The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings
By Lloyd Hard

Indymedia - December 29, 2003

I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out "You great warriors of the West" in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a "crusade" against the "evil doers" in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the "evil doers" are of dark skin. Being married to an Asian American I watch people disregard my wife everyday while regarding me, simply because of her skin color. Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years I've been lucky enough to gain perspective that when you create an evil character (Uruk-hai) that resembles native Americans as they have done in the Lord of the Rings films a great deal of cultural and racial alienation will occur.

I am sure that once the filmmakers read this article there will be claims that they had to stay true to the story that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, but the fact is, African and Asian cultures have always been a part of the European fabric whose ancient legends and fairy tales gave birth to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic portrayal of the battle between good and evil. And what about the Ancient Picts, a tattooed darker skinned cultured that once dominant in the UK. As someone who has grown up in one of the nation's of the Commonwealth of the British Empire, I know for a fact that J. R. R. Tolkien's generation were deeply influenced and thus deeply moved by all those people of skin color that fought alongside white members of the British forces in World War One and World War Two forming lifelong friendships and deep emotional ties.

In fact all Europe's mathematics, reading and writing and technological advancements in transportation and warfare are all based on African and Asian concepts. The reason that Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and why most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death is for the simple fact that the Freemasons and the Church have not yet let go of the death grip they have on each other's throats. In other words, the enlightened knowledge that the church has attempted to destroy that the Freemasons attempted to save and capitalize on with Western patents has turned into a death struggle that has created destructive technological paradigms here in the West that are now being forced on the populations of the entire earth destabilizing life and bringing with them the pollution of the air and water that once existed only in Christendom.

Of course there are redeeming images and ideas portrayed in the films such as the Ents protecting the forests by destroying the industrial military complex as well as the fact that white people can be turned to evil to join forces with all the evil dark skinned man flesh eating Orcs and Uruk-hai.

It is important to understand that young people are impressionable and influenced by the symbols foisted on them by the popular culture. It would not have been that difficult to make a contemporary version of the Lord of the Rings that included the heroic symbols of people of skin color. I think J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't have minded including people of skin color as heros in these films if he were alive today. Especially after witnessing the rise of the civil rights movements in both the U.S. and the U.K.. I'm so glad that the Dwarfs, Elves and Hobits finally got their due but unfortunately this was washed away by the lack of heroic images of people of skin color. After watching the Lord of the Rings films I thank the universe and Mother Earth for the Rap/hip-hop culture and the counterbalancing influence the Rap/hip-hop culture has on the youth here in America and around the world.
The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings
By Lloyd Hard
Indymedia - December 29, 2003

I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out "You great warriors of the West" in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a "crusade" against the "evil doers" in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the "evil doers" are of dark skin. Being married to an Asian American I watch people disregard my wife everyday while regarding me, simply because of her skin color. Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years I've been lucky enough to gain perspective that when you create an evil character (Uruk-hai) that resembles native Americans as they have done in the Lord of the Rings films a great deal of cultural and racial alienation will occur.

I am sure that once the filmmakers read this article there will be claims that they had to stay true to the story that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, but the fact is, African and Asian cultures have always been a part of the European fabric whose ancient legends and fairy tales gave birth to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic portrayal of the battle between good and evil. And what about the Ancient Picts, a tattooed darker skinned cultured that once dominant in the UK. As someone who has grown up in one of the nation's of the Commonwealth of the British Empire, I know for a fact that J. R. R. Tolkien's generation were deeply influenced and thus deeply moved by all those people of skin color that fought alongside white members of the British forces in World War One and World War Two forming lifelong friendships and deep emotional ties.

In fact all Europe's mathematics, reading and writing and technological advancements in transportation and warfare are all based on African and Asian concepts. The reason that Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and why most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death is for the simple fact that the Freemasons and the Church have not yet let go of the death grip they have on each other's throats. In other words, the enlightened knowledge that the church has attempted to destroy that the Freemasons attempted to save and capitalize on with Western patents has turned into a death struggle that has created destructive technological paradigms here in the West that are now being forced on the populations of the entire earth destabilizing life and bringing with them the pollution of the air and water that once existed only in Christendom.

