Is "The Lord of the Rings" racist?

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Anduril, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    8,237
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ratings:
    +63 / 0 / -0
    So are you agreeing that LOTR is racist?
     
  2. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oxford, U.K.
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Good point.
     
  3. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    On the shores of Lake Evendim
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I don't think he is racist but he is the product of his time and that 50 years from now when people from the future look at our attitudes and beliefs in 2004, they will try to read it from their viewpoint and will invariably not quite understand our thinking on a lot of issues.
     
  4. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    Be that as it may, there is no reason to suggest that every single film that's released needs to go out of it's way to please each and every group of people under the sun the producers can think of, especially considering the source material for the film has been around for over 50 years.
    That's all well and good to believe, but you cannot guarantee your belief, nor can anyone else. Tolkien is long dead, and as such, PJ rightly opted to stick to the source material as well as he could...a feat that we normally applaud! When people decide to start taking liberties with such masterful, iconic publications as The Lord of the Rings, people get really pissed off...yours truely included.
    Yes, there is absolutely a place in today's pop culture for heroes of skin color, and you won't likely find a great deal of people on this forum that would disagree with that sentiment. But if you want examples of heroic icons in modern culture today, I would point out such marvelous role-models/heroes/ as Jackie Chan, Westley Snipes, Chris Tucker, Jet Li, Samuel L. Jackson, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Naseeruddin Shah, Halle Berry, James Earl Jones, Chow Yun Fat...the list goes on and on and on. I love the works of each every one of these fine individuals. Don't go preaching to me that PJ was wrong in not representing these cultures better. He was staying true to the works of Tolkien. There is enough opportunity for people to create new heroes if they have a mind to, without changing the heroes we've all grown up loving.

    The cross-cultural symbols displayed in Tolkien's story is nothing to push so lightly aside as Mr. Hart has done. Little people in today's culture have a damn rough time getting the same amount of face value that anyone, even the african americans, asians, etc. get. When's the last time you saw a "little person" in a heroic role in a movie? But you don't hear Mr. Hart make special note of this. "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." and "Power can be held in the smallest of things." gets lost on the tunnel vision of Mr. Hart.

    There is a deep seeded hatred between dwarves and elves...Legolas and Gimli are the prime example in the movie about how cultures can overcome their rediculous differences and accept each other for who they are. But this too was too much for the narrow mind of Mr. Hart to grasp.

    People like Mr. Hart make me sick. They are looking for a way to start a fuss, and he has succeeded in doing so. I almost don't want to write this response, because I feel it's giving into him in a way...but when he's so blindly bashing one of the greatest works of all time, I can't help myself. I suppose if someone were to make Huckleberry Finn over again, he'd have a problem with all that too.

    Mr. Hart, I hope you read this. You are an ass. If your feeble, narrow mind can wrap itself around an idea such as this, then please listen carefully: Just because a film doesn't go out of it's way to end racial discrimination, it doesn't make it a racist film. Just because a film doesn't go out of it's way to lend a hand to every cause under the sun, it doesn't make the film a bad one. If an animal dies in a film, it's not animal cruelty, if a fat person gets made fun of it doesn't make the film insensitive. And just because you think yourself a knowledgeable person fighting for the equal rights of all mankind everywhere, it doesn't mean you're doing a very good or efficient job of it. Tolkien probably wouldn't have minded making changes to the modern-day portrayal of his books on the big screen...but I'll wager that he'd likely take offense to your assenine rambling. Remove your head from your ass...because it has to be hard to breathe with it in that position.
     
  5. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    On the shores of Lake Evendim
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Not everything in this world is so black and white. I don't think LOTR is racist but I don't think Tolkien was ever exposed to much ethnic diversity in his scholarly university life. Do not imagine university life as it is today but of 50 or more years ago.
     
  6. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    8,237
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ratings:
    +63 / 0 / -0
    Forgive me for my stupidity, but I'm still not sure I understand your point. What does being exposed to ethnic diversity have to do with anything? So many of the bad guys (Easterlings, etc.) are not white. If Middle-earth was supposed to be a primitive Europe, then it would only make sense that any group of invaders, etc, would be of Eastern descent.
     
  7. Cirdan

    Cirdan The Pandaren

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    I don't think it's rascist, because tolkien created several races in his story.
    But however, in the movies there are only white men playing, except for the Harradrim, they all seem to have a tinted skin-color.
    But personally I don't think this is racial.
    Maybe you could say that the jokes that Gimli and Legolas make to each other are rascist, but in my eyes there from the same caliber as jokes made about artist like the beastie boys or eminem.
     
