September 12, 2012

Lightwashing: Is Zoe Saldana Black Enough?

The New York Times reports on a controversy over whether a black actress is black enough to play a black singer:
Stir Builds Over Actress to Portray Nina Simone 
By TANZINA VEGA 
... The online media world has been abuzz with criticism for nearly a month now over the news — first reported by The Hollywood Reporter — that the actress Zoe Saldana would be cast as the singer Nina Simone in the forthcoming film “Nina” based on her life. 

Zoe Saldana was the princess in "Avatar." She did a fine job under what must have been stressful conditions, with weird new 3D sensors strapped all around her. My favorite Zoe Saldana story I like to imagine went something like this:

James Cameron: Zoe, you know how you've been preparing for months to play a robot in my upcoming movie? Well, I'm not going to make that movie.

Zoe: Oh ...

Cameron: Instead, I'm going to make a movie called "Avatar" and you are going to play the romantic lead, a beautiful princess!

Zoe: I've always wanted to play a princess since I was a little girl!

Cameron: A ten-foot tall blue alien princess!

Zoe:  Oh ...
Few have attacked Ms. Saldana for her virtues as an actress. Instead, much of the reaction has focused on whether Ms. Saldana was cast because she, unlike Simone, is light skinned and therefore a more palatable choice for the Hollywood film than a darker skinned actress. 

Saldana grew up partly in the Dominican Republic. I doubt if she's considered black there, but she's normally considered black here under the currently reigning one-drop rule. She's a lot blacker looking than, say, Anatole Broyard was.
“Hollywood and the media have a tendency to whitewash and lightwash a lot of stories, particularly when black actresses are concerned,” said Tiffani Jones, the founder of the blog Coffee Rhetoric. Ms. Jones wrote a blog post titled “(Mis)Casting Call: The Erasure of Nina Simone’s Image.” 
“When is it going to be O.K. to not be the delicate looking ideal of what the media considers blackness to be?” Ms. Jones said in an interview. 

So, it's not totally about skin color, it's about other things that tend to correlate with skin color.
Ms. Jones’s post linked to an online petition at the Web site Change.org that calls for Cynthia Mort, the writer and director of the film, and Jimmy Iovine, executive producer, to “replace Zoe Saldana with an actress who actually looks like Nina Simone.” The petition had gathered more than 2,100 supporters as of Wednesday morning. 

2,100 digital signatures!
... But the proposed choice of Ms. Saldana to play Simone has reignited the conversation of colorism — Alice Walker’s term for discrimination based on gradations of skin color. 
Recently an online petition was circulated to protest the casting of the light-skinned actress Thandie Newton in the film based on Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which centers on the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70); there was some criticism of the casting of the biracial Jaqueline Fleming as Harriet Tubman in the film “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” 

If you can't trust "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" to get the historical details right, what can you trust?
... Casting an actress who does not look like Simone is troubling, said Yaba Blay, a scholar of African and diaspora studies and the author of a forthcoming book called "(1)ne Drop: Conversations on Skin Color, Race, and Identity.” 

(1)ne Drop: A profusion of punctuation marks is the secret fraternity handshake of postmodernist academics. The titles of Toni Morison's nonfiction, like Race-ing Justice, En-Gender-ing Power, are full of them.
“The power of her aesthetics was part of her power,” Dr. Blay said. “This was a woman who prevailed and triumphed despite her aesthetic.” Dark-skinned actresses, she added, are “already erased from the media ...

I am disappointed that the deconstructionist Dr. Blay didn't say that dark-skinned actresses are "already e-raced from the media."
The film is the brainchild of Ms. Mort ... who is white ...
Vic Bulluck, the executive director of the N.A.A.C.P Hollywood Bureau, believes the issue is the director, not the proposed star. 
“Casting really is an issue of what actors are hot at any given moment, so the filmmakers can secure the funding to get the movie made,” he said. “I would question the filmmaker’s ability to tell the story more than I would question Zoe Saldana’s ability to embody the character.” 

Well played, Vic, considering that your boss at the National Association for the Advancement of Certain People, Benjamin Jealous, looks kind of like Vince Vaughn. Make a fuss instead about the filmmaker being white. C'mon, black people, the NAACP says, we need to stay focused on the real enemy: the White Man, such as Ms. Mort.

We're always told that the Republican Party is doomed because demographic change is giving the Democrats an unbeatable alliance of People of Color and enlightened others. But, is this truly a naturally cohesive coalition? Or can it only be held together by whipping up ever greater anti-whiteism?

94 comments:

Traveller said...

Yes but they were all cheering a black actor as Thor.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Indeed. For the past month now, my every waking hour has been taken up with wondering who will be the actress hired to play Nina Simone. It's all my coworkers can talk about. Billboards, radio ads, everywhere. "Who will portray Nina Simone?"