Of course there are redeeming images and ideas portrayed in the films such as the Ents protecting the forests by destroying the industrial military complex as well as the fact that white people can be turned to evil to join forces with all the evil dark skinned man flesh eating Orcs and Uruk-hai.

It is important to understand that young people are impressionable and influenced by the symbols foisted on them by the popular culture. It would not have been that difficult to make a contemporary version of the Lord of the Rings that included the heroic symbols of people of skin color. I think J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't have minded including people of skin color as heros in these films if he were alive today. Especially after witnessing the rise of the civil rights movements in both the U.S. and the U.K.. I'm so glad that the Dwarfs, Elves and Hobits finally got their due but unfortunately this was washed away by the lack of heroic images of people of skin color. After watching the Lord of the Rings films I thank the universe and Mother Earth for the Rap/hip-hop culture and the counterbalancing influence the Rap/hip-hop culture has on the youth here in America and around the world.

The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings
By Lloyd Hard
Indymedia - December 29, 2003

I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out "You great warriors of the West" in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a "crusade" against the "evil doers" in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the "evil doers" are of dark skin. Being married to an Asian American I watch people disregard my wife everyday while regarding me, simply because of her skin color. Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years I've been lucky enough to gain perspective that when you create an evil character (Uruk-hai) that resembles native Americans as they have done in the Lord of the Rings films a great deal of cultural and racial alienation will occur.

I am sure that once the filmmakers read this article there will be claims that they had to stay true to the story that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, but the fact is, African and Asian cultures have always been a part of the European fabric whose ancient legends and fairy tales gave birth to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic portrayal of the battle between good and evil. And what about the Ancient Picts, a tattooed darker skinned cultured that once dominant in the UK. As someone who has grown up in one of the nation's of the Commonwealth of the British Empire, I know for a fact that J. R. R. Tolkien's generation were deeply influenced and thus deeply moved by all those people of skin color that fought alongside white members of the British forces in World War One and World War Two forming lifelong friendships and deep emotional ties.

In fact all Europe's mathematics, reading and writing and technological advancements in transportation and warfare are all based on African and Asian concepts. The reason that Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and why most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death is for the simple fact that the Freemasons and the Church have not yet let go of the death grip they have on each other's throats. In other words, the enlightened knowledge that the church has attempted to destroy that the Freemasons attempted to save and capitalize on with Western patents has turned into a death struggle that has created destructive technological paradigms here in the West that are now being forced on the populations of the entire earth destabilizing life and bringing with them the pollution of the air and water that once existed only in Christendom.

Of course there are redeeming images and ideas portrayed in the films such as the Ents protecting the forests by destroying the industrial military complex as well as the fact that white people can be turned to evil to join forces with all the evil dark skinned man flesh eating Orcs and Uruk-hai.

It is important to understand that young people are impressionable and influenced by the symbols foisted on them by the popular culture. It would not have been that difficult to make a contemporary version of the Lord of the Rings that included the heroic symbols of people of skin color. I think J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't have minded including people of skin color as heros in these films if he were alive today. Especially after witnessing the rise of the civil rights movements in both the U.S. and the U.K.. I'm so glad that the Dwarfs, Elves and Hobits finally got their due but unfortunately this was washed away by the lack of heroic images of people of skin color. After watching the Lord of the Rings films I thank the universe and Mother Earth for the Rap/hip-hop culture and the counterbalancing influence the Rap/hip-hop culture has on the youth here in America and around the world.

http://paris.indymedia.org/article.php3?id_articleThe Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings=13086


Original Post


I still think "The Lord of the Ring" trilogy is a fantastic epic and "The Return of the Kings" is an amazing film with incredible battle scenes. Now my question is: Should we base our perception of real races in the real world on how imaginary races are portrayed in a fantasy film?... I aslo wonder as a human, where Tolkein's loyalties lay?

AfroMan.
It all depends on whether you view the media and hollywood, i.e. the movie industries as being part of the propaganda machine (either unwittenly or consciously); I personally think that either way the subliminal suggestions are conveyed and engrained.
////Also, "The Lord of The Rings" was one hellified trilogy!\\\\

YESSSS!!!!!!!! The Return of the King rules.

Peter Jackson, RULES!!!!!!!!

