“Hop”: So Racist It Hurts

All movies have a primary message: Good is Rewarded; Be True to Yourself; Follow Your Heart; Horses Are Just Like People; Visit Disneyland … whatever. But every movie has its message, and that message is rarely difficult to discern. And it’s never difficult to discern the message of a children’t movie.

The primary message of the deplorable movie Hop is extremely clear: If you are Hispanic then you are laughably sub-par in every way.

The star of Hop is a rambunctious young drummer bunny named E.B.—short for Easter Bunny (voiced by the delightful Russell Brand). E.B.’s elderly father, Mr. Bunny, is the Easter Bunny. (If my father had followed this progeny-naming logic, my name would be Food Salesman—but never mind.) Mr. Bunny Sr. oversees a vast candy factory that, judging from the mountains of Kisses it produces, is heavily subsidized if not outright owned by the Hershey Company. On Easter every year Mr. Bunny delivers Kisses and colored eggs to children all over the world. (Although, he pointedly notes, “We haven’t cracked China yet.” Because, you know: nothing says “children’s movie” like a statement about economic and cultural imperialism.)

Easter Bunny Sr. has a second-in-command at the factory, Carlos. Judging by Hank Azaria’s (undeniably brilliant) voicing of him, Carlos is Mexican. Carlos is in charge of the vast ranks of line workers in the wondrous Hershey candy factory. They, like Carlos, are yellow chicks. Carlos, however, is a good deal less cute than the chicks he supervises. He is twice as tall as they, for one. And while all the other chicks in the movie are fluffy balls of adorableness, Carlos is simply out-of-shape fat. But the main difference between Carlos and his chick-crew is that while they are childlike simpletons, Carlos is a two-faced, conniving, bitter liar who doesn’t know his place.

When E.B. goes missing (he runs away to Hollywood in his quest to become a famous rock drummer, see), Carlos, back at the plant, decides to come forth with his passionate desire to be—or to at least perform the functions of—the Easter Bunny. Donning little bunny ears to help Mr. Bunny envision him in that role, he makes a terrific case for why should be the proxy Easter Bunny: he’s been Mr. Bunny’s right-hand man for years; and he knows the business inside-out (as opposed to E.B., who has never shown any interest in the job he was born to inherit). In short, Carlos is clearly prepared for the promotion. And Mr. Bunny does, after all, need someone to this year deliver the candy. He’s grown too old to do it himself; this is the year that E.B. was supposed to take over. But E.B. has disappeared.

“Why not me?” says Carlos enthusiastically. “I can do it! I’m ready!” And we know that he is.

The idea of Carlos filling in as the Easter Bunny, though, strikes the father as so outlandish that he laughs in the face of the now humiliated Carlos. As, still chuckling, Mr. Bunny walks away, a foreboding shadow falls across Carlos’ face. Now, for the first time in the movie, evil Carlos emerges.

“Yeah, see you later,” he murmurs angrily. “Enjoy your life of privilege.”

And suddenly this children’s movie is about nothing so much as racism and class warfare.

Carlos never gets to be the Easter Bunny. And we’re never given any reason whatsoever for why he’s judged unqualified for that job—which definitely needs filling, and for which he’s definitely the only qualified candidate. We do learn that the problem is not that he’s not a rabbit: when the good-looking young white man in the movie decides, out of nowhere, that he wants to be the Easter Bunny, Mr. Bunny—knowing full well that they guy knows absolutely nothing about the detailed, very complex job—happily bestows upon him the title and function of “co-Easter Bunny.”

Dedicated, hard-working, fully knowledgeable, vastly experienced Latino? Not a chance. Funny to even think about.

White guy out of nowhere, who knows absolutely nothing about the business? Get that corner office ready!

And there, boys and girls, is the very clear message of Hop: if you’re born either privileged or a white male, you can, with little or no effort, go straight to the top. If, however, you are Mexican, then you can do the work, and you can supervise lots of others of your type who really do the work—but that’s where it stops for you. You’ll never be able to advance beyond that. You might be able to make it to second place. But first place will always be denied you—and you’ll never really be told exactly why.

When my wife and I saw Hop, a Mexican couple and their little girl were sitting directly behind us. Before the movie started the three of them were happily chatting, excited, eager to see the show.

When the movie ended, and the lights came up, not one of them uttered a single word as they gathered their stuff to leave. Heads down, they slowly filed out of their seats, like they were leaving a funeral.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://flavors.me/danikelley Dani Kelley

    Wow. I’d wanted to see this at some point, but now I’m really not so sure. That’s…ugh, that’s just wrong.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      How is it wrong? Are you saying that such doesn’t occur? or does, but fictional works targeted largely to an immature audience shouldn’t reflect that fact? or that people are wrong to read racism into it?

