galaxy5
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Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Sun Dec 29, 2002 10:55 pm

The other day i went to watch the Lord of the Rings ' the two towers ' ( great movie by the way ) and a couple of African American youth were sitting beside me i overheard them talking and they stated " Man this movie is so racist it aint funny, how come all the good people in here are white and the Evil people are represented by the Black orcs, goblins and orichia, just look the Black characters are all comanded by soem white wizard guy and they are all stupid slave like creatures"

I dont know i didnt think of it in those terms but i guess from a black persons perspective it might seem that way. What are your Thoughts on this?
"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
 
tincan
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Sun Dec 29, 2002 11:14 pm

Black people are always complaining about racism, I guess that's how it goes. JRR Tolkien might have done that on purpose, as when he wrote the books it was a more racist time towards blacks. He wrote them just after World War 2.
 
KROC
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Sun Dec 29, 2002 11:47 pm

Black people are always complaining about racism

And Ignorance is alive and well. Thank god, becuase I was beginning to think is was dying out. Open your eyes Tincan, and maybe you will see why blacks "complain" about racism. In the meantime, enjoy your fantasy world.
 
777236ER
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:12 am

Black people are always complaining about racism

That's cos they're not as smart as us white people, Tincan.

Moron.  Insane
Your bone's got a little machine
 
tincan
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:33 am

KROC, I wasn't being racist. But going back to the comment those kids said in the theatre is something that I hear quite alot, blacks feeling like they are oppressed alot. It was just an observation, I'm not racist at all. I live near Detroit, therefore by a large black population, some of my best friends are black, I don't really care about that, some people make a big deal out of it and it's pathetic. It's just the color of their skin and that is all. I'm not living in a fantasy world, while I'm not part of the minority I have lived all over the world, I have experienced many cultures and am not one of those stereotypical Americans that confuses Sweden with Switzerland and thinks "Yurop" only has cheese and snow.

 
KROC
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:42 am

Tincan. While I do believe that black people tend to push the so called race card more times than it is appropriate, for someone like me, or you, or anyone else not in their postion to say they "complain" about racism is pure ignorance. My ex-wife is black, we spent a few years in good-ole-boy country in Mississippi and Georgia, and sorry killa, but racism is alive and well. You may not realize it, but your statements are based in bigotry. I applaud you for the fact that someone's skim color does not make a difference on how you judge them, but fact of the matter is, for a large percentage of us, skin color does seem to matter...and its sad. Images of the white hat is good, black hat is bad, the villians and criminals in the Rings movie are black are all stereotypes, and they do nothing to dispell the image of black being bad. Being a white boy living in suburbia Detroit, you have no idea about the things a black person say from the ghetto has to experience, and that is why your comments are bread out of ignorance.
 
777236ER
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:43 am

Are you trying to dig a hole? Whether you think Europe is Yurop makes no difference. Phrases like "Black people are always complaining about racism" come straight from the 50s dude.

going back to the comment those kids said in the theatre is something that I hear quite alot

Oh, quite a lot now? Not all the time like you said before. Ok.

blacks feeling like they are oppressed alot

Maybe because they still are...

It was just an observation, I'm not racist at all.

Because it's an observation it makes it alright? I could "observe" that all Mexicans are smelly stupid people who's only goal in life is to come illegally to the US and mooch off the government. That's not racist because it's an observation?

I don't really care about that, some people make a big deal out of it and it's pathetic.

Sometimes it is a big deal.

I have experienced many cultures and am not one of those stereotypical Americans that confuses Sweden with Switzerland and thinks "Yurop" only has cheese and snow.

I'm sure you've lived all over the place in your 16-20 years. Making a comment like "all blacks complain about racism" in Europe would more than likely get your ass kicked.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Hepkat
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:46 am

I've began noticing over the years Hollywood's tried and tested stereotypes myself. In animation and fantasy/sci-fiction films, "evil" characters are usually dark and unattractive. If the bad guys are white, then they'll either have a British, or more commonly a German accent or name. The hero is almost always male, and he always gets the girl. No matter how independent and strong minded she is, she always unexplicably falls for the hero. Heroines are very, very rarely found in Hollywood films, and if they are, they're usually dependent on some guy.

No wonder I've been drawn more and more to independent and international films as of late.
 
AerLingus
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:58 am

Here's my take on it...
The colour white frequently represents purity and dark colours like black represent darkness and evil. These colours generally illicit those kinds of feelings in the human mind. None of the villains in the film are actually African, mind you. They wear dark clothes or they're dark skinned, non-human beings.

That being said, it is inappropriate for them to call the movie racist based upon some sort of ambiguous "hidden symbolism" that can only be seen by a small group of racially hypersensitive individuals.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
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lindy field
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:48 am

While I don't want to comment extensively on the issue of racism in LOTR, (the book does contain some descriptions that smell of racism) let me make the following observations:

1. The film and book do glorify short people, namely hobbits, and to a lesser extent dwarves. (Admittedly, in the film, Gimli the dwarf provides the comic relief.) Surely this is a great comfort to those with Napoleon complexes.

