brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Harry Potter and the Nonexistent African

Harry Potter

It has not yet been twenty four hours since the latest Harry Potter book was released.  The television news reports are filled with Harry Potter stories from across the globe.  One news report has it that fifty books made their way halfway around the world to Afghanistan of all places.  Another story reportedly has some little Philippine girl committing suicide over a spoiler ending discovered on the internet.  The hype has hit hyper speed velocity.  I haven’t seen so much hype over something as inconsequential as this since a handful of weeks ago when the iPhone made its public debut.

The same script employed during the iPhone’s release is virtually the same script being employed now with this latest version in the Harry Potter saga in order to manufacturer as much hype as humanly possible without any regard to proper perspective.  Television cameras show the long throngs of people waiting patiently in line for hours, even days, before the official time of release.  The network entertainment/news morning shows do their reporting from outside whatever big time retailer that can benefit the most from the over hyped featured article of the day regardless of what is happening in the actual world.  This is just the latest version of American culture where nearly everything we are exposed to is formulated to show the maximum benefit with absolutely no evidence of loss or pain.  The way these stories are packaged and sold in our modern culture, the media formula has been sharpened to a point where it could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo in the dead of winter during the coldest peak of an ice age.

With all the hype and the oversell it should come as no surprise that there are a number of black people who are obsessed with the Harry Potter phenomenon.  Yet nevertheless, I must confess to a great deal of disappointment to see black families on television succumbing to this latest pop culture propaganda.

I saw the first Harry Potter movie about a year or so after it debuted at the movies.  It was probably on one of the cable networks because I know for a fact I didn’t go out of my way to pay a dime to see a fantasy movie about a young wizard and his young wizard friends.  Through the entire movie the people I was watching the movie with had to explain almost every detail to me.  After the movie was finished all I could say was, “Oh, so that’s what the hype was all about.”  Personally, I just couldn’t get into it.  And then someone suggested that I read the books to get a better appreciation of the storyline.  Sorry, but in my humble opinion Harry Potter and his posse just isn’t worth the time investment. 

Now the Harry Potter movies are okay for some people.  But the Harry Potter saga happens without a single black actor or actress working in much of anything above a cast call role.  The Harry Potter books, movies, toys, games, and any other propaganda associated with the phenomenon has absolutely nothing to offer the black community other than more of the stereotypical “white people are the only people who matter in the world” thinking that permeates every facet of the American lifestyle.  I know there were a couple of black actors in the background to Harry Potter’s foreground.  But I can’t recall ever seeing a single black actor being featured in any of the commercials or other materials of publicity.  But sure as day there were black people jumping up and down in line along with their white counterparts adding their personal energy to and drawing energy from the entire artificial affair.

I have to confess to my own vices that continue the orthodox arrangement that black people are just the background specks to white people’s world.  I have to confess to going gaga over Star Trek movies with Uhura, LaForge, Worf, Tuvok, and Mayweather playing second fiddle to Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Picard, Riker, the Crushers, Troi, Janeway, Archer, Tucker, and Reed in the foreground.  Captain Sisko of Star Trek Deep Space 9, is the only black Star Trek captain regular, and the only captain who had to earn his captaincy promotion after spending his first year or two on the series as a commander.  Yet I’ve seen nearly every episode of every series in the entire Star Trek universe at least a hundred times.  I’ve never been to a Star Trek convention and I can happily say that I have never been caught standing in line to see a Star Trek movie at some ungodly hour.  Nevertheless, I’ve done more than my fair share of participation in mindless, inconsequential, pop culture rituals.  Even with the awareness of the problem, the conventional propaganda of relations between the races in pop society is difficult to resist.

It is hard for Africans in the Diaspora to find written entertainment that is truly African oriented.  In the world of science fiction and fantasy the number of authors who are sensitive to the need to develop stories and characters that are ethnically accurate is truly woeful.  I have to confess that I am only aware of the late great Octavia Butler.  Ms. Butler’s stories are full of characters that are not just the typical, run of the mill, in black skin such as Lando Calrissian, Geordi LaForge, or Mace Windu.  Take the black actor out of the picture and replace them with a white actor and the story differs from the original not one iota.

But there are plenty of Africans in the world who have the talent and imagination and skills necessary to write the next science fiction fantasy that takes the African world by storm.  It just might be the young black person in the line waiting their turn to buy their copy of the next Harry Potter, Star Trek, Lost In Space or any one of countless stories of fiction that gets published or produced on a regular basis.  The problem is that it’s hard for black people to focus on creating something for black people when we spend so much time enthralled in the hype of white people’s universe.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People

41 Comments »

  1. Please, don’t let J. K. Rowling kill Harry Potter. 🙂

    Comment by Pedro Morgado | Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Reply

  2. I won’t speak to the first post. But, I feel that you’re shedding light on a real problem. Blacks just don’t get it, that the black people are woefully under-represented. I get the feeling when watching movies that deal in the future etc. blacks don’t make it, because you don’t see many of them.

    Thanks for the great insight!!

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Reply

  3. I’ve always wondered that about HP. You never see a person of color in those movies- let alone someone Black. Maybe they figure Black kids, poeple are not interested in science fiction and fantasy. I guess they never heard of the late Octavia E. Butler.

    Comment by PBlanton | Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Reply

  4. Actually, I tried to watch one of those painful movies a couple of weeks ago. Harry Potter and the Stupid Movie could’ve been the title. But I was surprised by the number of minorities in the background. However, unsurprisingly, none of these minorities acted like minorities. You could’ve put anybody in the role and no one would’ve been the wiser. A black character should act like a black character without necessarily acting like the stereotype popular to American media. I don’t know if it is even doable anymore.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. About the Harry Potter post.
    I was born and grew up in Spain. My parents are from Ghana, so you get the point, I’m black. I love Harry Potter books and in my whole life I could not have thougth in something more absurd than what are you saying about the black community in those beloved books that have been part of my childhood and early adolecence.
    May be I have an European vision about the situation of the black communities in USA, but I think that is ‘little’ bit too exagerated your comments about prejudice, racism or whatever you want to call it about those great books. Using one of your quotations:“white people are the only people who matter in the world”. I feel very sad that you get that message, sir. I love those books and I love those films too. And at any moment I have felt that they put apart the black community. I think that African American people are quite obssesed with the idea of racism. I have to admit that when I look at the America news, I see a great amount of violence that African-American have to suffer, but the idea of racism in the American society is mainly spread but the black people, and that is a very sad thing that people have to realise. You talk about ‘entertainment that is truly African oriented’. How can a black kid in USA try to have an idea of brotherhood with other cultures when the only thing he hears is how the white people are trying to put you down and how you just have to live accourding to the black lifestyle?. Sir, you talk about how there is so much Africa people with amazing skill to write fantasy and basically to entretain, wich I dont denied it because there are very good African writers such as Julius Ocwinyo, but the only kind of entertainment that I see for black people in America is those films about drugs, violence and guns that are sadly very famous in Europe, just showing how a ‘true black men should behave’. My point is that if you are concern as an African-American of how excelent films as Harry Potter give the message of “white people are the only people who matter in the world”, I think that you should first review the messege that the African-American directors give to their own communities with those kind of films that just make the children confused about what cummunity and what means to be black itself insted of being complaining why there is not black people in the Harry Potter films or in something so creative as the pop culture.
    How can you beat racism and prejudice when you say things like ‘it’s hard for black people to focus on creating something for black people when we spend so much time enthralled in the hype of white people’s universe’? What is that suppost to mean? That I should ignore all around me and just focus in what your opinion is truly black and African?, Does it make any sense at all?. The last point I wanted to make is that there are not just the black, white or latin communities. Society itself is a massive community, in which black people are only a minor part of it. If you sir, want to be a brother peace maker as your website name shows, I suggest you that you should stop the racist comments about white people’s culture and insted try to improve your own community, not by creating hate in people but by helping the communication and good relationships between cultures.

