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Holy fucking shit dude, would you like me to play you a song on the tiniest violin in the world while you cry about how hard it is to be a white conservative nerd these days?

“I’m not allowed to complain about anything ever!” cries the man that 99% of all western media caters directly to. “Who will think about my feelings and the cognitive dissonance I experience when I see a black man in a superhero movie?”

For somebody who’s apparently tired of everyone thinking he has a persecution complex you’re doing a fantastic job of whining about stuff that makes you look amazingly petty, un self-aware, and yes, like a quintessential Dumb White Nerd complaining about black Heimdall because “my verisimilitude!”

Your whole bit about food stamps and how you, personally, are not living in the lap of luxury and therefore all this “privilege” stuff is overblown is, instead of merely being laughable, actually kind of contemptible in a “playing misery poker” sort of way. As someone who has similarly had the pleasure of experiencing unemployment, wrangling with benefits services, the pressures of debt, and other such realities of life in this, the year of our lord 2014, allow me to point out that only one of us is using this as an excuse to throw a pity party while also complaining about those pesky black people invading our comic book movies.

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And while we’re on the subject since the editing window on that last reply is about to close, let’s talk about the whole “tokenism” thing re:

I’m still trying to figure out when tokenism went from seeming annoying and kind of racist to being the only moral and correct thing to do. It is like a quota system, but people don’t respond well when others talk about it. If a show doesn’t have at least one black friend for the protagonist, people complain about “too many white people” and “old white dudes” and stuff like that… which is a little weird when it’s white people doing it.

First off, people don’t want “token” characters, they want more diversity period. The reason you get token characters is because very, very often producers and directors are extremely reluctant to add more than token characters to their production. Hollywood is of the belief that if you put too many black people in a movie’s cast that audiences will assume that it’s a Black Movie, i.e. a movie aimed squarely at black audiences first and foremost, and therefore wider audiences (i.e. white males in the 16-44 demographic) won’t go and see it.

“Tokenism” isn’t the goal, but tokenism is frequently what producers are prepared to deliver, which means that if it’s a choice between one black character or no black characters people are going to be happier to see something that at least acknowledges that black people exist than something that doesn’t. Because let’s fucking face it, there isn’t a director on this earth that has enough clout to make a Fantastic Four movie with, say, 4/5ths of the main cast being non-Caucasian with Ben Grimm as the token white guy (who turns orange around the 30 minute mark anyway).

If we’re talking television shows let’s talk Brooklyn 99, which has within in its main cast two black men and two Latina women (along with an Italian American, a Jewish man, and a few white folks of non-specific descent). There are a lot of interesting and informative articles and interviews out there regarding the show’s casting which talk about how unusual it is for a show, even a show about a police precinct in New York City which is one of the more diverse cities in the country, to have up to two Latina actresses at once, holy shit.

““There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.” In a blog for Latina.com Stephanie Beatriz shared honest, open thoughts about her initial reaction to learning that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And she was almost right in her assumption, because, just a few years ago, this isn’t something that would have happened. She went on to describe “The Latina” as a very particular trope on television, and there’s always been just room for one—which is why she thought Fumero’s casting automatically meant bad news for her. FOX surprised Beatriz, and she ended up getting cast as Detective Rosa Diaz.”

We live in a day and age where something like this, two Latina women being cast on the same show together, is considered a newsworthy, surprising turn of events. The idea that we’re on the precipice of white men being massively disenfranchised in media is, frankly, laughable. More importantly, this helps illustrate how frequently reluctant media is when it comes to diverse casting when “two people of the same non-Caucasian ethnicity on the same set” is a radical departure from the norm (unless, again, it’s a show being aimed squarely at an audience of that ethnicity).

The other thing let’s talk about is the idea that it’s weird for white people to bring up lack of diversity in media. Like goddamn man, that is a seriously fucked-up position you’ve decided to take, that it’s weird for other white people to maybe not want the media they consume being 99% other white people with the occasional token sprinkling of color (but not too much or the Millennial liberal atheists will have won). I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself that the only reason another white person might want more diversity in things like comic book movies is apologetic self-flagellation over privilege guilt or something, but I’m pretty sure that speaks more to your own preconceptions and, yes, prejudices than it does anything else.

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Jason McCulley said on December 9th, 2014 at 3:38 am

Read the comments solely to see whether Warren Ellis had noticed his namecheck.

Disappointed.

Also disappointing? White guys saying “why can’t Johnnny Storm be white?”.

I expected better here.

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bad johnny got out said on December 13th, 2014 at 1:24 am

I wanted to share some VERY IMPORTANT OPINIONS about Black Johnny Storm. But on second thought, ugh, shut up about your credit cards.

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