But I could not help but recognize on an unconscious and conscious level the "racist tapestry" of which the original poster alluded to. It did, albeit marginally, during my viewing of the film, inhibit pure enjoyment for me on many levels, but the cinematic texture of the film, seduced me quite provocatively. (me= sucker)

However, lets be real here. J.R.R. Tolkein was a Caucasian British male, who was a descendent of the power and might of the British empire on which the sun never set. How else would he have portrayed people of color, if not in a light of Western Imperialism coming against 'the dark forces'. How about those eagles flying in to do battle with the dragons>> the United States symbolism vs. what China(?) was not lost on me.


I think we 'have' to accept what the reality of western culture is, the dominant economic, political, cultural and technological force of the entire world. That, IS the reality. The stories that are being told by writers representing the Western tradition, could hardly be expected to write literature that would put them in any other light.

However, my problem with the 'subliminal' racist dogma, is that the text of the film, coupled with magnificent imagery, continues to perpetuate White male Supremacy, which is quite damaging (why wouldn't it be) to all, not members of this 'prestigious' and priviledged class. But, whatcha gondo?

Also, as if that was not bad enough, I saw on television and on the net, that Peter Jackson's next project will be to re-do, ya ready.............King Kong!!! I'm like oh hell no!!!! Please no!!!!
So, the western canon/imperialist traditons in mass media continue their assault on the psycho-social minds of us all. Eek
Perhaps you've not noticed the mulitude of movies where the villian is a blonde haired, blue eyed man of Germanic descent?

But never a Jew?
Lloyd Hart...isn't he a professor of something? I seem to remember this fellow from a few years ago trying to revise history, saying that Europe has always been a "multiracial culture" that never persecuted Jews until the Spanish Inquisition, but both assertions were wrong. Europe has for most of its history been rather racially monolithic (monotone?), and the Jews were kicked out of some countries in Europe as early as the 12th century, a century before there was an Inquisition.

Well, all right, that's Lloyd Hart, somone who is not always concerned with historical accuracy. Now he says that LOTR is a "racist tapestry."

Hogwash. It's a myth, a fantasy, a "ripping good tale," but racism is not anywhere in evidence in it.

Why would Tolkien have made an epic like this, in this way, even though no one in the books is ever described as to skin color (maybe the orcs)?

Well, he was British, that is true, and he lived just about his whole life in a very white culture. He was in the white English army in World War One, and he taught for most of his life at Leeds and Oxford universities, in which were few people of color--few women, too. And if you'll note, there are few women of note in LOTR.

I think it plain that he's not racist, he's only using what he knows. He was a scholar of medieval European literature, he wrote on Beowulf and the Arthurian legends, he learned Old Norse. He was surrounded by whiteness by everything he studied, and so his mind was suffused with these kinds of images.

As he wrote, World War Two loomed and broke out. His thoughts were occupied by whites as enemies as well as friends. He simply wrote about what he knew.

Did you read Chinwa Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"? The Africans in that story are not described as black. They simply are--they are faithful or faithless, they help or they harm, but they are just what they are, and he doesn't describe them as to color. Achebe is not racist, nor is his work racist. It's simply about people who happen to be black. Just so, Tolkien's work is simply about people who happen to be white. Probably.

This doesn't mean that he was racist nor that what he wrote was racist nor that the movie about his work is racist. He was limited, that is true--which of us isn't? And this limitation in his imagination applied to color. He just didn't think about color.

Lloyd Hart was wrong again.

I liked the LOTR movies, all three of them. While I wouldn't have done some things the way Peter Jackson did, most of what he did worked for the movies, and I think that this year he'll get the Oscar for Return of the King. His biggest competition will very likely be "Master and Commander," but I think LOTR will get it.

I was not offended by the colors in the movie. It was too good, with too good a message: faithfulness in the face of danger and evil, endurance in spite of the desire to quit, reaching beyond the comfortable to do the crucial. These are needed themes in any culture, including our own. I bought both the previous movies, and I will buy this one--when the extended version comes out.

No, there is no racist tapestry in LOTR.
Thanks sunnubian, nayo, Les Apt and Melesi for commenting in this thread!! Nayo I agree with you the most. Despite the sense of LOTR fantasy, I am convinced THE LORD OF THE RINGS has realistic roots. At the end of it the AGE OF MEN was ushered in, we can think LOTR as literal history or not a "sweet" little fairytale after all. IMO, TOLKIEN meant LOTR to be written exempt of the wisdom and science of "other" people. Consequently he utterly failed to praise the civilization of "colored" people and by that, demonstrated his ideology was deep-rooted in western supremacy. Although fantastic, this fairy-tale is one of the greatest tools for praising the Aryan race of ancient date. The "Middle-earth epic" has many purpose within it's no telling.

