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Is King Kong a racist movie?

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    Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:03

In 1933 the classical movie King Kong hit the theaters. In 2005 a relatively faithful remake, but with a more advanced set of visual technologies, made by Peter Jackson once again showed the aggressive, savage like natives of Skull Island sacrificing women to the big ape, and the big ape having an affection to a white women (an affection that he obviously never showed to the black native women which he usually ripped apart) and finally the big ape being chained and brought to New York where he could have a final show down with the airplanes.

Those who claim that the films are racist see the racism on two levels. One is the rather stereotyped image of the native people of the island, who are portraid as very savage, nearly inhuman (in Jacksons version some have seen a resemblance with the orcs or Uruk hai of his LOTR films) and who sacrifices their own young girls to the beast. Some also see another level of racism where King Kong himself becomes a symbol of the superpotent and bestial black man who lusts for white women (while he trashes women of his own color). In the film one can see how the white men manages to subdue him and bring him into the civilisation, but his wild nature is hard to tame and he breakes free and once again takes possession of the white woman. But in the end the white man manages to finally subdue the black male and win back the fair lady.

Some debaters have asked why Peter Jackson brings these old stereotypes to life again, does he not see the racism, does he not care, or does he maybe agree to the sterotypes. Or is there any racims at all, in the 2005 movie? Maybe it is just a tribute to the old film and to fantasy and adventure in general? What is your opinion about this?
 
Big Black and bad stereotyping
 
King Kong Faces Racism Charge


Edited by Carcharodon - 03 May 2011 at 13:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:12
Oh boy! So now it's a mistake that Jackson didn't portray Kong as a concerned metro sexual who was responsible for the welfare of those appropriately dressed natives flaunting the latest in Kong Island sportswear. We should have known better that this film would, years later, rise as fodder for the effeminate. The movie was still lame. No blood, guts or gore. Just happy photographers, happy natives and a large Gorilla with a hankering for one hot chick. If today's women could be so lucky!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:18
I don't think Jackson had the imaginative wherewithal to bring the film in a new direction. Just big effects and a faithful story.
 
How about this? It seems the mad brute still has some mileage yet.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:21
Some people really do make it a priority to go out of their way to be offended.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:22
Oh, that's good. See...ladies really do like brutes. Seko to himself - "quick, where is the nearest hiding place? I've got to run before Dawn finds me".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:26
It was incredibly racist. He eats black women but not white? Why is King Kong so racist against white people that he won't eat their women. I am so angry right now. This is an outrage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:28
exactly! good one there CX of I. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 13:40
Don't pat each other's backs too hard fellers, you might cough something up. Tongue
 
 
I think there most certainly is racIAL elements to the film, but concede that this probably says more about me than the film.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 14:10
Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

I don't think Jackson had the imaginative wherewithal to bring the film in a new direction. Just big effects and a faithful story.
 
How about this? It seems the mad brute still has some mileage yet.
 
 
The Vogue cover at the right has in itself been accused of conveying racist stereotypes.
 
Is Vogue cover photo racist?


Edited by Carcharodon - 03 May 2011 at 14:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 14:38
The relevant parts of the movie are set in the area of the melanesian islands. The natives of the area could hardly be depicted as anything but black (though not African of course). There are plenty of other stories from other parts of the world about white peoples sacrificiing virgins to their gods or other beasts (cf for instance the legend of Perseus and Andromeda, which doesn't appear to upset the Greeks too much). 
 
If you're going to have a story at all about a monster terrifying a tribe of primitive humans then the racvial characteristics have to correspond to the area the story is set in. Which is where the films' (both of them) actual biases show through - Kong is presented as a giant gorilla, when he should be a giant orang-utan. Gorillas should be up in arms, except they probably have more sense.
 
(Check my avatar for what Kong should actually look like.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 14:53
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

The relevant parts of the movie are set in the area of the melanesian islands. The natives of the area could hardly be depicted as anything but black (though not African of course). There are plenty of other stories from other parts of the world about white peoples sacrificiing virgins to their gods or other beasts (cf for instance the legend of Perseus and Andromeda, which doesn't appear to upset the Greeks too much). 
 
Well, one must perhaps see the first King Kong movie in its historical and ideological context, made in a society where racist stereotypes were quite prevalent. And among the racial stereotypes of the time was the notion of human sacrifice among native peoples (so called savages, or primitive peoples) in more or less exotic places. We also have the stereotype of the superior beauty of white women and their attractiveness to black males.
 
