Thank you, racists

So Suzanne Collins fooled you into caring about black people. What a bitch! I mean, you only cared about Rue and Thresh’s death because you thought they were white, albeit dark-skinned white, but certainly NOT BLACK!!! (Even though their descriptions are pretty explicit in the book.) The horror! It’s as if black people had, I don’t know, feelings. Or MATTERED. As for those Hollywood assholes casting Lenny Kravitz as Cinna! How dare they? He certainly wasn’t described as black in the book! He’s one of the best characters so of course he shouldn’t be black. Black characters can only be the bad guys, or have crappy roles.

It’s the reason it’s perfectly  acceptable for kids like Trayvon Martin to be shot dead in the street with a bag of skittles. He couldn’t possibly be doing anything good. Just look at his skin. AND he was wearing a hoodie! Did you know that he was  suspended from school once and that he was giving the man who shot him attitude? It’s a wonder he wasn’t killed sooner. Right?

Thanks racists, for reminding the rest of us that hatred is alive and well, not just in a set-in-their-ways older population who grew up surrounded by separation, but also in a young, tech-savvy generation who are supposed to be more connected to a wider, and more inclusive world.

It’s good to know what you think.

Links:

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed

Witnesses in Trayvon Martin Death Heard Cries Before Shot

Reflecting on the Trayvon Martin Tragedy (letters to the editor)

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin

 

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26 thoughts on “Thank you, racists

  1. TotallyTawn says:

    Lenny Kravitz is Cinna?! Now I HAVE to see the movie! He is hella HOT!

    More on topic: I’ve been very disturbed about everyone coming out and blaming Trayvon for his death. It smacks a lot of blaming a rape victim for going and getting herself raped because she didn’t fight back harder.

  2. Gina Rucker (@TaintedFiber) says:

    I totally don’t get why these people were pissed that Rue was black. What difference did it make? It didn’t to me. And yes, I agree. Racism is alive and well and quite possibly worse than it was 20 years ago. If you have to qualify a statement by “now, I’m not racist, but…” then yeah, you are probably a racist. I live in North Carolina. I know of what I speak. And I am sorry. Humanity is falling away. The woman I work with whispers the word ‘black’. Like perhaps it’s a bad word? No. She is an idiot. Again I apologize for fools.

  3. Tracey says:

    1. Lenny Kravitz is totally hella hot.
    2. It’s also like blaming rape victims for wearing miniskirts. I think you should be able to wear whatever the hell you want, and no one should attack you.
    3. I think when your co-worker whispers “black” you should whisper “racist.”
    4. You’re probably right that racism is worse now than it was 20 years ago. Sigh.

  4. Heather says:

    I LOVED Lenny as Cinna! Can’t wait for the next movie to see him more in that role!
    Great POV. It saddens me. Saddens me that people are still racists and sexists. Sickens me too. I guess evil will always exist, I just wish it wasn’t in the form of hating people because of who they are.

  5. tinywolfwrites says:

    Hold up. I’m missing something here and I really want to understand where you’re coming from. I saw the movie (and didn’t read the books…yet). From what I saw in the movie, I took away lots of things, including the following:
    1. Katniss’ closest, non-family relationships were with Cinna, Rue and Peeta.
    2. They were all human beings (why are we even talking about their color?).
    3. Lenny Kravitz is totally hot.

    I’m horrified by the Trayvon Martin situation, but what does that have to do with the casting choices of The Hunger Games?

  6. Tracey says:

    @Tinywolf… The comparison was because some Hunger Games fans saw the movie and were outraged that some of the characters were black. Their racism was on full display on Twitter, and I feel it parallels the Trayvon Martin murder because clearly there’s a disconnect between seeing people of color as valuable. The links at the end of the post show my resources.

  7. alysonmiers says:

    Tinywolfwrites, it’s not about the casting choices, it’s about how certain fans are reacting to the casting choices. Especially after the way Collins described the characters in the text. The fact that certain characters were cast with black actors should not be a problem, but certain fans are making a problem of it.

  8. ameliajamesauthor says:

    This makes me so angry I don’t know how to respond. I’m trying to collect my thoughts, but I can’t. All I can think about is how my beautiful African-American baby girl will have to deal with this shit all her life. If anyone ever hurts her, I will respond appropriately (and not in a good way).

  9. Tracey says:

    @amelia… I was thinking this morning that I have to tell my 5 year old son that he can’t wear hoodies. Ever. He loves wearing hoodies. Even if he’s wearing a hat, he likes to have his hood up. But since he can get shot and killed for that…
    I can’t even think about it.
    I honestly just want to cry.

  10. alysonmiers says:

    If Collins’s descriptions of the characters in her books wasn’t enough to show these fans that they were reading about black people, then what else would they miss? Like, if Rue and/or Thresh had been pictured on the cover, would that have been sufficient to show the readers that, holy crap, they’ve been manipulated into caring about people with some African ancestry?! I mean, if they’d been convinced by word-of-mouth to crack open the book in the first place, would they have found a way to get around the fact that black characters were clearly depicted, and shown sympathetically?

