all over the place. A lot of kids are into this stuff, or at the very least, appreciate it.

Quote:
What might be a cool, hip style for him can have a serious impact on black youth and their life outcomes.
So can being lazy or stupid in any capacity. Isn't that up to the kids themselves to figure out?

Quote:
Whereas white kids who embrace hip hop culture and its views and standards regarding dress, behavior, etc., can more easily merge back into the dominant culture when its time to enter the job market, the glut of these type of ghetto/gangsta images might make it harder for blacks to get jobs because they are already perceived as being a certain kind of way.
I don't follow. I've seen plenty of stupid white people not make it very far because they're stupid and lazy. And plenty of black people who embraced hip hop culture find gainful employment and "make good" in society. And some of both races who are stupid and lazy who simply manage to make it big without any particular talents or drive.

Beyond the fact that being stupid and lazy makes it difficult to find employment, you seem to be generalizing. You either mesh with society's standards, or you do not. And you deal with the consequences if you do not.

Quote:
And if there isn't a strong counterbalance to that, it makes people more accepting that what the media tells them is the truth.
There are tons of counterbalances to that.

Quote:
As I was reading through the comments, I saw a few black people also saying that the twins weren't racist. And they may not be to be fair. But I just wanted to point that just because some black people might be okay with it, others may not and that its okay for the critics to say their piece.
I've got no problem with people saying "I feel this way".

I also have no problem saying "Quit being oversensitive and misinterpreting things"

People are seeing racism everywhere there's a hint of cultural influence of late, and that kind of thinking is dangerous and counterproductive.

Quote:
Outside of Tyrese, are these twins the only 'black' characters in the film? Or the ones with speaking roles? And if you have a diversity of white characters in the film but only two 'black' ghetto characters, what is that supposed to imply about black people (African American youth culture)
There's Tyrese and the fellow with horrible teeth. Beyond that, I have no idea. I went to watch a movie, not to count how many characters of each color there were in the movie.

I guess Ironhide is colored black.

There isn't that much diversity in the movie in terms of white characters, either. They're all silly and over the top, or hot. It doesn't imply anything about black culture as a whole. Not unless you REALLY read into it, which is not intended by the filmmakers, or particularly rational.

Quote:
In a lot of majority themed films, you have a limited number of blacks and they sometimes are portrayed in a negative light. Now, if this happens over and over again, I think it reinforces negative ideas about black people, because the same type of portrayals are seen time and time again, it becomes almost a truism.
How does that work? Does the real world fall away?

Quote:
It's not just one film. For me, this issue isn't about one film. It's about the history of cinema in regards to how blacks have been portrayed. That's why when I heard that this twin thing might be racist or offensive, I wasn't shocked. It's not that uncommon. It hasn't been in the past, or in the present. And perhaps not in the future either. Until there are more black people involved in all phases of the creative process in Hollywood and some of the non-traditional black portrayals start making money, the cycle isn't likely to be broken.
That's a valid point. But again, an entirely seperate issue.

It just seems silly to me that people seem to expect a Michael Bay movie to somehow deal with the entire black experience, instead of doing what Michael Bay movies do...which is to present stereotypes of all kinds.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:06 PM   #495
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I thought they were more vulgar than "ghetto". Jazz was worse
What the hell?? How in the world is Jazz worse than the Twins. At least Jazz was not acting ghetto the WHOLE movie like the twins. Jazz only did a breakdance and said " Whats Crackin Little *****es" thats it. Plus Jazz was more noble than the twins he wanted to save bumblebee when he got captured.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:09 PM   #496
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You DO know that one of the Twins was voiced by a black guy right? And they both "Kenny and Wilson" pretty much made up the characters whilest voiceing them...right?
Actors will do anything for money. Those two guys aren't black and white, they're green.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:11 PM   #497
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/snipped for length
that was easily the longest post i have ever seen. anywhere.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:12 PM   #498
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

Epps has been portrayed pretty positively in this franchise. As I recall, his bravery and quick thinking were the reason the government knew what they were fighting, and how to beat it. And he did a fair amount of strategizing in TRANSFORMERS. He's mostly along for the ride in ROTF, but he's beside Duhamel more than under him in any capacity.

And Anthony Anderson's character, as zany as he was, was portrayed as one of the most capable hackers on the planet. And a criminal, I guess, but...that was more due to circumstances than him being black.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:15 PM   #499
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What the hell?? How in the world is Jazz worse than the Twins. At least Jazz was not acting ghetto the WHOLE movie like the twins. Jazz only did a breakdance and said " Whats Crackin Little *****es" thats it. Plus Jazz was more noble than the twins he wanted to save bumblebee when he got captured.
The breakdance was AWESOME. I also like his dance fighting style.

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Old 06-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #500
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Default Re: The Twins: Racist?

It's not the fact they are black...I mean, you shouldn't be able to tell if a robot is black or white. But they are bad stereotypes of "thugs". And a lame sterotype at that.

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