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Robots in Blackface


JayC
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i completely agree with the last two posts. You are LOOKING for something to complain about because this movie wasn't based of the 1984 cartoon. And are you kidding me? There Were several more bad ethnic stereotypes on television in the 1980s. Kids don't associate the robots with racism, that's what people who spend their days looking for something that's not there do.

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Yeah, I just don't see this thread lasting very long.

 

Personally, I take the "Twins" as Michael Bay's very personal FU to the people that were upset/offended by Jazz in the first Transformers movie: "Now I'm going to make them even -more- stereotypical and let them live, to boot! Take that, fanboy losers!"

 

 

 

It's very cynical to think that people spend that much time thinking about crap like that.

 

 

 

It's sad that people can get their heads around the concept of context. It sure would save the world a whole lot of misunderstanding.

 

 

 

 

Let me give the offended some friendly advice. Watch the movie Gran Torino. See how Clint Eastwood's character is and how his neighbors choose to deal with his racist attitude. That is a perfect example of how more people need to be if they ever hope to see any kind of larger improvements in race relations.

 

All this is whole debate does is create another reason for people to find hate when there should be none.

 

 

A whole lot of grief over 2 silly characters just isn't worth it.

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Wow, you're just as racist. What's worse is you sound very educated but you still live in ignorance.

 

'If they looked and sounded white and were still stupid, I wouldn't consider it racist. Why? Because white people aren't a minority in America and white people weren't enslaved by black people for hundreds of years, followed by another hundred years of systematic oppression.'

 

Word for word, that paragraph is so racist it hurts. So if white people are displayed via a negative stereotype, it's ok and not racist?

 

Saying "It's not racist" is different from saying "It's okay." I said it could still be wrong and extremely offensive, but it wouldn't be racist. That concluscion comes from an understanding of a somewhat more nuanced definition of racism that is widely accepted in the sociological study of racial issues. It has to do with the power imbalance between a majority racial group and a minority racial group.

 

Here are a couple of decent articles that describe the differences between and explores various definitions of racism:

http://racism.suite101.com/article.cfm/can...st_whites_exist

http://racism.suite101.com/article.cfm/def...ism_other_terms

 

You and I are having a difference of definition, I think, more than anything else in terms of where your offense here seems to stem from.

 

Last I checked, 'white' encompasses germans, english, swedes, etc. And minority is a term used a group that it is in the minor. Considering after 'white', 'blacks' come SECOND after 'whites' followed by hispanics, asians, etc.

 

I'm not sure what your point is, but I agree that "white" includes people of various ethnic descents. That does not change their "race." Race and ethnicity are two different categories.

 

Also, get your facts straight. Do you know who captured your ancestors and sold them into slavery to the 'whites?' OMG, that's right, other 'blacks.' So in essence, if you want to cry foul over that, blame your ancestors for being part of a village that was conquered by someone of the SAME skin color as you yourself.

 

Well, I find it interesting that you assume I'm black. Why would you assume that, from my posts? Couldn't a white person be offended by Skids and Mudflap? Can't anyone be offended by blatant racism?

 

To address the question of black people selling other black people into slavery - yes, I'm aware that historically that occurred. I'm really scratching my head to figure out how the complicity of some Africans in the slave trade make hundreds of years of slavery and oppression "ok."

 

Lastly, systematic oppression? You know why racism won't die? Because YOU and anyone else who screams RACISM won't let it. Take a look at England. Slavery existed there but do you see them screwing each other over because of skin color? Not really. You know why? They don't talk about it nor does anyone act as though they are entitled to something based on their heritage.

 

To compare the history of slavery in the U.S. and England is laughable. They abolished it far sooner, in part because it was never a significant part of the economy in the way that America was dependent upon slavery. When England abolished slavery in 1833, there couldn't have been more than a few hundred thousand slaves in the country, and most likely siginicantly fewer (I can't find an online source for the exact amount, just a record of imports versus exports of slaves). When the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, there were nearly 4 million slaves in the United States. They truly are not comparable experiences with slavery.

