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04 July 2021

Film: Black "Annie" Diversity Casting?

A famous classic musical film was remade using a protagonist with a Black skin. Traditionally the protagonist was played by a white girl. 

Is this part of Hollywood's "Diversity Casting" campaign? 

Sounds good. Good musical play. Actors sing very well. I was not bothered by the Black Annie. What I was still bothered was a rich man who adopts Annie was a Black man. 

Maybe a white man adopts a Black girl is not politically correct? 

But how many of white audience enjoy this film? Wasn't it for Black audience?

In the last scene of the film, a Black man kisses a white woman. Is this widely acceptable in U.S.? 

Wasn't this too much of liberal twist?  

I am not being racist but I am realist and view the world from realist perspective. 

Look who was the President of the United States last year. 

I just don't think this casting really fits the current social trend of that country. 

28 February 2021

Film “Hidden Figures” breaks the stereotype

It’s been thought women are not good at mathematics and not suitable for engineering jobs. But that kind of notions were proved to be nonsense a long time ago. The film “Hidden Figures” described three Afro-American women working for NASA rocket engineering department as mathematicians, in Jim-Crow era, 1950’s to 1960’s.

 

I learnt about the film by Voice of America article on NASA’s International Space Station program. NASA named the supply ship to the ISS Katherine Johnson after one of mathematicians in the biopic film.

 

They were not only being woman but Black women, who had to sit down on back seats in public bus and could not share the same bathroom with their white co-workers. But they did contribute to the very difficult space programs by calculating the orbit and designing rockets.

 

If they were white male, this story cannot be a film.

 

Breaking stereotype is the most important factor to counter racism or other type of discrimination such as gender, and sexual orientation. Stereotype is the origin of discrimination. Prejudice is biased view on others using stereotype images. Then people discriminate others based on prejudice.

 

Stereotype is baseless information about others. Like all Japanese can do Karate, which I don’t. You cannot generalize others based on such stereotype. The sad thing is people judge others by these stereotypes and then sometimes treat them badly.

 

In the film, NASA officials found the women very useful to the organization’s projects so they accepted them equally. If they hadn’t accepted them as legitimate staff, NASA would have lost such great assets and wouldn’t have succeeded in historic space missions in those days.

 

Stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination undermine progress of our society.

 

Let’s get rid of such things from our world.

20 February 2016

Disney's film "Song of the South" Not as racist as thought to be

The film's portrayal of the 19th century South was unrealistic. Although the story took place after the Civil War, portrayal of Blacks was not bad.

Until civil rights era, the old South was wrongly portrayed as if Black people were happy serving white people.

In that film that was the way they were portrayed. Funny thing was they had friendly relationship with their white family. In the first scene, a Black servant woman sat right next to a white boy facing his parents in a carriage. That woman was played by the same actress who played Mammy in the film "Gone with the wind." However, that thing never happened in the old South. Blacks were supposed to sit in the back of a carriage. "Gone with the wind" has the same portrayal as well. Mammy was like mother to white family's daughter.

Maybe that was the problem. The film depiction of the old South was wrongly better than real history.

Great thing about the film was combination of real scene and animation. It is as good as modern time computer graphic technique.

The story of rabbit gives us lesson of how to handle troubles. Even you get away from some troubled place, you never can get away from troubles in life, so you have to deal with it and be smart.

I think that was the core message in the film.

23:44 Posted in Film, Media, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: afro-american, racism

23 January 2016

Being Rosa Parks at US Marine Camp Schwab in Okinawa

From last December to beginning of this month, I was in Okinawa to join protest activities of locals who are opposed to construction of new military base runways in US Marine Camp Schwab in Nago city, Okinawa.

Why we are opposed has been described in this blog for years. Please read the posts clicking the tag Okinawa.

Especially, this article gives you outline of what is going on there. My letter to US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK.

While I joined the protest, I used picket board that says "We are Rosa Parks."

history,military,okinawa

Rosa Parks as you may know, is the symbol of refusal to unjust matters. A Black woman who refused to give front seat to white passengers in a bus and was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, 1955. But her action sparked bus boycott protest led by Dr. Martin Luther King. 9 years later, civil rights Act was passed. A year after that, Dr. King led peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery to call for enactment of voting rights bill. Black people in the Southern states were blocked at voting registration office.

What surprised me was marines reaction to the picket board. Young marines looked positive. I asked one security guard, who was a young white man inside the camp premise, if he knew what it meant. He said smilingly "I know what it means." One Black man driving a car looked at me, smiled and gestured his support. "Rosa Parks" is known to every American.    

I saw the movie, "SELMA" after I got back home in Tokyo. It was a great movie. I found how hard it was for him to do this. A lot of people were hurt and even killed. But he and his followers never gave in.

Interesting thing to know was Dr. King was a very smart man so that he once retreated the march to avoid bloodshed by local police. He filed lawsuit against the Alabama state that bans peaceful march. Then the court made an order to allow the march. He prevailed.

Just like Rosa Parks and Dr. King. we did peaceful protest at the gate of Camp Schwab. Sit-in-protest at the gate that construction vehicles passed through.

Police came and took us from the gate. We never foughtback but just kept sitting down on the ground. I was carried by the police from shoulders to toes.

history,military,okinawa

Protestants do every day. It has been going on for years. There were several injuries and arrests. But we still keep doing this. We cannot stop the construction but at least we are delaying that. We will never give in.

While I joined in the sit-in protest, I really felt like Rosa Parks, Dr. King and their followers in their times. We may be backed up by their souls. 

Thank you, Dr. King and Ms. Rosa Parks. I am proud of being part of this protest activity.

The US government should hear the voice of protestants and halt such stupid construction project. It is as stupid as segregation laws. It is actually what is happening in your own yard. 

 

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