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UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÈ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RESPONSE PAGE 2005
As of November, 2004, I decided to start posting some of the responses I
get from folks who read the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT.
ARE DISCUSSED - SPOILERS REVEALED
"How does exposing an injustice perpetuate it? Also, what's the alternative to revealing an injustice other than ignoring it? And how does ignoring wrong fight it?"
- E.C.McMullen Jr.
Welcome to the summer! That is, a summer that's almost over. Today
I got an interesting take on the "It's all in your head,"
This email came from someone who neither said "Howdy,"
before he started his email or "Sincerely" when
he finished it. But according to his email address, his name
is Richard Sanson.
Online I've found numerous political postings by a Richard Sanson.
Of course, I've no way of knowing if this person is the same
one. At any rate, here is his argument.
August 22 , 2005
This has to be the ultimate example of the victim mentality. With the
rising number of African American leads in the industry, do Caucasians
and people of other nationalities have the right to claim racism
when they're the ones killed off in their movies. Surely whites
and others have been "killed off" in movies starring Denzel
Washington, Vin Diesel, Dannny Glover, Wil Smith, Cuba Gooding,
Jr, and The Rock. You must see that racism in this country is on
the wane, but if you think bad people are ever going to be completely
eradicated from the earth, you're mistaken. You've got to "move
I'll address your points one by one.
"This has to be the ultimate example of the victim mentality."
Really? This is it? My theory is THE ultimate example of
victim mentality? Oh come on! Surely there must be far better
examples of a victim mentality than this. Bleeding Heart Liberals
alone have spent decades inking mousey little diatribes in
dimly lit over-priced cafes. Not to mention all of the Freshman
and Sophomore poetry at any American university or junior college
on any given day. I appreciate, all the same, that you bestow
such an honor upon me. Gosh! The Ultimate! The ULTIMATE example of victim mentality!
It's nice to be considered the ultimate of something. Although,
I'm not sure how I can possibly express a "victim mentality"
here, ultimate or even penultimate, since I'm caucasian.
example of one of Denzel Washington's movies. None of
which ever killed off all the white folk.
"With the rising number of African American leads in the industry...
Surely whites and others have been "killed off" in movies starring Denzel Washington, Vin Diesel, Dannny Glover, Wil Smith, Cuba Gooding, Jr, and The Rock."
Yet again, an error of misunderstanding largely brought about
by the failure to actually READ what the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is all about in the first freaking place. I find it odd (not fascinating or interesting, which would denote a certain cerebral excitement) that people who often write so critically cannot even take the time to make an informed opinion. To the best of my knowledge, Denzel Washington, Vin Diesel (who isn't a minority), Danny Glover, Will Smith, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
(who also isn't a minority) have never been in a movie where all the white people die. And
that is what the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is all about. If any minorities live to the end of a movie, then that movie doesn't get tagged.
If you know of any movies by any of these actors that would have some kind of reverse Racial Cliche, by all means, tell me.
"You must see that racism in this country is on the wane, but if
you think bad people are ever going to be completely eradicated
from the earth, you're mistaken. You've got to "move
I don't see racism on the wane in the U.S. Only that it has
changed hands. We are in an age where we witness more racism
on the left now while the right, especially in the latest
50 and under generations, embrace tolerance and the celebration
of diversity. One of the ways this is most apparent is in
the correctly labeled "liberal media". How often do U.S. news
organizations cover the disappearance or murder of a beautiful
young black woman, or Hispanic woman, or any other woman who
isn't white? Try never.
An example of just one of Will Smith's films. Again, none have ever killed off all of the white folk.
The UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT applies specifically to movies made in Hollywood. I don't think anyone can honestly argue that the movie industry isn't
wholly liberal. Just watch the next election and see who comes crawling into the spotlight. Nowhere
in the ALERT do I ever make the statement that "bad people" must be completely eradicated. You invented that out of whole cloth. You never got it from here.
Finally, you put into quotes "move on", as if that could
possibly have any meaning with me. I have nothing to do with
those slanderous, deranged morons who think they "bought" the
Democrat party with all the money they acquired through
wealthy corporate interests and Orwellian Socialists like George Soros.
If after all of that you now find yourself completely lost as
to whether I'm liberal or conservative, let me say, "To
hell with the both of them!"
You are cordially invited to come back and try another attempt at making a reasoned argument. But as I always say at this site: If you are going to have an opinion, can it at least be an INFORMED one?
