Thursday, December 16, 2010

Facepalm of the Day #34 - Racists Totally Freak Out Over Idris Elba Playing Norse God in 'Thor' - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

I want to join Comics Alliance on their condemnation of  truly ignorant folks who want  to protest against casting a Black man as a Norse god in the upcoming Thor movie!  If any idea deserves a Facepalm this is definitely one of them. The piece is so fantastic, I want to just annotate it and add some other ideas to piggy back off a truly great post. My comments are in red.

Did you know that the totally made-up-by-medieval-drunks gods of Norse mythology were all white? Literally none of them were African. We didn't know that, but thanks to the prodigious efforts of the Council of Conservative Citizens and their friends at, the truth has been revealed: Heimdall, Sentry of Asgard, was white and Idris Elba, the English actor hired to portray Heimdall in Marvel Studios' Thor, is black! BLACK!
A real tragedy is that Idris Elba is a really good actor who seems to be able play many roles very different from himself. I mean in all the American roles he has done, I thought he was born and raised in the United States not the UK. The thing is recall that Anthony Hopkins was hired to play Odin, partly because of his "Englishness" (I think, given in America we think kings should have a British accent), which Idris Elba has in his real life and bearing!!!!  I am expecting him to be great in the role.
The CCC's unhappiness with Elba's appearance in Thor jibes with the material on its Statement of Principles page, where they assert that "the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people... that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character," and thus "oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind... to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races." The Statement also makes plain the organization's desire for the United States to be extremely Christian, curmudgeonly, and for its citizens to appear as hobbit-like as possible. 
"Principles"? Truly sad. The really stupid part is the statement  that said the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people... that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character," and thus "oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind... to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races." I have truly not heard many things more stupid than this.  Hadn't they heard: Europe is not a single nation, culture,  Besides, although Christianity is definitely true, it isn't currently the best description of America. And about "hobbit-like" appearance, the article's author has a point.

As part of its tireless efforts to those ends, the CCC -- recognized as a genuine hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- wrote on its website that Marvel has "declared war on Norse mythology" with "an insulting multi-cultural makeover." Not a fan of Marvel in general, the CCC added that the publisher already "attacks conservative values" and "now mythological gods must be re-invented with black skin."

I'm amazed that they think that all European ideas have no blackness. It has been already said that perhaps some of the knights from medieval times were black and let's not forget that all the oldest images and pictures of Jesus and his contemporaries were depicted with dark skin. 

Marvel is similarly criticized on the politically conservative, whose motto is "Keep social engineering out of European mythology." Apparently unaware that Marvel orchestrated an elaborate and embarrassing plotline by which Spider-Man and his wife made a deal with the devil to erase their marriage from memory rather than see the iconic superhero suffer the destructive liberal indignity of divorce, put forth the following indictment of the publisher:
Marvel is headed by radical left-wingers who insert their ideologies and agendas into their comic books and movies.

In February 2010, the TEA Party movement was viciously attacked in an issue of Captain America. Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Qesada publicly defended the issue.

Marvel creator and front man Stan "Lee" Lieber is a notorious left-winger and financier of left-wing political candidates.

I find the accusations truly horrendous that people really think that way, especially about the Captain America remark. These guys really seem to think censorship is a good idea.

Elsewhere on the site, the author submitted that the reason "movies fail" is, "according [to] the experts," because of bad word-of-mouth. A Facebook page has been set up to help spread those bad words, and boasts a shocking 155-person "Like" count, but only a few comments.

"What is needed is a school campaign to get White kids to boycott everything that comes out of Marvel Studios," wrote a human being called Annis Isbell. Another fan of the boycott, James Hick wrote, "Need to try and get black sepratists in on this to. Let them know that marvel is trying to negate and down play their racial culture & heritage and saying by default blacks are cultureless unless they imbrace the white mans culture. That would sit a black back lash," which we suppose is an almost utopian sentiment for someone whose Facebook profile pic is the Confederate flag. 

All I can say is...those are terrible thoughts!

For his part, Idris Elba has playfully acknowledged the obvious incongruity between his complexion and what is conventionally thought to be the true appearance of a made-up mythological god who never existed. Best known for his superlative performance as Stringer Bell in HBO's The Wire and for his appearances on NBC's The Office (but identified by the CCC as "Hip Hop DJ Elba"), the performer told the UK's TV Times:
"There has been a big debate about it: can a black man play a Nordic character?" he told TV Times. "Hang about, Thor's mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That's OK, but the colour of my skin is wrong? "I was cast in Thor and I'm cast as a Nordic god," he said. "If you know anything about the Nords, they don't look like me but there you go. I think that's a sign of the times for the future. I think we will see multi-level casting. I think we will see that, and I think that's good."

