Tag Archives: racism

pop break: racism and screen painting

I’m a little tired of death right now.  It’s been kind of a lot.

About movies. And race.

Marvel and DC both did Civil War type films. Yes you know. Yes yes. I’m slow at pop culture, okay?

It was kind of funny to me what different paths they took to end up in roughly the same place.

Marvel:

Racist? What? No no no! I’m not racist! In fact, my best friend is black!  And my frenemy’s best friend is black! 

Why don’t my black best friend super heroes ever get their own origin stories or even just non-origin movies where they are the title character and main protagonist?

Uuuuh…. Hey look! I have THREE black best friends!  And my third black best friend just learned a valuable lesson by watching my white super heroes grapple with their problems! Isn’t that cool?!  Even when white heroes are acting like moronic pieces of shit, they are teaching black people how to exist and black people would be lost without them!

 

DC:

Black people don’t exist.

Abuse survivors who question GOD are EVIL. Evil!! Evil MONSTERS who want to destroy the world and unleash MONSTERS on the world and who are all secretly EVIL and stuff. Especially if they like BOOKS and LIBRARIES and clearly have some kind of mental illness that keeps them from SPEAKING clearly. Because people who love books and the mentally ill are EVIL.

And the mastermind behind mysterious conspiracies is probably JEWISH cause their parent was nearly killed in the HOLOCAUST.

We’re renaming ourselves Budweiser for the summer.

 

 

My vote goes to Marvel for at least pretending.

*

The fun doesn’t end there of course. This is Budweiser- I mean America! We couldn’t limit our racism to just one or two movies in a genre created to give children heroes to look up to and heroism to emulate.

I love X-men Apocalypse so much.  And I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t get me wrong. But can we address the blueface please? EDIT: and greenface too!

In Guardians of the Galaxy, you had an entire universe filled with aliens species who looked like humans, which was speciest as fuck but we don’t know any aliens yet, so I’ll let that go. But what was with the fact that they all looked like WHITE humans?  I mean with the exception of the one black dude who was evil, clearly some one else’s minion and not in charge of his own destiny, and who had like one line.

And it wasn’t even like they all were supposed to be a single species. To give the impression of diversity, they painted their actors a bunch of colors. Like green.

But the facial structures, speech patterns, and futuristic hairstyles were all obviously of European descent.

Let that sink in.

We had an entire, diverse, universe filled with colored people- and all of them were white people with their skin painted.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me that Dave Babtista and Zoe Saldana are “mixed race”. I was happy to learn this fact and the names of these actors as I didn’t know them and did this rant without researching. But being the emotional basket case that I am, I reserve the right to still feel disgusted. Sort of- oppositely.

This is so much better! (sarc) We put the POC in so much face paint (digital or otherwise) that to the sad ignorant eyes of a white person they LOOKED white.

But the white main character and the aliens played by white humans didn’t need any makeup to be presentable?

Separate Phenomena.  Green Face.

Green is so much more acceptable in the Marvel-verse than… you know…

*

Which is sort of what made it morbidly funny in X-men Apocalypse when Marvel had a bunch of straight white superheroes on a personal journey to accept their true identities… as straight white people with blue paint on their still clearly European facial structures.

I’m mean, what the fuck?

The mutants who joined the Big Bad were- DRUM ROLL

the black one

the asian looking one

the gay looking one

And THE JEWISH ONE. Who survived the HOLOCAUST. And is CONSPIRING. To destroy the WORLD.

God!  What the FUCK?  WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

None of THOSE people ever had to struggle with their real identities vs their perception by the wider population! Oh no! It was JUST white people!

And in true Marvel-is-a-friendly-dog-who-knows-they-shouldn’t-pee-on-the-rug-but-does-anyway fashion, the Team Bad mutants were sort of emotionally manipulated into joining the Big Bad.  And in the end mostly joined Team Good-

After learning valuable lessons from white people.

In face paint.

*

Some days I really hate people. And I’m not particularly thrilled with earth.

But there’s nowhere else that has shwarama.

 

 

The Great Whale

We haven’t been talking much. Something keeps us.