Anonymous said...

But the proposed choice of Ms. Saldana to play Simone has reignited the conversation of colorism — Alice Walker’s term for discrimination based on gradations of skin color.

So, to prove we live in a time where skin colour doesnt matter we must make it the single most important factor in casting.

Anonymous said...

Will the same uncompromising standards of racial casting now be applied to other areas of TV & movies? You know, who gets to play docs & scientists, astronauts and lawyers, judges & special forces etc etc Who gets to play muggers & murderers?

Im not holding my breath.

slumber_j said...

“This was a woman who prevailed and triumphed despite her aesthetic.” That's a pretty funny thing to say about an artist of any kind. Not completely absurd of course: there's always Billy Joel, for example.

But okay, if one allows for a certain amount of incoherence in these cultural arbiters by trying to figure out what they're trying to say, the notion that dark-skinned women are excluded from "it-girlness" is preposterous. Somali global it-girl Iman springs to mind. And Naomi Campbell is pretty dark too, and these are people whose fame is an extension of looks alone.

Anonymous said...

Love how all the comments come down to skin color, as though gradations in complexion were the only things making Saldana not resemble Simone. Is it not PC to bring up the other aspects of racial metrics (nose shape, prognathism, hair texture, etc)?

Speaking of PC, where do things stand on Black actors altering their complexions to play Black characters? I seem to recall Denzel Washington not having any light makeup on when he played Malcolm X, but he did have his hair tinted reddish.

Syon

Anonymous said...

I have cast the role already. Lauryn Hill from The Fugees looks a lot like this Simone person.

Of course if I was in charge of this developing fiasco I would tell all these "colorists" the movie was not being made. The new project would be Girls: The Movie. The movie would be four white girls prancing around Brooklyn looking for the perfect cupcake with a side of intraracial romance.

Rev. Right said...

I must admit I didn't really know who either of these women were, but I would bet that Nina Simone would be happy with the casting choice, as Zoe Saldana is much better looking.

anony-mouse said...

Yup. Things were much better when John Wayne played Genghis Khan or when Brando played 'Sakini' in 'Teahouse of the August Moon'.

You yourself complained about the casting of cowboy actors to play studio heads back when.

If today people are paying too much attention, well too bad for would be Anthony Quinn/Yul Brynner types.

peterike said...

Rule 1: There is no such thing as race. Race is a social construct.

Rule 2: Everything you do, think or say will be ruled by race, which does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic: US incomes fall to 1989 levels. Minimum wage not keeping pace with inflation.

Among the causes cited in the story, no mention of illegal infiltrators or other foreign migrant labor, but plenty of evidence it could be a big factor if you read between the lines.

http://news.yahoo.com/us-incomes-fall-1989-levels-did-happen-001100141.html

Anonymous said...

I just clicked on that link and saw the Google image results for Nina Simone. Oh, Lord...for the sake of race relations, I just pray that Don Imus doesn't weigh in on this controversy.

Eric said...

Who cares if she looks like Nina Simone or not? Having a smoking hot actress in the lead role is more important than verisimilitude from a box office perspective.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is Nina Simone?

Who the hell is Zoe Saldana?

Truth said...

"Yes but they were all cheering a black actor as Thor."

I'm not familiar with that movie, when did it come out?

Truth said...

Yo Steve, Traveller wants you to add Chris Hemsworth to your "black actors passing for white" list.

stari_momak said...

"Yes but they were all cheering a black actor as Thor."

Not quite, Thor was portrayed by a white guy, Heimhall by an African.

Mr X said...

To be fair, Zoe doesn't look at all like Nina Simone. Maybe skin color is the closest thing. But it could be that make-up and prosthetics can do miracles.

Anonymous said...

Is Chris Hemsworth French?

Anonymous said...

Is the woman in The Artist part black?

Anonymous said...

It seems like a relatively valid complaint.

There are few roles in movies/television for dark skinned, coarse featured black women, since light skinned, non-coarse featured black women are considered "black enough" and more attractive for mainstream audiences.

So a movie comes out about a real life black woman who was dark skinned and coarse featured... and they still cast a light skinned, non-coarse featured black woman for the role.

Frustrating for dark skinned, coarse featured black women. Not sure if it's actually racism or just aesthetics though.

stari_momak said...

I actually sort of have to agree with this too -- I am currently boycotting "White Collar" because Matt Bohmer came out as a homosexual guy with two kids (do you ever wonder where these high profile gays get the kids? It's like one day they just show up with 'their' chidren). Anyways, back to Bohmer -- I just can't suspend belief and pretend the dude is a dashing ladies man.

eah said...