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

    Thanks for the warning. I’ll not be bothering to watch this one.

    On the other hand, I am kind of glad that my father didn’t name me B-52 Pilot when I was born. That would be awkward when I went borderline-pacifist …

    Then again, maybe my older brother would have been saddled with that one. Ironic, since he dropped out of Air Force ROTC. Would I have been stuck with my mother’s occupation? Former Teacher Turned Stay-at-home Mom?

    That might have resulted in me getting beat up on the playground even more often than merely being able to recite every “Star Trek” episode did.

    A lot of children’s stories wind up with this racial tone to them. Certain species or breeds wind up having their fates predestined. (The hyenas in “The Lion King” are one of the stand-out examples that made controversy a few years ago.) Of course, a lot of science fiction and fantasy does this, too.

    (Of course, my novel-in-progress features a dragon as the more-or-less noble freedom fighter, but that’s a different story …)

  • http://motheringbythesea.blogspot.com Hazel

    Can’t believe this kind of thing still happens!

  • Denine

    Hey John,

    Do you know that if you play Beatles records backwards, you get messages from Satan?

    Come on, it’s a kid’s movie. Children won’t see it as “racist,” they’ll see a funny story about the Easter bunny’s son. Daffy Duck spent years trying to take over Bugs’ place, does that make Warner Bros. cartoons racist?

    • mary

      Children WILL see this as “Racist”!

      This is one of the way children learn racism and one of the insidious ways racism is taught!

      For more then 50 years, I know very well the feeling of the little Mexican girl with her family sitting behind John…once again John, thanks.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Denine: Endeavor to be more sensitive / less dense. It’s the fact that it’s a children’s movie that makes its damaging message so insidious. Racism is most dangerous when it’s delivered to children in ways that make it seem cute and harmless. That’s how they most readily and seamlessly incorporate it into their understanding of the world and themselves.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        I believe as a child it didn’t take long for me to acquire an awareness of racism and racial discrepancies but without having racism incorporated into my own understanding of the world beyond expecting that it might occur and having the ability generally to recognize it when it does. However, I never thought to connect cartoons to reality in the way that now comes maturely, with an adult mind capable of such abstract reasoning (despite which, I’m sure many adults even do not pick up on what your picking up on here, while probably some children—those for whom it hits closer to home—probably do. And it *is* sad that children have to see that awful reality: let us hope to make it no more a reality when they’re grown up; let’s send this depiction the way of that of Jim’s reality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But let us not forget that children are frequently exposed to stories such as that, and that of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater).

        • Matthew Tweedell

          *naturely [not "maturely"]

          • Matthew Tweedell

            (and yes, that’s not how it’s spelled either, but that’s what was actually in my head)

      • DR

        I want to bury my head in the sand and believe that the Denines of the world don’t really exist, but it gets hard to breathe.

      • Holly

        I agree with you, mistah… but as a mama- I genuinely feel like I’m constantly fighting the “real world”… not the “ideal world we all wish we could change the real world into.” It’s tiring man.

        My daughter is only in kindergarten and I’ve had the “sketchers brand shoes vs. generic shoes” talk with her already. Peer pressure at 5 years old. What fun.

        As far as this movie’s impact on her– it will be minimal compared to the impact her environment will have. So while she sees this chick as having a mexican accent and is basically oppressed and evil– her hispanic classmates and their families will prove otherwise.

        I overheard her playing pretend with her toys/dolls and she was speaking in a male Indian accent… quite well for a 5 year old white mutt girl… and the character in her playtime was a king.

        As in- King Julian from Madigascar. As her mom, I have deemed Madagascar acceptable, so she watched it about 157 times last year. (we like to move it, move it.)

        Will we watch Hop repeatedly until she can talk like an evil mexican chick? Hell no. Why? Because of what we are discussing- I’m not buying the movie.

        So while the movie is so terribly irresponsible in it’s stereotyping, it’s ultimately up to the parents to deal with it accordingly.

        Scary, right? (joke)

    • ROBIN

      so it’s even worse that kids will see it and laugh at racism and learn that it’s not so big of a deal. as long as it’s funny.

    • DR

      I know, right? Racist movies aren’t really “racist” when they’re meant as jokes or packaged in multi-million dollar cartoon movies! We should all just lighten up, am I right?

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

      Actually, that kids might not see it is exactly the problem.

