I have no idea what it would like to be black. I accept the truth of Clarence Darrow’s empathetic words in his defense of Ossian Sweet: I assume being black must be overwhelming at times, all consuming, distorting how everything is seen and experienced. Nevertheless, it does not justify everything, It does not excuse anything. There are some reactions to the black experience that can be fairly labelled destructive, or foolish, or paranoid, or racist. Or ludicrous. When we see these reactions, we ought not to indulge them, nor hesitate for a second to call them exactly what they are. The fact that black Americans are reacting to being black does not mean that the reaction is always worthy of respect, and if there is a mass delusion born of emotion or demagoguery or fanaticism or despair, the best response may well be a bucket of cold water, or to point and laugh. Hard.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and it’s prequel “Fear the Walking Dead” are among the most diverse TV shows on network or cable, filled with villains, victims, heroes and martyrs of all races and combination of races, most of whom are doomed. Yet these shows have become yet another target of the Black Lives Matter movement, an even wackier one than Bernie Sanders. Apparently the shows discriminate against black characters. Well, it does if you are so besotted with racial grievances and suspicion of American culture that you can’t think straight. Just as the group sees hands upraised when there were none, it sees, along with lunatic race-baiter/author Tananarive Due, racial bias against black men in two shows that are thoroughly post-racial—you know, when the dead are eating the living, color really, really doesn’t matter. Black men was an essential qualification of this latest grievance, because arguably the most admirable and interesting character oin either show so far is a black woman, Michonne, played by Danai Gurira. Never mind, it’s black men that the show, like America, hates.
I know these shows rather well, in part because they contain great ethics hypothetical. I’ve been trying to think of any white character that these race obsessed guilt-mongers wouldn’t find offensively-treated if they were black. The putative star of “The Walking Dead,” Rick, is a weak leader, not too bright, and unstable. Make him black, and he’s an insult to black men; right now, he’s just an insult to police, Southerners, fathers, leaders, and American characters played by British actors. If Due and the rest can be insulted by the fates of the wide variety of black characters that have appeared on both shows so far, they can find a way to be insulted by any characters, plot developments, costuming make-up, or manner of death.
That, of course, is the point. That’s the trick, the “gotcha.” The idea is to make pop culture, government, the news media, everyone, jump through hoops, grovel and accept that black Americans are universally devalued and abused, no matter what the facts are. Everything is always racist. Thus we get over-heated nonsense like this:
“We–people of color, and black people in particular–are this country’s zombies. We are the horrifying shadow suburbia is afraid will slip through the window at night. We are the reason for the U.S. history of stockpiling guns, dating back to fears of slave rebellions. Terror over the nation’s “browning” make us the shambling masses who drive people to lock their doors and fantasize about barricades and sudden flight. It’s not true for all of us who love zombies, obviously, and it’s usually not conscious–but it’s the simmering social subtext.”
The proper response to this—the ethical response, the only response—is, “Oh shut up, you’re embarrassing yourselves.” If black activists can’t articulate genuine problems and potential solutions without spewing risible hyperbole that is useful only to seed irrational black hate, anti-white racism and dangerous black paranoia, then they simply will not make progress, unless they want to do it through violence. They lose their natural and rational allies, who are people like me. I can’t feel what it is like to be black, but I know silly when I see it, and I can discern crackpot arguments that trivialize serious problems. Applying racial quotas to zombie shows is silly, and should not be given three seconds’ thought or a sliver of respect.Giggles, however, are good.
When you feel you have to dig this seep for racial offense, gang, you raise legitimate suspicions that you are just making stuff up as you go along. This undermines your serious, important messages, if you really have them. The kindest, most effective, most helpful reaction we can offer is to just laugh in your face when you make arguments like that, in the hopes that the mockery gets you back on track. Black Lives Matter is at heart an unethical movement, but many of its complaints have weight, and deserve a hearing. Black Zombies Matter, in contrast, is demented, and while “deserves a jeering” would have been a neat way to complete this sentence, it wouldn’t be quite right. Dragging TV zombies into the discussion is irresponsible, and deserves hearty laughter, because it is so utterly stupid, and laughter is the best way to give this movement a chance to stop demeaning itself so it can do some good….if it can.
17 thoughts on “#BlackZombiesMatter: When The Most Ethical Response To Race Activists Is Mockery”
Well I guess Hollywood will not green light a remake of “Blacula” even though he is portrayed as being a strong character. The first two men he kills are effete interior designers for opening his coffin. So Blacula is homophobic and obviously this is an unjust accusation!
This is why we need people to be able to describe character traits using precise language; so they can ditch their overblown metaphors. It should be noted that it’s not “the black experience” that is causing problems. It’s the experience of having an appearance that has baggage attached to it, and black people do not have a monopoly on that, much as some people may want to believe that.
Since I have imagination skills, I’ll try to describe and evoke the feelings people are failing to articulate. Imagine you’re in a room full of people who are all the same in some way that is different from you. A room full of men, women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, millionaires, custodians, computer programmers, lawyers, athletes, actors, artists, whatever. They’re all talking about their lives, and their lives are not really that different from yours in the grand scheme of things, but the people, problems and priorities they deal with are just different enough from what you deal with that you’re having trouble identifying with them, and you feel awkward that they have to explain their lives to you so you can keep up with the conversation, and you feel inadequate and maybe even guilty for not dealing with the same problems they do, whether those problems are ones associated with a higher or lower level of wealth.
