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Is Lord of the Rings Racist??

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Is Lord of the Rings Racist??

Old 12-29-03, 09:52 AM
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Is Lord of the Rings Racist??

I was looking around on Fox News and found a story that linked to a French website that claimed that elements in the LOTR story could be considered racist.

http://paris.indymedia.org/article.p..._article=13086
The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings !

By Lloyd Hart

I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out "You great warriors of the West" in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a "crusade" against the "evil doers" in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the "evil doers" are of dark skin. Being married to an Asian American I watch people disregard my wife everyday while regarding me, simply because of her skin color. Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years I've been lucky enough to gain perspective that when you create an evil character (Uruk-hai) that resembles native Americans as they have done in the Lord of the Rings films a great deal of cultural and racial alienation will occur.

I am sure that once the filmmakers read this article there will be claims that they had to stay true to the story that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote.but the fact is, African and Asian cultures have always been a part of the European fabric whose ancient legends and fairy tales gave birth to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic portrayal of the battle between good and evil. And what about the Ancient Picts, a tattooed darker skinned cultured that once dominant in the UK. As someone who has grown up in one of the nation's of the Commonwealth of the British Empire, I know for a fact that J. R. R. Tolkien's generation were deeply influenced and thus deeply moved by all those people of skin color that fought alongside white members of the British forces in World War One and World War Two forming lifelong friendships and deep emotional ties.

In fact all Europe's mathematics, reading and writing and technological advancements in transportation and warfare are all based on African and Asian concepts. The reason that Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and why most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death is for the simple fact that the Freemasons and the Church have not yet let go of the death grip they have on each other's throats. In other words, the enlightened knowledge that the church has attempted to destroy that the Freemasons attempted to save and capitalize on with Western patents has turned into a death struggle that has created destructive technological paradigms here in the West that are now being forced on the populations of the entire earth destabilizing life and bringing with them the pollution of the air and water that once existed only in Christendom.

Of course there are redeeming images and ideas portrayed in the films such as the Ents protecting the forests by destroying the industrial military complex as well as the fact that white people can be turned to evil to join forces with all the evil dark skinned man flesh eating Orcs and Uruk-hai.

It is important to understand that young people are impressionable and influenced by the symbols foisted on them by the popular culture. It would not have been that difficult to make a contemporary version of the Lord of the Rings that included the heroic symbols of people of skin color. I think J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't have minded including people of skin color as heros in these films if he were alive today. Especially after witnessing the rise of the civil rights movements in both the U.S. and the U.K.. I'm so glad that the Dwarfs, Elves and Hobits finally got their due but unfortunately this was washed away by the lack of heroic images of people of skin color. After watching the Lord of the Rings films I thank the universe and Mother Earth for the Rap/hip-hop culture and the counterbalancing influence the Rap/hip-hop culture has on the youth here in America and around the world.
Yeah, I'm sure Peter Jackson is dying to read that article.

Of course this is not the first person that's thought that. Remember this from that baston of bitter film critics, Stephen Witty?

http://www.nj.com/movies/ledger/inde...5881712510.xml
If the answer isn't immediately clear, it may be because you don't share Tolkien's reverence for the ruling class and implicit belief in the superiority of Northern Europe. Always lurking on the page, it becomes more explicit in this installment, where you can't help but notice the abundance of blue-eyed, fair-skinned heroes fighting off hordes of swarthy brutes.

That's not necessarily an offensive choice in and of itself, or even inappropriate. Tolkien's Middle Earth was always a stand-in for an ancient, homogeneous, pre-Norman England; its whiteness can be a little startling but it's still preferable to those Hollywood movies that, trying to make the Middle Ages relevant, would drag in Sidney Poitier or Morgan Freeman as "the Moor."

But Jackson's movie doesn't ignore other races, or patronize them. It casts them as villains. Why is it, otherwise, that our heroes' latest enemies are said, ominously, to come "from the South," and enter riding elephants and wearing burnooses? Why, then, would Aragorn gives a rousing speech before the climactic battle, telling his troops that they fight for "the West" and all they hold dear?
Does anyone else think they are reading a bit too much into this? Or, if indeed the racist claims are true, why haven't major figures in the minority communities staked a claim against this film?

(I'm not saying I agree, I think they are reading too much into the films/books as being filled with racist messages. )

Last edited by DGibFen; 12-29-03 at 10:08 AM.
Old 12-29-03, 09:55 AM
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Oh common...... please.... that is so lame......


Dont have anything else better to do then to try to make the movie look bad........ f those stupid critics.......
Old 12-29-03, 09:56 AM
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NO
Old 12-29-03, 09:58 AM
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J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!
Old 12-29-03, 10:02 AM
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"I never thought I'd die fighting side-by-side with an elf."
"How about dying fighting side-by-side with a friend?"
"Aye, I could do that!"

Very racist indeed.
Old 12-29-03, 10:48 AM
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Pfffft. He made his position laughable as soon as he revealed himself as an extreme leftist with the phrase "homicidal maniac from Texas". (For the record, I'm against extreme righties as well.) It's funny that the story seems to hint that the U.S. is 'to blame' for all this, even though the movie was creatively a product of many New Zealanders. This line, in particular, cracks me up:
Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years
??? He sounds like one of those people who is 'so ashamed' of being an American he can't even call himself one. "No, no, I'm European... even though I was born in the US, and my parents were, and their parents were...."