Jacksons remake can be said to reproduce these stereotypes without to much alterations or problematizations.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Hidden Face Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 14:58
I think those who say the movie King Kong has racist motive and those who ridicule this claim are both right. Yes King Kong is racist movie in terms of symbolism and image codes, and easily be proved so with semiotics. Movies are all about visual communications and every image is a sign, and every sign has a meaning. And Directors use these signs to built their visual language and communicate with the audience. 

But the thing is, we can find racist symbols in almost every film ever produced in the world. So this is not about classic black africans and white europeans racism, it is more global.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 15:10
you are absolutely right Hidden Face. There's always two sides of a coin. By supporting one we do not necessarily ignore the other. Its just that movies are the creations of a writer, director, production company and we are attendants to their vision. Whatever sells tickets takes precedent over historical accuracy in most cases. When taken in that perspective we should keep an open mind when it comes to criticizing the psychological impact movies have on viewers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 19:31
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
Well, one must perhaps see the first King Kong movie in its historical and ideological context,
Doyou have any idea how irritating it is that you can never come out with a definite statement on anything?
 
If we 'must perhaps' see the movie in those contexts then we also 'must perhaps' NOT see it in those contexts.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 19:42
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

In 1933 the classical movie King Kong hit the theaters. In 2005 a relatively faithful remake, but with a more advanced set of visual technologies, made by Peter Jackson once again showed the aggressive, savage like natives of Skull Island sacrificing women to the big ape, and the big ape having an affection to a white women (an affection that he obviously never showed to the black native women which he usually ripped apart) and finally the big ape being chained and brought to New York where he could have a final show down with the airplanes.

Well it's obvious. In general, black women are far less attractive than white women.  Or did you ever think about the movie itself where the white woman charmed King Kong by dancing for him to save herself?

Now, as for savage blacks, well there would hardly be savage white island natives in the pacific now would there?

Quote

Those who claim that the films are racist see the racism on two levels. One is the rather stereotyped image of the native people of the island, who are portraid as very savage, nearly inhuman (in Jacksons version some have seen a resemblance with the orcs or Uruk hai of his LOTR films) and who sacrifices their own young girls to the beast. Some also see another level of racism where King Kong himself becomes a symbol of the superpotent and bestial black man who lusts for white women (while he trashes women of his own color). In the film one can see how the white men manages to subdue him and bring him into the civilisation, but his wild nature is hard to tame and he breakes free and once again takes possession of the white woman. But in the end the white man manages to finally subdue the black male and win back the fair lady.

Obviously some people have too much time on their hands.  That's their interpretation. I certainly didn't make those correlations.

Quote
Some debaters have asked why Peter Jackson brings these old stereotypes to life again, does he not see the racism, does he not care, or does he maybe agree to the sterotypes. Or is there any racims at all, in the 2005 movie? Maybe it is just a tribute to the old film and to fantasy and adventure in general? What is your opinion about this?
 
Big Black and bad stereotyping
 
King Kong Faces Racism Charge


Idiots.


Edited by Zagros - 03 May 2011 at 19:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 21:32
Racist? Only if some people believe they look like an oversized gorilla...
I remember once I was called racist for calling Chavez a gorilla... (gorilla means military dictator!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 22:46
Was it's intent racist? I doubt it. A whole lot of cultural ignorance existed in that period. Culturally speaking, the world was a lot more closed then it is now. So there was more of a sense of them and us; With "Them" as in being not necessarily bad, just different as in culture. Now i am starting too sound like a multiculturalist. yeesshh...

Of course, it did have to appeal to their target audience in making it a bankable movie, so.... add in us Americans. And too make it more intriguing and full of drama there is the beauty and the beast element to it. Then, as if that weren't enough, there was the  scientific discovery of a real monster, unknown to most except the locals of the area, "the mountain gorilla" in the early part of the 20th century. What was it, prior to 1920? Also, this being Hollywood, any movie put out by them needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes, a whole boatload of salt! Most especially a fantasy movie. Heck, any countries movie production needs not to be taken seriously. I mean, come on! People need to really lighten up a little and just either be entertained, see it for what it was, or simply do not go too see it.

Anyhow, everything else is just filler to help advance the plot along. At least that has been my take on it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 11:38
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Doyou have any idea how irritating it is that you can never come out with a definite statement on anything?
 
The world is not only black and white. If you anytime have been involved in scientific work you would know that.
 
