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Old 03-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #5
muskrat_skull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
The below is directly cribbed from one of the responses. I completely buy it:

"This isn't racist or offensive: I think it is a very interesting comment on the Wizard of Oz's writer Frank L Baum, and current media. We tend to view the Oz stories as playfully childlike, and thus put the author on a pedestal. It is actually very clever, and if you move past the (rightful) indignation, and see the historical inspiration for the photo, it reflects racist attitudes, but does not promote them.

Mark Twain has been considered a racist over the years, but in his time was considered a radical humanitarian, and the idea that all men are created equal and that freedom is a right, regardless of race. But the "N" word, while a derogatory comment even then, has become much more stigmatized today. While Twain used that term because it was an acceptable usage in his time, his novels defy that accepted attitude . If someone were to be in a Huck Finn movie today, I would think the idea of maybe putting one of the adult characters into a Mark Twain costume and black face would be a good reminder of the socially charged atmosphere that we often ignore or "put" up with, and would show contrast of how some things have gotten better, while showing there are still issues.

Going back to the very clever picture (yes, clever), it has taken the line "there's no place like home" and juxtaposed it against Baum's own desire to take the homes away from the original inhabitants of America, to quote the article "was an outspoken racist who called for the literal "annihilation" of Native Americans in an editorial for the newspaper where he worked in December of 1890, just days before the Wounded Knee Massacre."

This photo is speaking on very many levels, and if people get offended, then clearly they don't understand their own culture or history."
I think it totally misses the point about how she was dressed up and chose only to focus on the Baum part of the author's argument, which probably was a little weak.

Most white people know next to nothing about the white people they support, and probably didn't know about Baum. They are the ones that don't understand their culture. And honestly, they don't care to in many cases.

The photo is a lame attempt to glom on to ndn-ness to sell magazines. Put her on the When White People Go Bad page.

The comparison with Twain is also lame because Twain used the N word in the idiomatic speech of his characters for the sake of accuracy and local color, rightly or wrongly. A character like Huck Finn would have used that word. Huck used the word as an ignorant child who actually liked even loved Jim in his way.

Baum, outside the confines of his work, as L. Frank Baum, chose to express in the press his own racial hatred. As himself. There was no expression of love or compassion.

Another pseudo-intellectual trying to argue comparing apples with oranges. And the article was just another sad attempt to get attention for an actor and magazine that apparently isn't getting enough attention already.

I think the idea of putting anyone in black face or "red face" is appalling and serves no social good and for the author of the post above to suggest that is pretty ignorant. Racism is never "clever", even if it does appeal to whites. It does nothing to raise awareness, it simply looks bad.

The ad posing as a photo shoot if taken at face value, even if a Native American posed for it instead of a white person trying to look native in some weird way, makes light of the horrible events of ndn removal and genocide, as if ndn removal was just an act of nature, like a tornado, and people just got moved to a strange and wonderful place, were educated and strengthened by the journey, which was in fact just a dream, and their real lives began more enriched.

Worse, it looks like gloating.

The stylists were smart in using just enough to evoke the idea of ndn-ness but leaving enough ambiguity to try to skirt responsibility. Perhaps that's the cleverness the author above speaks about. I think she looks like crap and wonder why so much effort was made.

All this said, for me, I don't care, this stuff goes on all the time, people have the right to wear what they want, however in bad taste it is. I just don't support it if I don't like it.

Last edited by muskrat_skull; 03-15-2013 at 01:13 PM..
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