I was just beginning to stir about this myself. But I see I'm not the first. Again.

Not sure if it's actually racism or just aesthetics though.

Ask Kanazawa, maybe he can help you out there.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"Who the hell is Nina Simone?"

Her version of "I Loves You Porgy" is only one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.

dearieme said...

The actress is a good deal prettier than Miss Simone. I'll bet she doesn't sing half as well, though.

dearieme said...

On prettiness and musicality
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-QY-H2ekZo&feature=related

Steve Sailer said...

Simone's song includes her transitioning on the piano from jazz to a Bach-style baroque fugue. Bach was her first love, and she argued that jazz wasn't as good as old Johann Sebastian.

Lizard Eyes said...

I think whipping up Anti-White feelings will continue to be THE Democratic strategy for the next 20 years. It works, so why would they stop?

But, even old, slow, dumb respectable Republicans seem to finally realize they will have to get more Whites, social niceties be damned. But it will be the next election at this point.

One way or the other, Whites (about 75% of them) will come together in some political form, and explicitly so.

Steve Sailer said...

Hopefully, they'll just have the actress lip-sync the original songs.

Simon in London said...

It's funny because Saldana is so much blacker than most 'black' American academics, elite bureaucrats, and opinionators. She's 'American black', but clearly has more than one drop like Henry Louis Gates and many of Obama's other buddies.

The images of Nina Simone are striking because they show what an actually black black woman looks like, and brings home how rare it is to see anyone who looks like that among the US 'black' elite. Yet it's presumably members of the one-drop 'black' elite who are complaining?

rightsaidfred said...

I don't hear too many complaints when traditional white roles go to Black actresses. The culture war continues apace.

There was a reference to the Nigerian civil war, in some ways a harbinger of what we see today: a Muslim north, low IQ, high birth rate, poor; versus an urbanizing, wealthier, south, who wanted nothing more than to be left alone to develop without dragging the dregs along. Alas, one must stay in the collective.

Anonymous said...

Bach was her first love, and she argued that jazz wasn't as good as old Johann Sebastian.

Weird - sounds almost like our very own Condi.

BTW [and no, I don't feel like googling it], was she ever singing "Porgy" to Frank Marshall Davis's best friend, Paul Robeson?

It's really amazing how all of these things seem to tie in together genealogically [kinda like your work on the Darwin/Galton/Keynes/Huxley family trees and the upper crust of UK society].

Anonymous said...

Shark is jumped. You must now not only have black actors play black characters, but they must be the exact skin tone?

No one is going to take this seriously.

Anonymous said...

Generally, it shouldn't be an issue if an actor or actress isn't the same race as whatever person they are portraying. Europeans in past times wrote operas about Africa and China and wherever else, and obviously didn't go round up some Africans or Chinese to play the roles. Somehow everyone survived.

I also saw a local presentation of the Christmas Carol where the Cratchit family was a bewildering mishmash of people obviously not related to each other. But this was in Virginia, and theater companies have to use who they have, and black actors can't just wait around to fight over the miniscule portion of black roles.

I wonder how much of this particular controversy is the NYT needing something to fill up the pages and generate ad revenue. I'm convinced that the media is one of America's biggest problems at this point.

JayMan said...

Zoe Saldana is the go-to girl when a Black female lead role is called for these days. The fact that her features are not quite African and pleasing to look at helps. Of course, in this instance, it's just particularly egregious, so it's getting noticed.

I agree with the commenter above, Lauryn Hill would have been a much better choice, if she wasn't pulling a Wesley Snipes, that is, unfortunately...

Silver said...

Alice Walker’s term for discrimination based on gradations of skin color.

It's a pretty standard term, really, so a simple description of what constitutes it would have sufficed. But Alice Walker is a BLACK WOMAN, so her name must be made known. Liberals love to (pretend to) defer to blacks when it comes to race. Blacks know best about race, they're the experts, so listen up everybody.

Silver said...

We're always told that the Republican Party is doomed because demographic change is giving the Democrats an unbeatable alliance of People of Color and enlightened others. But, is this truly a naturally cohesive coalition? Or can it only be held together by whipping up ever greater anti-whiteism?

Anti-whiteism is the linchpin. That's why the left (white and POC) so gravely treats as taboo even innocuous suggestions such as that perhaps whites are people, too -- the fear generated helps to solidify the coalition.

If it's too much expect an immediate cultural about-face from anti-white to pro-white, you have to think the culture could be shifted to anti-anti-white. How many millions (white and POC alike) must see the anti-white bullshit, know that it's bullshit, and in the privacy of their minds treat it as bullshit, yet say nothing, because "what can you do?" or "that's just the way things are." It seems reasonable to me that before you can shame it you have name it, so here's to "anti-white"!