Now imagine experiencing that feeling repeatedly as you grow up, whenever you go out in public. Behold, the power of reputation: the long-term accumulation of impressions. It doesn’t just affect how other people feel about you. It affects how you feel about yourself. If you feel you’re a powerless outsider, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is that an excuse for remaining powerless? No, but it’s an explanation of what makes it so popular. Some basic empathy skills on anybody’s part could counteract this effect by allowing people to connect with each other across paradigms. Even if your experiences aren’t exactly the same, if you have experienced something vaguely similar, you can imagine someone’s feelings well enough to interact with them smoothly and respectfully.
Me, I grew up with a slightly easier problem. The other people didn’t know I was different from them unless I opened my mouth. Luckily I learned how to use empathy and the associated mindset of reputation (by combining it with strategy), so I was able to better fit in with people. That said, people can still freak me out.
As for the fictional characters, that’s a symbolism versus tranquility dichotomy, where tranquility is a technical term referring to the deconstruction of emotions. The mindset of symbolism (gestalt of synthesis and semantics) asserts that everything has meaning, so any person of any background on television must represent everyone from that background, unless there’s another character with the same background and contrasting character traits. Tranquility (gestalt of analysis and empathy) counters that that’s stupid; a character can just be a character representative of nothing, or perhaps representative of a concept only, and their background can be arbitrary or chosen for aesthetic reasons. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Let me break it down in a few words. Zombie movies are idiotic. Black radicals are as savage and idiotic as the zombies on those films. If they notice the comparison and are offended by it, so be it. If the shoe fits, wear it. My advice to them? Stop watching idiotic movies and get your own selves straight. That way, your problem is solved. If you persist in your zombie-like behavior, you’ll eventually wind up on the receiving end of a similar remedy. Assuming you don’t eat each other first…
“Get your own selves straight.” Easy to say, but it puts the entire burden of figuring out what the right thing to do is on the part of the listener. All you’re saying is, “you’re wrong at the moment.” That’s not very useful.
Wasn’t I plain enough, Poddy?! What universe do you live in that you come up with that from my remarks? I prefer to present things simple and straightforward whenever possible. You, in turn, seem to prefer convoluted mind games! It was a silly subject to begin with. Deal with things as they are for once instead of trying to impress everyone with demonstrations of your “unfathomable” intellect. And don’t put words in my mouth.
You used an edit post in the link at the end there…
I hate when I do that. My apologies. Fixed.
“When you feel you have to dig this seep for racial offense, gang, you raise legitimate suspicions that you are just making stuff up as you go along.”
I think the same point can (and should) be made regarding the “rape epidemic on college campuses wherein one in five women on campus are raped.”
I think a lot of this non-sensical sociological theorizing is a result of people having to write masters and doctoral theses that purport to present new ideas. The pressure to make intellectual break-throughs seems to ultimately result in people having to make (silly) stuff up. But these silly ideas are allowed to fester in the echo chamber that is today’s academia until it breaks out into the real world where it’s clothed, for a while, in legitimacy because, ironically, it’s from the academy. Dumb.
I think it’s a silly connection as well, but to be accurate, in Fear the Walking Dead, before the end of episode 2, of the 3 main black characters, 2 were killed and the other left, presumed bitten and ultimately “turned”…
In the main series, black characters come in and out like a revolving door. But, that is clearly mitigated by several MAIN black characters all with strengths and weaknesses like the white characters, you know, almost as if they are all just human and color doesn’t matter. White characters come and go just as rapidly, as one would expect in a purely survivalist series.
It takes alot to find offense these days, but hey, leave it up to the racial grievance industry to keep finding.
Just as soon as we fall hypnotic to the latest Leftist craze and do something about the so-called “dog whistles” and the so-called “subconscious racism”, the Leftists will find some other way that White People are still racist.
I just want to say to the people complaining about the casting on the show, and I did for a long time but not anymore.
Lennie James . Ok ? LENNIE FREAKING JAMES!! The badest ass character on the show is played by Lennie James .
But if they kill off Rubén Blades in FTWD Im going to be pissed. That man can steal a scene with just a look.
How can they complain considering one of the key roles in walking dead is Rick’s conscience– the role about to be filled by Lennie James.
Although there was a time if you saw a black character you knew he would die soon. lol
I think it’s easier to notice when the black characters die off because:
1) we’re all aware of the almost inside joke now that in horror movies or thrashers, the black guy dies first.
2) because Walking Dead is an equal opportunity killer – minor (2-3 episode) white characters die in great quantity just as minor black characters *BUT* those black characters are often portrayed more memorably or more positively than their zombie-fodder white counterparts that we NOTICE their deaths more because we care about their Characters more.
Wait. You guys actually watch that trash often enough to know who’s in it? My sympathies.
Once you realize it isn’t a show about zombies you realize just how good of a show it is regarding ethics, breakdown of civilization, etc…
In fact, call it “over populated bronze age world with zombies to drive into a 5 year time frame what nature took millenia to force man to do”
Make no mistake however, I did have my reservations about following fiction this actively…and I still do have reservations about passionately following other serial works of fiction.
Its basically a soap opera with zombies. I started watching it because I had read the comic books, then I kept watching because some of the episodes were really well written , then as more and more episodes were badley written , and I started to notice each actors bag of tricks I kept watching just so I could give people shit about it.
Although with Lennie James back on TWD I will watch to just see him. Great great actor. And the same for Rubén Blades on FTWD. Both are seamless when they act.