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X-men: Pro-social Comic Franchise

7 Nov

X-men: Pro-social Comic Franchise

X-men originally began as a comic book created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963. The Plot centers around Professor Xavier, an altruistic leader who creates a haven and school in New York for young mutants.His charge are students during the day, and persecuted super heroes by night. their mission is to help create a world where Mutants and humans can live together in harmony. “X”- standing for the unknown, has been used to represent any marginalized group in the franchise.(X-men, X-calabre, ect.) but is most often recognized a metaphor for African americans, during the Civil Rights. Professor X is said to represent a benign, Martin Luther King Jr. type of character.

X-men: evolution is the piece of the franchise i observed for this pose. It highlights the mutant students struggle to fit in and be accepted in school among both their peers and their teachers. is show’s an unreasonable marginalization and even touches on segregation. Is paints humans as afraid of mutants mostly because they don’t understand the differences between them. As a young black man, growing up in an overwhelmingly white community, I found watching X-men & reading the comics to be a huge comfort. It helped me to better understand situations i found myself in. X-men is a commentary on racial inequality and a parody of the civil rights struggle. However, it can be used as a metaphor for any marginalized group, in regards to gender, sexuality or even religion.

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Racism. Inequality. Privilege

24 Oct

 

What I took away this evening hearing Tim wise speak was a better understanding of privilege.  Privilege is invisible, not only white privilege, but any dominant group enjoys an obliviousness to the lived experiences of marginalized groups. I also learned a lot about systemic racism, how policies that have long been set in place sometimes have racialized effects. Since polices such as these have always seemed to be in place it is often perceived as normal. Fixing the problems that these policies cause is difficult because in a legal sense it is a situation that the courts do not have the power to change.

Many topics that Tim Wise covered were rebuttals to commonly heard when the topic of racism or inequality is brought up. Mr Wise, explained how as Americans, we tend only to acknowledge the parts of History. Many marginalized groups have been oppressed in our history, Blacks, Latinos and Asians alike.

The election of a president of african american decent is a frequent fact called on to support the idea that Racism is dead in America. This type of “individualistic assessment” can be considered a fallacy of logic as one successful outlier is no where near proof that racism has been eradicated.

“I’m not prejudice, i have friends in marginalized groups” Counterexamples Mr. Wise used for this  point really resonated with me. it struck me as a great thought process (at least for males) to actually examine the Privilege we enjoy. heterosexual males create partnerships with women, marry them and become interdependent. HOWEVER that does not exempt them from sexist dispositions.  as males, the need to empathize and understand the experience of women is never really felt.  the same example can be applied to all other instances of privilege, and inequality.

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Critical Race Theory in The Boondocks

14 Oct

Critical Race Theory in The Boondocks

The Boondocks, is an animated satire  on cartoon networks Adult Swim. It is a racial satire that chronicles the life of two young African American brothers, Huey and Riley Freeman who live in the “whitebread” community of Woodcrest with their grandfather, Robert Freeman. I examined the 1st episode, “The Garden Party” this episode introduces the characters and gives audiences a feel for the towns mentality.  The Freemans, freshly moved into their new home in Woodcrest, are invited to attend a party with the upper class members of the community.

Huey, who narrates the program is an intelligent, radical, self proclaimed “revolutionary” and “domestic terrorist” often points out blatant stupidity and egregious racism which always seems to go unnoticed by the other characters.  Riley embodies negative stereotypes held against  african americans, he has backward morals,  is easily influenced by black media and is violent.  Granddad, or Robert Freeman, is a civil rights movement alumni but is still very subservient to white people. Which is why he eagerly accepts an invitation to the garden party, and forces his grandchildren to come with him.

In a ridiculous turn of events, the party comes to a catastrophic end when Riley  shoots a young Heir to the community’s richest family our the window,  it all ends up okay because the heir is a “wannabe” character and urged Riley to shoot him.  Huey’s experience at the party was quite different. With the intention of causing chaos, Huey pontificated all manner of anti-white theories meant to shatter his audiences sense of reality. however his “whitebread” audience only could comment on his articulation and speaking skills.  Granddad’s time at the party was spent trying desperately to assimilate, and trying to stop Huey from Causing chaos before he realized he didn’t have to.  This episode in particular shows clear examples of the invisibility of whiteness, and shows the heirarcharial nature of society in terms of racial identity.

 

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Class Portrayals in Mad Men

24 Sep

I Watched Mad Men from AMC on Netflix. In season 4 Episode 7: “The Suitcase”, it is Peggy Olson’s birthday but she is hard at work at the office. Because of this her relationship with her boyfriend suffers and this eventually leads to this confrontation with Donald Draper about Recognition, for work done, work ethic and success.

Don, a senior partner at the advertising firm has a mentoring roll in Peggy’s life he is very successful in their given field of advertising and has given Peggy many opportunities. As made apparent in the clip, Don holds the ideals of a Protestant Work Ethic and Rugged Individualism in high regard. Don’s character came from nothing and took the opportunity to change his life when he came back from the war. converting himself from a lower working class to an upper class citizen. Peggy, coming from a middle class family as an ambitious young lady hungry for success and recognition. She also holds the Protestant work ethic ideal in high regard, but not so much the rugged individualism at this point in the series. But she also wants a family, indicative of the american dream and makes a jab at don’s lack there of, implying he is unfulfilled. For peggy, her ambition and work ethic and budding individualism interfere with her achievement of her american dream.

Audiences could interpret this in two ways, either standing by Don’s belief, Peggy has a job to do, and though it is unfortunate she missed her birthday dinner, sacrifice is required for the success and recognition she so desperately wants. or by Peggy’s desire to have a happy relationship and family.

This episode portray’s the high esteem for all three capitalist ideologies: The American Dream, Rugged Individualism and a Protestant work ethic. in the end Don’s Rugged Individualism and Peggy’s Protestant overpower the American Dream.