It was a hell of a bad Spring this year, with me in and out of
the hospital and having every CAT scan, MRI, and blood test
in the books. Ugh! After all of that, my ill health stabilized
and my Doctor(s) still don't know what happened or if it could
Nice waste of money there!
In better news, Feo Fan, Matthew Weekes, sent me the following
email for THE UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT, and I thought
it was interesting enough, and different enough, to post it
July 27, 2005
Feo Amante host,
To start, I am African American/Canadian/Caribbean. Myself and my sister,
who live in Canada, love movies. We would watch Aliens over and over every summer. My sister had alot of it memorized. I have long noticed the stereotypes hollywood has placed on black men and frankly it is hard to ignore. Raised in Brampton, a Toronto
suburb, surrounded by every sort of ethnic group, I was almost oblivious
of my racial differences until a certain dating experience I will
not get into. I am quite good at most sports and muscular but in
high school I began feeling the need to try to break some of the
stereotypes people were setting for me. One such effort involved
playing D&D and intelligent card/board games. You know what
I found? The characters that I might want to make are the noble
ones that would "sacrifice" themselves for less altruistic
characters of the other players.
Who is my favorite character in the new movie Fantastic Four? The Thing.
Sure he is not black, but I have felt and have experienced reactions
to my appearance such as that displayed by his wife without the
screaming though. Hey, if you are viewed as ugly (not
that black men are), and are noble, why wouldn't you sacrifice
yourself for those that seem good after all you are noble and it
the heart that matters. The inside.
I have dated every ethnic group thanks to my spiritual family (church)
where race within the church is almost a non-factor. I am now married
to a Filipina.
For five years now, I have wanted to write a script for a movie that
would be a deep satirical documentary / drama / action film that
would address "The unfair racial cliche alert".
it would be about fathers and sons and the identities that were
created for them.
If you were to watch such a film, what would you wish to see accomplished.
Despite the fact that you asked the question, I'd feel presumptuous
in saying what I'd want you to accomplish. I think that what
I look for above all else is something that I've never seen
before, but intrigues the hell out of me. So I guess what
I'd like to see accomplished is something I can't ask for.
I DO know that if you get to write and direct your movie,
I'd like to see something that was made with a power and passion.
I want to see movies that the creators feel strongly about,
not just something meant to pander to me or "move product".
July 15, 2005
I hope I'm not being too presumptuous by forwarding this link to an article I published online about Arnold Schwarzenegger's anti-black bias in his films. Based on your Web site, I thought you might find it interesting. Feel free to contact me with feedback because I want to revise and update it. It's getting a huge number of hits, and thousands of people have read it by now. (I find this funny because I started the little analysis of the films just to see if I was imagining things or if there really was intentional anti-black propaganda in these popular films. I didn't know I'd be working on it from 1987 until 2003!) If there's any interest in the topic out there, I want to publish it in the most visible forum possible.
I like your Web site.
Here's the link:
folks write in asking to see more emails from other folks writing in about the Unfair Racial Cliché Alert. I talk
about the people who write in, why don't I post them?
To answer these varmints, let me post an example, which actually represents a large body of the emails I get. Hopefully, by reading this, you'll understand why I don't bother posting them all.
March 29, 2005
see it on your list, but I believe Sphere falls outside of The Unfair Racial Cliché Alert. I think Samuel L. Jackson
survives. (Not positive it was him and I'm too lazy to look it up.) Just a note: when there is only
one survivor of a horror film, chances are that he/she will be white because the white race is a majority here. It's when you combine all the movies together and get that overwhelming majority of white survivors that it becomes inaccurate. However, if white people were the lone survivors 50% of the time, this would also be incorrect. I'm not sure if I made any sense and maybe I just didn't grasp your page as well as I thought, I just thought this point could use a bit of clarification.
Sorry, Brendan. That didn't make any sense at all. But let me try and work through the confusion.
You are right in saying that we don't have SPHERE on our list. So ... what's the use of arguing a point that doesn't exist? And since these are movies we are talking about,
it is immaterial to talk about the "chances" of a Horror movie survivor being white due to population considerations. Movies are not written, produced, and directed by chance.