AfroMan.

[This message was edited by Afroman on December 31, 2003 at 12:42 AM.]
I think Melesi is correct in saying that Tolkein was probably not a racist. I've read that he never even owned a TV and have always imagined him to be a sequestered academic type.

I don't think Peter Jackson would have been falsifying the books had he scattered a few minorities about, though. I thought I did see one black elf and one black dwarf.

Let's not forget that the basic story is that men, white or otherwise, could not save Middle Earth. It took a Hobbit.
isistah,

In the films the hobbits are dark skinned with black features perhaps, or yet not caucasian?? How foolish. You also claim Jackson didn't falsify the books?? Well you REALLY ignore a significant theme Jasckon changed significantly and in so doing, materially altered their impact on the storyline. We are all aware that Scouring and Tom are out of the picture, Sam and Frodo's journey through Mordor to be truncated, Shelob to move to ROTK, Aragorn falling over the Cliff etc.. So let's not to pretend like Jackson really tried to convey what Tolkien convey through the story.

Tolkien was writing in the 30s-50s when Europeans colonized the bulk of the world's people and took the interpretation of history itself. The Caucasian man at that time was, of course, extremely prejudiced. The books suggest a connection between light and dark skin and good and bad if Tolkein actually was anti-racist I still want an actual example article. Therefore I am absolutely sure he was at least biased.

AfroMan.

[This message was edited by Afroman on December 31, 2003 at 07:01 AM.]
Maybe the 'semantical' use of the conceptual phrase, 'racist tapestry' is misleading or misconstrued, or not providing an assesment of what 'I' feel about LOTR. But, let me say this, do I believe that LOTR perpetuates, even on a subliminal level Western (and, White male supremacy) Imperialism, yes. Perhaps, to trumpet LOTR as a purely 'racist' narrative on the rise of western culture is not honest, but, it is also dis- honest (for me anyway) to critiques this film as a purely a fairy tale, with minute hints of a propaganda study in western imperialism. For example, it has been widely researched and studied that many of the 'Grimm's Brother's fairy tales, were allegorical treatise on gender and sexual political issues of the day, (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood, etc.).

With such a fantastically (genius even)gifted writer of the stature of Tolkiens', it is not improbable that the cultural dictates of the times he represented (the might and power of the British empire), the growing power of the United States after WWI & WWII would not be an important and dominant , subtextual thematic element of LOTR. When I read this as a young pre-teen, I first saw it as an allegorical interpretation of christianity, a la' 'The Matrix'. But, I'm all grown up now, and I am now in posession of stronger (I like to think) critical thinking skills that may misfire from time to time, but, not always.

I do not wish to be guilty of having read waaaay to much into what may otherwise be a 'simple' lil 'fairy-tale', but it is highly unlikely that I am doing so. The winner gets to tell the story after-all, and, they can do so in a grimm fairy tale, science fiction, a poem (the Illyad) or the 6:00 news.
quote:
Originally posted by Afroman:
isistah,

In the films the hobbits are dark skinned with black features perhaps, or yet not caucasian?? How foolish. You also claim Jackson didn't falsify the books?? Well you REALLY ignore a significant theme Jasckon changed significantly and in so doing, materially altered their impact on the storyline. We are all aware that Scouring and Tom are out of the picture, Sam and Frodo's journey through Mordor to be truncated, Shelob to move to ROTK, Aragorn falling over the Cliff etc.. So let's not to pretend like Jackson really tried to convey what Tolkien convey through the story.

Tolkien was writing in the 30s-50s when Europeans colonized the bulk of the world's people and took the interpretation of history itself. The Caucasian man at that time was, of course, extremely prejudiced. The books suggest a connection between light and dark skin and good and bad if Tolkein actually was anti-racist I still want an actual example article. Therefore I am absolutely sure he was at least biased.

AfroMan.

[This message was edited by Afroman on December 31, 2003 at 07:01 AM.]



