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

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

Postby Guest » Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:00 am

<P><STRONG>The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings<BR></STRONG><EM>By Lloyd Hard<BR></EM>Indymedia - December 29, 2003</P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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. </P>
<P>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.</P>
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Rubbish

Postby Duilus » Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:49 am

<p>When are people going to realie that:<BR><BR>1) Jumping on the "Tolkien's Works Are Racist" bandwagon is a pathetic way to get attention,<BR><BR>2) Insisting that fictional worlds created decades ago are necessarily connected to modern racial issues is absurd, and<BR><BR>3) People who write nonsense like this are stupid. </p>
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LOL

Postby philociraptor » Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:02 pm

<p>This was almost as ridiculous a read as the comparison between september 11th and the title of the second book. </p>
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Racism? Bah!

Postby greatsantini » Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:22 pm

<p>First of all, races in Middle-Earth are not distinguished by skin color, as they are here. Hence, The Fellowship itself embraces mutliculturalism, as it is composed of four hobbits, an elf, a dward and a wizard. Only two of the nine were men.<BR><BR>Second, no one is going to base their perception of real races in the real world on how imaginary races are portrayed in a fantasy film. No one based their opinion of blacks on the Gungans, and no one is going to mistreat blacks, asians, or indians as a result of LOTR. </p>
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*shakes head*

Postby TheFiend79 » Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:44 pm

<p>Not only is this poor soul from a different planet as far as Tolkien is concerned, he also seems to be from a different planet as far as world history goes. The criticism of Tolkien's racism has been beaten to death elsewhere, but this reviewers view of our World is as disturbing as his view of Tolkien's world. (Uruk-Hai look like Native Americans??? Wha? You mean with their metal armor and swords? *boggle*) <BR><BR>"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..."<BR><BR>Huh? I'm no Bush fan by any stretch, but first clause aside, come on, "white people" came from near the Middle East, in the Caucus region, hence "Caucasian," and the demographics of the world are the result of many centuries of people migrating and beating the crap out of each other. The great Persian Empires, Carthagians, the Mongols, the Greeks, the Huns, the Romans, the Moors and Saracens, etc all ripped and roared up and down though Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. To say that the last 5000 years of history has been white people invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging is reductionist, preposterous history at best. <BR><BR>"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."<BR><BR>ALL? I suppose this reviewer wouldn't have any trouble explaining why world Life Expectancy has nearly doubled in the last 100 years and the population increased like crazy, all the while Western Technology is "causing widespread disease and death." Nor would he have trouble explaining how the hell "white people" were able to invade and pillage and destroy if all of the technology of warfare came from Asia and Africa. <BR><BR>Not only does this guy betray an ignorance of history (not to mention medicinal practice), he also jumps off the Logic Bus at Conspiracy City. I'm surprised he didn't include the Jews ruling the world and oppressing others in his list of ills of the world. But reason and rationality are clearly not the strong point of this reviewer, who clearly fits facts to his opinions rather than his opinions to the facts. Assigning all the scourges of the world to "white people" and "Christendom" is just as racist and intolerant and hideous as any of the sins that this reviewer claims Tolkien and Jackson commit... </p>
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Ugh!!!

Postby Hurin-511 » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:19 pm

<p>I can't believe I wasted my time reading this drivel. Who posted this on the news list? </p>
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Left-wing crap

Postby bonch » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:39 pm

<p>I knew it was left-wing crap when I read this:<BR><BR>"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."<BR><BR>Riiigghhtt. Cultural sensitivity means letting people blow us up. </p>
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What drivel!