  8. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    Thank you! Very well said! Tolkien wasn't writing a "Civil War". It was a war fo many lands. And he shaped the heroes closer after the fashion of his own people...the British, the Irish, The Scotts, etc. That leaves the rest of the world as the "other side." For God's sake...people need to quit reading into things and just read the story for what it is. A story of good and evil. IF you're looking for trouble, you'll find it anywhere.
     
  9. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    P.S. Am I the only one who thinks for a split moment that they're looking at D.T. when they see Cirdan? ;)
     
  10. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    2,287
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    I didnt look at his name till you said something... yep yer right. And tolkien is no racist.
     
  11. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    8,237
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ratings:
    +63 / 0 / -0
    Thanks Jerry. And you're right too. People read way too much into this stuff. I get so tired of hearing about ethnic diversity, etc., etc., that to have it brought up in reference Lord of the Rings just really ticks me off.
     
  12. byzantine warrior

    byzantine warrior Autokratos Konstantinou

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,121
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Constantinopoli
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Tolkien stated many times this was a gift to England. There are No Olive or Black skinned people native to England so why should he include them???
     
  13. boromir_the_ranger

    boromir_the_ranger Guest

    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    now why the hell would it be racist if there is no black or olvie people there in the first place.
     
  14. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    That's just it. They argue that because each and every hero is white, that means it's racist. Gimme a break.
     
  15. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,874
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    How is that racist? well did mr. tolkien ever mention what race his people were, no! maybe peter jackson and fran walsh are racist, but j.r.r. tolkien:the author that changed peoples lives is not racist in his stories...what the heck were you thinking?
     
  16. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,874
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    another thing, do you guys like tolkiens works, i think not, or at least you dont act like it when you misconstrue the things that man wrote, his reputation is at stake when people like you throw these insults to that authors writings...
     
  17. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    Woah, woah, woah there, young pup. I was merely telling you what their argument was. I in no way think that Professor Tolkien (or PJ, Fran Walsh, Philipa Boyens and company for that matter) are in any way, shape or form racist.

    And, incidentally, Tolkien did describe what race his heroes were. Difficult it would be for you to find an author with more descript characters. The elves are described as 'pale' or 'fair' skinned. The hobbits as well. Such in-depth descriptions are the case of each character in Professor Tolkien's masterpieces. When there aren't descriptions via text to reference to, there are Professor Tolkien's own drawings. We know what races he intended his characters to be.

    This in no way makes him racist though. Tolkien writes about what he knows, as does any author. Tolkien was a white man. Naturally, he'd want his heroes to be like him. Pure and simple as it comes.
     
  18. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,874
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    I meant that tolkien himself was not comparing his races of middle earth to the races of today, like the haradrim resemble the africans in their lifestyles and way of fighting. take the sahara desert for example the haradrim dont stay at one place forever, they live more of a bedouin lifestyle...
     
  19. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Oxford, U.K.
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    It is ridiculous to assume that Tolkien was racist just by looking at his famous literary works. What he was trying to do was re-create a legend like Beowulf. How many negro or mongolian heroes are there in the old Norse tales? Are they racist? If Aliens came to our world right now they would criticize us on being racist with films like Alien, Predator, ect.
     
  20. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Just jumping in here and.....


    Oh My God!? Who the hell is the ranting guy writing the articles, and why does he start out by talking about LOTR and then go on about the evils of the modern world that are completely unrelated to the original point.



    Okay the points he made about lord of the rings: Easterlings with a tan...evil

    rebutle: The easterlings were hired mercenaries or at least forced into fighting for Sauron by threats, the line portraid by faramir in the film (and sam in the book) questions what torments drove these men to fihgting for the dark side, whats threats or attack?
    ruk Hai resemble native americans? What the hell did this guy smoke when he tought this up and someobdy please arrest him for it. I saw no connection between the two. but this guy who sees monsters and native americans as the same thing must be a little crazy.

    Now we go on to the whote men. Saruman, crazy white guy who is evil, and not only is he white, he is Saruman THE white, a walking metaphor you could say. Then we have the Dunlanders, folk driven by saruman to burn the lands of rohan, they are white, oh yes they are, and they are evil just as much as the haradrim. We also have Wormtongue, and eivl white guy. The corsairs of umbar were white (PJ played the captain and he is white last time i checked).

    So all in all there are more white people evil than any others (excluding orcs).

    Then theres the fact that the haradrim are describes as men of the south, no skin colour specified, and the other guys who are heroes, no skin colour specified.



    The author of this article is probably just one of those ranting loons who jumps on anything as racism. Now I'm not a biggot and I'll make that clear, racism makes me sick, but the people who are overly PC make things just as bad.