 
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 04 May 2011 at 11:43
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Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Well it's obvious. In general, black women are far less attractive than white women.  Or did you ever think about the movie itself where the white woman charmed King Kong by dancing for him to save herself?
 
Your statement about black women being less attractive than white women is simply idiotic.

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Now, as for savage blacks, well there would hardly be savage white island natives in the pacific now would there?
 
There would hardly be any savage natives in the pacific at all, neither black or white.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 11:59
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Well it's obvious. In general, black women are far less attractive than white women.  Or did you ever think about the movie itself where the white woman charmed King Kong by dancing for him to save herself?
 
Your statement about black women being less attractive than white women is simply idiotic.


No, what is idiotic is your dreadful failure in realising my obvious sarcasm.  And then the real reason why King Kong liked the white woman - because she charmed him.  And taste in women (or men) is completely subjective.

Quote
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Now, as for savage blacks, well there would hardly be savage white island natives in the pacific now would there?
 
There would hardly be any savage natives in the pacific at all, neither black or white.
[/quote]

In the 1930s?  Ever hear about headhunters and cannibals in Papua New Guinea? And the story is fiction.  If people like you then think that all Pacific islanders are savage black cannibals based on fiction then you need to take a jounrey out into the real world.

There is a good basis for this fiction of savagery regardless:

Originally posted by wikipedia wikipedia wrote:

Cannibalism was widespread in the past among humans throughout the world, continuing into the 19th century in some isolated South Pacific cultures; and, in a few cases in insular Melanesia, indigenous flesh-markets existed.[11] Fiji was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles'.[12] Cannibalism has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the Amazon Basin to the Congo to Māori New Zealand.[13] Neanderthals are believed to have practiced cannibalism,[14][15] and they may have been eaten by modern humans.[16]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism


Edited by Zagros - 04 May 2011 at 12:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 12:23
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

No, what is idiotic is your dreadful failure in realising my obvious sarcasm.  And then the real reason why King Kong liked the white woman - because she charmed him.  And taste in women (or men) is completely subjective.
 
The real reason that King Kong preferred white women was that those who made the original movie had a lot of prejudice that white women where more beautiful and interesting, even for an ape. Jackson just copied the old stereotypes in his remake.

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


In the 1930s?  Ever hear about headhunters and cannibals in Papua New Guinea? And the story is fiction.  If people like you then think that all Pacific islanders are savage black cannibals based on fiction then you need to take a jounrey out into the real world.

There is a good basis for this fiction of savagery regardless:

Originally posted by wikipedia wikipedia wrote:

Cannibalism was widespread in the past among humans throughout the world, continuing into the 19th century in some isolated South Pacific cultures; and, in a few cases in insular Melanesia, indigenous flesh-markets existed.[11] Fiji was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles'.[12] Cannibalism has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the Amazon Basin to the Congo to Māori New Zealand.[13] Neanderthals are believed to have practiced cannibalism,[14][15] and they may have been eaten by modern humans.[16]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism
 
As usual stories about cannibalism and similar are mostly exaggerated and often based on hearsay. Also those kind of reports mostly describe certain practices out of their cultural and historic context. 
Taken out of context we could find a lot of savage behaviours in our own culture too (actually a lot more than in Pacific indigenous cultures).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 13:07
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
The real reason that King Kong preferred white women was that those who made the original movie had a lot of prejudice that white women where more beautiful and interesting, even for an ape. Jackson just copied the old stereotypes in his remake.


So, you don't find white women beautiful and interesting? What kind of ape are you? LOL

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:


As usual stories about cannibalism and similar are mostly exaggerated and often based on hearsay. Also those kind of reports mostly describe certain practices out of their cultural and historic context. 
Taken out of context we could find a lot of savage behaviours in our own culture too (actually a lot more than in Pacific indigenous cultures).


Don't be silly. Cannibalism existed in the Pacific, among Polynesians, Melanesians, Guineans and other peoples. If you go to Easter Island, the very natives will tell you that tragic past.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 13:58
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


So, you don't find white women beautiful and interesting? What kind of ape are you? LOL
 
The point is that white women are not more, or less beautiful and interesting than women of any other color, Whether you are an ape or not.

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

  Don't be silly. Cannibalism existed in the Pacific, among Polynesians, Melanesians, Guineans and other peoples. If you go to Easter Island, the very natives will tell you that tragic past.
 
Well, it did exist locally, but the extent of it is severely exaggerated. The explorers of old times (and some of todays too) liked to spice their narratives with exaggerated stories about cannibalism and similar "exotic" customs.
 