    Comment by dark_freak006 | Sunday, January 13, 2008 | Reply

    • I would like to reach the author of this post: dark_freak006

      Comment by gladwell, R | Sunday, January 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Trying to reach dark_freak006

      Comment by tang | Monday, January 10, 2011 | Reply

  6. dark_freak006,

    What you call a European vision for a black person, I call an attitude of black assimilation. You call me racist and yet see nothing racist about the products produced by Hollywood or whomever. You identify with Harry Potter? I’m not surprised. Are there any black role models that you have chosen for yourself? No? Again I’m not surprised. How much experience do you have with America? Yet, because you see the propaganda of America made by television networks and news outlets controlled primarily by white people you feel you are the expert here on black people in America. Go ahead and feel sad for me and my kind. Because you don’t know a thing about what the experiences are of black people here in America yet feel qualified to judge us as wrong.

    You go right ahead and love your beloved Harry Potter. I know when I look at these books and movies, there isn’t a single character that can identify with me and what it means to be an African American. There is nothing African that I can identify in Harry Potter. But you? Obviously you feel a connection to white people who live in a fantasy land of magic and witchcraft. So good luck with becoming a white wizard. From my experience, it’s what everybody who was born in Ghana and moved to Spain wants for their future.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, January 13, 2008 | Reply

  7. There are Eleven Gryffindor minor characters.

    1 Katie Bell – English girl. Chaser.
    2 Lavender Brown – Black Briton. Fangirl.
    3 Colin Creevey – English boy. Muggleborn Potter-geek.
    4 Seamus Finnigan – Irish boy. Half-blooded friend.
    5 Angelina Johnson – Black Briton girl. Sports captian.
    6 Lee Jordan – Black Briton boy. Twin’s best friend.
    7 Cormac McLaggen – English boy. Bully.
    8 Parvati Patil – Indian girl. Her and twin, Padma.
    9 Alicia Spinnet – Black Briton girl. Chaser.
    10 Dean Thomas – Black Briton boy. Muggleborn friend.
    11 Oliver Wood – English boy. Captian Extrodinare.

    Now…. 11 minor characters. And 5 are Black, 1 is Irish, and 1 is Indian. And, what? Because Neville isn’t ALSO Black, JK Rowlings is somehow ignoring non-Anglo ethnicities????

    And the entire POINT of this story, that it is wrong to KILL, CONQUER AND HURT others based on their blood isn’t at ALL appealing to African-American’s BECAUSE….?

    “I know when I look at these books and movies, there isn’t a single character that can identify with me and what it means to be an African American.”

    Right, because when Remus Lupin can’t get a job because legisation is passed agaisnt his “kind” and when every student is classified by their genetics and when a boy spits on the ground at the site of you because your blood is dirty, that isn’t racism, classism and every other sort of -ism that every minority group EVERYWHERE on the planet has to deal with in it’s worse form.

    You people are just a tad bit pathetic.

    “But a Colored isn’t the lead!”

    Umm…. It takes place in Europe, why would we take lead?

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Monday, March 17, 2008 | Reply

  8. Ummm…It’s about white people. Why should black people care when we are excluded or relegated to secondary status in the background? It is a typical white mindset that black people should be happy just to make an appearance. Black people should be more than willing to support any and everything that comes our way simply because it indulges white people’s fantasies. Why should we go gaga over Harry Potter? Five minor players and that should be enough to mask the inequality. When do white people show the same level of interest in African culture and in African based stories or stories where the only major characters are black and there are five white people in the background? When do white people celebrate and support the fantasies that have black people front and center and white people are the minor players? And yet you have the nerve to say that we are the ones that are a tad pathetic. White people’s apathy towards black people is overwhelming the black community.

    And lastly, black people exist throughout Europe. But it is just more evidence of white superiority propaganda that Europe is all white.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Reply

  9. “Why should we go gaga over Harry Potter?”

    Because it is a well written story about fighting for those you hate, love and/or don’t understand you because it is the “right” thing to do. A story about the fight against racism just isn’t one any Blacks anywhere can get into, huh?

    “But it is just more evidence of white superiority propaganda that Europe is all white.”

    >_> I think you meant that to my comment about how European stories usually have natives as the heros… I should think that is a logical, ration conclusion. I mean, you DO realize that the Old World is not America? Europe is still mostly natives… >_> I don’t know why it would be “white superiority” to make an Anglo-Saxon the hero in the homeland of Anglo-Saxons….

    But, I do understand the notion that everyone usually plays second fiddle the the glorious White man HERE IN AMERICA. Everytime I turn to Nickelodeon (often) to enjoy an hour or two of merriness, I think “Jimmy could have been Black, but whateva…”– “Danny could have been a girl, but whateva…”–“Aang could have been-well, he’s Asian, and they have it the worse… GO AANG!”

    The only reason I came blaring on to your site (sorry about that) is because of the notion that a story written SO perfectly about racism is being dissed because the Golden Trio is white! Give the woman some credit! She started this book in 1990 and didn’t even use her name because of fear of sexism!

    Saying that Harry is all White ignores the genre and point of the story. It is not about ethnic minorities but magical ones. That is the focus, a focus that makes Black kid Blaise want to kill fellow African-Briton Dean because he is Muggleborn…

    But that doesn’t matter, because they aren’t lead? The magical minorities and the racism and classism within that system is the root of the story’s conflict, but that doesn’t matter because an English book has an Anglo-saxon hero?

    Muggleborn, the vulgar term being “Mudblood”
    Hermione is muggleborn and so is Lily Potter, whose magic saved her son and made him the “heroic” Boy Who Lived in the first place. Muggleborns are, according to Voldemort, scum, sub-human and magic stealing vermin who should be killed on site. The government already sympathized with Voldemort’s ideas, and only labeled him as “evil” when he started killing pureblooded wizards who wouldn’t follow him. This is, of course, Rowling’s nod to the discompassionate Europe (and America), which embraced Hitlers trash toward Jews and Blacks just until the point when he hurt “real” Europeans.

    Half-blood
    A wizard who has a Muggle or Muggleborn parent is still not good enough. Voldemort’s Naziesque follows call Harry Potter the “filthy Halfblood”, ignoring their clear hypocracy. Voldemort is also a Halfblood. His Muggle father fled his mother upon realizing she was a witch (her poisoning him with a love potion to marry her didn’t help). Harry, Voldemort and Dumbledore are all Halfbloods.

