but really though
looking at the characters from the ACD canon that are in the show (if I’m missing any, please let me know)…
- Watson: Joan WOC yay!
- Sherlock: white guy
- Gregson: white guy
- Moran: white guy
- Irene: white woman
- Mrs. Hudson: white woman (but she is trans! yay!)
do you not see why we want a man or woman of color as moriarty? like… good on you show for switching it up with watson and mrs. hudson but if every other canon character besides watson is white, then, like, I feel like you didn’t try hard enough
While I would love more POC characters in the show, I think that having a MOC as Moriarty (and especially a Black man) would bring up stereotypes that Black men are inherently dangerous and the villains.
I really this post about having a POC being a villain.
But yes I would love more POC in Elementary, just not as villains (but I’m white so I could be very wrong).
Well, I’m not white and the eight minutes during which I thought that Moriarity, one of the most iconically brilliant characters in the western canon, nemesis of probably THE most iconically brilliant character in the western canon, might be John Douglas — a black man from an underprivileged upbringing — were eight of the most excited minutes I’ve ever spent watching Elementary. And anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that my normal level of excitement about Elementary is nothing to sneeze at.
I desperately want Moriarty to be a POC.
If the ONLY black man in the show was the bad guy you might be on to something, but that’s not the case.
Also, I disagree with that feministdisney post. The hypothetical they bring up is pretty pointless given that we don’t have a situation where black men are always given the roles of “really cool” villains and never get to be heroes, as such we have to judge the antagonistic roles that black men get against actual reality.
The racist stereotype of criminality wrt black people and black men especially if not directly derived from is hugely, heavily influenced by the perception that black people are inherently unintelligent, brutish, and animalistic. As such black men, lacking any other way to get by, become violent thuggish petty criminals and ONLY violent thuggish petty criminals. Compare this to the way that white criminals are constantly, perpetually glamorized when they are the villains and moreover are made into dramatic and tragic antiheroes who are the protagonists of their own stories.
To reduce the issue with black people being the villains in fiction simply to the frequency with which it happens is hugely myopic. Yes, if every villain ever was black and no heroes were, clearly, that would not be okay.
But to assert that the quantity alone is the issue of such primacy to necessitate barring black people from playing complex and well-developed and important characters whether they be protagonists, antagonists, contagonists, or otherwise is completely counterproductive.
The actual issue is that black people aren’t often allowed to play full and complete characters, and an antagonist who isn’t unintelligent, thuggish cannon fodder is just as much of a rarity for black men as the stubbly hero who saves the world or wtfever.
But these lines in particular are what made me link to that post.
Yes, part of the stereotype against black people and the assumptions of criminality deal with stereotypes about intelligence levels. That’s just a part of the big picture, though. The casting of black people as criminals more often than not isn’t just about stereotypes, it’s about subconscious associations as well. It’s about patterns and assumptions in casting that are not always consciously motivated.
I think one of the reasons they didn’t cast Lucy Liu as Sherlock has something to do with the stereotypes of Asians being smart and somewhat emotionless. I love that about Elementary is that they rarely delve into tired old stereotypes. And a Black man being a criminal, even a mastermind criminal, would play into some stereotypes.
Conveniently, those lines in particular are what I aggressively disagree with.
The assumptions of criminality based on assumed lack of intelligence isn’t “just part of the big picture.” The assumed lack of intelligence (and violent, animalistic nature) is what INFORMS the stereotype of criminality. It’s what causes those subconscious associations in the first place. People don’t just associate black people with crime/being criminals as a whole, but a very, very specific sort of intrinsic criminality in which they have no real agency.
A black man being an enigmatic mastermind who happens to perform criminal acts in the course of his majestic game of intellects with Sherlock Fucking Holmes is not playing into any stereotype because the core of the stereotype is that black people are dumb, brutish, and violent and as such don’t know how to operate properly in “civilized” society and thus are naturally inclined towards criminality aka the disregard of society’s laws. The stereotype in no way intersects with brilliant geniuses who choose to step outside of the boundaries of society in order to exercise their intellect while having no concern for lesser beings.
Or to break it down further: the problematic stereotype regarding black people is that of being, in essence, subhuman. Characters of the Moriarty (and Holmes) archetype are rooted in being superhuman.
They are utterly and completely opposite and failing to acknowledge that simply because they both roughly take the role of antagonists is failing to see the forest for the trees.
And that’s why the role has been taken away from actors of colour and given to a white man. Racebending.com has always pointed out that villains are generally played by people with darker skin, and that’s true … unless the villain is one with intelligence, depth, complexity. One who garners sympathy from the audience, or if not sympathy, then — as from Kirk — grudging admiration. What this new Trek movie tells us, what JJ Abrams is telling us, is that no brown-skinned man can accomplish all that. That only by having Khan played by a white actor can the audience engage with and feel for him, believe that he’s smart and capable and a match for our Enterprise crew."
Marissa Sammy on Star Trek: Into Whiteness.
perfect commentary which parallels what Rawles was saying earlier about the possibility of Moriarty being a person of color:
- “…The actual issue is that black people aren’t often allowed to play full and complete characters, and an antagonist who isn’t unintelligent, thuggish cannon fodder is just as much of a rarity for black men as the stubbly hero who saves the world or wtfever. “
- “…The stereotype in no way intersects with brilliant geniuses who choose to step outside of the boundaries of society in order to exercise their intellect while having no concern for lesser beings.
Or to break it down further: the problematic stereotype regarding black people is that of being, in essence, subhuman. Characters of the Moriarty (and Holmes) archetype are rooted in being superhuman.”
You see? It’s more complicated than “people of color get typecast as villains.”
Black people get typecast as an extremely specific type of villain - they’re thugs, brutish and animalistic. South Asian actors are similarly typecast as scary oppressive (usually coded Muslim) terrorists.