 

And it sounds to me like you're a bit unfamiliar with the legacy of slavery and the perpetuation of oppressive policies that were legally enforced until 1964. See http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/ for more information. There was no such legal oppression or apartheid in England after the slaves were freed. They started the cultural healing and reunification process not only from a completely different place (in terms of numbers, manifestations of slavery, etc.) but also nearly 150 years before the United States did! Racial reunification and healing in this country did not start in any meaningful way prior to the repeal of the Jim Crow laws.

 

As soon as Americans realize that no one is entitled to anything and life is what one makes it, then the country will move forward. As long as anyone preaches inequality of any kind (positive or negative), Americans will forever have to deal with this.

 

I don't see what pushing back against racist stereotypes has to do with having a sense of entitlement. It's not preaching inequality; it's fighting inequality.

 

Racism is taught. Plain and simple. It's taught on both sides.

 

Thank you, Michael Bay, for helping us out in this respect! Here is a great satire that is precisely on point:

 

http://www.ridiculopathy.com/news_detail.php?id=2350

 

One final note: African America isn't on a map and doesn't exist. You're Americans, just like the rest of us. Get over it and move on.

 

If a person self-identifies a particular way, I'll respect that and address them in that manner unless it's obscene or offensive. There's nothing offensive about the term "African American" and the fact that for many it's the preferred descriptor makes it easy to use. I don't see why it's so hard to respect the descriptor someone has chosen for himself or herself.

 

NOTE: This was written by a true American. He was adopted and doesn't know the origin of his race, etc. This is just fine because I am who I am regardless of the color of my skin or what my ancestors dictate of me.

 

So . . . now you're saying anyone who calls him or herself "African American" isn't a "true American"? We can't be individuals with pride in our ancestry and history without failing the "true American" test? BTW, I need you to forward me a copy of the test, because I seem to have misplaced mine. Somehow, I thought being born here was sufficient! Silly me.

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If they looked and sounded white and were still stupid, I wouldn't consider it racist. Why? Because white people aren't a minority in America and white people weren't enslaved by black people for hundreds of years, followed by another hundred years of systematic oppression.

 

I'll accept that as a concession.

 

There you have it, folks. Some real nuggets of wisdom. You know, it wasn't that long ago (during the O.J. Simpson trial, as I recall) that people were offended when someone said they heard a black person's voice. The offended party (who may have been Al Sharpton) insisted that there's no way you can tell a person's race by the sound of their voice and to suggest otherwise is racist. Yet here we are, in the presence of a bona fide bigot hunter, learning that white people not only have a distinctive look, but a distinctive sound as well.

 

I'll just add this to the Things I Learned on the Internet:

 

The moon landing was a hoax.

 

Dinosaurs never existed.

 

Black people can't be racist.

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its a damned movie.. get the f**k over it already by making a big deal about it and splashing it all over the media and on forums you make it more than it should be, giving it more publicity than it deserves, is it racism? possibly, is it wrong, yes, is it worth all this bullshit? no.

its not a directors job to make sure your kids grow up with a tolerance and acceptance of other races its the parents, and that includes teching kids when to ignore ignorance when they see it and to treat all races with respect. Even when the offended races be it what ever color they are dont share the same sentiment.

 

let it go. get over it. move on.

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This link has some comments, and you can find a lot of people that agree and disagree with you, but I thought this comment in particular expressed some of what I'm trying to get at:

 

Posted by MT, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 1:14 pm Look, I'm African American and I can tell you that I don't cry racism for every single thing, in fact very rarely, but whites so easily dismiss stereo types like this. Its damaging to us in the way it burns an image of us in the minds of people. For example when you think of other races what image comes to mind? Your views are built over time to a large extent based on what you have seen on TV and movies. Now when you think of blacks what comes to mind? 9 out of 10 times we are depicted as stupid, jokesters, unreliable. Would you hire us?