Anonymous said...

Did you contribute to the editorial about the DNC at Takimag?

Dahinda said...

Where is Shirley Hemphill when you need her?

Anonymous said...

I've been following this "passing" discussion. I thought I'd include my comment that I made at Takimag:

Libs run down the South all the time, but they really freak when you bring up the color gradiants of creole culture. It's just too tropical, nuanced, and plain weird for them. The whole idea of New Orleans, and the deep South in general, just throws them for a spin. I'm not saying that said culture was a great one, but what normally would be an anthropology student's wet dream has a thread that they just can't handle. They are much more comfortable with evil hillbilly/noble savage dichotomies. When you really get at the lives, backgrounds, and motives of "hybrids", whether its Jelly Roll Morton, the Southern "kept woman" tradition amongst the gentry that produces the "passers", Jewish Confederates, Hispano-Irish rebels like Che, half and halfs like Bob Marley, and the rest of the color/culture panorama that runs from the Gulf Coast down to much of South America, it's too much for them. It's too much for me, too, but at least I'm more honest about it.

Anonymous said...

The NAACP guy is lighter than my Californian neighbor when I was a kid in the sixties. Tanning was big back then and she was way darker. Also waaay whiter like WASP white. She just tanned well. Which most of her kids did as well. I could match her blond kids for tanning (people actually tried to tan back then just not under lights) but her darner haired kids also tanned better than I did.

So I am not sure the NAACP guy is black enough to represent black people. Hell if Obama can be 'black' when by 'black' we mean 'descendent of West Africans brought to America as Slaves before 1860' then Obama isn't black. Hell, he wasn't raised in black America. He mostly wasn't raised in America. I can be black just based on my skin color because I am darker when I'm tan than that guy.

I makes Vince Vaughn look like Wesley Snipes. Oh and about Wesley Snipes, I've seen guys get less time for two counts of attempted murder (he popped both guys in the legs to stop them from running then pumped a couple of rounds each into them while they were on the ground both lived). On the other hand that guy got more time for selling a pretty low weight of marijuana before he tried to kill the two guys so our system is fucked up all over.

Anonymous said...

How bout Jordan Sparks? No body can say her dad isn't black. Looks kind of 'medium' black to me but he played pro football which makes him a couple shades darker right there. If they ever cast him in a movie with a 'funk' theme song or anything by Spike Lee where he plays a black guy then he'll be darker than Ernie Hudson.

So Jordan should get the job. Definitely black and can sing. What? She looks nothing like Nina Simone either? Who cares? Just cast whoever looks African enough for the race hustlers and have done with it.

Go get Marla Gibbs, she has very African features. How bout Dijimon Hounsou? He looks really black.

Anonymous said...

Come on Steve, it's time to add Whiskey's blog to you list of links.

Anonymous said...

Finnish Nstional Broadcasting Corporation is involved in a film production concerning Finland's most famous war hero, C. G. E. Mannerheim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upP-QNtrlqU

Featuring Telley Savalas Otieno, a Kenyan, as Mannerheim.

http://www.suomenmarsalkka.fi/medialle/

It seems there is also coming some kind of making-of-feature which may even be the main event. Producer Lyytinen has already been fishing for publicity by claiming threats of violence have been made.

All this made reading this post even more funnier :)

Drawbacks said...

Wasn't the internet abuzz with indignation when Fred Armisen tried to pass as Barack Obama, whom he quite strongly resembles, on SNL? He's since been replaced by an actual African-American, Jay Pharoah, who looks nothing like the Prez but apparently sounds a lot more like him than Fred.
Also, is it just me, or did Forest Whittaker black up to play Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland?

Kylie said...

Dr. Nina Simone.

Chicago said...

Whether or not they're authentic enough matters little to me as there's one thing I'm sure of, and that is that I won't be buying any tickets for this sort of thing. Keep your money in your pocket or purse for worthier things.

Anonymous said...

How come when Hollywood depicts Moors, they find black actors of Sub-Saharan origin when most Moors didn't look like Mo's.

Anonymous said...

Alec Guinness made a pretty good Arab and Hindu in Lean films.

But John Lone was wrong for the LAST EMPEROR. Puyi was an ugly geek, not an handsome Eurasian.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the issue here shouldn't be skin color but looks. Nina Simone was uuuuuuuuuuuugly whereas Saldana is pretty okay looking. So, should a pretty woman play an uuuuuuuuugly woman? I suppose it's been done before many times. Julia Roberts is way more attractive than Erin Bronkowitch.
But sometimes, it's the opposite for some weird reason. Unsung Kiwi of Burma is a good-looking woman but the woman who played her in BEYOND RANGOON was not good-looking.