    Pureblood, but one withou proper pride is a Blood Traiter
    The Weasleys are pureblooded as they come, but damn them for not considers Muggle vermin, damn them for marrying and dating Muggleborns… Pureblooded families are amusingly like America’s Black Elite. They were seperated and detached from the mainstream for a good damn reason: the mainstream was trying to kill them! But generations later, when the coast is relativly clear, the children are still being taught that the mainstream is evil, out to get them and untrustworthy. And when someone comes from the mainstream saying “but, I like you guys! I actually wanted to marr–” they are shot in the heart with no remorse. “We are actually supposed to believe something good comes from you… We don’t forget…”

    Werewolf
    lol. If Blackness were a disease, then it should be called Lycanthropy. Remus is a werewolf, therefore unemployable, unmarriable, unbefriendable. When he does find friendship in Harry’s father James, he cherishes it forever. The same goes for Hagrid, but Rowlings does something amusing with Lupin, in that he still HAS a community in other werewolves, but he rejects it because THEY reject the mainstream. They remind me of the Chicago or LA gangs: newly formed, angry and eager to NOT be the mainstream for all the wrong reasons. “Let’s use broken English, because the White man doesn’t. Let’s not use the White man’s manners, but no, not replace them with our own, just don’t use any. Let’s not dress like them, not work like them, not date like them, not pray like them, but in everyway base it not on the forgotten history of our forefathers, but let’s base it on the here-and-now violence of the street. Yeah, who gives a fuck about DeBois and Douglass when we’ve got Murder Inc. Besides, reading is a White thing.”

    But I suppose none of this is important because Neville or Luna isn’t Black… There are slaves in Harry Potter and Hermione speads her whole career trying to defend their rights, but that doesn’t matter because her nappy head isn’t our type of nappy head.

    Dobby dies “a free elf” but that isn’t important because what kid can understand a talking, feeling character who happens to be magical?

    And once more: “white superiority propaganda that Europe is all white.”

    Harry falls in love with a Chinese girl,
    the Minister is Black,
    Ron dates a Black girl,
    Ginny dates a Black boy,
    Fred and Georgie fight over the same Black girl (Georgie wins and marries her),
    Bill Weasley marries a French girl who isn’t completely human (see why that family is blood traiters? lol),
    Percy dates a Muggleborn as well,
    The entire Weaseley family is meant to showcase Gingers, who are ridiculed in England and have been for centuries,
    Harry and Ron take out the Indian twins…..

    But in a story which is about a racist society that embraces “purebloods”, that means families that have been in Britian for generations. That means Anglo-Saxons, Welish and Scottish. It does. I think you should accept that. Blacks in all forms make up 2 percent of Great Britian. TWO. The largest non-White minority is accually Indians. They should be the pissed ones. They only get one lousey set of twins. We get the leader of their nation AND nearly every major love interest. And Hermione is mixed, I’m telling you.

    😄

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Reply

    • Well put. There is so much I the HP books for “the oppressed” to identify with. That is why they touch the hearts of so many, across the board.

      Comment by Olivia | Friday, January 27, 2012 | Reply

      • Perfect example of how this system feeds upon itself. Only make feelgood movies featuring and revolving around the lives of white people while leaving others races of people out. With nothing else to show the contrary, people will identify with the white people and so many hearts will be touched across the board. People across the board come out to defend the system that only portrays stories featuring and revolving around the lives of white people. You wear your programming well.

        Peace

        Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 28, 2012

  10. SORRY FOR THE DOUBLE POST, ZOMG!

    “I was surprised by the number of minorities in the background. However, unsurprisingly, none of these minorities acted like minorities. You could’ve put anybody in the role and no one would’ve been the wiser. A black character should act like a black character without necessarily acting like the stereotype popular to American media. I don’t know if it is even doable anymore.”

    “Ms. Butler’s stories are full of characters that are not just the typical, run of the mill, in black skin such as Lando Calrissian, Geordi LaForge, or Mace Windu. Take the black actor out of the picture and replace them with a white actor and the story differs from the original not one iota.”

    Both of these quotes ask for dynamic dark-skinned characters, which is a reasonable request for someone to make, one that has been everyone who is not White and not a man. lol… But, question.

    If Geordi LaForge was white, nothing about his charactor would change…. A Black charactor should act Black without acting a stereotype….

    What is this supposed to mean? I mean, really, now? That a Black character’s ethnicity MUST be blindingly appearant, even if it is inconsequential to his purpose in the story? Although, the next question to be asked is:

    Is his ethnicity inconsequential because he is a minor character or because it is a non-White ethnicity?

    Picard, La Forge, Riker, Crusher and Yar. The Human Main Cast. Of them, Picard’s French heratige is the only one given any real value in the show. Yar’s is mentioned, Ukrainian, in passing, because it is her colonies wars that shaped her tough persona, as she explains so to Data. What about Crusher? And does anyone care about Riker’s past beyond his conflicts with his father? The doctor who replaced Crusher lived and died with no real relevence to her heratige…

    But the African one! For his heratige to not matter to him is a shame! *rolls eyes* If he were replaced with a White charactor, they would atleast change his bio seen on the show from reading born in the African Confederation. Your statement is true for every human charcter except Picard.

    And as for the lamenting that Dean Thomas and Lee Jordon don’t act Black… My Black Purto Rican friend cracked up so much at that. “I wish they had acted out stereotypes without acting out stereotypes.” I was more amused with the thought that like yourself, the writer of that quote kept bring it back to America. This story is not in America, not about America… There is not a single American character in it. Yet you guys cannot think without thinking of America, can you? But it is just more evidence of American superiority propaganda that Europe should give a damn about it’s views on race. 😄

    This reminds me of anime… “Why aren’t there more African Americans in anime?”

    Me: “O__O You is idiot supreme. Actually, the correct question is why aren’t there more South Asian, Indians and—”

    “I don’t care about those. Why aren’t there more of me? Or atleast SOME dark-skinned!”

    “The darkest that they get in Japan are Indians and South Asians. What about Iruka, Kankuro… Those are dark-ski—”

    “Those are just Whites with tans. Get some African darkness.”

    “Only Africans in Japan are Brazilian, American or Nigerian, and there numbers are negligible.”

    GASP! “To refer to Blacks as negligible in any sense is to be racist! RACIST!”

    -___- “I have a question for you. Why aren’t there more Malaysians in American film?”

    “Who?”

    “Your racism agaisnt Asians is so appearant by your ignorance of them… Why! Why don’t you care about ethnic groups you weren’t even aware until now were in your country!?!?!”

    “Well, now you are just mocking me.”

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Reply

  11. “Because it is a well written story about fighting for those you hate, love and/or don’t understand you because it is the right thing to do. A story about the fight against racism just isn’t one any Blacks anywhere can get into, huh?”

    Interesting! You talk about the fight against racism but then talk about people who fight against racism. I guess fantastic stories about wizards fighting against prejudice are more appealing to you than the fight against real racism.

    “I should think that is a logical, ration conclusion. I mean, you DO realize that the Old World is not America? Europe is still mostly natives”

    But it seems that fantasies about wizards from all over the world coming together in a single school could afford to include minorities as main characters. You DO realize that Harry Potter it is a FANTASY and that isn’t limited to your so called expectations that stories set in Europe should consist only of Anglo Saxons as the main characters. Why is it okay for blacks to be only minor characters but too absurd for black people to be main characters? This is the white superiority that I was referring to.

