March 02, 2013

Stereotypes and comics -- or, it ain't whose fault you think it is

After reading through this article about stereotypes, I got to thinking (again) about this superb article by Comics Alliance's David Brothers. Interestingly, David addresses the matter of writer Reginald Hudlin's Black Panther from an "angry black man" perspective (and its critics), while two and a half years ago I did so from an "It's just comics!" viewpoint (while also mostly supporting Brothers' points). But here's a point that struck me from David's article:

People suspecting creators of writing while black is much, much more common than you might expect, and it's never pretty. Dwayne McDuffie got it bad, particularly when he was working on Justice League of America for DC Comics.

It comes from the thing I mentioned earlier, when people look at books featuring black characters or black creators working on black characters as a "black book." That sets up certain expectations, for better or for worse.

But ... whose fault is that, primarily? I Tweeted my response to David about these thoughts (without reply, which is perfectly fine, of course), but let's face it: It is the progressive political ideology which primarly permeates Comic Alliance's site (and most comic creators, too). It is "progressives" who are racial bean counters in education and employment, and (especially in the former) expect African-Americans (and other minorities) to "represent their race." And then these same "progressives" wonder why folks expect black people to ... represent black people? And are offended by it? Gimme a break!

Just look at what happens to African-Americans who dare to journey away from the confines of the Democratic Party. (Or worse: join the GOP.) Martin Luther King Jr. talked about looking beyond skin tone; now, "progressive" pundits opine that colorblindness is "an adolescent view of race relations." The examples are endless.

So, if you're looking at someone to blame, David, for the perceived stereotype that black creators have to "write black," it ain't conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, or even people with anachronistic racial views. It's the "progressives" who have inculcated our contemporary culture with the opinion that is not only "good," but necessary, to have "proper proportions" of individuals from different racial groups to "embody" said groups.

Posted by Hube at March 2, 2013 09:59 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

"Adolescent view?" I'd say it's the mature way of looking at.

And yeah, Hudlin's Black Panther run was terrible and filled with "blame whitey" crap. It also derailed Storm's character quite a bit by having her marry Black Panther, even though they just had a one-time romance and that was about it.

Posted by: Carl at March 2, 2013 03:32 PM

This is classic! Today, you are considered "racist" if you DON'T CARE about a particular minority group because you view them just like every other Joe out there.

By being color blind, you're now racist. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Ask 100 different people to define "racist" and you'll probably get 100 different answers. Convenient, isn't it?

Before I was very political (and considered myself a default liberal) I was called racist for questioning Affirmative Action in class. I think I said something along the lines of, "I'm not sure why a black doctor's kid should get preference over me when we apply to graduate school simply because of his skin color." People looked at me like I was from Mars.

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at March 3, 2013 02:36 AM

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