The religion of perfect peace in this house, perhaps. It creates an atmosphere too heavy to disturb.

I admit I’m gone a lot. Mostly I’m at work. When I’m home I’m on the internet often, swimming in the blessed invention of the laptop private pool of otherness. Or playing with the little kids. In games you don’t have to say the what is and isn’t.

She’s gone, she’s at home canning bushels of pears, she’s at church in the woods with the four or five families that still come. The only people who are her people. All others are untrustworthy- the sea in which The Remnant must stay afloat- preferably without wetting the hems of their robe. She chooses the Remnant. She has no one else.

My sister.

What would happen if we talked? What would we say?

The headlines. A boy, twelve years old, was out playing in a park. Imaginary monsters swimming through his eyes, he brandished his defense against them- an imaginary weapon. Whatever fear crawled closer to him- in the air of a world where death drives the streets slowly and buys coffee while it sizes up the passersby- he would defeat. And the air would pull back and happy and proud he could breath. He had won. He can beat the monsters. His teeth flash like black Peter Pan; the Child Whom Pirates Cannot Kill.

In the air of a world where fear takes the shapes of those it consumes and uses them to its own ends, a shape not quite gone picked up a phone. In the twilight of security, what was left of a voice cautioned, “It’s probably a fake.”

Fear wants to know what’s real but fear can’t ask a child. Can’t be led by a child. Can’t lead even a child to safety. Fear is too unsafe.

Fear asks the Authorities. Can you check? Can you tell me?

Death set down its coffee.

When Death arrived on the scene, two seconds went by. Then Death’s shape was revealed.

Without justice, said the long dead father, what is a nation but a great robber band?

The Child lay dying and Death stood over him, watching him die.

The Pirate whom Time Forgot.

Or was it us?

If one of these little ones causes you to sin, tie a millstone around their neck and drop them into the heart of the sea. Then stand and watch them drown. Jesus didn’t actually say that last part, but we can infer from our knowledge of biblical principles.

One of the last times we talked about anything more other than pears or changing clouds her voice was lacing itself with anger.

“I think pointing out race IS racism! You are making the problem by talking about it!”

When she had still just learned to walk and talk they poured cold water over her head. She had been sitting under the table crying at the top of her lungs. Her wail had cut off as she gasped, unable to breath.

In God there are no shifting shadows. If you see such things, your eyes are wrong. If your eye is wrong, put it out. The only tears allowed are blood.

As I float in my pool of hurt and strange, escaping from the perfect light and peace in which, for other reasons, I do not exist, my brother plays on the floor.

A Child of the Remnant. A child in what we are sure, this time, finally, are the Last Days. They must be. Everyone is against us. Already, he is afraid. His body has begun to grow, stretching him past the legs of his jeans. He weeps and clings to his too small clothing when they throw his holey safety away. He pulls back from new things as if burned, running to people who once hit him daily and call him an idiot, begging to know what’s allowed. His Authorities.

Tell him, tell him, what’s Good and what’s Evil. The Innocent can’t know these things for themselves. Only the Guilty.

He daydreams on the rug as he goes through his arsenal of toys. Orange capped, black, glossy and realistic as possible to protect him from the air he breathes. Imaginary weapons.

They never let him out to play with other children. Though funny and clever and lonely he has no friends.

You know what? Death will probably never stand over him in the streets. He may never feel safe enough to play there. And one day he will stand. Where will it be?

He’s twelve years old.

How could she possibly talk with me?

Who did this?

When I grow up I’m not going to be a pirate. I have no human enemy. Nor will I pursue such creatures. I’m going to be a whaler.

I imagine a harpoon, feel its weight and the grain of its haft made of nothing in my hand.

God, the imaginary monster, no real weapon can kill.

We are the only ones here.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/26/tamir-rice-video-shows-boy-shot-police-cleveland

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/02/cleveland-cop-said-he-had-no-choice-but-to-shoot-12-year-old-tamir-rice-father-says/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854617/Cops-shot-12-year-old-Tamir-Rice-dead-holding-BB-gun-did-not-aid-watched-lie-agony-died-just-hours-later.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/24/tamir-rice-boy-shot-cleveland-police_n_6211064.html

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/12/police_procedure_experts_quest.html

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/03/officer-who-fatally-shot-tamir-rice-had-been-judged-unfit

 

 

please don’t leave me

I will say this right at the beginning.  I’m a little buzzed tonight.