What's more, very few Horror and Thriller movies (SPHERE was a science fiction Thriller) have the entire cast
killed off except for one lone survivor. So when all the minorities
are killed off, it is intentional. And since the population
of countries like England, Australia, etc., are also in the
white majority, it is telling that those countries RARELY kill off all the minorities. In fact, if you read the The Unfair Racial Cliché Alert page, you'll see that the overwhelming majority of movies that buck the trend are made outside of the Hollywood system (Independent releases) or outside of the U.S. altogether (foreign films). It's rare that foreign films earn a Racial Cliché Alert (CUBE - Canada, FINAL FANTASY - Japan, SAW - Australia). Only Hollywood funded/made movies so voraciously pursue this Racial Cliché Alert. Perhaps the point is now better clarified for you.
Thanks for writing!
March 27 , 2005
I just wanted to compliment on your excellent horror movie site. I stumbled
upon it while looking for a review of one of my favorite animated movies of all time, Heavy Metal. Great review.
also a huge fan of your "Unfair Racial
Cliché Alert." Keep updating it, because you're
making a great point, and as a minority myself, I face much racism
from both sides... since I'm biracial. Its great to see stuff like
that on the Internet, especially at sites like yours. Don't let
all the critics get to you, they don't know what they're talking
about and are only trying to take everything a step backwards.
Keep on truckin,
Miles H Joyner
February 20, 2005
and welcome to a new year at the UNFAIR
RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT.
If you've never read it before, please take a moment now to
go over it before reading the responses. Some of you think
that I've over-explained myself in the UNFAIR
RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT: that I've hammered home the
obvious. You get it, there is no reason why I should keep
repeating throughout the page the reasons for the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT's existence. This February 20, 2005 email from Mark Housley explains why I feel that
I can never explain it enough. As in the past, and for the
benefit of others who still don't understand the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT, I'll address Mark's arguments
point by point.
for your review of Leviathan... by quickly searching google I was able to determine what I had found on cable TV as I was flipping
through the channels.
Anyway, I suddently came upon your unfair racial crap. I don't consider
myself a bigot but I wouldn't say I wasn't racist either... because
well... no one IS NOT racist to some degree. As a matter of fact,
I'm kind of tired of whites being portrayed as the only race of
humans that ARE racist. This is entirely not true.. as I have personally
heard many blacks, asians, and mexicans talk about the other in
a racially negative way.
Hi Mark. First off, let's get some definitions into play here.
Bigot - n : a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions
differing from his own
Racist - adj: The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
definitions are supplied by dictionary.com,
which is an excellent online reference tool.
then, I can honestly state that, by those definitions, I am
neither a bigot or a racist. I'm also smart enough to realize
that, if some well dressed people of my own color shoot poisonous
looks my way, the first thought that will pop up in my head
will be "Snobs!"
If some poorly dressed people of my skin color give me bad attitude,
I'll also feel threatened and think, "Scumbags!"
These are reactions to someone(s) giving me the evil eye. I instantly
categorize them based on what they look like. If they are
my skin color, I assume that it is a social issue. If they
are of my own peer group, I'd probably classify them as M.F.A.s
But if someone of another race or a clear culture (Mexican
or Mormons for example), gives me dirty looks, I'll
immediately think that they are judging me based, not on social
standing, but on my race - in the case of Mexicans - and religion
- in the case of Mormons.
If anyone gives me a threatening look I'll naturally feel threatened
and respond accordingly. It doesn't make you a bigot or racist
if someone tries to intimidate you. Although it could mean
that they are one.
I'm not a bigot, by definition, nor am I a racist.
And of course other races also have their prejudices. It's human
nature. That's obvious to the most casual observer so it's
pointless to even bring it up.
I believe that your unfair racial crap kind of perpetuates this to some degree.
First of all, America is 75% white... was populated and civilized
by the whites and is simply the majority. You have also stated that
black producers/directors/writers have broken this 'unfair' treatment
by not killing off blacks. Is it okay for black writers to have
their own surviving and not for whites to have their own survive?
Afterall, have you carefully considered movies that were produced
in Africa or Asia? How many whites are in their movies to begin
with? If any, how unfair are they in killing off the whites? Is
it wrong for them to do it to whites as you say we do to blacks?
Okay then, before we go any further, you are by definition, a bigot.