2. Those familiar with the book and films know that its protagonist, Frodo, does not get the girl in the end. Her place is taken by Frodo's ever-loyal friend and servant Sam. The dwarf Gimli and the elf Legolas also develop a very close relationship. Tolkien certainly glorified male friendship, for what it's worth.

3. The film's greatest villain, Sauron, looks suspiciously like a giant flaming vagina. What does this mean?

4. The book and films have, if I'm not mistaken, three female characters (Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn). Where are the women?
 
AWspicious
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:56 am

I've not seen the movie... Now do I intend to. However, I'm kinda proud of some of the members that make up this aviation forum community.
For some people, certain things in life are just a non-issue. Can't really fault them for that. To fully understand and appreciate a people's plight takes work. You gotta do research and read books and watch videos and talk to people and all that stuff. So, unless someone really really wanna know about something, they won't put in the time to get all the answers. They'll simply settle for what they've observed.
Oh, by the way Hepkat; Good observation. I've laughed at that sort of thing, too  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

AW
Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
 
EGGD
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:10 am

Do your friends look like Orc's?

jeez...
 
AWspicious
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:29 am

EGGD:
"Do your friends look like Orcs?

Jeez..."



Who was that directed towards, dude?

aw
Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
 
Alessandro
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racist Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:43 am

You can complain about everything, so if someone want to complain about the
old masterpiece go ahead(BTW they where written after WW1 if I recall right and the
author was suffering from Chemical warfare and wrote the triology and the Bilbo when he was recovering)...
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
jwenting
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:55 am

Why be racist when you can be specieist?

Nowhere in the book is there any mention of the colour of skin of men, dwarves or hobbits.
Elves are described as being white (pure white) but nowhere is it said that this is true of all elves.
Orcs are the diametrical opposite of elves, therefore they are portrayed as being black to contradict the white of the elves.
Trolls are created out of rock, so they naturally have the same colour as that rock. As the mountains around the realm of Mordor are depicted as being black and volcanic it is normal that trolls should be black as well.

I wish I were flying
 
Hepkat
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:56 am

The colour white frequently represents purity and dark colours like black represent darkness and evil.

I don't believe this is a universal truth, it all depends on the culture and tradition. I don't have the sources with me, but I remember reading that in some cultures (maybe Asian?), the color red signifies purity. I've also seen where some cultures wear white to signify mourning, etc. This white=purity black=evil is a purely western invention which has been reenforced over the decades by Hollywood & Co.
 
david b.
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 3:12 am

Yes Hep..............in most asian cultures, red=purity and luck

white=mourning/death

black=unknown/mysterious
Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
 
CMK10
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 3:18 am

I think they do have a point but I dont think either JR Tolken or the movie producers actully did this on purpose, probably just incidental.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
EGGD
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 4:20 am

AWspicious - I was aiming it at Galaxy5. I didn't mean friends, I meant the people sitting next to him!! What I find funny though, is that the orcs are supposed to be dirty and horrible, and don't clean etc right? Well... It'd look pretty dumb if they all had white skin or white hair wouldn't it.

These people are obviously stupid, its not racist at all, this is just stupid un-educated comments coming from people who just use the term 'racism' to gain their advantage...

I just think this discussion is pretty pointless. What is the true definition of racism? I don't think it mentions in the definition about accurate portrayals of beasts from a 50 year old novel, do you?

*SIGH*.
 
MagicMan_841
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 4:35 am

LOL!

You guys might be taking this a little too seriously, huh? Dwarves are short and somewhat a bit dumb, they have always been, and will always be, I'm 5'4" and did not feel complexed at all, I just laughed. For the Orcs, they have always been dark skined (or green) creatures, and will always be. Besides, Mordor is all about darkness...

You guys think there's "racism" in a Middle Earth movie?? sure... just watch COPS for example...

M@g!¢  Yeah sure
 
AerLingus
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 4:39 am

HepKat:
The film was made primarily for a western audience.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
Barcode
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 5:57 am

Oh polease. LOTR contains racist overtones? Some people will grasp at anything, or infer things that are simply not there. I bet the people whinin' had never even read the book either - or maybe they would have understood a little more about the images and events portrayed on the big screen.

 
MD-90
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:05 am

Bah. Racism in LOTR? Not even Jesse Jackson has said a peep about the movie (far as I know), and that man can find so-called racism ANYWHERE (yes, that was sort of a joke). Seriously, I've spent 15 of my 18.5 years living in Alabama, and people, even in Alabama this isn't the 50's/60's anymore.

I found Larry Elder's book 10 Things You Can't Say in America at a used bookstore in Huntsville, and I've been reading it lately. He's a black man himself, yet he doesn't see racismas being the huge problem that the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons et al make it out to be. Mr. Elder points out that white condescension is much more damaging. What is white condescension? For example, how about the messages that black students get? Allegations that the SATs are biased against minorities, affirmative action must continue because blacks aren't as smart as people of other skin color and need help getting in; the message that "gangsta rappers" send: the only things that matter are sex, money, and drugs.

