NewsWire: The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings - Indymedia

Read up and comment on the latest news on the past and future Middle-earth inspired films.

Postby greatsantini » Fri Jan 02, 2004 3:38 pm

<p>It's not an atheist agenda, it's keeping any government institution from shoving itself down our throats, just as the first amendment was intended to prevent. It's not an atheist agenda to take prayer out of schools; prayer has no place in schools, even if we took almost 200 years to realize it. Conservatives today want to legislate their religious beliefs (hence DOMA, gay sex laws, and adoption bans). Liberals are the ones keeping government secular. </p>
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the orcs represent african americans????

Postby Nuialwen » Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:26 pm

<p>Now, I've read all the books a couple times over and not once did I catch a glimpse of the racism you are speaking of. The only pieces I caught were that the Rohans were like the Celts, and the Numenoreans/Gondor are Olive and darker complected. The Orcs are monsters and the peoples from the south are just......peoples. I do understand what your getting at, and it's a valid point, but I believe your other point is the correct view, that the directors were just "staying true to the book." I think that's all it was. Then again, it wouldn't have hurt them to throw in a few darker skinned people, but I wasn't paying that close attention to the extras, maybe they did. Then again, there were white people playing the parts of darker skinned people and orcs....so, you make the call. Interesting essay, though. </p>
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It's really sad that there are still people who think like t

Postby Indolossë » Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:03 am

<p>I agree with most of you 100%, and if this article isn't a fake, I think that it's really sad that in this day and age there are still people that are so narrow minded. I see it every day, not just in relation to Tolkien but in the wider world as well, and I wonder why people who are older and have more experience in the world than me can't just wake up to themselves, and try to really make a difference out in the world instead of just trying to turn people away from Tolkien's work.<BR><BR>I also grieve that they won't look deeper into the book that we love and see the power, truth and beauty of it, without trying to find predjudice in it, that has nothing to do with Tolkien's work. I'll cite frealak in this - <i>Snuffle in the dark, children, for the master speaks great things about the human spirit you will never grasp<i>.<BR><BR>And what of the much needed and appreciated help given by Ghan-buri-Ghan to the Rohirrim? Doesn't that show that Tolkien was not racist, which is a ludicrous and irrelevant claim anyway?<BR><BR>Also, as an Australian teenage girl of Welsh ancestry, I have friends of many different nationalities and beliefs, and we are able to understand The Lord of the Rings for what it is, so why are there so many who cannot? <BR><BR>Oh, and one last thing, the Rap/Hip Hop culture that is so embraced by the other girls in my school, and *shock horror* is starting to infect even my friends... is possibly the worst pop-culture related thing ever to have happened to Australian youth. The author shouldn't comment on things that they have no idea about. Something can't be good if well known artists murder each other, and songs influence young people to be promiscuous and take drugs. And people like me are shunned by other young for rejecting it outright. I think it's wrong. </p>
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"Utter rubbish" would be unduly kind.

Postby Durin's Bane » Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:14 pm

<p>As a leftist myself, I can only lament in utter frustration that unless it was an exceptionally well-done piece of satire, this article is exactly the sort of hysterical, hyper-sensitive, ranting, "politically correct" nonsense from our lunatic fringe that is largely responsible for the current marginalization of the left as politically impotent laughingstocks in the US (outside of academia, anyway). I wouldn't even begin to know where to start criticizing it; the only way of dealing with "journalism" like this is to hold it at arms length with a pair of tongs, and drop it into the nearest wastebasket before the stench kills you. While it might appeal to the sensibilities of addled post-modernists whose sole purpose in life seems to be to read rape fantasies into Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and the like, those of us who actually inhabit reality will only react with a well-deserved snort of derision. </p>
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Postby smIsle » Sat Jan 10, 2004 9:29 pm

<p>I agree with most of what has already been said (esp. Cresson<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>) I'll try and add something-<BR><BR>What would Mr. Hard (or anyone) say if a movie was made, purporting to be in the deeps of Africa telling a tale of African Myth- and there were a couple European guys included as <i>heroic symbols</i>. I would complain. Would you? Both sides would have cause- The Africans because, hey! this is their story, and The Europeans could complain because it would be so obvious that they were only included for PCness. If you have to be forced to include someone it doesn't count- in my book anyway. Use the same idea for LotR and ask why colored people would be wandering around in a fictional Europe.<BR>By all means make a modern adaptation- Put it in a big city for all I care, use your imagination, write it down and maybe you'll do better than what's-his-name.<BR><BR>Delduwath: <i>The Neverending story had no person of a different race.</i><BR>hmmm- I seem to remember Atreyu and family having olive green skin... and that zebra doctor was black as ebony or something like that. But I have to agree that most people write about things they know. Maybe if we read/watched fiction written in another culture it would have characters prominently from that culture.*cough.anime.cough* <i>I</i> wouldn't write a character differently just because of skin color, as long as the situation is the same, we all act pretty much the same, and the differences there are transcend skin color. (of course that's just my opinion- I've just got one race inside me, I can't say what everyone else feels like. But I will say- I cannot tell what race or gender or religion or whatever someone is just by reading their comments on this board- as long as I don't wander into the Halls of Manwë or they don't start swoooning for leggy <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>) </p>
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Re: NewsWire: The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings - Ind

Postby ProblemChild » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:25 pm

TORCNews wrote: 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.


