As white people, we are used to representations of ourselves crowding the covers of magazines, crowning the posters of newly released films. The good guys are white, we have learned, after eons of our faces being plastered under cowboy hats and in impeccable Bond suits. White men are Superman, we have learned. White men are Ethan Hunt and Neo and white men are hobbits. Bad men, we have learned, are black. They’re gang bangers and thugs and talk loud and sometimes deliver funny lines where we laugh at their Otherness. Black men aren’t heroes, we learn. Our imagination and subconscious are so saturated with white supremacist notions of goodness, beauty, and heroism, that when confronted head-on with an image of a black man who is brilliant and kind and normal and who saves the day, we transform into robotic versions of ourselves: Does… not… compute. Hero… must be… white. It’s this line of thinking that turned Disney’s Princess Tiana into an animal for 95 percent of the movie. The collective white imagination had difficulty imagining a black girl as a princess… and so she became a frog.
First they freaked out when Rue was black; this time it’s Beetee.
The next day on the bus, I overheard a young woman and her friends — who had just come from the film, apparently — exchanging their thoughts about what they had just seen, and the young woman said, “I thought it was awesome. Well, except for Beetee. Why the f*ck did they make him black? Beetee wasn’t black.”…. After hearing this young woman’s comment, I jumped on Twitter and searched mentions of Beetee’s name. I came across the usual racist vitriol, but there was the occasional tweet that looked like this:
Like, it’s not the fact that he’s black, IT’S THE FACT THAT HE ISN’T BEETEE.
I saw more of the same in comment sections on various articles around the web. Never read the comment sections, guys. Really. And it has led me to believe that the problem isn’t that Hunger Games purists who believe that Beetee looked a certain way were disappointed that the film strayed from that representation, it’s that white audiences in America are afflicted with a certain limitation of the imagination when it comes to the representation of characters they are fond of.
The powerful ending to Janelle Monae’s (and Erykah Badu’s) song “Q.U.E.E.N.” The acronym: Queer. Untouchables. Emigrants. Excommunicated. Negroid.
God, I love this song.
But why did you have to misspell “label,” gifmaster?
i’m sORRY I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I ASK MYSELF THIS EVERY DAY WHYYYYY IT BURNS MY SOUL UGH FUCKING LABEL???? I GOT FUCKING /LABEL/ WRONG IT PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH WHEN I REALISED BUT EVERYTHING WAS WAYY OUT OF CONTROL BY THEN and also i think the actual reason i got it wrong was because i had just typed able for the previous one but shit man /label/ i checked everything else so many bloody times
It’s a dream come true for anyone who has ever spent an evening at the Renaissance Faire wishing that they could wear the pretty dresses AND the awesome armor. We utterly love this fashion spread from designer Pinkabsinthe.