    “Saying that Harry is all White ignores the genre and point of the story. It is not about ethnic minorities but magical ones.”

    And because it is a story about magical minorities it can get by with only acknowledging white characters. How many excuses can be manufactured to promote this type of discrimination? You mentioned Octavia Butler. But how many of her stories of fantasy that feature black characters have been made into a movie? I think that would be a big zero. If there were comparable movies that featured black children and young adults as the main characters with white people in the background it wouldn’t be an issue. Young blacks would have their own to identify with. But without black role models of their own young impressionable blacks have to adapt to the fantasy worlds that consistently feature white characters. Blacks may make up only two percent of Great Britain. But that two percent is only good enough to get black people a spot in white people’s background in a story about “magical” diversity but zilch for ethnic diversity.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Reply

  12. I have a much simpler way of looking at it…..

    It’s a movie…get over it.

    There are PLENTY of movies out that have a FULL main character African-American cast that were blockbuster hits, The Color Purple for example that is now on Broadway not only rocked the theater but is pulling in tons of cash on Broadway….but i guess that doesn’t fit into your […] argument.

    Do i really need to go and name the black actors and actresses that have graced stage and screen and reached legendary porportions?…i hope not.

    In closing, you can bitch about anything…it’s official.

    Comment by Averre | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Reply

  13. The Color Purple? How old is that movie? Do you have to go back twenty two years for your example? What role models did it have for young blacks? Mister? And it’s not even close to being in the genre of fantasy or wizardry. When was the last time impressionable young blacks talked about any of the characters found in this film? But even if it did and young adults were talking about it, it is typical white sentiment that black people already have one and that’s more than enough to offset practically every other movie having an all white or predominantly white cast. But more than likely somebody of your character would make a snappy comment about black buffoonery movies like Soul Plane or one of Tyler Perry’s Mama Done Burnt the Chicken movies or something with Martin Lawrence’s lack of talent. Someone of your caliber will say that black people such as Will Smith and Denzel Washington more than make up for the overwhelming number of white actors that come and go and come again. For every black actor or actress you may be able to name there will be hundreds of white actors. And this is your version of racial equality.

    I have a much simpler way of looking at your thought patterns. You have a white mindset comfortable with white privilege and bent on overlooking the disparity of the black community. It is typical. Why don’t you get over it. And in closing you can don’t have to justify your white mindset to me or to anyone else. The white mindset is official. You can take your bitching elsewhere.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Reply

  14. Interesting! You talk about the fight against racism but then talk about people who fight against racism. I guess fantastic stories about wizards fighting against prejudice are more appealing to you than the fight against real racism.

    The book is as it is and it talks about racism eloquently. YOU are the one complaining that it should focus on something different than what it does.

    But it seems that fantasies about wizards from all over the world coming together in a single school could afford to include minorities as main characters. Why is it okay for blacks to be only minor characters but too absurd for black people to be main characters? This is the white superiority that I was referring to.

    You misunderstand the setting of this story.

    1) Hogwarts does not educate “wizards from all over the world,” it educates kids from the United Kingdom.

    2) This story is not about conventional ethnicities, but magical ones, yet the point of purebloods does indicate they are families from ENGLAND that have lived in ENGLAND for thousands of years. If you want one of the Mains: Harry, a Weasely, Hermonie, Neville or Luna to be anything BUT Anglo-Saxon, they would first have to NOT come from a Pureblood homes. And they do. “But she could have made one of them have immigrant parents…” But still, this story is not about Black, White, Asian…

    You complained about in you OP “Take the black actor out of the picture and replace them with a white actor and the story differs from the original not one iota.”

    Well then, why do you say that about those “run of the mill” charactors, but for the Gryffindors you say:

    Take the white actor out of the picture and replace them with a black actor even thought the story wouldn’t differ from the original not one iota.

    WHY do you want ANOTHER LaForge? The only Gryffindors who COULD change would be Luna or Hermione…. And you are saying that you would have been happier with the entire story if one of them was not White?

    Hermione? The Smart One, whose plans and ideals are 80% of the time ignored and she gets the mickey taken out of her in every book.

    Luna? As in Luna “Loony” Lovegood, whose parents were raving, superstitious nutjobs to the point the father publishes with full conviction the magical version of the National Enquirer and the mother died experimenting with dangerous potions?

    Right, I’m sure you would have been very pleased….

    I understand and completely agree with you that African mythology doesn’t get explored enough. Too many stories are made about the awesome adventures of a White Boy and his dog when there are more than just White Boys out there. Will, Hally and Denzel should not be the only A List actors. (Mmmm… Terrence…) Hell, if we made a list of

    Hally
    Denzel
    Will
    Terrence
    Morgan
    James Earl
    …. Damn, I can’t think of more right now… But that’s the sad part isn’t it…

    I agree.

    But Harry Potter? *clutches it*

    If one of the Power Six WERE Colored, which one? They all play second fiddle to Harry himself. And why can’t Black kids identify with Dean, Lee, Angelina, Parvati, Padma, Alicia, Blaise or Lavender again? And why should Black kids feel these are the only kids they CAN identify with, when it is Mudbloods who are the oppressed minority in this story and those are Dean, Hermione or Justin?

    Hermione is the one who is tortured, bullied and cursed because she is a Mudblood. And I have heard a mother say that she was happy her Indian daughter had these books, especially for the parts where Hagrid says “Ya see Harry, there are some people who think they’re better than everyone else because they’re what people call Pureblood… Yet to the point, they haven’t thought up a spell our Hermione can’t do. So don’t you think on it (being called a Mudblood), not for one minute.”

    But non-White kids can’t identify with her because of her skin color? Shouldn’t? YES, I agree with you that more stories need to be made and appriecated that don’t focus only on European ideas, mythos, culture. I am a novelist.
    But to say that “switch it so that whites play second fiddle to blacks” and that would make everything better is like the woman that thinks that if you switch the genders in a SF to the woman as the CEO and the man is the nurse that it makes it feminist science fiction… Ummm…. no. Not if this switch isn’t explored, examined, and one of the POINTS of the story, it isn’t. It’s just a cheap gimmick.

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Reply

  15. Basiclly, what I am asking is what about making Harry, Hermione, the Weaselys, Neville or Luna non-White would have made them any bit more “relateable” to non-Whites around the world?

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Reply

  16. “The book is as it is and it talks about racism eloquently. YOU are the one complaining that it should focus on something different than what it does.”

    It may be eloquent for you with its “magical” diversity. But I hold a different opinion. Racism is what it is, that doesn’t automatically make it more acceptable. Yes it is true that I am the one complaining that it should be different. And you are the one complaining that the reality of the need for racial diversity should take a backseat to some fantasy concept of “magical” diversity.

    You claim that I misunderstand your point. I may have. But you totally misunderstand my point. Harry Potter, like Lord of the Rings, like the Narnia Chronicles, like Cinderella, like the Last Starfighter, like Spiderman, like Star Wars, like Starship Troopers, like Harry and the Hendersons, like Pirates of the Carribbean (a land full of non whites), like the Goonies, like Spy Kids, like Sky High, like Black Beauty, like ET the Extra Terrestrial, like the Sixth Sense, like Bewitched, like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, like Edward Scissorhands, like the Mummy, and like just about every other portrait of a fantasy spread across the silver screen it indulges the fantasy of the dominant culture with all white characters or predominantly white characters.

