Brave and the Amazing World of Hurt Feelings

I was digging around the blogosphere toady when I came across this from Shakesville:

Scottish stereotypes have shown up as sidekicks, comic relief characters, Magical Celts, and noble domestics at least as far back as Scotty on Star Trek (who wasn’t even played by a Scot).

Like its cohorts, Brave is doing something very cynical in its appropriation of Scottish culture for the backdrop of this film: It’s using the most identifiably tribal white culture to side-step charges of racism while playing the same goddamn exploitative game of hilarious caricatures and noble savages.

Scottish people, with their clans and tartans and ubiquitous red hair, have become the go-to group for makers of pop culture who want all the fun of racial stereotyping without the charges of racism.

I understand that the author, Ms. McEwan, doesn’t care for the Scottish stereotypes sometimes portrayed in movies. While I find it very odd that she would complain about this one in that she hasn’t seen the movie, I sympathize that she is bothered by the horrible stereotypes. No one wants to be accused of vague or mundane quirks. It is exactly like blood libel. I just wish the Scottish could be treated like normal people instead of drunks. Like the Irish, the Mexicans, or the Native Americans. I can thing of something interesting, though. Despite the fact that my European ancestors were living in what is now the U.S. (Florida) a few decades before Jamestown existed, the shade of Ms. McEwan’s skin would make her a much more suitable dining companion for the “better” people of world than me.

While we’re on the topic, white men are often portrayed as idiots like Homer Simpson. And the obscenely wealthy are caricatured as being cruel or even soulless every time they shut down a factory to hire slave labor in Asia. Come to think of it, impoverished African immigrant lesbian Jews with AIDS have an unfair advantage over everyone, especially wealthy white heterosexual Protestant men with surnames originating in the British Isles.

The word “ginger” may be composed of the same letters as another racial epithet, but it is far, far more offensive.

By marc

I am a scientist interested in laser safety, modeling and simulation, and statistics. I speak some Spanish, German, and Chinese.