But when your villain is of the superhuman archetype? When they’re brooding antiheroes, when they’re nuanced, when they’re multi-faceted?
(And check out this post on the glorification of white criminality in shows like Dexter, Breaking Bad, Weeds, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, etc.)
Again, one of the reasons why I liked Amanda Waller, in the DCAU. ‘Cause she was voiced by a Black woman. But, she’s a rare portrayal indeed.
Junot Diaz, Speaking to students at Bergen Community College, (via aliceincrohnsland)
#This is why. #This is why we need canon femslash and not just rule!63 characters.#This is why we need more stories—media fanfic whatever—about POC. #This is why fandom exists. #To build all of the fucking mirrors that the original authors never made or only half-silvered. #Because if the creators of the original work won’t make us visible we have to do this work ourselves. #And when fandom overwhelmingly shows me that I am invisible not just in the media but within my own fandom… #…I never feel like I existed at all. #fandom
The Racist Myth of MSG and ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’
This is the story of a racist myth that began with a light-hearted letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1968 and subsequently exploded in North American culture — in direct opposition to every shred of scientific evidence — becoming so prevalent that credulous eaters buy into it to the point of experiencing its effects on a purely psychosomatic basis.
It’s often been called “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” and its premise is that MSG in Chinese food results in unpleasant allergic reactions. Interestingly enough, higher quantities of MSG in non-Chinese foods are not reported to have the same effects. MSG is a naturally occurring amino acid, and some of the highest levels of MSG a North American consumer is likely to ingest come in vine-ripened tomatoes, aged cheese, and dry-aged steak — yet there is no reported medical phenomenon known as “Italian Food Syndrome” or “American Steakhouse Syndrome”.
Monosodium glutamate was first isolated from the seaweed kombu, commonly used in the Japanese broth dashi, by biochemist Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University in 1908. He named its taste umami because it differed from the five conventional flavours of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy. Ikeda patented his discovery and MSG became commercially available in 1909. It was found to enhance flavours with one third of the amount of sodium as traditional salt, i.e. sodium chloride. In this sense, monosodium glutamate is probably healthier than sodium chloride because it achieves flavour with reduced sodium levels.
MSG was immediately popular in Asia and became common in the North American food industry after World War II, used in baby food, canned soup, vegetable juice, frozen food, as well as seasoning mix brands such as Accent. Yet somehow in the 1960s, this popular food additive became associated with Chinese food and deemed a health hazard. Why? Because Chinese people, culture, and food have been targeted by widespread and effective racist hate campaigns in North America since the 19th century, buttressed by wild claims that the Chinese are “unclean”, carry diseases, are sexually-deviant opium addicts, inscrutable and sneaky, a Yellow Peril.
The 1968 letter to the New England Journal of Medicine which solidified the myth of MSG was actually written by a Chinese immigrant named Robert Ho Man Kwok, who described “numbness at the back of the neck, gradually radiating to both arms and the back, general weakness and palpitation” after eating in American Chinese restaurants. The letter opened the floodgates to a barage of letters and related articles complaining of headaches, dizziness, paralysis of the throat, tingling in the temples, tightness of the jaw, irregular heartbeat, depression, hyperactivity, and all manner of digestive ailments.
Given this preponderance of anecdotal evidence, numerous scientific studies have been performed since then attempting to identify this “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”. The funny thing is that no study has ever been able to do so. When people don’t know that they’re consuming MSG, they don’t suffer adverse reactions. All national and international food safety bodies have concluded that MSG is perfectly safe. People in Japan eat MSG every single day and the Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world.
Fear of MSG is a racist remnant of the Chinese Exclusion era which exists only in North America and has been thoroughly debunked by science. Yet racist socialization is so powerful that people actually experience physical effects such as headaches, depression, and indigestion based solely on their indoctrinated fear of Chinese people and Chinese food. Think it over next time you eat parmesan cheese or a vine-ripened tomato.
Effects Of Thinking White People Are “All Like That”:
- Literally nothing other than white people having their feelings hurt on the internet
- I’m not joking there is no real world consequence of this
Effects Of Thinking People of Color Are “All Like That”:
- Saudi student is literally surrounded by FBI for cooking rice under terrorist suspicions
- White people literally can not associate positive words with Black faces because of racism
- More white people use drugs but Black people are sent to jail for drugs at 10 times the rate that white people are
- Black people who “sound Black” earn less money than those who don’t because of associations with stereotypes. Black people who “sound Black” are less likely to get called back for jobs
- Black children grow up literally associating being Black with being bad and ugly
- White people when tested shot more unarmed Black subjects than armed and unarmed white subjects
- Hate crimes increase after Boston tragedy
- Moroccan High School Student is linked to Boston tragedy for being Brown
- Bangladeshi man is beaten by people out of racism
- NYPD Commissioner wants Black and Latino men to fear him after the police targeted literally 90 percent Black and Latino men in New York and humiliating them by frisking them in public under the assumption that they had weapons. Studies found that white men were the ones who overwhelmingly had weapons while Black and Latino men didn’t
- White people blaming and convicting Black men for crimes they never committed and everyone believing them because of racism
- Stop and Frisk, ruled unconstitutional was practiced by New York police disproportionately and unfairly affecting 90% Black and Latino men because of racism
- Universities throwing racist ‘Fiesta Party’ homogenizing culture with extreme racism
- Here are some of the numbers on hate crimes against People of Color and btw, Neo Naziism is increasing!
- Every 28 Hours an African American is Extrajudicially Murdered in the U.S.
- Black people 3 times more likely to be arrested for Marijuana
- Black people receive much harsher sentencing than white people for the same crimes do I need to go on?
But yeah, white people’s feelings :*(