Mar. 27th, 2017

rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
There's a Big Part of Rural America that Everyone's Ignoring

In defining rural white America as rural America, pundits, academics and lawmakers are perpetuating an incomplete and simplistic story about the many people who make up rural America and what they want and need. Ironically, this story — so often told by liberals trying to explain the recent rise in undisguised nativism and xenophobia — serves to re-privilege whiteness. Whiteness is assumed; other races are shoved even further to the margins.

But the version of The Wire some folks view is totally emptied of its attempt at raising consciousness and compassion and has instead become a kind of Boy Scout merit badge for public good. As if seeing the show were itself a political gesture.
The Problem With Serial And The Model Minority Myth

The problem with the model minority myth — besides the fact that it stereotypes and dehumanizes millions of people — is that by its very nature it requires a “bad” minority to balance the scales. Asians in the U.S. didn’t go from being “The Heathen Chinee” to “The Asian-American Whiz Kids” because white Americans suddenly realized we were good at math. Instead, championing Asian-Americans (including South Asians like Adnan) has been a useful way to denigrate black Americans and deny the continuing existence and impact of racism. If Asians can succeed, the myth’s champions insist, that proves racism is over and black people are responsible for their own failure to thrive. It’s an insidious and dismayingly persistent narrative, one that remains a linchpin of ongoing anti-black racism among whites and non-black people of color.
The 7 Strategies for Defending Your Problematic TV Show or Movie and Why They Don't Work

Let’s accept in good faith that you’re being sincere when you say you want to avoid perpetuating an egregious stereotype. And yes, your source material was definitely offensive. But rewriting the character so that they are played by an actor of an entirely different race is at best, not a very creative solution, and at worst, just plain lazy. If you are trying to fix the sins of screenwriters past, why not instead expend a little thought and energy to give the existing character a more considered, nuanced update without changing their race?


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