Luke Cage is Far From Racist - To Say So Is Insulting
I have to be honest. As I watched Marvel's Luke Cage on Netflix I knew the haters would come out in droves to bash it. I knew the constant connections made between fictional and real-life events in the series would be too much to handle for some. I honestly do not care.
So apparently there are those who think Luke Cage is racist. Seriously. Some people are even going as far as to say "too Black." Which is code for, "I don't want the constant reminders of your culture and history." Calling Luke Cage "too Black" is racist in and of itself! Are Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit "too white?"
No, the truth in fact is that Luke Cage is an answer to decades of real racism within Hollywood. Racism that comes in the form of typecasting and simply not giving certain roles to people of color. How many Arab terrorists have we seen on film only to be saved by white heroes? The fact that it's 2016 and the last superhero film/tv show to have a black lead was Blade: Trinity in damn 2004 while dozens of projects with white male and female leads have gotten the green light first should be a sign of a lack in diversified projects that involve superhero's.
So tell me, why is it that the first comic book project with a black lead in twelve years is getting charged with racism? Do these people truly believe this? Surely they cannot be this tone deaf and oblivious to the racial realities of America. I mean it's either that, or they're trolling. I happen to think it's the latter.
The real problem people have with Luke Cage is that there is no white hero. They do not want to do what non-Whites have done in America and around the world for decades; that is to place themselves in the perspective of a White person in order to fantasize whatever story is being played out on film. It is a known fact that people project themselves into the role of the hero or heroine as plays and theatrical events play out. It's part of the fun of watching a movie or play...or performing in one. It's expected that Black males project themselves into the role of a Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, a white hero. Yet when the very rare occurrence comes around that a Blade or Luke Cage or Black Panther get made, all of a sudden we're told that certain white people don't want to do the same.
Do they feel the same way about Barbershop? How about Friday? I guess it's time to white wash Boyz in the Hood, School Dayz, Soul Food and don't forget...Coming to America was racist too because that had a predominantly black cast as well. What's next? Malcolm X was "too black" because there weren't enough white people in a story about a revolutionary Black leader? Of course not, that is completely silly.
So there is no white hero, but their vitriol is deeper than that. It's that Luke Cage represents their biggest fear. A black male who cannot be shot or bombed out of existence due to his powers which includes superhuman strength, even moreso than Captain America, and impenetrable skin. They cannot bring themselves to admit to their real reason for not liking Luke Cage, so they troll on and on about some fake controversy like "the show not having enough white characters" as if this is the first time they've ever seen an all-Black movie. If Luke Cage is your first time seeing a movie with a predominantly Black cast and you are an adult, maybe with children (the roundabout description of many of the haters who are bashing Luke Cage when looking at profile pictures) then I would consider you a person who has lived in a very white bubble for far too long in your life.
When Black people argue for diversity in cinema, in sports, in politics, in business and employment...it is because since 1776 we were shut out of those institutions. Systematically and with the total and complete support on all levels of local, state and federal government. We need not rehash generations of wealth creation and acquisition that black people were completely shut out of as all others benefited and collected on tens of billions in profits...trillions over generations. THAT is why Black people fight for equality! On top of many other issues.
So as I said in the third paragraph, Luke Cage is an answer to racism. I don't think that was the intended purpose per se. I mean I'm sure at Marvel at the end of the day, it was about appealing to a black demographic in an attempt to sell more comics. It worked and Luke Cage has many Black fans, I would call myself one of them. Even though I wouldn't call him a favorite or anything. The answer to racism is the very existence of this show, because if you were upholding a racist system then you would say all-black or predominantly-black movies and shows can't exist, but all-white and predominantly-white films and shows can.
So haters, take your crocodile tears away from your keyboards for a second and stop making yourselves look petty. This is how I feel right now...