How would he know what Tolkien would or would not have minded?

You wanna know what I think? I think Tolkien made it quite clear what he wanted for his created people/races in his own created world. And I believe the filmakers did the best job possible of portraying the appearances of Tolkien's created races without leaning towards racism.

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.</P>[/quote}

Excuse me, but I think the rap and hip-hop culture is EXTREMELY racist. One can't even begin to compare LOTR being racist, which it isn't, to the racism of rap/hip-hop. Being white, i hate hearing lyrics from rappers saying that white people can't dance and white people don't know how to party, etc. To some extend this may be true, but the image that rap/hip-hop has established in the public that every single white person is rich, stuck-up, and has a flat backside is way more racist than any movie version of LOTR could dream of being.

This is simply because the racist images of the white population that modern-day rappers and hip-hop artists state in their lyrics will continue to go down in history as long as the world lets them continue, which they will.

His so-called racism in LOTR is not as dynamic. I have never heard anyone from Asia or Africa or wherever say that they believed the LOTR movies were racist. Even if someone did say it was racist, as made apparent by this thread, the statement would be shot-down or ignored anyway.

There are so many of us that love those movies because it portays a fantasy world we wish we could escape to when the real world gives us nothing but trouble. Face it, real life isn't fun and I think that everyone of every race or descent can agree with that. So all Tolkien did was create a world that is "fun" for us as a whole world to "escape" to, and in turn, Peter Jackson modernized the world's "escape methods" by making an epic film-version of Tolkien's books.

So buzz off the racist nonsense, we as a whole planet want the same thing---a better planet. And who gave us that better planet?--J.R.R. Tolkien.

I rest my case.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:29 am

Racism is not that difficult to spot You dont have to search it out it pretty much jumps right out at ya. I think that in some respects we are taking things too far in our efforts to be politically correct and not offensive to anyone in anyway. I think the characterizations had a lot more to do with symbolizing the Dark vs the Light which is really more to the point of the tale Evil is refered to as shadow which is undeniably dark. These are also fictional characters living in a fictional world that does not bear the struggle we have with racism. In Middle Earth the racism, if there were any, would not be formed along the lines of skin color when there were so many varied and obviously totally different true races all living in the world together.

I find that people making and supporting these claims of racism are more likely projecting something within themselves onto the material, seeing things that were never really there in the first place. Finally why is such negativity being projected into this world created and sustained by those of us seeking a bit of a reprieve, an escape if you will, from the rigors and realities of the real world we actually live in. If we want to address those issues there are far more appropriate and even possibly effective avenues to pursue that discussion rather than intrude upon the purpose of this board and those who gather here. Let's try to drop the real world at the door, OK?
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Postby Hiril Elfwraith » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:40 am

Puh-LEEZE!!!

One of the massive themes was UNITING against evil! There are some prime examples of anti-racism. The Fellowship is indeed a great example, but the one that immediately came to my mind is Legolas and Gimli.

Legolas was an Elf and Gimli was a Dwarf. The two races are completely prujudiced against each other, and the two probably weren't utterly thrilled about getting stuck in the Fellowship together. Indeed, they were nice to each other, which is good, but still.

They became such good friends that Legolas was convinced by Gimli to go into caves, which he hates, and Gimli was convinced to go into Fangorn to explore, which he hates. They wouldn't have done that otherwise, and certainly not for someone of the other race before the War of the Ring and the Fellowship. It shows how dumb and thin racial prejudices actually are.

Also, um...The part about Theoden yelling about "You great warriors of the West"? As far as I know, Theoden never said anything like that. He just called to the Eorlingas and Riders of Rohan. The only one who said anything remotely like that was Aragorn in the movie. And there is a reason for saying "Men of the West", because the West was where Valinor lay over the Sea and besides, Mordor was in the East! So obviously the Men of Rohan and Gondor would be Men of the West.

Whoever wrote this doesn't even know what he's talking about. Sorry, but if you're going to bash something, you might as well get to know what you're bashing! And your arguments, too. Get to know what the heck you're talking about. This is just plain pathetic.
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