      Racism continues because people aren’t even aware sometimes of the messages being sent.

      You don’t have to state overtly that you’d never consider a Hispanic person for the job … but if it never crosses your mind, then the attitude is still there. That’s how brainwashing and propaganda work. It’s why tyrannies control the messages in TV shows and movies. If Middle Easterners are only cast as terrorists or evil geniuses, and only white guys are ever heroes, etc., then those are the messages that get burned in.

      • Diana A.

        Indeed!

  • Mollie

    This plot sounds similar to the movie Tommy Boy (and others, e.g., Billy Madison, etc). I haven’t seen Hop, but the general story goes that the second-in-command is never considered for the top job – it always goes to the son (note I say son and not daughter – why not claim gender bias here?). You said that Carlos seems sinister, out of shape, etc. Maybe the father had this idealized notion that the son, however inept, would take over, and just can’t imagine Carlos as a replacement for himself.

    Also, do we see any prodigal son paralells here?

    • Holly

      I don’t really see Tommy Boy and Hop as any sort of parallel, honestly. If you end up watching it, you’ll see why.

      And in Tommy Boy, Richard was generally unlikeable which made him a bad salesman. Tommy was on the road to sell. The only thing Tommy had that Richard wanted, was an office with a window.

  • Holly

    holy jellybeans. (see what i did there?) I just saw the movie over the weekend and I totally and completely didn’t even think about that point. I felt like the portrayal of the chick was uncomfortably racist- the rest totally eluded me. Wow man. Sad.

    But, kinda switching it up a bit… mexican accent or not, the chick’s desire to be easter bunny seemed selfish and sinister from the get go. He was only a good second-in-command when the Easter Bunny was around. Otherwise he was a terrible and downright mean boss to the other chicks.

    The good looking white guy went from being a lazy, entitled bum, to working his ass off and training til he was exhausted, in order to fill the position. The chick just tried to use weirdo magical powers which, in turn, scared the ever living jellybeans (yep.) out of my five year old.

    So while the accent made it weird, there’s this whole thing that also says: work your butt off- get your dream. Use force and/or trickery as oppose to honest hard work- don’t get your dream.

    But why did they have to make it so racially skewed? Geez. =/

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Perhaps to be real about the problematic dynamics of the world, which, if we continue to wilfully look away or sanitize/whitewash over them, will never get solved.

      • Holly

        The problematic dynamics of the world are not to be worried about by children though….

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Children, to such as whom the Kingdom of Heaven belongs, know naturally only to let each day worry about itself, each day bringing enough trouble of its own as we struggle to learn how to live and to play by the rules of the world we find ourselves born into. Yet only by understanding all the rules might they really make sense of their world. I remember significant confusion as to why everyone tried to ignore racial inequality as if there were no such thing. The message it sent me was clear: acknowledging and addressing racism is more taboo than racism itself! Hiding the truth, as under a bushel, is a thing far more worrisome than keeping it real.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            When we teach kids that ours is a nation that affirms that all are created equal, but do not acknowledge the truth of how we fail to abide by that, then we’re teaching them to see the reason for blatant differences in regards to occupations, lifestyles, and general place in society, as cultural preferences, basically, a matter of choice, so that whatever troubles might befall them as a result thereof, it’s primarily there own fault. This indeed seems to be the message that many in the majority demographic of the generation raised by the generation that grew up during the civil rights era have received.

    • Don Rappe

      Why is it so racially skewed? Everyone knows the Mexicans are here to take our jobs, right?

  • Don Whitt

    They must have taken their cue from Disney where, for years, most of Disney’s male cinematic evil-doers looked distinctly middle-eastern and most of their female evil-doers were obese and ugly (with a couple exceptions where they made the female evil-doers look like Joan Crawford). There is a very “rich” history of racism in animation.

    • Holly

      Joan Crawford looks scary to children! I’m not a child so I’m just assuming this, and I’m basing that assumption on the fact that she looks scary to ME… and I’m an adult. =)

      But other than Jafar, I’m not sure what other middle eastern male disney villains you’re talking about….?

      • Don Whitt

        Scar, Sykes, Professor Ratigan, Stromboli, Ratcliffe, Hook, …I could go on and on. Disney almost always equated evil with swarthy looks and mustaches. I know there are exceptions to that and don’t want to get into a big academic discussion about it..

        Also: Count how many Disney films in which one or both parents die. That has nothing to do with racism, but is more about Disney’s philosophy re. pathos. Go for the kill and leave the parent-less innocents on the street (or babes in the woods). What’s more emotive?