    Where are the fantasy stories based on black characters or a predominantly black cast? What contribution do black authors, directors, producers, actors/actresses, and other story tellers have other than the coloring in the background. It doesn’t matter the location. A white man goes to Africa, the white to black ratio will be something like one to an entire continent’s population, and the story told would be how this single man discovered the tallest mountain peak on the African continent when Africans were there for generations calling the place home. The Ghost of Mississppi tells the story of the murder of Medgar Evars. But the story isn’t actually told from the perspective of Mr. Evars or anyone in the Evars family. The story is told from the perspective of the lawyer who prosecuted Byron de la Beckwith, the man who was convicted for killing Mr. Evars. What makes the lawyer’s story so much more interesting than the Evars’ family? Certainly if such logic were to apply to the Harry Potter stories they could be renamed something like the Black Girl in the Background and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

    Harry Potter is just one of the latest examples of this very real racial exclusion. You want to defend this story as a work about “magical” diversity. You go right ahead. When the lack of magical diversity becomes a problem for our society I will make it a point to refer everyone concerned to the magical diversity displayed in the Harry Potter stories as an example of how we can overcome this problem. But magical diversity isn’t a major problem for my community or my family. The lack of racial diversity is a much more pertienent problem. It is very real and very apparent in the focus on stories that do nothing to address racial diversity but everything to reinforce racial disparity. Our issues are personal and are not happening in never, never land or in a land far, fary away.

    “But to say that ‘switch it so that whites play second fiddle to blacks’ and that would make everything better is like the woman that thinks that if you switch the genders in a SF to the woman as the CEO and the man is the nurse that it makes it feminist science fiction… Ummm…. no. Not if this switch isn’t explored, examined, and one of the POINTS of the story, it isn’t. It’s just a cheap gimmick.

    What difference would it make if every major character splashed across the movie screen or displayed on television was black with a few white people in the background for color? Why don’t we try it and see? Certainly if black people can relate to white characters it will work both ways. What harm will it do? The harm to the entertainment industry is that the members of the dominant society will lose interest because of their inability to relate to the character. Total acceptance would be lacking. And yet this is what the black community is faced with on a daily basis.

    I have to agree with you to a certain extent. Changing the racial identity of a character to a minority without changing the racial affiliation of the character does little to make the character more believable as a member of the racial minority. You mentioned Geordi LaForge as a disappointing example of a black character with little black affiliation and I could not agree with you more. He chases a white women across the galaxy while dissing the black assistant engineer trying to throw herself at him. It doesn’t take much to change a script to make a character more identifiable with the black community. Denzel Washington did it in the movie Inside Man. When the character Vikrim Walia was roughly taken away by the police, searched, and had his turban removed and taken away from him he complained to Denzel Washington’s character about the unfairness of his situation and the fact that he was not a terrorist. Mr Washington replied with something to the effect of, but you can catch a cab in Manhatten. The character Warrick Brown from CSI (the one in Las Vegas) is occasionally put in situations where the audience is reminded of his racial identity. There was a scene where somebody had called the local sherriff because they had assumed Mr. Brown, played by Gary Dourdan, was just another black man casing the area. The sheriff arrived with his weapon drawn telling Mr. Brown to drop to his knees. The situation was defused and the sheriff said something lame about just doing his job. Warrick replied with a comment like, and you don’t see a problem here?

    But in all honesty, the argument that you can’t switch a character’s race carries little weight as to why there aren’t more black actors on the big screen. Morgan Freeman, who refuses to refer to himself as a black man but as a mongrel, played Red in the Shawshank Redemption without any reference to his racial identity. He also played President Tom Beck in the movie Deep Impact. James Earl Jones played Admiral James Greer in the Tom Clancy movies without any reference to his racial identity. Yes these roles could have been played by white people or people of any other color without changing a single word in the script. Still, their performance as examples of black accomplishments (Mr. Morgan’s wish not to be recognized as black not withstanding) are good to see nevertheless. The black community needs every role model we can find, even the ones that have little affiliation with black issues.

    The reality is that the woman as the protagonist in the world of fantasy is a theme that is gaining popularity in the entertainment industry on a daily basis. I guess this means that more works of entertainment that are being made with white woman being cheap gimmicks. There’s Resident Evil, the Fifth Element, Aeon Flux, Elektra, Xena: Warrior Princess, Ultra Violet, Dark Angel, Bionic Woman, Beauty and the Geek, and Miss Congeniality. It appears that being cheap does not necessarily mean stories are unable or incapable of being created with heroines. The idea that it is too cheap of a gimmick only applies to racial minority heroes.

    This is not to say that it doesn’t happen. We both know this. But inevitably, somebody will come along and talk about Wesley Snipes as Blade or Halle Berry as Catwoman. It should be noted that, for the most part, Blade and Catwoman were the only black characters in their perspective movies. And it should be noted that Wesley Snipes distances himself from the black community by going on record saying that he doesn’t date black women and Halle Berry’s baby’s daddy is a white man. These two are hardly the role models that are crucial to the establishment of a strong identity of the black community. And even if they were, Blade and Catwoman as black characters are hardly able to make a dent in the large number of their white counterparts. For every Blade there are a ton of Supermans, Batmans, Daredevils, and Hulks. For every Catwoman there are tons of Wonder Womans, Supergirls, Batgirls, and Isis’. To say things are fine the way they are is akin to assuming that as long as a company has a black employee out of dozens, hundreds, or thousands then the diversity requirement is already satisfied.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Reply

  17. …. I see.

    Comment by ProserpinaFC | Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Reply

  18. I doubt it.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, July 1, 2008 | Reply

  19. I was pretty gobsmacked by the lack of main characters that were anything apart from a typically English lad from post war days. English schools (inc private schools here) have always had a good percentage of people of mixed heritage (English plus somewhere else), or simply black English people. I reckon the main characters in the film are simply white becuase :
    #1: it makes great sense from a financial stereo-typically english pov for the international audience.
    #2: the author herself didn’t step in and say, “Hey hold on a sec, none of the schools in my country have had that kind of racial mix since the 1900s”, and then change it to show an english mix of school friends that represents this millenium rather than the last. So by default, she’s gone for the bucks rather than the integrity.

    My pov at any rate.

    Comment by Chris | Thursday, December 25, 2008 | Reply

  20. you guys do realise this is a work of fiction and that the characters are made up and that it is up to the writer to decide what characteristics the main cast and crew should have… i mean after all.. this is fantasy not reality getting your panties in a twist over a book of fantasy that is simply meant to entertain is a bit stupid if you ask me but if you wanna rage war against harry potter why not noddy?, or other great books that are out there like the da vinci code or the bartimaus trilogy none of the leads in those books/movies are black… mainly because it was wrote that way

    Comment by philip | Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback philip,

      But do you realize that this post is a piece of my opinion? That it is up to the writer, me, to determine how I respond to the story? I mean this is how I feel about a story about white fictional characters and how black people, who in this story are put in the background to white people’s foreground, are omitted from being any part of the main story or from being a character of substance. Could or anyone off the street name any of the black characters in the background? Can you name any young black characters from any fictional story developed to be the lead character for the silver screen or mass distribution? I’m pretty sure that’s a resounding no, mainly because racial disparity continues to perpetuate that way. In my opinion, anybody who doesn’t see that is simply stupid and shouldn’t be getting their panties in a wad about things they simply fail to recognize. Racial stereotypes are a work of fiction. People see the negative behavior of a few black people and want to slap those labels on all black people. But hey, that’s just somebody’s fiction, right?