 

http://www.theweek.com/article/index/97976...e_Fallen_racist

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I saw the movie...So did my kids....the people in the theater laughed the most when Mudflap and Skids spoke...oh and when Sam's mom had anything to say...They were funny...the things they said were funny...and most everyone in the theater, even some of the younger kids, probably have heard some of the terms used by Mudflap and Skids prior to the movie.

 

The facial expressions on Mudflap and Skids piss me off. Not because an implied racial stereotype is represented by the faces, but because other than the goofy faces the toys are actually really decent figures. Good transformations, strong figures, goofy heads....Makes no sense except that if you put a strong face on the same body, made everything they said "non-ebonic", and made them...let's say like Ironhide....well Ironhide isn't funny...so the comic relief that breaks up the film is no longer comic relief. I suppose then the film would be too violent...Who cares...Watch the movie....like the movie....if an Autobot talks like a G from the Hood then my take on how kids can interpret that is that anyone, from any walk of life, whether it be dumb, smart, tall, short, fat, skinny, black, white, straight buck teeth, crooked buck teeth...can be a hero! Look past the package at what is inside...Don't judge a book by it's cover....It's what's inside that counts...In the movie Mudflap and Skips were Autobots....and they were Heros....That's what matters.

 

The Bugs Bunny cartoon...Speedy Gonzales...and all other Loony Toons cartoons, or other cartoons removed from the air because of a decision making person being "Offended" is just sad. The cartoons are funny....were funny, and kids of today will never be exposed to them to make the choice for themselves. They will sheltered away from the images and will be blindsided later.

 

Go out, buy the Twins figures, along with the complete original set of Loony Toons on DVD, and then send your kids out to play Dodge ball or Spread Eagle on the playground, while they dream of aspirations of being Valedictorian of their High school which may or may not exist due to unhealthy competition among peers.

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I was quite off-put by the way in which the two transformers were potrayed. My first thaughts on the twins and thier comic relief in the upcomming movie were "What could be the worst that can happen? I'll be fine with what ever Bay does with them, so long as it's not racist." He did just that. He pulled a 'Jar-Jar.' I was so hopeing that exactly this wouldn't happen. @grumpy@ I was pretty hung-over that day, and the two 'mistrel 'bots' nearly ruined the whole thing for me. They certantly ruined it for my parents @hmmm@

 

The next day a thaught back at the movie. As anoying and pointless as the two robots were, they were just there for sh*ts and gigles as two terminaly stupid transformers. If the had been played with an average white american acent, would people have found it offensive? I doubt it. This was simply a choise of characterisation by the voice actors to make them funny, even though it came off in bad taste. They were just trying to have a couple of idiots who were funny to a younger audience, and they were. Even though I could barley understand what they were saying half the movie, the kid behind me just wouldn't stop laughing every time they were on screen (I got him back by yelling DEVASTATOR!! @smilepunch@ ).

 

Although the two 'bots braught down a realy good (notice I didn't say great) movie, I wouldn't let them coulor your whole oppinion of it. If anything should coulor your oppinion of the movie, it's how easily devastator was deveated @grumpy@

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I just want to put this out there for a second:

 

Assuming the twins do not perpetrate a racist stereotype, and yet have been heavily criticized for perpetrating a racist stereotype... would it be appropriate to say that at the very least, the filmmakers should have demonstrated greater sensitivity in their portrayal of these two characters for purposes of avoiding said controversy?

 

Or would it be more accurate to say that virtually all criticism of the characters specifically and the movie in general stems from:

 

  • Film critics that are prejudicial toward the work of Michael Bay,
  • Fans that are upset by the lack of adherence to the original cartoon,
  • People who are looking to cry racism for no other reason than to stir up controversy,
  • All of the above?

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If they looked and sounded white and were still stupid, I wouldn't consider it racist. Why? Because white people aren't a minority in America and white people weren't enslaved by black people for hundreds of years, followed by another hundred years of systematic oppression.