        Until recently, you could still catch a Looney Tune or two from WWII where Japanese were depicted as squinty-eyed, buck-toothed miniatures or a Tom and Jerry of similar or earlier vintage where an Aunt Jemima-esque house keeper vigorously broom-smacked Thomas. There’s nothing funnier than depicting minorities as evil, stupid, ineffectual or all of the above.

        • Don Whitt

          And that last sentence was meant to be ironic…I keep forgetting you guys don’t know me :-)

  • ROBIN

    i love that you’re white.

    i also just want to say that reading the plot makes me sick. hugh hefner? really? ugh ugh ugh.

  • Mark Lattimore

    John, I’m curious. Does your review change if “Carlos” is, instead, “Skip” and he is voiced not by Hank Azaria doing a Mexican accent, but Craig T. Nelson doing, well, a Craig T. Nelson accent?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Are you kidding me with this question?

      • Mark Lattimore

        Nope, not kidding and not intending to be snarky. I’m curious to know whether you see a racist element in the film even if one removes the association of Carlos with a traditionally oppressed minority. Is simply making the chicks so radically different in appearance and apparent station from the “good-looking white man” who does get the job, in itself, sending a racist message? In other words, is there an underlying offense that is only made worse (particularly for the family sitting behind you) by making Carlos Mexican? Or, put another way, in your opinion, would changing the voicing of Carlos to something akin to “neutral midwestern” redeem the film or would it still be sending the wrong message? Make no mistake, the family sitting behind you has every right to be offended by the portrayal. But is it a case of one offense piled on top of another?

        • Kristin

          Mark:

          I would suggest that if Carlos is played as Skip that it may become a movie with classism more than racism…and if a Carlos and Skip are instead Rosemary, it’s sexism. The idea of the “ism” is that it keeps people in their place because of the category the person fits in and the stereotypes associated with that categorization. Instead of seeing their capacity and skills, the person is evaluated by the stereotype.

          (FYI…that explanation of “isms” is intended to clarify where I was going with the comment rather than to instruct you or anyone else. Apologies if it reads like I’m trying to teach you, Mark.)

          • Mark Lattimore

            No apologies necessary. Well said.

    • DR

      ooh! Reverse racism! Such a plague to the white man. Goodness.

      • Mark Lattimore

        Not the idea behind the question. See above.

        • DR

          Mark that may not be the point that you intended to make or wanted to make, but it’s exactly what you are communicating. You can’t simply “swap out” ethnicities and make some kind of point about the meaning changing when you do. It’s impossible.

          • Mark Lattimore

            I never said the meaning changes by “swapping out” ethnicities. I asked John if his review would change. My hope is that it would not. Based on his description, it seems to me that the underlying plot, regardless of ethnic assignment, is deeply flawed.

          • DR

            I’m just…..I’m speechless. It happens so rarely.

          • Robin

            i do think you two are misunderstanding each other. i think the point is that a good test of if something is racist or not is to say would it be different if the situation was two white people? or two black people? or two martians? or what-have-you. if the situation implicitly changes because the characters are of a certain race or ethnic group, then guess what… it’s racist, whether intentional or not really doesnt matter. racism is deeper than intent.

            this is a snippet from a similar convo i’m having on my fb wall…

            me: my question about him being mexican remains… did he NEED to be mexican for the character to work?

            ‎friend’s answer: “did he need to be Mexican? No. Did the bunnies need to be British? No. Why were those chosen?? Who knows. ”

            my reply: do you not see that this IS the point? maybe he (john shore) is being overreactionary because that IS the point and he maybe didnt make it as well as I CAN! haha!

            when you create a character and flippantly make it a particular ethnic group, you MUST ASK these questions and you MUST be able to answer them. if you cant, you are a RACIST. and at best just an ignorant f#$% (not YOU you, the generic YOU)

          • DR

            The discussion is about racism. For some reason people start swapping words and challenging the semantics of the argument to see if we can call it anything else but racism. Which to me isnan absolutely empty exercise when the topic is actually about “racism”. At its best, it is derailing. At its worst, diminishing a terribly ugly blight that causes tremendous anguish.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/ Ric Booth

    It’s pretty shocking that a script like that made it to blockbuster kid’s movie. Humbling shocking. I always imagine us (the collective us) being better than this.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Hollywood is run (in the main) by a whole lot of immature white guys. And it shows, everywhere.

      • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/ Ric Booth

        In an unrelated note, I’ve learned that my initials (using my full name eric) match E.B.’s! Prophetic? hmmm…

        So is the Playboy mansion tie-in related to the bunny-ears worn by the playmates? Tell me this message was not also present.