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, February 4, 2010 | Reply

  21. also if ya look you will see the majority of people are white yes thats true… but then again watch the all the films and look at all the extras by gosh there are people from all over the world there and of all differant skin types… now isnt that weird the majority of people are whit and minority are built up of wouldnt ya guess it minorities O.o surprise surprise there are 3 main leads in the film harry and his 2 friends the rest are lesser leads included in that are seamus (irish) lavander brown and dean thomas… omg 3 people who appear throughout the series in as much of the film as say nevil, also the school is in england… there are several magic schools in the film from all over the world so wouldnt it be a fair assumption to make that most of the school kids in an english school even when its open to the world is majorly english

    Comment by philip | Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | Reply

    • philip,

      The majority of the people are white but the few black people as extras is more than enough to prove equal opportunity? Is that your contention? There are people from all over the world in the background in a movie about white people so why should anyone complain? Again, where is the Harry Potter equivalent that features a black person? Where is the movie about a young black person trying to be a wizard? But hey, why should anybody complain when we can be the background to white people’s foreground when black people are so much the minority.

      I’ll try to spell this out for you if you’re truly determined not to see the point. If your claim is that black people are only a percentage of the population and therefore should realize that they would be a smaller presence in the entertainment business, I don’t have a problem with that. But where are the movies that reflect that black presence? Why is it that there are no movies about young blacks as the group of main characters? If we’re going to say that the ratio of black people to white people is about one to six, wouldn’t it make sense that there would be at least one movie developed every now and then that would feature young black people in the type of roles that white people constantly enjoy?

      But instead, you’ll focus on all the excuses in the world to justify black people not being seen as true equals. The story was in England for god’s sake. There are no black people to be lead characters there. Get over it! Not a problem. It seems like a bunch of movies are made in England. And black people simply have to wait for an equivalent movie set in a more black setting. Somehow, I’m guessing I shouldn’t be holding my breath.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, February 4, 2010 | Reply

  22. Your a racist-aren’t you,i didnt read everything but 2 me it seems you have something against black ppl and if thats not wat ur trying 2 do then your doing the wrong thing. You know what-fuck you.

    Comment by NONEYABEEZWAX | Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | Reply

  23. Wow!!! I’m racist against black people!

    Peace

    Pingback by Ignorance Is A Major Part Of The Problem « brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Reply

  24. This is utterly ridiculous. While it is true that blacks are largely under-represented in film and popular literature, Harry Potter is not one of them.

    As other people have stated there is a fairly large population of blacks in the books if you actually read the books (even though Lavender Brown is not black, I don’t know why people think that) but JKR actually makes a point to have an accurate representation of races and ethnicities in Hogwarts, particularly in Harry’s class. And considering that people of African descent do not make up a large population in the UK (nothing like it is in the US) blacks are probably over-represented. Southeast Asians are one of the largest minority groups in Britain and we only read of the Patil twins and we know of Lee Jordan, Angelina Johnson, Dean Thomas, Blaise Zabini etc.

    Also as stated before the premise of the book is about overcoming prejudice. Since I’m sure you are an intelligent person, I suggest you do your research before blogging unintelligently.

    And before anyone says anything ridiculous. I am black, and I purposely do not capitalize colors applied to people, since race is a social construct, not an ordained title.

    Comment by B | Friday, July 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback B,

      “And before anyone says anything ridiculous. I am black…”

      Too late, I think you already did. There are a lot of black people who refuse to take the interest of the black community to heart. I guess you think being black gives you some kind of legitimacy. And before you say anything else ridiculous, I’m black too.

      You, like a lot of people, think as long as there’s somebody in the background everything’s equal. No matter what happens, no matter what you see for yourself, no matter what is written, you just won’t get it or you simply chose not to. A lot of people chose not to get it. That’s why this racial disparity continues unabated.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, July 23, 2010 | Reply

  25. Why would people of other races look to a European woman to write about them, or represent them? People get angry with how they are portrayed by other groups, especially Europeans. For example someone in this thread was already complaining about how White American media already portrays Blacks. Another person was upset that the few Black characters in the Harry Potter series were essentially Blacks that behaved as Whites. As a White person I don’t think we can do anything right in regards to minorities, so we should just represent ourselves. And I think minorities should make movies that represent themselves.

    People of other races should embrace the traditional folklore of the countries of their origins, look to their own people to make movies or write about them, and not think that White people are responsible for doing so. I wouldn’t expect a Black story teller from Africa to use white people in the lead roles of the book he/she had written, or cast them in roles for movies made about those books. That’s called having a sense of entitlement. Anyone that expects J.K. Rowling to write about people of other races has a sense of entitlement.

    J.K. Rowlings is a European woman. She lives in a land that is home to the European people. Any non-Europeans living there are not native. It’s understandable that she would write about her own people. Europe is full of castles, and tales of witches, wizards, and warlocks go back to ancient times. European folklore was written by European people, for European people. Other people can admire it, if they choose, but they are not a part of it. Disney already took the European tale of The Frog Prince, and turned it into “The Princess and the Frog,” featuring an African American in the lead role.

    The South Asian (India) people have never expected Westerners to represent them in their films. That’s why they went ahead and created Bollywood, which is the second most successful film industry after Hollywood. The South Asian people get to watch films made by their own, so their characters are exploited by people of other races. I suggest other groups of people follow suit. They too could have their own version of Bollywood.

    Comment by Fossify | Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Fossify,

      But I’m afraid I don’t see your point. J.K. Rowlings is a European woman and lives in a country that’s home to European people so she should only write about European people because anybody else who’s in that country isn’t native? Is that how you really think? Did you know that America is a land where the Europeans are not native? Would it be acceptable if America stopped making entertainment based on European people and look to do entertainment on the native people? I’m sorry, but it doesn’t sound like your theory holds much water or was based on much thought.

      It’s not simply a question that Harry Potter films should have black people. If it is okay for Harry Potter films to feature white people then where are the fantasy films that feature black people? How come such films don’t get made? We’re not in Europe so we don’t have to pretend that only people native to America should have the focus of the American film industry. America, like Europe, is a collection of people from a variety of places. Why do we have such a focus on the European?

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | Reply

  26. Fossify,

    How does what you say make any sense? If white people need only represent themselves YET, they block other races from being represented how then can others represent themselves? And I know that you are not going to tell me that the media is not white dominated or run?

    If we want everything to be fair then we have to as a society either give everyone equal access to being represented or those in charge has to represent ALL in society. You can’t have it both ways. I want to represent myself AND keep control over who enters the game. Give me a break.

