Whitewashing: Stealing our stories from real life to fiction.
Just to build on that lovely post below by the original Angry Black Woman: Can the less knowledgeable among us netizens FINALLY get it through their skulls that the argument that anime characters are white is WRONG like a very wrong thing now? Please? I mean, seriously?
Are anime characters caucasian or japanese
The description rebuts several of the more irritating comments made by those who are invested in the pale skin and multicolored hair are the sole province of white people. Frankly I have had to it with the fucking bullshit ignorance that so many people are showing.
Also, please note that Avatar: the Last Airbender is an American cartoon not an anime. Anime is animation from JAPAN. No where else on the planet. Wikipedia has got a damned informative article on it, please, please get thou to reading it. (And while you are at it, Wiki will even enlighten you about manwha which are comics of South Korea!)
And now that we’ve settled that ignorant argument, time to demolish the BS nonsense that there aren’t enough POC actors and actresses to take on those roles that they keep giving the white people. That too, is some old BULLSHIT. Here be the Master list of Chromatic Re/Casting Posts, which was made as response to the various conversations that have been taking place with regard to racebending and whitewashing and stereotyping and just plain not telling stories about chromatic Americans, or anyone else.
Aha, you say gleefully, but some of these actors i don’t know! Yeah? Well how the fuck do you think you are gonna get to knowing them if they do not get freaking cast in the films? Precisely HOW do new white actors get known? They got auditioned and cast, yes? Who knows much about this Andrew Garfield fellow that has been cast as the new white Spiderman guy from Britain? Who knew much about Zac Efron before High School musical? That Shia LaBeouf guy? Used to act in Malcolm in the Middle. Then he got cast into better and better parts, til he got Transformers and Indiana Jones and became a household name. Write good shit, put good PoC actors in them and hey presto! There will be more household POC names!
And don’t TELL ME this fucking NONSENSE that Hollywood does it because of profit-only, free market, blah blah blah ostrich-in-the-sand BULLSHIT.
And yet, Women can’t vote with their dollars in film and TV because there is this fucking ridiculous myth that men won’t watch girl stuff but women will watch guy stuff. And Latinos buy more movie tickets per person than any other segment of the U.S. population but somehow its STILL a load of white people at the movieplex. And stop fucking pretending as if men don’t watch women’s movies, or people across the color spectrum won’t turn out for a good movie.
On top of that, the week would not be complete without this same kind of RACIST BULLSHIT coming from the direction of books. My dear readers. Meet Cindy Pon’s book The Silver Phoenix. Gorgeous cover, yes? With an actual Asian girl to boot. Ahhh. Take a look at the cover for the paperback version and the sequel Notice something different? Why yeeeessssss THERE BE WHITE PEOPLE ON THE COVER!!!!! Why? Well see. Barnes and Noble decided to take limited quantities of the book. And Borders decided not to stock it at ALL. So, naturally, the sales were not good. But the publishers like the story! So what do they do? They go the tried and true route…lets stick some whites on the cover and see if the bookstores will like it better THIS time. Oh yeah. You know, I am still unable to discuss this without having a rage blackout, but luckily, many people have written thoughtful and coherent posts on why this system is WRONG WRONG WRONGITY WRONG and so I give you the linkspam of the Silver Phoenix Whitewash affair.But! If you are frustrated like I am , there is something that you can do. A call to arms was made, requesting that since it is quite a good book, if you are so inclined, you can buy the original, gorgeously illustrated hardcover, review it, and link your review to the comments of this post. This organizing was successful in convincing Amazon to restock some few days later, so….
But then its not surprising that Hollywood and the book industries that steal and co-opt our fictional stories. Afterall, Western news media quite happily distorts and erases and places white saviours at the center of POC real-life stories quite often. Take for example, one Nicolas Kristof, famous columnist of the New York Times, self proclaimed crusader for women’s rights.
Mr. Kristof, was recently tackled on the fact that he hinged his stories on white saviours and their herculean labors on behalf of those poor, downtrodden brown citizen majority countries that he reports from
Texas in Africa has the story in white man’s burden
Back in May, @viewfromthecave tweeted that The Kristof was taking questions from readers to be answered via YouTube. This is the question I asked:
Your columns about Africa almost always feature black Africans as victims, and white foreigners as their saviors.
There was more to it than that, but I can’t find the original post. At any rate, the gist of the question was, “Why not feature more of the work that Africans are doing to solve their countries’ problems?”
And, lo and behold, Kristof answered. NYT Picker thankfully has the transcript for those of us on dial-up connections:
This is a really important issue for a journalist. And it’s one I’ve thought a lot about.
I should, first of all, from my defensive crouch, say that I think you’re a little bit exaggerating the way I have reported. Indeed, recently, for example, among the Africans who I have emphasized, the people who are doing fantastic work are the extraordinary Dr. Dennis Mukwege in the Congo, Edna Adan in Somaliland, Valentino Deng in Sudan, Manute Bol in Sudan, and there are a lot of others.
But I do take your point. That very often I do go to developing countries where local people are doing extraordinary work, and instead I tend to focus on some foreigner, often some American, who’s doing something there.
And let me tell you why I do that. The problem that I face — my challenge as a writer — in trying to get readers to care about something like Eastern Congo, is that frankly, the moment a reader sees that I’m writing about Central Africa, for an awful lot of them, that’s the moment to turn the page. It’s very hard to get people to care about distant crises like that.
One way of getting people to read at least a few grafs in is to have some kind of a foreign protagonist, some American who they can identify with as a bridge character.
And so if this is a way I can get people to care about foreign countries, to read about them, ideally, to get a little bit more involved, then I plead guilty.
As NYT Picker aptly notes, the persons to whom Kristof refers have either not been mentioned in his print columns or are typically only mentioned briefly.Texas in Africa proceeds to fisk this white liberal racist BS as it deserves
The funny thing about Hollywood and journalists like Mr. Kristof is that they consider themselves liberal. Its just those middle of the country white people who won’t and cannot deal with minorities not being shown in a stereotypical manner without some white guy leading them, and saving them. The argument is usually something like this “We know that you all are people with lives and triumphs and shit, but its all those other white people. And you know, we gotta make a buck! And we are helping to fix your problems right? So it all works out in the end?” No. No, it doesn’t work out in the end. It’s exploitation. Its hurt. Its BULLSHIT. We don’t need no white intermediaries to make the story more palatable to your reasers, Mr. Kristof. we are quite interesting and compelling as human beings triumphing over fucked up circumstances all on our won. And I am going to continue the reclaiming process now.
Here is a small selection from IPS News of women in their own societies, kicking ass and taking names, with not a bloody white American saving a one. Women in economics and politics around the world Want more? Go to IPS news’ main page and dedicated filter…Gender Wire
No more stealing.
No more lies.
No more erasing.
Everyone deserves to have their stories told correctly.