        • Holly

          Ohhhh Ric you had to ask.

          I checked out a website review before we went to see it, and it mentions the reference to Playboy… and goes on to say that kids wouldn’t understand.

          To me, that means subtle reference. Silly me.

          To the makers of this movie? Notsomuch.

          EB is at the front gate of the Playboy mansion because he’s looking for a place to stay. You hear Hef’s voice over the intercom and there’s the bunny symbol on the gate… which, yes, that would go over my daughter’s head for sure.

          But they say “Playboy mansion” a few times in this quick conversation, and EB calls himself a “sexy bunny” a couple times.

          Questions from my 5 years old always come up waaaay after the fact.

          So clearly we’ll be sitting on the subway on a saturday afternoon, and THAT is when she’ll decide it is a perfect time to ask me about the Playboy mansion and sexy bunnies. Great. Can’t wait.

          She only saw it once in theaters, so it may not happen. But still. (sigh)

          • Mary G

            ROFLMAO!! Yes, my daughter was the same way. She’d read a book (or have it read to her, at age 5), then MONTHS later ask me a deep and insightful question about some subtle plot line in the story. Just because we think it’s “subtle”, doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention.

          • Don Rappe

            It takes so long because children like to figure out the mysteries themselves without a lot of help. They only ask when the phenomenon has defied all logical explanations.

      • Diana A.

        Where’s the “like” button when I need it?

  • Anonymous

    Ok I can see the point of racism inferred but I don’t think it was the writers and directors who made this movie sought out to offend anybody. Keep in mind I have not seen the movie however when one goes to see a movie they go to be strictly entertained. That’s why movies are made. While I can see it from an adult viewpoint but, most kids will not deduct the point that “if you’re Mexican, you can do the work, and you can supervise lots of others of your type who really do the work—but you’ll only be able to advance so far. ” Do you REALLY think that the kids that this movie is aimed at are going to pick that up?

    I don’t think so.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. Unbelievable.

      • mary

        Absolutely unbelievable!!

    • DR

      So because racism wasn’t *intended*, we shouldn’t talk about it or highlight it to make sure we can avoid exposing our kids to it?

      I might need to avoid the blog today, my sword of righteousness is twitching something fierce and its thirsting for dumb.

      • Anonymous

        What’s unbelievable is that people have to read so much into something as a movie and make it more then what it is. It’s just a cartoon meant to entertain little kids. It’s fine if you don’t want to take your kids to see it because you don’t personally agree with its so called “implications” but most kids would not pick up the racial views and if they do you talk to them and explain it like a parent should do.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Invariably, it’s the people who leave exactly this sort of bottom-feeder comment who always, always, always take the most pains to remain the most anonymous. It’s like your mouth is forcing you to say something your heart and soul know is pure, mean-spirited bullshit.

        • DR

          In short, you want everybody who makes you feel kind of uncomfortable to lighten up so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable anymore. Right? I know, let’s be cool with all of the stuff that pokes fun at other people that has nothing to do with you. I’d bet a thousand bucks that I’m right about two things regarding you:

          1. You’re caucasian and you’ve got “black friends”. Meaning, you work down the hall from one of them.

          2. You are a Christian who absolutely freaks out when someone pokes fun at you and you believe you and others like you are experiencing a spiritual attack when that happens. But hai, hilarious making fun of other people, am I right?

          I’m sure you feel nice and hidden behind your anonymous monniker but you’re revealing much, much more about yourself with comments like these than you realize. Ugh.

        • Mary G

          What’s unbelievable is how white people still haven’t learned that this is exactly the way that racism is taught to children. Boggles my mind how ignorant most of us are.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I thought racism was taught primarily by adults whom a child looks up to expressing sentiments such as “that n—-r better just keep his mouth shut,” etc. If it is taught through media, then why have I, having had a lot of media exposure as a kid, not found reason to think anyone better or worse in any capacity, besides perhaps resistance to either sun poisoning or vitamin-D deficiency, based upon their skin color?

          • DR

            Matthew there is a lot of data that shows the media is a huge root cause of perpetuating who has privilege in our society. Media traditionally has had those of color be “the bad guy”, or even as subtle as those of color being characters that do the menial jobs. It’s a big problem and while I’ve no doubts you’re the exception to the rule,, it’s a pretty well-documented fact that the media is one of the primary triggers of institutional racism.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I’m not sure what data you might be referring to to show cause and effect here, but anyway, this case in particular isn’t about promoting stereotypes (or perhaps I should say, statistical truths) about people and their occupations, but about coming too close for comfort to confronting the reality behind it: This blogpost exists because a cartoon sort of dared touch upon the *reason* a certain anthropomorphic chick might have been stuck in the occupation that he had.