 

I'll accept that as a concession.

 

There you have it, folks. Some real nuggets of wisdom. You know, it wasn't that long ago (during the O.J. Simpson trial, as I recall) that people were offended when someone said they heard a black person's voice. The offended party (who may have been Al Sharpton) insisted that there's no way you can tell a person's race by the sound of their voice and to suggest otherwise is racist. Yet here we are, in the presence of a bona fide bigot hunter, learning that white people not only have a distinctive look, but a distinctive sound as well.

 

I'll just add this to the Things I Learned on the Internet:

 

The moon landing was a hoax.

 

Dinosaurs never existed.

 

Black people can't be racist.

 

Actually white people were kept as slaves by black people for hundreds of years. Read a history of Africa or the Middle East. Admittedly they kept black slaves as well.

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I am and will continue to be amused by the fact that most, if not all, of the people crying racism over Skids and Mudflap are, in fact, white people. There's so much overcompensation going on in debates like this...it's amazing. You don't have to prove you're not racist by losing your #$@# over something like this and hoping Al Sharpton calls you and thanks you personally for doing it, all because you feel guilty for the word that pops up into the back of your head when you see something or someone that fits into the narrow-minded stereotype you're so ashamed of believing in.

 

Methinks the Caucasians doth protest too much.

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If they looked and sounded white and were still stupid, I wouldn't consider it racist. Why? Because white people aren't a minority in America and white people weren't enslaved by black people for hundreds of years, followed by another hundred years of systematic oppression.

 

I'll accept that as a concession.

 

There you have it, folks. Some real nuggets of wisdom. You know, it wasn't that long ago (during the O.J. Simpson trial, as I recall) that people were offended when someone said they heard a black person's voice. The offended party (who may have been Al Sharpton) insisted that there's no way you can tell a person's race by the sound of their voice and to suggest otherwise is racist. Yet here we are, in the presence of a bona fide bigot hunter, learning that white people not only have a distinctive look, but a distinctive sound as well.

 

I'll just add this to the Things I Learned on the Internet:

 

The moon landing was a hoax.

 

Dinosaurs never existed.

 

Black people can't be racist.

 

Actually white people were kept as slaves by black people for hundreds of years. Read a history of Africa or the Middle East. Admittedly they kept black slaves as well.

 

Back then the definition of race was not really as clear cut...or even in the same manner...as they are in America. I mean, look at the Berbers...

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Denis Leary needs to release his book "Shut the F*#k up!" seriously, this is the most ridiculously stupid thing Ive ever read. This is why I can no longer deal with hippy-liberal-douche bags anymore...if you wanna make the world so PC and take all the fun out of every single thing then go f yourself please...this is transformers please f off!!!

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Also, Skids and Mudflap are a representation of a culture, not a people. If you look at the way they act and your mind automatically assumes they're black, well...what does that say about you?

 

I know plenty of non-black people who act like that. It's much more about where and how you grow up, not what color your skin is. If you're upset about the portrayal of the culture, fine...but to automatically jump to the racist argument shows me that whoever's throwing out the race card has some issues of their own.

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Also, Skids and Mudflap are a representation of a culture, not a people. If you look at the way they act and your mind automatically assumes they're black, well...what does that say about you?

 

I know plenty of non-black people who act like that. It's much more about where and how you grow up, not what color your skin is. If you're upset about the portrayal of the culture, fine...but to automatically jump to the racist argument shows me that whoever's throwing out the race card has some issues of their own.

 

You are 100% correct Zombie. This is getting blown waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion. They're dumb robots who think they're cool. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Im Jewish but you dont see me getting all up and arms about Ferangi in Star trek do you? And yes they are a stereotypical race that seems like a play on jews. Do I give a #$@#? No, I love Star trek and i love transformers who cares? Besides, dont you remember jazz in the original G1 series? I thought he was going to shine Optimus Primes shoes most the time...quit taking things so seriously and make fun of yourselves and others. No need to get so sanctimonious over this...