Steiner said...

Once again, the demand for Germanic physiognomy triumphs. Why shouldn't the producers cast an actress who actually looks like Nina Simone? Because she was ugly. Why was she ugly? Because she didn't have a high forehead on a long, large skull, with a straight, high-bridged nose and narrow, symmetrical lips around a smallish mouth, all wrapped in fair white skin. Everybody knows this, nobody talks about it, except here. It puts to mind what the French used to say about Alsace-Lorraine after they lost it to Prussia: “Y penser toujours, n’en parler jamais”.

Anonymous said...

How come no one asks.... why are so many Jewish characters played by 'Aryan'-looking actors? I guess Jews want us to think of Jews as being attractive and handsome.

Consider Jane Fonda who played Lillian Hellman who was ugly mugly in real life.

Or Heston as Moses and Ben Hur.

Or Victor Mature as Samson.

Or Aidan Quinn as some Jewish guy in AVALON.

But then, there was Dustin Hoffman in what was meant to be a waspy role in THE GRADUATE.

Anonymous said...

Robert Redford as Bob Woodward. That has to be the biggest looks-discrepancy in movie history.

Anonymous said...

DiCaprio must be a really good actor because he--a rather good-looking guy--looks nothing like J. Edgar but he pulled it off. He didn't prettify the role but made it dark and interesting.

Anonymous said...

Will Smith as Ali. That was ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Zoe Saldana was the princess in "Avatar."

-----------

Is she can play a 10 foot goat-faced frog on another planet, what can't she play?

Anonymous said...

Just call in James Cameron and Lucas/Industrial Light and Magic. If they could turn Saldana into a 10 ft blue frog princess, then they can surely turn her into Nina Simone.
Indeed, with CGI, we can turn anyone into anyone. CGI shaved off 30 yrs off of Jeff Bridges in TRON LEGACY. And it turned Ian Holm into a dwarf in LOR.
So, why couldn't CGI turn white into black, black into white, man into woman, woman into man, etc?
And besides, aren't we living in a trans-identity world? If some chubby Briton can be the gay girl in dumbasscus, I don't see why Saldana can't be an uuuuuuugly black ho.

Big Bill said...

Perhaps the only way around it is to adopt the "Mestizaje" ideology that an outnumbered white elite in both Mexico and Brazil were forced to do to prevent their genocide.

As you have pointed out elsewhere, swarthy, sawed-off little Indio revolutionaries in Mexico have been preaching this ideology for a hundred years while consistently marrying whiter and whiter women with each generation.

Perhaps as long as NAM males are each promised a sufficient number of white women to breed with they will go along with an American "Mestizaje" ideology.

Judging by the mulattoes in my town, your average wannabe gang-banger NAM male is just as happy with fat, stupid, ugly white women as quality white women, so it's not like the middle/upper class white folks would be losing anything of value.

As long as the small fraction of smarter, dynamic, respectable NAM males (Quincy Jones, Lionel Ritchie, Justice Clarence Thomas) knew they would have access to higher quality white women, they wouldn't rock the boat either.

American Mestizaje or white genocide? I would pick the former.

If we are all American Mestizos who merely vary slightly in skin tone things can continue as they are, race will no longer be an issue, and we "brights" can have all the forelock-tugging servants we want. We can eliminate affirmative action, pay the "dumbs" lousy wages and give them sh!tty medical care, housing, education as all third world countries do with absolutely no fuss, while championing a color-blind meritocracy.

The only issue is how to get the huge white population relabeled as American Mestizos. If you as an individual can do so by jiggering your birth certificate, driver's license, employment records, ancestry or the like, I would recommend doing so. Once everybody starts changing their race to mongrel I expect NAMs will start insisting on significant legal barriers.

Gringo said...

rightsaidfred
There was a reference to the Nigerian civil war, in some ways a harbinger of what we see today: a Muslim north, low IQ, high birth rate, poor; versus an urbanizing, wealthier, south, who wanted nothing more than to be left alone to develop without dragging the dregs along.

Given the high incidence of corruption and oil-thieving gangs in the south, the differences in cultural advancement between the Muslim north and Christian south are not as great as you assume.

Anonymous said...

As has been hinted at, this definitely has less to do with racism and more to do with, well, the things that got Kanazawa canned: movie audiences tend to like their lead actresses pretty; producers and directors know this, so they cast pretty lead actresses (unless the role requires ugliness as a plot or character point, e.g., Precious or Monster); same rule applies for black and white actresses . . . it just so happens that more of the attractive black actresses are less like Naomi Campbell and more like . . . Thandie Newton, Halle Barry, Zoe Saldana, and the hot eldest sister on the original Cosby Show.