          • DR

            The data is pervasive (this was one of my majors in college). This article provides a fairly good breakdown of how racism is often perpetuated through institutional vehicles.

            http://www.yale.edu/ypq/articles/oct99/oct99b.html

          • Matthew Tweedell

            But there actually isn’t any data there to the effect that racism is learned to a significant extent from mass media, and none of the sources consist of any research in that regard. And despite the fact that you claim hard data to be pervasive, I’m struggling to find any.

            Something tells me sanitizing the media of the effects of institutional racism doesn’t actually help put an end to the causes.

          • DR

            Matthew as I mentioned, the article is a summary of conclusions. The data you’re looking for is noted extensively in the citations listed within the footnotes. They are great reads, I’d encourage you to take a look.

            I’ve not suggested that ending racial stereotyping in media would put an end to anything – it’s certainly a huge factor but there are a number of factors (that the article notes).

          • DR

            Matthew , the article is a summary of conclusions. The data you’re looking for is noted extensively in the citations listed within the footnotes. They are great reads, I’d encourage you to take a look.

            I’ve not suggested that ending racial stereotyping in media would put an end to anything – it’s certainly a huge factor but there are a number of factors (that the article notes).

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “The data you’re looking for is noted extensively in the citations listed within the footnotes.”

            No, DR, it’s not. Again, none of the sources contain research in that regard.

            You can keep talking about how pervasive, extensive, etc., that it is, but such claims are proving mighty hollow (and rather time-consuming to check and double-check).

          • DR

            No, DR, it’s not. Again, none of the sources contain research in that regard.>>

            Matthew there are BOOKS in the endnotes. Do you mean to tell me that you read all of those books before posting “reply” and they didn’t contain any of the detail that was summarized in the article?

            Stunning.

          • DR

            Wait, I missed this part you wrote:

            “You can keep talking about how pervasive, extensive, etc., that it is, but such claims are proving mighty hollow (and rather time-consuming to check and double-check).”

            I guess if things are served up to you in 30-second sound bytes or Wikipedia articles, the research all of the sudden becomes “time-consuming”. Got it. Why don’t you leave the conversation to people who’ve really studied the issue and don’t find doing so too take up too much of their time.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            DR, it was just plain irresponsible for me to spend hours as I did, looking through source, only to go back and do it again as you insist upon the truth of falsehoods. I’m sorry; I have other responsibilities—work to do, bills to pay. This issue, of course, is too important to worry the time spent addressing it, but a wild goose chase does not profitably address the matter and so is not appreciated.

            Now, you’ve studied the issue and seem to think of yourself having some sort of authority here, but you’ve not really lived it. You’ll claim that you can’t, that you are somehow advantaged everywhere in the world. Well, then, praise the Lord, if that’s truly the case! However, it seems more likely you’ve just never really taken the opportunity, to walk a mile in such shoes. Yet you’re so quick to tell everyone all about how the shoes are laced, and what sort of insoles they have, and so on. But you know that not from the maker’s specifications but because someone who’s worn in those shoes tried to describe for you colors you’ve just not ever seen. Well, the relationships among colors are too nuanced and too important for playing color-number games with a Crayola 8-pack. It’s just… time consuming.

          • DR

            me to spend hours as I did, looking through source, only to go back and do it again as you insist upon the truth of falsehoods.>>>

            So you’re essentially refusing to actually look at any data. You’re so mired in whatever imagined victimhood you’re living as a white guy that you’re actually dismissing anything those books say as “falsehoods” and that you don’t have time to read because of all of your other responsibilities.

            This issue, of course, is too important to worry the time spent addressing it, but a wild goose chase does not profitably address the matter and so is not appreciated.>>>

            “Wild goose chase”? Some of those authors are the defining authority on Race in America and Race in the Media, they are college educators and more, they are substantial contributors to this national dialogue. That you so offhandedly dismiss them for some – I don’t even know the reason – is an example of your privilege. You don’t read them because you don’t have to, you can go along as you say and pay your bills etc, and never have to think about race again. You just proved exactly what these authors have written and that.