You can find cannibalism (and a lot of other forms of "savage" behaviour) in todays western society too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 14:05
The real reason is that and you know this how?  Is it becuase you actually have a time travelling telepathic mind that can go back into the author/producer/directors' minds?   

How about stories about stoning? are they not exaggerated?

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

No, what is idiotic is your dreadful failure in realising my obvious sarcasm.  And then the real reason why King Kong liked the white woman - because she charmed him.  And taste in women (or men) is completely subjective.
 
The real reason that King Kong preferred white women was that those who made the original movie had a lot of prejudice that white women where more beautiful and interesting, even for an ape. Jackson just copied the old stereotypes in his remake.

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


In the 1930s?  Ever hear about headhunters and cannibals in Papua New Guinea? And the story is fiction.  If people like you then think that all Pacific islanders are savage black cannibals based on fiction then you need to take a jounrey out into the real world.

There is a good basis for this fiction of savagery regardless:

Originally posted by wikipedia wikipedia wrote:

Cannibalism was widespread in the past among humans throughout the world, continuing into the 19th century in some isolated South Pacific cultures; and, in a few cases in insular Melanesia, indigenous flesh-markets existed.[11] Fiji was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles'.[12] Cannibalism has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the Amazon Basin to the Congo to Māori New Zealand.[13] Neanderthals are believed to have practiced cannibalism,[14][15] and they may have been eaten by modern humans.[16]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism
 
As usual stories about cannibalism and similar are mostly exaggerated and often based on hearsay. Also those kind of reports mostly describe certain practices out of their cultural and historic context. 
Taken out of context we could find a lot of savage behaviours in our own culture too (actually a lot more than in Pacific indigenous cultures).


Edited by Zagros - 04 May 2011 at 14:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 14:17
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

The real reason is that and you know this how?  Is it becuase you actually have a time travelling telepathic mind that can go back into the author/producer/directors' minds?   

How about stories about stoning? are they not exaggerated?
 
Well, there can certainly be exaggerations in that field too. The difference when it comes to some of the stonings in later time is that many of them are better documented, some are even filmed or photographed. The stories about cannibalism is harder to prove since many of them are older and more vague. Also many of the narratives about stonings actually comes from the people in the culture of the stonings themselves. Many cannibal stories comes from European visitors who did not always understand the cultural practices they saw.
 
But if one want to spread prejudice maybe one should invite people from other cultures coming here and tell about all the savage practices one can see in our culture. And then one could throw in some giant bear or other peculiar beast.



Edited by Carcharodon - 04 May 2011 at 14:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 15:52
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

...
Well, it did exist locally, but the extent of it is severely exaggerated. The explorers of old times (and some of todays too) liked to spice their narratives with exaggerated stories about cannibalism and similar "exotic" customs.
 
You can find cannibalism (and a lot of other forms of "savage" behaviour) in todays western society too.


Exagerated? I don't find any exageration, Carcha. It is you who don't want to accepty historical realities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2011 at 15:53
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
The point is that white women are not more, or less beautiful and interesting than women of any other color, Whether you are an ape or not.

Beauty is not driven by political correctness. A woman is pretty simply if people found her pretty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2011 at 11:08
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Exagerated? I don't find any exageration, Carcha. It is you who don't want to accepty historical realities.
 
Both missionaries and other exploiters have taken an interest in exaggerating the so called savage behaviours among indigenous peoples. That has been a part of their agenda of exploitation, to create a lot of prejudice, stereotypes and bad images of these peoples in order to be able to take their land, colonize them, missionize them and exploit them without being questioned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2011 at 11:10
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
The point is that white women are not more, or less beautiful and interesting than women of any other color, Whether you are an ape or not.

Beauty is not driven by political correctness. A woman is pretty simply if people found her pretty.
 
Yes, and some prefer white women, some prefer asian women and some prefer black women. But the western propaganda has tried to portray white, western women as more beautiful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2011 at 11:22
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
The point is that white women are not more, or less beautiful and interesting than women of any other color, Whether you are an ape or not.

Beauty is not driven by political correctness. A woman is pretty simply if people found her pretty.
 
Yes, and some prefer white women, some prefer asian women and some prefer black women. But the western propaganda has tried to portray white, western women as more beautiful.


The reason the most beautiful woman who appears in western movies is white is because most western women are white. It wouldn't make sense to make the heroine in movies an Inuit when the audience can't relate to her. Racism has nothing to do with it.
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