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In all honesty a lot of the previous G1 characters were really just extreme caricatures... think about it. Seaspray, Powerglide, Warpath, Jazz, Blurr, Wheelie, Ironhide, Hound, Inferno, Beachcomber, Blaster... I could probably go on forever. I think that it was clear in the first movie when the Autobots confirmed that they learned the English Language via the World Wide Web that Michael Bay and his team were trying to appeal to a youth audience. Skids and Mudflap in my eyes should be forgiven, If Michael Bay justified the gold tooth as based off of Rapper T-Pain and the can't read off of Kanye West's VH1 Storytellers where he said that he doesn't read often, would there be an uproar? I agree that it was a mistake and these characters come off as a offensive, but there is always another side.

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Look, if black people are offended then perhaps they should blame the rap/hip hop culture that inspired characters like this.

 

 

Ultimately that's what has spawned all of this.

 

 

I know this, I've seen FAR worse stereotypical all black t.v. shows that painted black characters in much the same way. Why aren't the same people getting angry over those???

 

 

 

 

 

Every ethnic group has gone through rough times, and many still do go through tough times. You don't see Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Jewish (and so on) groups complaining all the time over characters that depict them in a "hurtful way." At least if you do, it's not often enough to remember.

 

Nobody can still give a good answer as to exactly how any of this hurts one personally.

 

I didn't see, hear, or think myslef....WOW those black-bots were funny! And I can't see how in any shape way or form that that could have any impact on what I think of black people.

 

 

Only ONE THING matters in terms of how people view those of other races, or simply any individual and that's on how they are as people or as an individual. YOU make the difference in what people think, not some silly robotic characters on screen.

 

If you really think these silly things negatively impact a race in the eyes of others, you're wrong and you think too much of yourselves.

 

At some point people have to learn to let this crap go. If not, YOU are the ones feeding the hate machine!!!

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oh good lord ITS NOT RACIST! my friend didnt get upset cus thats how he acts and his friends (and my friend is black) i think people get uppity a lil too quickly. get over it people! yeeesssh! the sad truth is-- and i hope i can make this clear...THATS HOW THEY ACT IN THE MEDIA THATS HOW THEY ACT AROUND MY NEIGHBORHOOD THATS IS APART OF AMERICAN CULTURE and unlike some aferican americans my friend isn't all pissy about it.

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Ender,

 

I respect your opinions about the movie BUT GOOD LORD YOUR RANT MAKES NO SENSE.

 

THIS IS A MOVIE ABOUT FICTIONAL, CARTOON CHARACTERS.

 

Do you honestly think that the kids who see this movie are going to suddenly think "Hey, robots are acting like this or that so I'm going to start acting that way too"???? No, they aren't. They're going to think they're funny and entertaining and eventually forget about them completely.

 

These were FUNNY, SILLY characters that sounded and acted like a mixture of different stereotypes, not just BLACKS. I don't know why you're making such a big deal about this but it's stupid.

 

You and I both know that movies are made to entertain and THAT'S IT. I could name numerous other movies that made fun of stereotypes, some of which you probably really like.

 

SO GET OVER IT.

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Im Jewish but you dont see me getting all up and arms about Ferangi in Star trek do you? And yes they are a stereotypical race that seems like a play on jews. Do I give a #$@#? No, I love Star trek and i love transformers who cares? Besides, dont you remember jazz in the original G1 series? I thought he was going to shine Optimus Primes shoes most the time...quit taking things so seriously and make fun of yourselves and others. No need to get so sanctimonious over this...

 

 

 

 

Exactly! I don't want to hear people use the rationale that nobody else can understand what it's like to be that type of minority.

 

No race has been more persecuted in the history of mankind than the Jews. And NOBODY has any more jokes told about them or funny characters based on them. They've handled it because through it all, they've kept their sense of humor. And it's been a strength to their people not a weakness.

 

It would seem a lot of people could stand to learn a lesson or two from them.

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