Is there another Isistah on the board, because I said nothing of the sort. Please read before you respond.

It's made quite clear in the books and movies that the Hobbits, the Elves, and the Dwarfs are different species from Men. The Orcs were once Elves.
When judging a work of art from another time, it is important not to critique it only from the modern point of view. Afroman is committing two errors:

1. Concluding from the movie images what was in Tolkien's mind and heart, and

2. Requiring that Tolkien think like a 21st century African American.

Neither is right.

The movies are one step removed from Tolkien. Let's not desparage the writer because of what the director has done. But there's no indication that the director had any racist tendencies, either.

Tolkien did not describe skin color in his heroes. That shows that it didn't matter to him. It could very well show--as I think it does, but that is a guess, too--that he merely assumed a color due to his upbringing, environment, and training without really thinking about it. That's not racism, and LOTR in no way is encouraging a racial issue or point of view. It simply doesn't exist in LOTR and in Tolkien's thinking. Afroman is seeing what doesn't exist. Perhaps that's fantasizing about a fantasy?

Moreover, Tolkien's whole world was white. He was white. His default imagery was white. That doesn't mean that he thought white better than color. He simply didn't think abou tit at all. Read his other works and see that neither he nor any of his friends were either racial in any way. They merely didn't think about it. That means that their sensitivities--as all sensitivities in other times will be--were different. They didn't address the issue of race. They didn't htink abo tit at all.

What they did think about were issues that cross all color lines and are virtues in all cultures and to all people. Don't the sisters ask for men who act like Aragorn: faithful, patient, virtuous, doing the right thing? When he thought Arwen was leaving him, he didn't act the player with Eowyn. He pursued the point of his life--to be the rightful king--and he turned down what he could have done but shouldn't have done. He took himself and Eowyn seriously enough to do what was right by them both.

What black woman wouldn't want a black man like that?

That's the point of LOTR: courage (who was it who said that courage is only fear hanging on for a few more minutes? That's what the heroes of LOTR do). To miss that point while looking at the colors on the screen is to misunderstand Tolkien and virtue.
Melesi, it is becoming increasingly clear that you are not Black. I don't believe you have said you are not Black, nor have I read where you stated otherwise. Your deliberate avoidance of the topics in the issues form confirms this and the post above solidifies it. When ever I visit conservative forums, the local Negroes on those boards always announce their Blackness when they are in agreement with the white folk on those boards as to say their Blackness does not prevent them from believing and articulating white thought. However, non-Blacks rarely announce they are not Black on forums catered to the Black community, they usually just slip right in and offer us their opinions and as times past it become increasingly clear that they are not Black, hence my opening line of this paragraph.

In order for racism to be present, intent is not necessary; the only requirement is that the end result of ones actions are equivalent to acts of racism. So while you excuse the director of this movie of having racist intent, the question is does the end result of his work equate to racism. If he purposefully or unconsciously made all things bad darker and all things of good white, what would you call that? The offending party is never aware that someone will take offence to their actions until those whom are offended by it speak up. I have examples if you need examples but you should already know that because the director did not have racist intentions does not mean the end result of his work is not in fact racist as seen through the eyes of those who are offended by it. Maybe the director is a victim of his environment and upbringing, either way it is clear to those offended by his work how he see darker people versus white people.

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem

[This message was edited by Faheem on January 02, 2004 at 04:26 PM.]
///////In order for racism to be present, intent is not necessary; the only requirement is that the end result of ones actions are equivalent to acts of racism.////

That is a very pertinent statement.

I used to work at a television station, and was 'friends' with a young caucasian woman. We went to lunch, exchanged cards, gifts, told dirty jokes for laughs/to get through the day etc.etc.

One day, the station was scheduling 'Dirty Dancing', and I was responsible for putting tapes in the production room. My 'friend' we'll call her sherri, was visiting some mutual 'friends'/co-workers', in thr production room (also White), and Sherri asks me what movie was I putting up. I state the movie, (Dirty Dancing)to which her reply is, (paraphrasing) "oh yeah, the one with that little annoying Jew girl in it. "Is'nt she just like a little 'snitchy jew". I was like WTF! She had never expressed any overt or covert racism towards me, but I knew that her father was of German ancestry and she regaled me of tales of his 'hatred' for 'minority' people, and how she didn't like him, and how all of the neighbors (Whites) hated him and so on). Fruit do'nt fall far from the tree evidently.