We can see that this is really an issue of attractiveness and aesthetics by looking at black male actors, who are also held to a standard of attraction and gravitas: Denzel, James Earl Jones, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Don Cheadle, Sam Jackson, Cuba G, Wesley Snipes . . . not an obvious mulatto in the bunch, except maybe Darth Vader.

As Kanazawa has pointed out, black men are typically viewed as more attractive than black women. So, it's no wonder that the latter group are not cast in very many leading roles unless they have a mixed racial background.

What the people in the article should be arguing is that "females with very dark skin and typical African phenotypes" are being "e-raced" from the media. But then, this is on the same level of complaint as "fat women", "women with acne", or "female albinos" are being erased from the media. What do all the above groups have in common? A lack of perceived attractiveness fit for a leading role in a Hollywood film. Nothing racist about it.

josh said...

A)Didnt they get that Mexican guy,oops,excuse me,Mexican-AMERican,Danny Trejo,to play Epic Beard Man? Trejo used to be a favorite of mine,appearing in all sorts of late-nite cable movies (are Mexicans particularly vulnerable to acne,btw? Him & Olmos...) you watch when u cant sleep,but "Machete" changed that. Does the NAACP have anything to say about this outrage? B)"Who will play Nina Simone". A comment funny enough almost for Steve to have made it. Good. C)I googled Nina Simone. Hoo boy!! I see what theyre saying tho,Saldana is wrong for the part. I nominate Jimmy J.J. Walker!

The Game said...

I have a solution. Get Tyler Perry to play Nina Simone!!!

Anonymous said...

Controversies generally don't make themselves. They are very often made by the powers-that-be. Anything can be controversial and nothing can be controversial depending on the social and political context. What was controversial in the past isn't controversial today. 'Gay marriage' was very controversial at one time. Today, even conservative politicians who don't support it are afraid to oppose it publicly, which is why Romney that idiot only talks about tax cuts for the rich. Why is the nature of controversies so fluid? Powers-that-be decide.

So, the recent controversy is about 'Is Saldana black enough to play Simone?' The more important question is 'Are Jews white enough to be speaking for white people?' and 'Are Jews American or pro-American enough(as opposed to tribal-Zionist and globalist-internationalist) to be dominating the American media and speaking for all of us?'

This controversy with Saldana seems to conceal a much more important controversy(regarding Jewish power). I mean who cares if Saldana is authentically black enough to play a black woman? What consequences does that really have on our lives and our future? Not much. But our future will be decided by a true understanding of the nature of power in this country. And the question we need to ask is 'are Jews authentically white or Western enough to speaking for the future of Western Civilization?' When I look at the likes of Larry David, Elena Kagan, Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel, Frank Rich, Tim Wise, and the rest of the gang, the answer is clearly NO.

NY TIMES allows the Saldana/simone thing to be legitimately controversial BUT it will try to destroy anyone who dares ask if Jews and Jewish interests are legitimately representative of white and Western interests.
So again, controversies don't make themselves. They are made by the powers-that-be and for reasons that often serve or express their own interests, biases, neuroses, and hangups.

The recent 'controversy' says it's okay and legitimate for blacks to ask what is legitimately black and what really serves black interests. And implicitly, the message is that blacks are still under the tyranny of 'white racism' since our country seems to prefer light-skinned blacks over dark-skinned blacks. And liberal Jews are pretending to sympathize with blacks on this score and trying to 'understand' their plight.

But if blacks are allowed to raise questions of authenticity--and such questions can serve as legitimate basis of controversies--, white people are not allowed to create controversies based on what is legitimately white or what is of legitimate interest to Western civilization.

Controversies are generally seen as countering and challenging the prevailing status quo, but controversies--especially if instigated by the elites--can just as often be used to serve elite interests. After all, controversies can serve as scandals to shame people who deviate from the prevailing party line.

There are positive controversies that are used to open up debate and ask previously suppressed issues and questions, but there are also negative controversies of politically correct nature where the elites stir up a big stink about something to shame people and silence them. This was the case of the Harvard controversy concerning a student who sent private emails about race differences. That 'controversy' was not to open up debate but to silence debate, indeed even to control and police private thoughts and communication.

Anonymous said...

Sailer used to appear on TV as the movie critic for American Conservative magazine, but Jews stirred up negative controversy about his being associated with 'racist' VDARE, and so he's been persona non grata on TV and big media. Yet, Obama who was friends with Bill Ayers and sat in a hate church for 20 yrs is fit to be president. So, Sailer can be blacklisted and have his career derailed by Jewish witch-hunters, but if we ask too many questions about Obama's associations with Wright and Ayers, we are a bunch of neo-McCarthyites.
So, what is the nature of controversies in America? Who gets to decide what is and isn't a controversy, and who gets to decide what is a positive controversy and what is a negative controversy?
Those should be the real questions, and so this recent 'controversy' about Saldana and Simone should really be seen for what it is: a red or brown herring.