  11. Call_Me_Bookish says:

    All of this is just so disgusting to me. What did those people think dark-skinned meant when they read the book? Between this BS and the current #WarOnWomen my online (and in-person) activism has been stretched thin. Forget picking battles, I’m going to take on all of these if it kills me.

    I agree with you. Thank you, racists, Rush, and the religious right. They keep people fighting.

  12. Tonya Rice says:

    Tracey, I saw the Hunger Games Twitter hoopla yesterday, but didn’t read it until I saw your post. I am so damned tired of that empty phrase, “I’m not racist, but…” as a permissive prelude for some folks to continue on with their core beliefs as they did in those tweets. It was most shocking because they were unapologetic and certainly not private. Crazy sh*t… crazy.

    And yes, Lenny Kravitz is hella HOT!

  13. Tracey says:

    @Call_Me… it’s exactly why I thank them. They remind us to keep vigilant about this nonsense, especially for those of us who have young kids and who may, one day, face the same tragedy as Trayvon.

    @Tonya the “I’m not racist, but…” folks are also stupid. They think people don’t see through that? Please.

  14. 2kop says:

    The sad story of Trayvon has been haunting me since I first heard about it. The comments about the Hunger games are ridiculous, but sadly prove over and over that we haven’t come as far as we hoped we had. Thank you for your post

  15. Nan says:

    Wow… It never occured to me. I did read the first book the other day, As the boys were reading it and I heard it was a little violent. I am so glad my kids grew up as Trinis, in a multicoloured family. How awful to have such a limited way of thinking that you don’t see a book character as they are described! If your mind can actually block out Rue’s colour and make you see a little white girl dying, you need to take a good look at yourself.

  16. Tracey says:

    I also feel fortunate to have grown up in Trinidad in a multi-racial family with plenty of gradations of color. I feel I wasn’t raised with all the hangups of the kids here. Unfortunately, my kids are not having the same experience. It’s tough.

  17. Deborah Batterman says:

    I confess, I managed to miss the racist stories re: Hunger Games and, now aware of them, I bristle. You would think that people who enjoy fiction have a little more imagination. So be it. But of course imagination can be distorted horribly, as it is in the smear campaign again Trayvon Martin. To end this comment on a lighter note, as I continue reading ‘The Hunger Games’, I smile every time I picture Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.

  18. Léna Roy says:

    Tracey, I was going to try to write something deep and insightful, but all I really need to say is that I heart you! Great job – these are important connections to make. Thank you!

  19. lastchance3 says:

    I loved the character of Rue in the book. She was actually the highlight of the games for me. And yes, I nearly lost it when she died. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I’m more interested to see if Rue will have the ability to make me cry. Not by the color of her skin, but by her ability as an actress. I withstood crying at Titanic, the Lion King and The Notebook so good luck with that Rue!

    While most comments are certainly and blatantly racist, there are two that i think were just shocked since they pictured someone different. We all garner a mental picture of what we think a character looks like, and when you get emotionally invested a lot of the times someone described as Rue…small, a bit fragile, makes you think of someone you nkow. Perhaps they identified her as their own sisters and saw her that way. Then were suprised that she looked completely different than what their imaginiation depicted.

    Personally, I didn’t really ever picture Rue that much as anything but a tiny girl. I pictured Thresh though….as the Incredible Hulk. He even spoke the same way in my imagination…THRESH SMASH! Don’t know why as he clearly never said that in the book and had a higher intellect.

    Lenny Kravitz I did find as an interesting choice. I’m not sure I would have cast him as Cinna, but then again I don’t know who I would have. I probably wouldn’t have casted Woody Harrelson as well. I think he’s too young for the character. In my mind, I pictured a short, stout drunkard, balding with wrinkly clothes and pit stains.

  20. Tracey says:

    I thought Harrelson was an odd choice as well, but he’s a good actor, so I’m sure he can pull it off. Kravitz as Cinna is a good one for me mostly because I like any opportunity to look at Lenny Kravitz 🙂
    It’s true that people do get a picture in their minds when they read a book that is often quite different from what’s depicted in a movie, or even on a book jacket if it’s a photo. I tend not to like photo jackets for that reason, but I also don’t get all up in arms over it. It’s just not that important.

  21. lastchance3 says:

    Random follow up: I FINALLY saw this movie. LOVED it. But I loved the book too and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t butchered. I could see how those who didn’t read the book wouldn’t enjoy the movie as much and could end up confused.

    BUT anyway, while I didn’t actually cry when Rue died. I was fighting back tears, and definitely let out a sniffle or two. The girl who played Rue did a PHENOMENAL job in the role. How anyone could not be moved by it, I do not know. She embodied it perfectly.

  22. Tracey says:

    You beat me, lastchance3, I STILL haven’t seen it. Everyone’s reviews have been great too. I really have to find a sitter this weekend and just go!

  23. abl31175 says:

    I read this before and I salute you! Give em he’ll! These people disgust me how they think things are so black and white (pun intended). Aren’t we as humans always trying to evolve?

  24. Tracey says:

    Honestly, I thought we were getting past this nonsense. I’m very sad that we’re not. When is it going to end? Ridiculous.

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