He was an older father, (this was in the early 90's, she was at that time, late teens, early 20's, her dad who had died when she was 11, died at the age of 80!, so, way older).

Anyway, I made no comment, but from then on I changed my interpersonal interaction with her, because I felt that if she was comfortable saying something like to me,(which I am sure was a slip of the lip) and around other of her White peers, I could imagine what she said about me behind my back; because another time, (this was an ABC affiliate) the station was running a promo for the Oprah Winfrey show, and she was running some copies off of 'Oprah' on the xerox equip to submit to the press.

I was walking by the room, and heard all of this hysterical laughter, I poke my head in and, there she is with other WF, and I ask what they are laughing at, and she shows me the picure, of Oprah, of which she had pushed dark, so Oprah's face was real, real dark. That is what they were laughing at? And......she had no problem showing me the picture, and telling what was so funny! I do'nt think that I was overly sensitive, because I told her that that was not in my cadre of humor. She said I was overly sensitive. Maybe.

Now, I know that she was not intending to reflect anything racist, but come on, the outcome was the equivalent of those 1930 and 1940's cartoons, depicting Blacks as caricatures of themselves. To her and her ilk, they were having harmless fun. to me it was so wrong, because that too was my face in the darkened picture of Oprah. I know Oprah makes millions, and can defend herself any day of the week, but I had to go there.
Ahhh.. Welcome aboard Nayo and your stories illustrate exactly what I was saying. I too can only imagine what the white girl said about Black people when you were not around. Great post..

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
Oh, please, don't make excuses for her because she appears to be "nice" and ----, she is just any empty headed little racist and she probably have said things about you that would make you skin boil when you are not ear shy of her. The, "you are being to sensitive" or the, "it was not intended to be racial" is just two of the many parts of the psych game (negroe psychology), i.e., "child psychology" that they try to play on us so we will keep our mouths shut and not complain and take any wrong doing or insult out of fear of being seen as a racist ourselves or a person that is just "using race as an excuse" to . . .
quote:
When judging a work of art from another time, it is important not to critique it only from the modern point of view.
That's some unqualified, cliche' BS. That may be something worth noting but that BS doesn't hold in all cases in all times.

That's just some excuse White people, in particular, have come up with to excuse the gross, horrific and brutal nature of the past. Juvenile logic at best.

That crap, as I have said so recently, is like a child - teen or toddler - saying, "Everybody else is doing it..." So, yeah... if you think that's something to condone in parenting, giving a pass or less than critical treatment when that Clause is used, then I guess you would think that "subject to the times" BS makes sense.

Yes, Melesi... when your daughter or young teen relative comes home and says she's gonna go to a Screw Party because It's The Latest RAVE... you know "Everybody's doing it (in her time/generation/etc.)"... just excuse that as something that you and your generation can't possibly understand and fully comment on. You know, it's like almost okay and makes a lot of sense that she would want to throw her legs wide open... That's what they do in "her time" you see...

Thanks for the "sound" principle, Melesi. I'll add this to the long list of ones you have come up with. Roll Eyes
////That's just some excuse White people, in particular, have come up with to excuse the gross, horrific and brutal nature of the past. Juvenile logic at best.////



I would not say 'excuse', but a form of 'their' "reasoning and logic" as to why people of a darker hue (Black Americans in particular) [are to be treated] must be treated as the lesser of dogs and other animals. That is what I see in the post of I forget, who posted this, but what you were referring to, that you must separate 'truth', and historical context from the here and now, in regards to Tolkien and LOTR. Oh, Tolkien was a man of his times, and, oh! you can't say that about Tolkien, because he was surely not racist. Come now. Again, as a 'classic' American racist, perhaps not. But, as a purveyor of European (White male) imperialism, of that I am sure. To the victor goes the spoils.

Someone posted 'Things Fall apart', by Chinuew Achebe, or I think that was the book, to demonstrate that Africans are similar in presenting only Africans in a 'positive' light, but, at the same time, they failed to include or mention, that, the African was 'under'British/French /Belgian/Dutch/Arab/
Portugese rule, so, what of it, if they wanted/needed to exclude imperialist forces from their literature. To the victor goes the spoils.