Anonymous said...

I checked out Tiffani Jones and the Coffee Rhetoric blog.

Link.

A) Tiffani Jones is no "one-drop" black woman. She looks a bit like Nina Simone.

B) The top blog post there at the moment is one blasting Australian mining heiress Gina Rinehart, who recently came in for some criticism here for wanting to drive down the wages of Australian workers. Maybe she's an iSteve reader?

Anonymous said...

I can understand black women's complaints here. White people don't know how big a deal skin tone is in the black community. For the record, I thought it was pretty stupid when Marvel reinvented Spider Man as a half-black half-Hispanic a year or so back.

danny said...

I think they should get a black, black person to play this woman. Unlike some, I do know, sort of, who she is, have seen photos before. It is a fact that her looks are a big part of her story. I mean HER looks.
I am really at the point of thinking that when movies are made about real people, as opposed to fictional characters, the actors should at least aspire to look like the real people they are playing. I find the this usually helps the story, especially when the subject is very well known; or when the subjects physical appearance is a particularly pertinent part of the story. Yeah, there have been some humdingers in Hollywood. I cringe at that damn The Good Earth, with the lead characters (Chinese) played by Europeans. Europeans can get away, some of them, with playing middle easterners. But not far-east Asians. Rarely Indians. It was a dreadful thing to do when Suzie Wong (was that her name?) was there, ready and able to play the part of the wife.
And if I see one more white scientist or computer hacker turned into a black guy, or one more black criminal turned into a white guy (Law & Order), I'm going to sue.

Shouting Thomas said...

The obvious solution:

The Fed should decide who gets acting roles.

That way, Diversity (which is our greatest strength) will be assured!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't NAACP created by Jews? Doesn't that make it 'too Jewish'?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Hollywood too Jewish to be truly representative of American culture, values, and power?

But the codeword is Hollywood is 'too liberal'.

Anonymous said...

Ingrid Bergman the 'Aryan' played Golda Meir. Haha.

I recall Egyptians were upset when Louis Gossett Jr. played Sadat whom Egyptians don't consider as black, or at least not as sub-Saharan black.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't mind actors and actresses looking more like the individuals they are playing in biopics, but this gripe has to apply equally to all peoples and races.

For one thing, Hollywood would be opening up to a more diverse cast of actors from different parts of the world. I mean did they really have to find some Hawaiian to play Richie Valens in LA BAMBA?
And couldn't they find a real Asian-Indian actor to play the Hindude in SOCIAL NETWORK?

J. J. said...

'If you can't trust "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" to get the historical details right, what can you trust?'

Wow, I would nominate that for the funniest retort I've heard all year... maybe this decade!

Anonymous said...

If you can't trust "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" to get the historical details right, what can you trust?


I just sprayed coffee all over my desk.

Poetry

Marc B said...

"Yet it's presumably members of the one-drop 'black' elite who are complaining?"

It's called compensation.

eah said...

I give up. Is she?

But, is this truly a naturally cohesive coalition? Or can it only be held together by whipping up ever greater anti-whiteism?

I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait to find out. I mean, it seems like such a small experiment, right? So what if we phuck up the country demographically in order to find out? The price of social science I say.

Drawbacks said...

"Biggest looks-discrepancy"? Bonnie and Clyde is bad enough, but Public Enemies has Johnny Depp as John Dillinger then outdoes this with Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hoover. In the circumstances, Channing Tatum has difficulty sticking out as Pretty Boy Floyd.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Hollywood too Jewish to be truly representative of American culture, values, and power?


Well as we all know, Hollywood is extremely Jewish... which I'd say makes it just about perfectly representative of American culture, values, and power.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood also blackwash; Roxana was no less white than the Great Alexander and a "mulato" person will look strange in Afghanistan of any period...

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Oqn2hMp1M

Heston as Mexican.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SysHuOQZ55Y

Mifune as Mexican

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ddqZkKSaSM&feature=related

Egyptian as Mongol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvIL_A0UsJk&feature=fvst

Egyptian as Russian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-Eh6pJD9zg

Egyptian as German.

Anonymous said...

Billy crudup was great as Hoover. The memory of that performance basically completely deflated the reception of Dicaprio's Hoover movie.

Grammar schooled said...