            Now, you’ve studied the issue and seem to think of yourself having some sort of authority here, but you’ve not really lived it.>>>

            I did, I studied race relations and the rhetoric that we’ve institutionalized academically as well as professionally. But OK, you’re a white guy so you know better than anyone else, is this what you’re saying. So stay ignorant. And I’m serious, who cares, you’ll just be one of the millions of people who will live and die and never become aware of this facet of the world. Just don’t wander into a discussion and actually offer what you’ve offered to people who’ve clearly educated themselves here and know what they’re talking about when you don’t want to pick up a book about it. You’re going to get slapped down for that.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            You don’t seem to understand anything.

            First, did I not say that being white has definitely been, personally, to my advantage?

            Second, I said I *did* read them.

            Third, I said that *you*, not the books, are full of falsehoods, saying that there is present in them what simply IS NOT THERE.

            Fourth, I dismiss *you*, not the authors, for telling me to look there for data that IS NOT THERE: a wild goose chase.

            Fifth, don’t you dare presume to know whether I have to think about race.

            Sixth, not I, only *you* dare to claim authority on the matter, and not only that, but apparently superiority as well.

            Seventh, I’ll prove you wrong about that, if I don’t get blocked first. Go ahead and try to slap my down, and I’ll slap you so hard your grandchildren will still be feeling it.

            I ain’t even playing. This is too serious a matter, DR.

            You can continue to care only about appeasing your righteousness anger, or you can actually try to understand the consequences of your perspective and (of the many false statements it leads you to make).

      • Suz

        OK, DR. Maybe I was choking anyway, but I just spit water all over my screen and keyboard! I’m blaming you, ’cause that WAS funny.

    • Holly

      Movies are made strictly for entertainment…

      unless you’re Hershey’s or Volvo…

      • DR

        LOL!

    • Diana A.

      “Do you REALLY think that the kids that this movie is aimed at are going to pick that up?” Actually, the problem is that they won’t pick it up–at least not on the conscious level. No, the images and the words that go with them will just sink down into their subconcious to join up with all the other little messages that get sent to them both more blatantly and more subtly than this one. Until one day they’re all grown up and racist (or hating themselves because of their own race, depending) and not knowing how they got that way.

    • Mindy

      If you are going to argue online, doing so anonymously is quite cowardly. Shame on you.

  • Holly

    Ooh!! I almost forgot about this… Did you feel weird about the Asian adopted daughter? I was like… wha..? When she said “I think you adopted me because he’s such an embarrassment.” …Or something. Geeez what a bad movie. haha. Wow.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You know, I debated with myself about whether to even deal with the horrendous portrayal of the adopted Asian daughter. I decided not to, by way of keeping this piece focused. But .. yeah. They couldn’t have possibly handled any worse their transparent—and, clearly, shoe-horned in at the end of the process—attempt to in any way attract a young Asian audience. It’s like this whole movie was put together by social retards. (Yes, those among you so inclined, please do now begin the admonitions about my having in this fashion used that word. But first, please, consider this sentence: “It’s like the whole movie was made by social morons.)

      • Mindy

        Oh, John, just don’t use that word. Please. My friend whose son has Down’s Syndrome admonished me for saying not the word itself, but, “The R word.” Because I used it in an insulting manner. The thing is, I was not referring to THAT “R” word. I meant Republican.

        Still, though. People with children who have been called “retard” at school because they are developmentally delayed or learn differently know that discrimination against their kids is as real discrimination based on race, religion or orientation has ever been.

        You are a wordsmith. You can do better. Yes?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          It’s the word “moron” to which you’re objecting? Well, first I wrote “social retards.” Then, anticipating offending someone with that, I ditched it. Then I wrote “social idiots,” but feared even that would offend. Finally, I watered it all the way down to “moron,” which I thought generic enough of a word to slip by anyone’s Offense Meter. But I see I was wrong about that. Hmm. So … what word would you suggest there? “It’s like the whole move was made by social … ” Rejects? But that doesn’t work for me, meaning-wise. Hmm. Man, I don’t know. If we’re not allowed to use a disparaging noun to identify someone who is (or is being) stupid, because we might then sort of automatically be pointing to people who can’t HELP but be of subnormal intelligence, then … what do we do? What word, if any comes to mind, do you think should there be used to replace “idiot”? (And, for the record, you can utterly trust that I’m extremely sensitive to those amongst us who are “mentally handicapped,” which is a phrase I so loathe I basically refuse to use it. But, yeah. I’ve worked with that population. I LOVE the people … about whom we’re now speaking even though we really have no language thus far by which to gracefully do so.)

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com/ Erika

            how about ignorant mother-fuckers?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Oh, right. There’s always that. Whacha think, Mindy?

