Movies, Cops & Emails 5-09-08 Links

I’m going to designate today an actual writing day so just some quick links and I’m gone.
WOC PhD deconstructs the Iron Man film in The Summer of Men (Some Spoilers)

I’m not asking for a completely sympathetic image of Arabs that glosses over the real role of warlords in prolonging and exploiting the conflict; saying any group of people is all good or all bad is an unprovable position. However, presenting flattened out stereotypes of Arab people as blood thirsty war mongers is the kind of war propaganda I had expected to be dismantled by this film not reinforced by it.

Ultimately, Rhodes is reduced to a whinier, darker, version of the machines that Stark surrounds himself with throughout the film. Interesting, some people have said that slavery came to an end because of the rise of machines and an MTV ad once compared slaves to “obsolete machines,” and before you say I am taking it too far, remember that insipidly inaccurate Will Smith version of I Robot? It too compared the plight of machines to those of black people.

There is nothing enlightened or feminist about being self-aware and still willing to be objectified because you are in love with your objectifier. And there is certainly nothing empowering for women in a character who has the nerve to demean and mock other women for falling for that same man’s charm.

Lauren Williams over at Stereohyped briefs us on the NYPD Sued For Using Fewer Resources For Missing Blacks. All I can say is about damn time and I wish I could quote the whole article, just go read it now.

Ever heard of Romona Moore? I hadn’t either. She was a 21-year-old Hunter College student who lived in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn with her parents, who are immigrants from Guyana. When she left the house to go to Burger King one night five years ago and didn’t return by the next morning, her mother, Elle Carmichael, called the police. The police told her she shouldn’t even be calling for a 21-year-old missing woman.They didn’t help and closed the complaint that an officer had drafted out of pity. In the four days that followed, as the police refused to help Carmichael by opening an investigation, Romona Moore was being raped and tortured by two men in a house a few blocks from her home. They beat her death on the day that police reluctantly launched an investigation. Carmichael had to help the police find her daughter’s body by conducting her own amateur investigation.

Here’s a link to the full Village Voice articles with details of what Romona had to go through, exactly how the NYPD ignored calls for help and how the family organized on their own. WARNING – SEXUAL ASSAULT TRIGGERS plus heartbreaking and angering (not at the author but at the NYPD and Det. Carey in particular) especially the last line of the article.
In a post from a few weeks ago Less Lee Moore over at The Automatik talks about those annoying white pride emails we’ve all recieved and refutes it point for point in Not Proud of Being White

This is an extremely significant point. The United States of America didn’t come into being until the Revolutionary War of 1776, but for the preceding 150 years or so, it developed through the suffering of those that the settlers considered to be subhuman and according to theologian Cotton Mather “enslaved because they had sinned against God.”

The citizens and residents of a country that is founded and predicated on such beliefs must continue to champion these beliefs because to do otherwise calls the very existence of the country, not to mention their own rights and freedoms, into question.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

Again, only addressing the African-American issue, it must be noted that The Miss America pageant began in 1921, but according to Wikipedia, Rule Number Seven stated, “contestants must be of good health and of the white race.”

No African American women participated until 1970, although African Americans did appear in musical numbers as far back as 1923, when they were cast as slaves. Until at least 1940, contestants were required to complete a biological questionnaire tracing their ancestry.

Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win the crown in 1984 but resigned because nude photos of her surfaced, although she is still listed as the official winner.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships you know we’d be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US. Yet if there were ‘White colleges’ THAT would be a racist college. does list 60 “historically black colleges and universities.” That’s only 60 out of the thousands of regionally-accredited ones in the entire country. Statistics across all colleges show that white college students outnumber African-Americans by eight to one. Thus, most colleges are in fact, white colleges.

6 responses to “Movies, Cops & Emails 5-09-08 Links

  1. I liked a lot of the points WoC PhD makes (although I admit I haven’t seen the movie), but (and again, I haven’t seen the movie), I’m puzzled by this comment presenting flattened out stereotypes of Arab people because my understanding is that the first part of the movie takes place in Afghanistan, and the different tribal peoples who live in Afghanistan aren’t Arabs.

  2. btw, I worked up the courage to read the article on Romona Moore, because such stories must be heard. My god.

  3. The movie doesn’t actually state what country it’s happening in, or give any context other than military action against brown people. There is a scene after Stark is captured, where he is tied up on a chair, being recorded by videocamera while masked guys read something in another langauge- completely playing off hostage videos.

    You know, Hollywood, “Americans don’t know and don’t care”

  4. Bankuei, thanks for the clarification. I asked both my sons, who have seen the film, and they knew that part was “set in” Afghanistan but that may only have been because they had read reviews which stated that was the case. Their opinion was that the screenwriter(s) could have written a provocative plot dealing with the global arms trade, but did not.

  5. Kate:
    Yeah, the Romona Moore article is something that is so horrifying and everytime I think of her my breath gets tight. It’s one of those stories that makes me wonder if humans are worth saving or education.

  6. As a mother, reading something like that just rips my heart out.
    As a human being, too, obviously, but as a mother there is a place in my heart in which she is my daughter, and that’s what just kills me, that we don’t protect our daughters. Or our children in general, of course, but with Romona’s story I think naturally and specifically of daughters.

    But I do think humans are worth saving because without at all minimizing the effects of cruelty, brutality, arrogance, and greed (and etc) on human interaction, I would rather make my vote for the compassion and altruism and support and hope that humans also display toward each other.

    Interestingly on the political side, that’s what (it seems to me) is the base message that Obama talks about every day.

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