Kudos to Elba! Very classy attitude. Me? I don't think the information is funny

Obviously a fierce Googlebater, the Boycott-Thor author has kept track of his site's mentions in the media, and will no doubt read this ComicsAlliance post as well. He or she accuses our friends at Spinoff Online, who also covered this story, of "childish name-calling like 'racist,'" even though Spinoff writer Kevin Melrose's post is admirably neutral in its presentation of the facts and does not include the word "racist."

The rest of the world needs to know that there is still stupidity like theirs.I mean don't hide the stupid. We need to keep in mind that it is still with us.

Our post will not be so neutral.

Mine Neither

You people at the Council of Conservative Citizens and are racists. And because you believe that "racist" is a baseless term thrown out by "left-wingers" who "can't win based on the facts," I will explain precisely why you are racists, and I will do with the most relentless logic possible.

Yup, the Council of Conservative Citizens and are indeed racists. It's not pejorative. It is a fact.

The reason Kenneth Branagh cast Stringer Bell as Heimdall in Thor is because that is awesome. Did you see the Thor trailer? Heimdall is awesome!

Heimdall is indeed awesome. Given that Heimdall is supposed to be Asgard's first line of defense against all manners of evil force bent on its destruction, an actor portraying such a character should be huge and  look like a frost giant would think twice before challenging him. Have you seen Elba? He's not a little dude. And he can be intimidating when he wants to be. Elba is awesome. That is why he got the role.

Along similar lines, the reason Mark Millar and Byran Hitch cast Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in The Ultimates is because that was awesome. Have you read The Ultimates? Have you seen Samuel L. Jackson in the Iron Man movies? He is awesome!

Agreed!!! And a very valid point. But it does bring up a very interesting point. Originally in the comic books, Fury was a white guy. I've heard very little commotion about the change in the comics or in most media in making Fury a black man now. Also in addition there didn't seem to be an issue that Kingpin was played by a black man in the Daredevil movie although the character is white in the comic books. However a few months ago when Beyonce' said she wanted to play Wonder Woman, people had problems with that. And when people said a black actor should play the new Spider-man there was a backlash. People disagreed, including myself. Why? For my part, Spider-man and Wonder Woman are very different from Nick Fury and the Kingpin in that they are way more iconic and our cultural identification with them is much stronger than with Fury or the Kingpin. In addition when their races were changed, their whole back stories  and backgrounds were changed almost that they were other characters - qualitatively - almost completely. From this point of view I have no problem with Heimdall being black. Marvel has greatly changed the Norse myths in so many way, why not change that too?  Honestly when you look at the Thor myths, Thor is kind of a jerk, not a hero as he is in the comic books - noble and courageous.

These are two stellar examples of demonstrable awesomeness, and, as such, they can only be refuted by the poisoned minds of hateful racists. While you are denying yourself what's sure to be a joyous popcorn epic in Thor and falling on the sword for the most socially, economically and politically dominant ethnicity in the world and their ridiculous ancient gods, we will be watching Chris Hemsworth (an Australian) and Idris Elba (an Englishman) bring to life one of the great American superheroes created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (JEWS!)

GAME SET AND MATCH!!!!! Ouch!!! QED!!!! You can stick a fork in that one! IT is done!

To adapt a quote from one of white culture's most celebrated and completely fake, totally made-up heroes, Buzz Lightyear: You are sad, strange little men, and you have our pity.

Way to put the nail in the coffin on a very silly arugment. I realize that some people might think that answering such foolishness is a waste. It isn't. First, such stupidity must be shown for what it is - stupid. We need to remember electing Obama President of the United States did not fix racism in this country Second, it bring up way more weightier issues. For example, earliest iconography of Jesus clearly show darker skin, and then since the Italian Renaisssance most people think Jesus had blond hair and blue eyes. It goes to what to do you think of the God you worship. I'm not arguing that Jesus was black.I don't know. No one knows what his skin color was but I think it's safe to bet against Jesus looking Aryan because the people who live in the Middle East do not look that way. Given that as a Christian I believe Jesus came in human flesh and lived as one of us for 33 years, it becomes a problem for non-White people if you want us to believe that white people is better than any other race of people. By-and-large, I think most American have grown past consciously thinking that and the Council of Conservative Citizens missed the memo.

[Via Spinoff Online]

Racists Totally Freak Out Over Idris Elba Playing Norse God in 'Thor' - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
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