So, I never quite thought I’d have to be the one to point this out, but we have become too damn sensitive as a country and as a culture.
Equality is easy. It’s fair play. It’s what we –most of us anyway – learned as children, and it’s what our society is based on. One sees one’s own bias, one’s own enculturation, and if it does not admit of the fact that everyone deserves to be treated with the same level of respect and have the same rights, then one learns a better way. This is not hard, and one can learn it all by one’s self.
Not being a dick is equally easy. Don’t let your bullshit splash over onto innocent bystanders. If you can’t be kind, at least be neutral. (As best as one can – no one is perfect. But don’t let that be an excuse for laxity).
That being said, one can be too damn sensitive. To the point of losing all proportion and common sense.
Here’s a for instance:
People, in the last couple of months have been up in arms – on the internet, of course – over the fact that the new Marvel Netflix series, The Iron Fist, cast a white guy as the main character. I have seen innumerable rants in various venues about why didn’t they cast an Asian actor?
Have any of these people read, or even seen the damn comic? The main character is a white guy.
Another thing, just as silly, has been the upwelling of misanthropes on the webs bitching about Scarlett Johansen being cast as the lead in the live action Ghost in the Shell movie. Again, with the, “oh why didn’t they cast an Asian actress in the role?”
It might have something to do with the fact that the main character, in the movie – although she has a Japanese name – inhabits a full-body prosthetic that is strikingly Caucasian. It’s just the way the animators wanted to depict the character. It’s also not even mentioned in the film.
These are silly, dare I say, stupid examples. But they serve to illustrate an important point:
We really need to get over ourselves and this cultural tendency to want to raise our hackles at everything as a perceived offense, whether it actually, objectively, is or not.
Some things really are hateful. Some intentionally, and some out of sheer ignorance.
(Both can be dealt with; the latter, with the proper amount of education, the former, with the proper amount of ridicule.)
And some things just aren’t fucking important.
The skin tone of a fictional character is one of those – really not important -things.
Don’t we have more important things to concern ourselves with?
How about the real inequality in America and its tragic and ongoing consequences?
How about a justice system that marginalizes and disenfranchises the poor and people of color disproportionately to the actual rate at which they commit crimes?
How about an education system that doesn’t work, unless you consider producing mindless drones completely devoid of creativity or critical thinking skills a desirable outcome?
How about the steady push to roll back women’s reproductive rights in this country?
How about massive voter disenfranchisement in the name of putting a stop to a plague of voter fraud that is about as common as finding a four-leafed clover, on a Blue Moon, in the middle of a Summer snow storm?
How about the middle class slowly being transitioned into indentured servitude?
How about healthcare cost so high that a funeral is cheaper than trying to get better?
How about a country that actually forces people to make that choice?
How about dark money in our political system?
How about drone warfare?
How about the end of privacy?
How about the lowering standard of living and the declining inhabitability of our planet?
How about Sex Trafficking and Modern Slavery?
How about disease?
I’m not saying don’t be mad.
I’m saying be mad for the right god damn reasons!
If you need a reminder of what those reasons are or aren’t, feel free to reference this post. This is not a comprehensive list.
And if you think your rage is better spent on the casting choices of some movie or other, you need to rethink your priorities, because they are well and truly fucked.