You repeatedly refer to my Unfair Racial Cliché Alert
as "unfair racial crap." So you are "a prejudiced
person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his
So we've got that out of the way. Whether or not you are racist
remains to be seen, but despite your opinion of yourself, you are clearly a bigot.
say that 75% of America is white (and was populated by whites! Hoo Boy! Don't get me started there!). Your figures are a bit off, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau. The white portion of the U.S. is less than your figure and it shrinks with every new Census.
But let's assume that you are right on the money. Hell! Let's
assume that 90% of America is white. Hows that, eh? For the
sake of argument, let's say that 90% of America is white.
Now in the mythical America that I've just created: An America
of 90% white folks, why does that make it okay to kill off
all the nonwhite characters in a movie?
You say, "You have also stated that black producers/directors/writers have
broken this 'unfair' treatment by not killing off blacks."
I've said no such thing. You can check the page again. In fact,
you can even google it and look at Google's old cache of the
page. What's more, I never said that they did it by killing
off all of the white characters. And while I watch a large
number of foreign films, it makes no difference what kinds
of movies they make in Iran, China, North Korea, or the Sudan.
Why? Because I don't live there. When I vote in my country,
I vote over issues that matter to me in MY country.
I do my part to make MY country a better place to live.
And I don't do that by diluting the issue with such non-arguments
about what folks are doing in Croatia or Antarctica.
Of course, it is entirely possible that you don't live in the
U.S. Perhaps you live in Scotland. I'd have no problem at
all with you building your own website and talking about what
you see wrong in Scotland. That would be your right as a Scotsman.
It would be rather fatuous for you to sit there in a place
far removed from the US and blither about the problems that
Americans face on their own soil. That's why I don't carry
the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT to such ridiculous lengths.
And I've yet to see any movies produced by folks of other races
that kill off all the whites as a seeming matter of industry
routine. That's not to say that they don't exist. But though
I've seen an awful lot of movies, I've yet to see any of those.
So I feel its safe to say that the UNFAIR
RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT isn't a lazy storytelling tool
for nonwhites in the movie industry.
To say that it is unfair for blacks to be killed off is crazy. Is it
unfair or surprising that Africans would much prefer to see their
own as stars in their movies? What about something totally different...
sports... the NFL and NBA are almost 95% black. Is this unfair?
Not at all. This is how America works at its best. Its called meritocracy. When someone puts an event or team together, they get whoever can do the job the best. Black people currently
dominate the NFL and the NBA. I say currently because there was a time, not too long ago, when regardless of talent, black people were kept out of professional sports. That wasn't a meritorious system. That was a system based on a fallacy:
that it is better to be mediocre and white, than be excellent and non-white.
White people in America still dominate baseball, hockey, soccer, auto racing, tennis, golf, bull riding, mountain climbing, spelunking, volleyball, ping pong, badminton, surfing, snow skiing, snow boarding, skateboarding, skydiving, chess, windsurfing, windsailing, boat racing, motocross, marathon running, weightlifting, wrestling, videogame tournaments, D&D, and that thing where you ride a horse and knock a ball around. Is that fair? Yes!
All I'm saying is that you are perpetuating hate instead of fighting
it. You are flaunting it instead of understanding it. If you were
going to spend MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars, often investment
dollars from investors, wouldn't you try to appeal to the MAJORITY
of the country to earn a return on your investment? So the actors,
both black and white, can receive their highly earned paycheck.
Is that fair? I think so.
You've made the charge, now back it up. How does exposing an injustice
perpetuate it? Also, what's the alternative to revealing an injustice other than ignoring it? And how does ignoring wrong fight it? If I was going to spend millions and millions of dollars from investors, I wouldn't need to tell a story where all the minority characters are killed off. In addition to being racist, it's a poor storytelling crutch.
MEN IN BLACK made a fortune, likewise THE MATRIX and BLADE. SE7EN, KILL BILL, ROBOCOP, and XMEN are among those few films that buck the trend. They were all
blockbusters and they didn't need to slaughter every single minority character in the film to get a "return" on their investment. Your argument makes it appear that you think a film maker MUST follow the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT if they are to make any money.
You aren't really trying to make that point, are you?
Anyway man, just thought I'd share my thoughts on the situation as I'm sure so many others have done. I don't imagine you'll post this email on your site but please now reread my email with an open mind just once more.
Your welcome. And thank you for taking the time to write, Mark. I'm glad you feel that strong about this issue. I hope you'll continue to enjoy feoamante.com.
RACIAL RESPONSE 2004