Postby opjose » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:53 pm

<p>As a representative of one of those "slandered" minorities (not), I find this posting insensitive and absurd.<BR><BR>One would think that all people of minority backgrounds are thin skinned, trite and emotionally evicerated.<BR><BR>What utter trash. Someone wake this guy up. </p>
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*exasperated sigh*

Postby Ravennelle » Mon Dec 29, 2003 4:01 pm

<p>This guy has too many axes to grind. He hates Bush, he hates industrialism, he hates Catholicism, and he hates racism. He's welcome to these opinions. You can make good arguments against all four. But he tries to buttress his argument that the movies are racist by pulling in all sorts of outlandish information. The Freemason/Catholic consipracy, in particular, seems to nudge Mr. Hard's article right over the brink and into paranoia. It's very hard to take such a man seriously.<BR><BR>I agree with TheFiend's points. Mr. Hard appears to be an utter ignoramus when it comes to history. I'm so upset with the outright misinformation in this article that I haven't even had a chance to think about the direct insults to everyone involved with the movies' production, much less the veiled insults to J.R.R. Tolkien himself.<BR><BR>Now, if I were to sit here and make as flagrantly ignorant an argument as Mr. Hard has just made, I could talk about the denigration of women and the glorification of violence and excess that are often the subject of rap music. Exactly the thing I would want <i>my</i> highly impressionable and easily influenced younger siblings to hear.<BR><BR>But you know what? Kids really aren't that impressionable. They listen to rap music for the same reason they watch <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>--it's <i>fun</i>. I'm pretty sure my little sister isn't going to run around beating on native American kids because they resemble Uruk-Hai, because they <i>don't</i>. </p>
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Huh?

Postby Thorondil » Mon Dec 29, 2003 4:05 pm

<p><i>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.</i><BR><BR>Has this person listened to Gangsta rap? Such a thin-skinned person would faint if he heard all the references to "hoes" and "female canines", crass materialism, violence, sex, drugs (well, not drugs, perhaps), and so on...<BR><BR>A side note to the use of "liberal": poor Americans, for whom "liberal" has lost its original meaning. A true liberal isn't anything like the lefties that get that epithet slapped on them. </p>
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I feel ill...

Postby Elven*Warrior » Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:03 pm

<p>I was expecting this sort of garbage eventually, but it still makes me ill. He accuses LOTR of racism and discrimination, but what exactly is he doing? It sounds to me like this man hates everything except the pathetic pop culture that is ruining the youth of today.<BR><BR>As others have pointed out, LOTR does in a way actually embrace different cultures (the Fellowship being the prime example). Even if one refuses to see that, we must admit Tolkien was writing a myth for <i>England</i>. I venture to say the majority of us are not going to attack African, Asian etc. myths because they don't fit with our race. </p>
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I guess he didn't watch TTT: SE...

Postby Lysandros » Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:36 pm

<p>Because he missed: <BR><BR>a) Faramir's delivery of book-Sam's speech which explicitly displays pity and compassion for these supposed minorities.<BR><BR>b) behind the scenes you will see various ethnic groups, including aboriginals, playing these roles happily.<BR><BR>If this guy sees natives americans in orcs, we should pity him, not native americans. </p>
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Someone has the wrong idea...

Postby ArienelFeawen » Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:00 pm

<p>Sure, Tolkien lived in Africa for a while, but he really grew up in Europe, which, at the time, was mostly inhabited by whites...Tolien was not a racist! Geez, someone needs to give this guy a reality check.<BR>Aragorn's speech at the end of the movie, for example, said, "Let us rebuild this world," and then he said something like, not for ourselves, but for people everywhere...<BR><BR>Arien </p>
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Nice try.............

Postby Witchking_of_Angmar » Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:30 pm

<p>Come to think of it, he isn't even the first clown to allow ignorance to dribble out of his pathetic mouth. I think Al Sharpton started it. There is something to tell your kids, I plagiarized Rev. Al Sharpton! </p>
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Ever notice...