I’ve been sitting by myself in this house watching P!nk music videos and drinking coconut rum.  I think I like her.  I’ve heard a couple of her songs on the radio but never really paid attention to them before.

Maybe you have, but here’s one anyway.

A few weeks ago… or is it a month now?  not sure.    …some Christian celebrity made comments grouping LGBT folks with child molesters, saying straight sex was better than gay sex because women have better/bigger holes, and that back in his day, before civil rights, things were just dandy for black folks cause none of them ever complained about anything to HIM.

(I’m pondering this.  Are attitudes like this in white guys the reason that white girls end up with black guys?  ‘Cause this certainly makes me want to never come within ten feet of white guys- if they’re like this.)

Maybe you know who this guy is. Maybe you’re already up on this stuff.  If you don’t, I apologize.  I don’t think I can link to any of this without puking.

I didn’t think it would probably be a good idea to engage my family on the LGBT thing.   Too much room for “its not loving to let people be WRONG- they’ll go to Hell”  Too many questions about why I was bringing it up.

I haven’t told them I’m… well… not a Christian anymore.  I haven’t told them other things.

But the thing about how-life-was-for-African-Americans-pre-civil rights, I thought maybe we could connect on that.  One of my Aunts married a black dude.  My little cousins are growing up to inherit what the world thinks of black people.

My extended family has always accepted them.  I thought?  And my young brothers are best friends with those cousins.  They draw comics together and work on dirt bikes.

Maybe I was being overly optimistic.  Come to think of it.  They also spent Christmas break joking ‘Oh no! That’s racist!’ whenever anyone said the word black or white.  As if racism is so unusual that anyone crying racism was a paranoid freak.

Yeah.  Hindsight.

And my sister made a comment to the effect that: at one point, yes bad things had happened, but so much time has gone by that they need to stop talking about it now- it was just complaining.

Since when does Germany get to decide when the Jews have to stop talking about the Holocaust? That they’re just complaining now?

At any rate, in a different venue, one my family has access to, I ended up posting stuff about this- about lynchings and the actual situation in the 30’s  and how awful it was that  he had said that.  How awful it was that Christians were rallying to his defense instead of calling him out.

So… it didn’t go over very well.   The extended relatives sort of flocked into the comment section and started gnawing on my corpse.   I was sent private messages from one person insinuating that I was the spirit of the anti-Christ.

Because- it seems- insulting an entire ethnic group and re-writing their history to suit your own purposes is just being a good witness for Christ.  But saying a celebrity (who might have the ability to increase your religion’s name-brand recognition), has done something wrong is insulting and mean spirited.

I didn’t try to answer them.  And I haven’t spoken to them since.  Which is easy- since I’m living away right now. 

In the Pink video(if you didn’t watch it), she turns into a crazy ax murderer and tries to kill the guy to keep him from leaving her.  I suppose I am the one who is leaving them?  Unless calling someone the Anti-Christ is some kind of code phrase for ‘we want you to stay’ that I just haven’t learned yet, I don’t think they are going to care.  They aren’t going to try and keep me.

What kind of violence would I have to do to myself to earn their approval?

I could arrange it so that I could stay.  I’m not very good at winning friends or connecting with people and my family is a dependable social group that I know intimately and is willing to help me (as long as I pretend that lynching never happened, presumably).

I could chop pieces of myself off until I fit back into the shell I used to live in.  I could spend the rest of my life saying things I do not believe- until maybe I would come to believe them again.   I could keep quiet about things that my sense of ethics demand I speak about, until, perhaps it would slowly and quietly wither away.  Maybe eventually I could forget why I cared in the first place.

But I don’t think I can.

RUM!! GOOD PEOPLE!!!  WHERE HAS THE RUM GONE?!?

Wouldn’t it be great? To be allowed to disagree without having to leave?