    And how far back is JKR going that she is focusing only on “natives”? I mean there have been minorities in Europe for decades and decades now. Generations of blacks have been there. Is this story supposed to be something that happened back before the slave trade? And then weren’t their Asians and Africans in Europe even before then? I would bet you there were.

    You make absolutely no sense. Try if you must to justify disparity, but no matter how you spritz the funk with perfume it will always be stinky.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Reply

  27. Wow. This is a topic that I have thought about a lot lately. I read through the postings and many valid arguments have been made. It seems that black people who enjoy reading/watching science fiction/fantasy have a longing to read about characters that look like them. In fact just today I made a google a search of black protagonist in science fiction and fantasy and found this sight. As one can guess there is very little out there in terms of black protagonist in sci fi and fantasy.

    Now I for one enjoy a great story. And the best stories transcends race. An example of this would be the Harry Potter franchise. It is being read and watched all over the world. Great stories will do that. Now writers often write what they know. I do not fault Rowling for her characters or any person who excitingly reads her books. I am happy that young people are reading. But I do wish to read stories in sci fi and fantasy that feature black characters. I want to see superhero movies with black heroes. Can we get one Black Panther movie and not beat the Spiderman well to death?

    I was telling a little girl of one of my friends a bed time story and she wanted one with a female super hero and I told her the story of Wonder Woman. I wanted to tell her one that featured a black woman/girl hero that she knew but she barely knew Storm from the Xmen. The next story was of Storm and I then made up a cloud princess story that featured a black female heroine. I was so disappointed and angry because of this. I felt there needed to be more black female heroes with powers. I myself want to read black heroic fiction that is fantasy/sci fi based and they are not out there. Man if I had any talent as a writer I would write one myself but alas my talents are not in writing.

    But there are black fiction novels out there but most of it is contemporary romance or urban romance. Wait! But there are the LA Banks novels? Too bad I am not into supernatural romance. Maybe some of the talented black writer will writer about characters they know and place them in a fantasy/sci fi world. And those novels will compare to “The Lord of the Rings” and Harry Potter. Oh I am sorry; I just fell asleep and had a dream of modern day heroic fantasy being written with black characters in the lead. What was I thinking? I mean dreaming. And if they were written would they sell and be optioned for a movie. I don’t know but I just want the stories to read.

    But hey it can happen in the movies. It happened in this century too. The “Matrix” was an example of a movie where minorities were cast in prominent roles. Damn Will Smith for turning it down for “Wild Wild West”. He was asked to be Neo before Keanu Reeves! And “The Matrix” was directed and produced by you guessed it—white men. So it can be done. someone just has to have the talent and the courage to as Piccard would say, “Make it so!”

    Comment by taozen | Monday, April 18, 2011 | Reply

  28. Black people are not as likely to get interested in what each other are doing. They do not cooperate as well, nor do they take things to the end in groups. They simply as a group do not try as hard to organize and reach a goal, this is what I have noticed. They simply are not as helpful. If they could get along, help each other and work toward common long term goals. Understand the importance of education and work for everyone. Then maybe things would pick up for everyone.

    Comment by Health Articles Writer | Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Reply

  29. I just finished reading a scathing piece on Harry Potter&no black actors of importance in the series or any back story on them..first I want to say there are recurring roles of black characters in Harry Potter..Ron Weasley sister even dates one of the black characters in “Half Blood Prince” who has been in the series since year one&I think he’s done a great job plus he’s really,really beautiful..do I know his name?no…they do say his name but I don’t remember it&it’s not important..the movie isn’t about how many black friends Harry Potter has,it’s about a boys struggle through puberty&finding out who he is&where he comes from as well as finding his place in the world&his journey along the way..As far as back stories go I want to ask how many back stories do you get about the main white characters?they probably go into more details in the books but they most certainly don’t in the movies..I have only read one of the books but I do own the entire series on dvd..you know what else?I enjoy them very much aaaannnnnddddd I’m black..I don’t know where this person comes from but I live in Harlem,NYC…I always had a problem with the show “Friends”…those people lived in the heart of “Green village”&never had a black friend or one in the background until almost(if not)the last season the show was on the air…I’ve seen more black people in Harry Potter’s world then in all the years of “Friends”..Aside from the fact that I find Jennifer Aniston insufferable I wasn’t an advent watcher..as someone who lived in the village for many,many years&still spends a lot of time there I didn’t find Friends to be realistic in this subject..in my opinion even with all the magic&wizardry I still find Harry Potter to more realistic in that case even if we are just in the back ground we’re still there&they even talk to us..So do yourself&the rest of the world a favor&lighten up on Harry&co..&enjoy it for what it is..a fantasy&entertainment nothing more…NMT.

    Comment by nmt | Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | Reply

  30. How completely offensive. The Harry Potter series is written by a Brittish woman who doesn’t owe black people a thing. She’s telling her story and doing her thing, and if black people enjoy and appreciate it, there’s nothing wrong with it. I find it insulting to have anyone tell me that, as a black woman, I can only be interested in pop culture that features or includes black people. I’m not so narrow minded or limited in my ideals. I also love Anne of Green Gables books, The show The Big Bang Theory, Fraiser, Seinfeld and the Chronicles of Narnia. I also adore Bill Cosby, Toni Morrison, Stevie Wonder, MJ the musician and the basketball player, and the list goes on and on. I have natural hair and am with a black man. So I like Harry Potter. So JK Rowling wasn’t worried about featuring black people. So What?

    Furthermore, if you knew anything about the books or movies you’d know that there are very heavy themes around a “supremacist” group trying to oppress and persecute those that are different than them. The books draw very stong parallels to the civil rights movement and the holocost. There are also very diverse nationalities represented and there is a featured black character. He’s the sports announcer and has lines and significant scenes in the movies. You’d never hear some Jewish person or Asians commenting on this because they have better things to do, like making a way for themselves regardless of what white people are doing to include them.

    Comment by Olivia | Friday, January 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Olivia,

      But I find your oversimplification of what’s actually being said offensive. The post brings attention to the fact that black people are being excluded from mainstream entertainment productions. No one said that anybody owed black people a thing. I find it insulting that you want to pretend that someone is trying to tell you that you cannot be interested in what interests you. You say that you aren’t narrow minded, but your response says otherwise. Anytime somebody says that the black community is bereft of adequate positive role models and/or the black community should want more for itself somebody will misinterpret the message as somebody trying to control the way black people think. If you actually believed that we shouldn’t be criticizing anything, you wouldn’t be trying to add your two cents to the conversation in order to criticize me and control the way I think. Don’t look now, but your hypocrisy is showing.

      Despite however much some people will say black people should have more identification with black issues and other happenings that pertain to the black community, some black person will come out of the woodwork to defend the status quo with all the faux indignation he/she can muster because they feel that somebody is trying to tell them what is and is not acceptable. Back in the day they would call a black person who would manifest such behavior an uncle tom.

      Even if I wanted to tell black people what and how to think and I felt that no black person should support non black centered forms of entertainment, it is a fact of life that such an endeavor would be hopeless because there will always be black people, such as yourself, who are more than ready to leave anything resembling the black community behind in order to plunge headfirst into the racially generic culture that is practically void of anything that might resemble the full wealth and depth of the black experience and not just the stereotypically negative and/or pseudo copies of the Bill Cosby and Toni Morrison examples of good Negro stereotypes. It should be noted that all the black entertainers you named, I assume, as proof of your blackness just so happen to be from the pool of black entertainers who are deemed acceptable and worthy of praise by the racially generic culture predominantly controlled by white people, heavily influenced towards the white community, and tailored to tell the wide spectrum of taste and experiences of white people.