"white roles go to Black actresses"

Are people here trying to be super-pc to show how non-racist HBD discussions are?
Grammar point. If you are going to capitalize "Black" when used for a race, you capitalize "White" too. Just because we've had "Black" shoved down our throats for years now, doesn't change the rules of grammar. btw, Whites made those rules.

Anonymous said...

This whole issue is based on black people trying to avoid discussing colorism among themselves (in rap and and hip hop videos, for instance) and blaming it on the evil white man.

Gloria

Anonymous said...

What was controversial in the past isn't controversial today. 'Gay marriage' was very controversial at one time. Today, even conservative politicians who don't support it are afraid to oppose it publicly

When I was young and naive I thought controversial meant something that divided people more or less 50/50.

I now understand it to mean something the elite support in the face of overwhelming opposition from the majority while implying the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

Somebody said Julia Roberts was prettier that the real Erin Brockovich. Well maybe, but Erin isnt too shabby either.

Anonymous said...

Lauryn Hill has been mentioned as looking like Nina (and she can sing). Maybe Ive got funny tastes but on a good day I would say Lauryn looks more attractive than Zoe.

Kylie said...

"I can understand black women's complaints here. White people don't know how big a deal skin tone is in the black community."

We know. We just don't care.

We even know that skin tone and hair texture are big deals in the black community.

And we still don't care.

Most blacks had no problem voting for a light-skinned mulatto so he could become the "first black POTUS". So apparently, this "colorism" is a burning issue they can set aside whenever it benefits them to do so.

pat said...

I knew of Nina Simon of course, but I didn't know exactly what she looked like. I looked her up in Google images and discoverd that she looks quite abit like Whoopi Goldberg.

Albertosaurus

Truth said...

" So apparently, this "colorism" is a burning issue they can set aside whenever it benefits them to do so."

Maybe because he was darker skinned than the mulatto he ran against?

Anonymous said...

"Erin isn't too shabby either"

She looks like Suzanne Summer's plainer, but sharper, sister.

europeasant said...

"one-drop rule" is impossible to determine

APGifts said...

.
There is actually no such thing as a so-called "Light-Skinned
Black" person ... but rather ... such individuals and groups
are actually people who are of a 'Multi-Generational
Multiracially-Mixed' (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4160
.
People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
'identify' according to any standards other than one's own.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4157
.
The legal -application of the racist-'One-Drop Rule'
(ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4162
.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341891410164
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4187
.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341281410225
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
Listed below are related Links of 'the facts' of the histories
of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
There is no proof that a 'color-based slave hierarchy'
(or that 'color-based social-networks') ever existed
as common entities -- within the continental U.S.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4154
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4153
.
It was the 'Rule of Matriliny (ROM) -- [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
(ROP)] -- and NOT the racist-'One-Drop Rule' (ODR) -- that was
used to 'create more enslaved people' on the continental U.S.
.
This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
was NOT "color-based" (i.e. "racial") -- but rather
-- it was actually "mother-based" (i.e. 'matrilineal').
.
http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/309460495741441
.
There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
'white' lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4238
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4239
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4240
.
An 'Ethnic' category is NOT the
same thing as a "Race" category:
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4236
.
http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300777016632181
.
Other Topics:
.
https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/279223868853420
.
https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/164203590359746
.
http://www.facebook.com/notes/%C2%ADallpeople-gifts/the-facts-on-m%C2%ADixed-race/321878451159708
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.

APGifts said...

.
There is actually no such thing as a so-called "Light-Skinned
Black" person ... but rather ... such individuals and groups
are actually people who are of a 'Multi-Generational
Multiracially-Mixed' (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4160
.
People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
'identify' according to any standards other than one's own.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4157
.
The legal -application of the racist-'One-Drop Rule'
(ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4162
.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341891410164
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4187
.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341281410225
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
Listed below are related Links of 'the facts' of the histories
of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
There is no proof that a 'color-based slave hierarchy'
(or that 'color-based social-networks') ever existed
as common entities -- within the continental U.S.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4154
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4153
.
It was the 'Rule of Matriliny (ROM) -- [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
(ROP)] -- and NOT the racist-'One-Drop Rule' (ODR) -- that was
used to 'create more enslaved people' on the continental U.S.
.
This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
was NOT "color-based" (i.e. "racial") -- but rather
-- it was actually "mother-based" (i.e. 'matrilineal').
.
http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/309460495741441
.
There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
'white' lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4238
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4239
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4240
.
An 'Ethnic' category is NOT the
same thing as a "Race" category:
.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4236
.
http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300777016632181
.
Other Topics:
.
https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/279223868853420
.
https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/164203590359746
.
http://www.facebook.com/notes/%C2%ADallpeople-gifts/the-facts-on-m%C2%ADixed-race/321878451159708
.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.