The hard held belief that Black Americans (nee', enslaved Africans) were genetically predisposed to stupidity (mental retardation), and that black skin was a disease! I have seen/read books from the 19th century that claimed this, and criminal behavior, began prior to slavery, gained 'scientific' precedence during the 19th century, and has ever been the view of the White American, Hispanics, and other 'late' coming immigrants to this country; which includes (sad to say) Africans from the continent, and West Indians (not all, but from my experience).

I have this perspective (I worked at Howard University several years ago), and many Africans and West Indians would throw in my face, that the reason Black Americans were made slaves in the U.S., and remained so for so long, was because, they were in fact, inferior, and of a timid and acquiescing mentality. I heard this one Nigerian prof, say that he strongly felt that colonialism should be brought back to Africa! yikes!

A Black comedian on the comedy channel, had this great bit, where he says, throughout history, words change. We no longer say, "why you scurvy knave", or, "I shant pursue this cause, less I doubt my perfidy", or some such (I can't remember exactly), but he was referring to language of the 17th and 18th century, and how people spoke in the United States even during the civil war days. "My dearest, my pulse quickens, at the thought of your eyes, agazin upon my countenance", ala, Cold Mountain (another treatise in racialist dogma of the times).

And he goes on, we no longer refer to men and women of 'means' as lord and lady, landowner, of the gentry etc.etc.etc. Language changes, with the times..... and then he says, "with that said, whycome the word nigger is just as powerful today as it was during slavery? Why, is the word 'nigger' still relevant for public and social ridicule and disparagement? It has been 200 to 300 years since slavery, and most of the language used during those days have dropped away, but, the word (noun? Pronoun?) 'nigger' holds fast. It has now received abreviation to allow for its use in the mass media, hence, 'the auspicious use of, the "N" word. Historical context notwithstanding, but this word persists from the agrarian age, the industrial age, Post-modernism, the computer age. Now, that is staying power.

White Americans don't refer to themselves as cracka's, nor do Black people refer to them as such, accept in some of the rap genre. People of Mexican or Spanish descent do'nt refer to themselves as 'wet-backs', nor do you hear others refer to them as such, not matter how heated arguments are on the subject of immigration and the borders. However, for the most part, the word 'nigger' has the same bloody power as it did 100 years ago. And I bloody well do't like it.

It remains 'relevant' today because racism from that era, is the same,with regards to the Black American, but with laws against holding people for servitude, and not allowing them to sit on public transportation, and eat in restaurants, and room in hotels/motels.

Most of the words from days gone by have changed, but the hearts of man did not. Plus the industrial age and the computer age no longer 'requires' that slave labor exist.
The word 'nigger' is relevant today, because it is a curs(or) or tell-tale marker of what remains. It's sorta like that test when someone has been murdered, and the 'killer' wipes up the blood, or so they think, and, then the CSI forensics people can spray that 'stuff' on places in the crime scene, and then, when you turn out the lights, you can see where the blood splatters are! The blood DNA remains! That is so amazing, but I digress.

Well, the word nigger is like that to me.

It is the 'blood' word, or, the word that has our blood splatter and the blood of our 'enslaved' ancestors who'se blood fertilized this nation to greatness. And, the subliminal text of LOTR is like that. To me. I may be stretching, but, it doesn't take much to use critical thinking skills, to see the 'subtle' demarcations of 'humanity' between the Hobbits, the Elves of Merkwin, Gandulf the Grey, and Gandulf the White, and the 'race of man' ie. Aragorn etc, the difference(s) between the Hurak-Uai(sp) and the Nazguls, and the Orcs. True, it is a fantastic (FANTASTIC!) work of film, but,I only have my instinct or gut reaction and American education to work with here, and that is what I see.
quote:
I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other.
I do.Nothing in Hollywood is done by accident.Wink

The Cocoa Lounge
OK! all i have to say is read the original Lord Of The Rings books. Jackson is actually very close to the descriptions in the book. Actually, I think he tries to soften them. The descriptions in the book are very clear on the skin color and origin of the people from the south (with the oliphaunts) and the people from the east. IN the movies however, if you look closely, they are white people dressed up and painted as people from these places. but, ill say it again read the books! its definetely there.

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