Hi all,

I’m here to talk briefly about racism.  Do not get me wrong it think that any kind of discrimination of any kind is wrong regardless if it’s based on sex, gender, sexual identity/orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, etc.  But the kind of discrimination I will be discussing with is about racism (discrimination based on race which is defined by skin color) and how it is viewed through the movie called “The Last Airbender”.  The movie and Nickelodeon’s animation series.  In the story, there are 4 nations based on which element they can manipulate (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) and the Avatar can manipulate all 4 of the elements.  He wakes up after 100 years and finds out that the fire nation began a war (in the movie because they do not want to listen to the spirits and in the animation series because they wanted to share their prosperity to other nations) and Aang (the avatar) has to stop them and defeat the fire lord.

But some critics is calling out the racism card on the movie (see http://www.dailyfinance.com/article/critics-airbender-and-prince-were/1080782/).  The ones who are making this claim are saying that the movie has been whitewashed meaning that many actors and actresses are Caucasian and other races have not been included or downplayed.  They claim that in the animated series on Nickelodeon, that it revolved around Asian characters and martial arts that were based out of China and Japan in that part of Asia.  They further claim that in the movie that the characters were white (or mostly white) that it takes away from cultural diversity and because of this that the movie is racist.

But now I would like to call bullshit on this racism deal.  Today, I saw the movie “The Last Airbender” and saw the animated series.  Ok, yes it is based on Asian cultures that can be construed reasonably from China and Japan based on martial arts and skin tone.  Let me tell you one thing, there was NO RACISM IN THE MOVIE.  From what I saw, you had a couple of supporting actors with small roles with blacks, a handful of main characters were Indian, some were asian and yes there were whites in the cast as well.  There is no reason to warrant to the claim that the casting or anything like that was racist in any sort what so ever.  Considering that the movie followed season 1 of the series so well in respect with utilizing martial arts, cultural diversity, and ways of thinking about there being a spirit world and following a different way thinking beyond a white washed, Americanized movie that the racism claim does not apply to this film what so ever.

Furthermore,  I feel that the term “racism” is thrown out way to much these days.  For example, during the 2008 election, you were a racist if you do not support Barack Obama or your a racist just because you do not support the NAACP or fill in your own example here.  Point being that “If you do not support equality for racial minorities or cause or whatever, then your a racists”.  It down plays the argument and makes genuine cases of racism less believable (especially if you call everything racism).   Furthermore, racism comes in many forms other than whites “hating” non whites, can always have blacks hating whites (the so called “reverse racism”), Latinos hating lets say Asians or some racial group hating another (regardless if it the majority to the minority).  So reserve this “racism” term to where it actually applies rather than throwing it out there just because of public relations and perception.  It is ridicules.  I am not a prejudicial person nor one that discriminates for or against someone else but this is reticules that this term is thrown out as often as today’s local newspaper.

Steve

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