Here's the guy's website, to give you a better idea where he's coming from.
http://dadapop.com/
It's quite funny. He comes from the extreme end that can whine about racial/gender/etc. injustice in anything(as opposed to the other extreme that finds something morally corrupt in anything).
Old 12-29-03, 11:05 AM
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Just another reason to give the middle-finger to France. Buncha wacked-out morons who eat croissants and have nothing else to do but to point fingers at others when they should be looking at themselves.

Maybe this dude needs to write about stories from the racist country of France. Jews are beat-up, Jewish stores burned, on a regular basis, but French officials do little about it.

And this retard needs to realize that some people who are dark-skinned, can actually be bad, just like those who were white-skinned (Christopher Lee, Brad Dourif, etc.).

I'm surprised no one has made a stink about the orcs being dirty and appearing DARK.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 12-29-03 at 11:28 AM.
Old 12-29-03, 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
Just another reason to give the middle-finger to France. Buncha wacked-out morons who eat croissants and have nothing else to do but to point fingers at others when they should be looking at themselves.
Yeah, nobody generalizes more than those Frenchies.
Old 12-29-03, 11:12 AM
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Yeah, and nobody knows how innocent the French are, like some of us do. I can only hope to rise to the enlightenment.
Old 12-29-03, 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by raven56706
Oh common......
Oh common?! WTF?
Old 12-29-03, 11:21 AM
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But he's not French, he's an American who wishes he was French. Which is so much worse, IMO.
Old 12-29-03, 11:23 AM
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Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and... most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death...
This is one of the most ridiculously untrue statements I have ever read. The whole article is loony but this jumped out at me.
Old 12-29-03, 11:31 AM
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You should read his other "articles". Wow.
Old 12-29-03, 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by DRG
Here's the guy's website, to give you a better idea where he's coming from.
http://dadapop.com/
It's quite funny. He comes from the extreme end that can whine about racial/gender/etc. injustice in anything(as opposed to the other extreme that finds something morally corrupt in anything).
I just searched his website and found this interesting picture of the author:


*Ok, someone had to use it
Old 12-29-03, 11:39 AM
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Old 12-29-03, 11:50 AM
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Don't laugh. Sometimes people of color get sick of hearing "Dark = Evil" or "Light/White = Good". Imagine growing up and hearing that all your life?

As a black person, when I read the trilogy(and saw the movies) I did feel left out because there where no "good guys" who weren't white. All the bad guys coming to help Sauroman where referred to as "dark skinned".

But I also understood that Tolkien was writing with English culture in mind. So people of color where not a common thing.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-29-03 at 12:12 PM.
Old 12-29-03, 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Giantrobo

But I aslo understood that Tolkien was writing with English culture in mind. So people of color where not a common thing.
Actually, it is even more than that. As Tolkien was writing a new Mythology for the Anglo-Saxon English heritage, it should be remembered that much of the fear of outsiders focused on the Moors and other "Swarthy" southerners who formed the external fear for the Anglo-Saxon conquerors of Britain (these Moors and other Arabic peoples I believe to be represented by the Haradrim). So, while it may seem to be racially insensitive to our "modern" eyes, it is fully consistent with the mythos that would have arisen during the Anglo-Saxon period (also consistent is the Wildmen who are "white-savages" similar to the Picts that the Anglo-Saxons overwhelmed in Britain).
Old 12-29-03, 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by wlmowery
Actually, it is even more than that. As Tolkien was writing a new Mythology for the Anglo-Saxon English heritage, it should be remembered that much of the fear of outsiders focused on the Moors and other "Swarthy" southerners who formed the external fear for the Anglo-Saxon conquerors of Britain (these Moors and other Arabic peoples I believe to be represented by the Haradrim). So, while it may seem to be racially insensitive to our "modern" eyes, it is fully consistent with the mythos that would have arisen during the Anglo-Saxon period (also consistent is the Wildmen who are "white-savages" similar to the Picts that the Anglo-Saxons overwhelmed in Britain).
Well said! You must view LOTR as a piece of mythology (or pre-history) that explains and naturally rolls into the English/European history that we know.
Old 12-29-03, 12:38 PM
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I'm surprised The Color Purple isn't called racist, because most of the cast is black.
Old 12-29-03, 01:08 PM
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That picture says it all.
Old 12-29-03, 02:05 PM
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cant believe people are crying about racism with this movie... half the cast isnt even HUMAN let alone meaningless shades of peachy-cream-to-dark-brown homosapien. Elves are basically pale whitish... but thats no more racist than a grizzly bear being brown... its just what color the species is.

at any rate, I think these days racism is where people go looking for it. If you really wanna see racism, try being a white-male looking for a scholarship or some government job where affirmative action is running the show. In any case, I see nothing racist in LotR unless its against Orc, Troll or Urukai.

j
Old 12-29-03, 02:37 PM
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The movie drumline was racist. Not 1 good actor , just a bunch of bad actors..... thats not right
Old 12-29-03, 03:00 PM
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no
Old 12-29-03, 03:02 PM
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Sure, it's racist...as long as you want to read it into the films.
Old 12-29-03, 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by jekbrown
If you really wanna see racism, try being a white-male looking for a scholarship or some government job where affirmative action is running the show. In any case, I see nothing racist in LotR unless its against Orc, Troll or Urukai.

j
Settle down a bit....I agree with your entire post, with regards to the movie. Don't turn it into your personal political arguments.

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