And another thing...why do blacks differentiate themselves by calling themselves African-Americans? Why doesn't Lieberman call himself a Jewish-American? Why don't I call myself a British/Polish-American?

Okay, back to the movie. In my theater class this semester, the professor saved black theater for last, because he said it was the best (and came along later, too). We learned about Jim Crow, and how Rice created the stereotyped character to help whites feel better about Negroes being inferior and not worthy of drinking out of the same water fountain. I don't think that the orcs, goblins, and the men were meant to be caricatures for black people.

AerLingus is right, the book was written by a person in the West, and the movies were produced for a Western audience (primarily) in a country that was settled by Westerners (right? Didn't the British settle New Zealand?). Here, white generally is regarded as good and black is bad, which is simplistic but honest. All throughout the Bible, white is regarded as pure and clean and Holy. And while white is all colors, black is none. I personally think of evil as the absence of good. Besides, orcs are black, and I've never seen a Negro who really was black. They're all varying shades of brown anyway. I'm not even white myself, I'm sort of tan, really.
 
Guest

RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:11 am

This is what I have to say:

To infer that the Uruk-Hai is symbolic of black people is nothing but full-blown hypersensitivity--it's as if they were seeking to be offended. Orcs are orcs, elves are elves, and black people don't live in Middle Earth. Therefore, why don't we all just enjoy the film for what it is--a great story with cool monsters. (I particularly enjoyed "Durin's Bane." If you don't know what that is, I guess you'll have to read the book.)

'Speed
 
MD-90
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:31 am

What about the ents? They certainly weren't white  Big grin
 
jwenting
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 7:04 am

yes 'Speed, you'll have to read the book to get the full gist on the story.
While the movie wasn't bad, it's a far cry in depth from the books (haven't see the 2nd movie yet, maybe it's closer to the books but I doubt it).

Durin's bane is a mythological nightmare come true, a creature from the 1st Age of Middle Earth that slept for millenia before being awakened when Dwarves mined too deep in their quest for mithril. And I'm not going to tell any more as it might spoil the books (though mostly the secondary literature which tells a lot more about the ancient history).
I wish I were flying
 
Klaus
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:04 pm

The orcs were supposed to have been "bred" and "corrupted" by the evil adversary from elves as ancestors, of all kinds, according to Tolkien´s middle earth mythology.

Tolkien seems to be concerned much more with individual choice and cultural determination than with actual race.

And in the end, it´s still just fantasy...  Wink/being sarcastic
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 12:39 pm

This film was developed, designed, written, filmed and interpreted by New Zealanders in New Zealand.

The evil orks (or demons or whatever they were) were played by actors of Maori (The Indigenous peoples of New Zealand) heritage. So to infer that the evil characters in this film were primarily black to represent some kind of evil african american race is also to infer that for some godforsaken reason - New Zealanders have a real problem with african americans and wish to present them in their films as being evil.

I wish to point out that there are probably less than 10 African Americans actually in New Zealand so this would no doubt completely undermine that inference.

I'm sure that if I tried, I could find an anti Asian-Nepalese message in the film 'Spy Kids 2'.

Some people will draw their own conclusions from a text. Let them.

C'est la vie,

QANTASforever
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
AWspicious
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:26 pm

K...... Lemme set the record straight here - I am in no way supporting the "racist" card within this movie. Like I said, I haven't even watched it. Therefore, I am not fit to comment in that respect. Personally, I probably would not have made such an observation, had I gone to see it. However, because it's not my cup of tea, I'll probably never know.
Now that I've cleared that up.....
My comments were made just about the general sentiments which are expressed sometimes by some people who do not fully realize the plight of a people. I'm not here to educate anyone about anything of this magnitude. This certainly isn't the medium for such an undertaking. However, I simply wish folks would stop for a minute and try to understand why people sometimes say and do the things they do. And I'm not speaking as an advocate for blacks... But, for ALL people the world over - The Jewish and Palestinian people; The Muslim and Christian people; The Catholic and Protestant people; The Indian and Pakistani people... ALL people.
Perhaps, with a little better understanding about the other guy, we all might be able to live a little closer to harmony.
Well, that's my two cents. Peace....

aw

Oh, by the way, EGGD; I only wanted to know... Wasn't looking to take you on or anything... Not my style to argue on the internet. Can't punch the bloke if he pisses you off enough. (joking)  Laugh out loud
Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
 
cfalk
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RE: Lord Of The Rings Is It A Racest Movie/book

Mon Dec 30, 2002 5:18 pm

If you bother reading Tolkien's prologue of the book, which explains a little bit about how he came to write the Lord of the Rings, you will hear him insist that it is just a story. It is not allegorical nor is it topical. As it was mostly written around WWII, a lot of people tried to tie Sauron as Hitler, Saroman as Mussolini, etc. Tolkien hated that. It's just a story, guys. If you do find "hidden" themes in there, congratulations, you have am active imagination. But don't blame the book or the movies for your own fears and prejudices.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.

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