Postby Jorus_Kando » Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:38 pm

<p>...That the ONLY groups of people comparing the Uruks to blacks or native Americans are the following?<BR><BR>1. Genuine white supremacists<BR>2. The PC police<BR><BR>Interesting how much they have in common, no? As pious as they claim to be, they still see minorities as "inferiors", just as the extremist right-wingers they so hate.<BR><BR>Extremism runs both ways, Lloyd ol' chap, and for all your supposed "compasion", you are, in your own way, as prejudiced as the nuts at Stornfront. At least they're upfront about their disgusting views. </p>
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HA! This is crazy

Postby Telperion » Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:41 pm

<p>LOL! This hardly is worth a response....what a dweeb. </p>
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A few syllables:

Postby NoetherianRingBearer » Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:18 pm

<p>HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA<BR><BR>HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!<BR><BR>If I didn't know any better, I would've thought that this was posted as a joke by some TORCer to make fun of the stereotypical criticism of Tolkien! It's not even well written!<BR><BR><i>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.</i><BR><BR>*Falls off chair laughing*<BR><BR><i>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.</i><BR><BR>*Faints in disbelief* </p>
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Postby Colonel-Rand » Tue Dec 30, 2003 2:57 am

<p>Yeah a guy is always an idiot when he doesn't conform your P.O.V.. You all act like chauvinism and racism are not plaguing our so-called modern civilization. You can remain blind all you want, but the truth is color and gender discrimination wreak havoc today and will continue to do so, if we all remind blind about it. <BR><BR>Tolkien trilogy is a fantasy and fantastic epic no doubt, but to support the idea that Tolkien epic has not a Caucasian or 'western' supremacist agenda in detriment of "other" people is to me to me sheer hypocrisy. Like you don't know Literature, the media and hollywood are part of the propaganda machine please! I skope my mind and yes I'm a black man!<BR><BR>Colonel Rand. </p>
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Now go ahead Bash me.

Postby Colonel-Rand » Tue Dec 30, 2003 3:39 am

<p>I wish you could understand your hypocrisy and arrogance. You don't even realize your own denial and its punitive consequences to 'other' people in this world today. Beyond Tolkien matters and trilogy, I bet none of you who responded, is black or a person of 'color'. None of you or your ancestors have been facing pillages, disfranchisement, atrocious brutalities, industrial exploitation and wholesale murders like us <b>for the last 300 years</b> .. I post not to seek your pity or to stir ill criticism but again to speak my own mind. Now go ahead bash me. I won't be around to read you. Certainly I won't waste my time reading and responding to reprimand or insults towards to me. <BR><BR>Peace nonetheless. <BR><BR>Colonel Rand. </p>
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I am african

Postby Colonel-Rand » Tue Dec 30, 2003 3:44 am

<p>Oh and in case you would like to know I am african, from both Ghana West Africa and the United States. <BR><BR>Peace again.<BR><BR>Colonel Rand. </p>
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Postby bab5nutz » Tue Dec 30, 2003 5:34 am

<p>I guess this guy does not know about an incident that involved Tolkien in 1938.<BR><i>The Hobbit</i> had met with some success, and a German publishing firm became interested in translating and publishing the book in German. So, they approached Tolkien's publishers with a view to doing this. They did have one all important question. Was Tolkien of Aryan ancestry? Or was there some Jewish blood among his ancestors?<BR>Tolkien sent a reply to them, telling them that no, he was not of Aryan extraction. That is, he did not have any Indian, or Gypsy blood in him. As for Jewish ancestry, no did did not have the honour of having any ancestors among that gifted people.<BR>Tolkien then told his publishers that he did not want his book published in Nazi Germany. He despised the Nazis for their unscientific racial theories. And he hated the way that the Nazis twisted and perverted the Icelandic and Nordic myths that he so loved, and would later form such a major basis for LOTR.<BR>This might not sound like much now. But back in the 30s, there were a number of well-known Britons such as Goerge Bernard Shaw and Evelyn Waugh who admired the Nazis.<BR> </p>
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You know who started this.............

Postby Witchking_of_Angmar » Tue Dec 30, 2003 7:35 am

<p>Since some people feel that everything is a "race" issue, I feel that we should address the root cause. Chess. The game of chess started this whole white vs. black thing. I don't think that anybody has caught on to it yet. When they do, we'll all have someone to blame, instead of crying about what happened 100+ years ago that I had nothing to do with. Everybody's got an excuse. That is the beauty of a free country. If you don't like it, pack up your stuff and leave. If not, than put your energy toward trying to solve your problem, not promote it. Running around throwing the racial trumpcard at every that seems to catch your fancy does not solve anything. </p>
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