      I find it insulting that you think I’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen the movie to know what I’m talking about. How would I know that it was void of any black characters of substance playing a key role in the story if I had not indulged? But like a lot of people, you feel that anytime a black person says something against white people’s culture that person speaks out of ignorance. Probably because you’ve been programmed to think that black people don’t matter. Probably the result of your skewed focus on things like that Big Bang Theory.

      But if you ever bothered to take a moment to think about the HP storyline, you would understand better. Harry Potter is a story revolving around two groups of people, the Harry Potter team and Lord Voldemort and his minions. One group of people is trying to eliminate its competition. This happens to be very similar to the way white people have eliminated black people’s true sense of identification with each other and replaced it with an undying loyalty to the racially generic culture that holds no meaning for anything black that doesn’t reinforce a stereotype. In the HP storyline, the group with the threatened existence is ultimately able to survive. However in real life, the powerful has successfully emasculated the weak to the point that we don’t even allow people to speak of this racial subjugation without our own black people coming out to attack and defend the system responsible for black people’s subjugation. You are more than happy to defend this subjugation. If I may use another Harry Potter analogy, you are like one of those dementors that should be protecting Azkaban prison but instead you are employed to harass the opposition to your master.

      Lastly, I don’t hear Jewish people or Asians commenting on the unfairness their racial minority groups suffer? Finally, something we agree on. The case of how black people are underrepresented, demonized, and oppressed in movie culture is unique to black people, the only people who have been enslaved against their will for who they were, bought and sold and controlled like cattle. We were the only race of people who have been subjugated solely for the color of our skin and programmed not to support each other. You would know that if you truly were thinking like a black woman and not just thinking like a “white people approved” black woman.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 28, 2012 | Reply

  31. “Lastly, I don’t hear Jewish people or Asians commenting on the unfairness their racial minority groups suffer? Finally, something we agree on.”

    Really? Must be who you hang out with and what few news sources you consult. I can’t go a week without hearing anti-Semite this, anti-Israel that. But, you’re right about the second part. Nobody gives a shit about Asians. Why? Because we’re the Other, the Yellow Peril, the Inscrutable Orientals. The one thing African-Americans have over Asian-Americans is that they’re accepted by Caucasians as Americans. When I was growing up, my parents told me that whatever I do, I had to do twice as well as any White or Black person, because I’ve got no place in this society otherwise; that was nicely illustrated a few nights later when I was out walking my dog, and a group of African-American teens started in with the “Ching chong yang wang” and asking me how I was going to prepare the dog for dinner that night.

    Pop quiz: Quick, in 60 seconds how many East Asians/Asian-Americans can you name (besides John Cho and George Takei [hell, he didn’t even really play a big lead]) that played a lead in a film or TV show that wasn’t a martial artist, some “ethnic” character, a tiger lady, or asexual nerd? In other words, someone “normal”. “The case of how black people are underrepresented, demonized, and oppressed in movie culture is unique to black people”? Brother, please. These days, who’s the villian in movies, TV shows, or video games? Someone black? Or someone Chinese?

    Asians (specifically East Asians) are the last ethnic group it’s okay to make fun of. Remember the “Two Wongs can Make it White” t-shirts that A&F sold? Oh, you don’t? Well, that’s okay; we don’t mind because that’s to be expected. But hey, maybe I’m underestimating you. Maybe you at least remember when Shaq went all Ching Chong on Yao Ming. Do you remember what his apology was? “I mean, if I was the first one to do it, and the only one to do it, I could see what they’re talking about. But if I offended anybody, I apologize.” Seriously? You call THAT an apology? “If I offended anybody, I apologize”? IF? Really? You have black folks on one hand claiming that it’s only okay for them to use “nigger” amongst themselves, and then use “chink” and “gook” — whoa, wait there a moment; when did they turn into Asians? And here’s a little bonus: if you’re old enough, do you remember the uproar when it was revealed that the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was a Chinese-American?

    The reason we don’t comment is that we’ve gotten used to the fact that we gotta make our own way. We don’t have the luxury of white guilt. Shit, most people don’t remember who built the Transcontinental Railroad, and how they were treated. You know why they tricked Chinese into doing the job? Because nobody else could have done the work! And what’d they get out of it, assuming they lived through the ordeal? Either they got sent home, or they got walled off into their own little ghetto. How did you think Chinatowns got started? Before they were tourist traps, they were human traps, to keep the “funny little Chinamen” away from everybody else — except when it was time for a good ol’ fashioned lynching.

    None of y’all will do a thing to help us — and that’s if we’re lucky. Did you ever watch “Do the Right Thing”? LA ’92 sure showed up Spike. “You, me, same! We same!” Sure buddy, sure.

    Comment by Steven | Friday, February 3, 2012 | Reply

  32. If this film was made in Africa… I wouldn’t call then racist if there was only one white man in the film….

    America (as far as ive seen on British television) shows a wide range of diversity and cultural differences among a wide range of ethnic backgrounds….. So id be surprised to see a film that didn’t include a black man in harry potter… IF based is in America!

    Now this film was based in Britain… So lets forget about London for a second and base this upon the majority of the uk… Now excluding polish, danish etc… There isn’t a great deal of black people in this country on the larger scale of things anyway… In all the schools primary and secondary that i have attended there have been very little of any black people… In fact the most i recall is two in my entire secondary education. And non of them ever received any form of racial abuse and was some of the most popular people within the school… Im no longer in school but same applies for the work place and every day life.

    And no the entire country is not racist before some ignorant person decides to speculate. We don’t stop them at the boarders because of there colour as London and few other places have wide varieties of ethnic including black backgrounds but its not common across the entire country… So why over exaggerate the number of black people within a film based off a country where there isn’t a great number of them in the first place.

    The fact you believe there should be is ridiculous. Your promoting racism in a negative way. In which i mean your views of this film are based on your racist ideology that European country’s exclude the black minority which in itself is a racist view… Harry potter film a side, i get the impression you believe white people believe they are superior like some sort of hitler complex. Which is moronic. I myself believe in equality but your views are one sided… If there was a film with only one white man i assume you’d say its about time they made a film with some black people in it… And see it as not racist!?

    Going back to the black kids at school… I mentioned no racial abuse to them… Yet small pale Scottish kid had just started and they bullied him calling him the milky bar kid and when he reported it they claimed he started it with spouting racism at them abd it was the Scottish kid that got into trouble because racism is one sided if your black nobody cares if a black mans racist to a white person… Where’s the equality in that… Were all equal black white green yellow who cares.

    Point is this film isn’t racist as someone already said the film touches on abuse towards people of different backgrounds from a country were there isn’t a large black community… Yet racism is still racism and it hurts the same no matter what your skin colour or background… So yes… It is the same and it does include views of racism and discrimination that is the same no matter what your skin colour.

    Comment by barry | Saturday, January 4, 2014 | Reply


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