          • Don Rappe

            If you insist on having a noun for something that is not noun-like, then ignorant mother fuckers IS the way to go. Even then the adjective ignorant is important. But MF does give that satisfying feeling you were looking for.

          • Don Rappe

            The difference between a moron and an idiot was that a moron might be able to function at a very low level in society, while an idiot requires care. I’m pretty sure there was a time in America when some diagnosed morons were experimented upon. Try to remember that MF. :)

          • Don Rappe

            And just because once I start I can’t stop:

            http://www.pipeline.com/~rougeforum/radioactiveoatmeal.html

  • travis

    Really people? Are we still claiming to be living in a racist society when the top earners in our society (namely the entertainment industry) are people like Oprah Winfrey? Our country is so racist that we haven’t yet stepped out of the dark ages and created equal opportunity or affirmative action. Haven’t seen the movie and honestly it looks terrible. Stop reading falsely into the plot content of a kids movie and start thinking of what huge strides our country has made in relation to others

    • Holly

      That’s a can of worms that has little to do with “Hop”….

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore
      • travis

        This would be a better reply if you had addressed my statement rather than linking out to another of your articles in which I stated none of the phrases which in your eyes makes me a racist.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          You: “Are we still claiming to be living in a racist society when the top earners in our society … are people like Oprah Winfrey?)

          The article: “If making it as a black person in America is so hard, how do you explain people like Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, and Barack Obama?”

          Grow up, Travis.

          • travis

            I never claimed it wasn’t hard. I also mentioned programs such as equal opportunity and affirmative action. I’m backing up my statements with facts. Is this not acting grown up? I suppose grown up is replying to a post on what you speculate is racist. Speculation is grown up. I’ll make a note of that.

          • DR

            Observations of blatant racism in a film are not “speculation”. Your replies diminish what millions of citizens in our country are experiencing and this film supports. Sure. We have made some small improvements. That’s great. To date, it’s still a nightmare for the average Hispanic-Americzn to get a bank loan, ok? No one needs you to be a cheerleader about the strides we have made when we have barely scratched the racism/discrimination surface in our country. That’s the point, you derailing a very real discussion aboutrhe racism in this film (which by the way is being discussed all over the place) is inappropriate.

          • http://voicedude.official.fm/ Joel-Steven

            I don’t think that any THINKING person can say racism doesn’t or barely exists. For the last 2-3 years ever since Obama came up, all of the ‘hidden’ racists came out of the woodwork! Haven’t you been listening? Haven’t you been shocked or offended by at least ONE acquaintance or friend who finally let their true feelings be known? I know I sure have…here in ‘melting pot’ California!

          • DR

            Absolutely, agree 1000%. Obama certainly ruffled the racist feathers, that is for sure. Of course he is a Muslim which makes him even more dangerous, CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

          • Julia

            It’s a really difficult and fine line to discover and walk upon, the line between acknowledging progress — however slight — and honoring the real, deep, long-term and embedded discrimination that continues. I don’t agree with Travis’s post, but I do believe that the balance is crucial for our society. Recognizing progress, when done correctly, doesn’t diminish the damage of discrimination. Rather, it energizes everyone to continue pushing toward the Something Better that so many of us are working toward. So often it is two steps forward, one step back … but I NEED to be reminded that the momentum is overall forward, because it’s so easy to become exhausted by the backward steps.

    • DR

      OMG the stupidity of this comment threatens to overwhelm. Are you actually suggesting that because Oprah is a millionaire, all of the institutional racism in this county has ceased to exist? Seriously? Tell that to the thousands of African-American men walking along the street and get picked up by a cop for ” looking suspicious”.

      Stunning.

  • NS

    Ugh. Duly noted, we won’t see that.

    And don’t even get me started on Princess and the Frog…

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    Well, I’m glad that my man and I aren’t the only adults who go see animated kid’s movies. However, “Hop” looked a bit on the dumb side for us… waiting for the next Pixar, I guess. While watching downloaded anime…

    Of course, upon reading this, I went immediately to TV Tropes. I found a page for Hop http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Hop But did not see it listed among their categories for Unfortunate Implications – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnfortunateImplications

    Serioulsy- go through that page and see how thoughtless so many things have been! You may find perfectly “innocent” stuff you remember from childhood chock-full of Unforunate Implications. Very eye-opening.

    Be warned about that site, however – it’s a time-sink. It’s very easy to get lost in all the interesting. Then, like me, you may find yourself signing on to become an anymous occasional contributor and talking/typing all the time in Tropes-speak.

    Good Lord, I’m a nerd.

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

      Oh, no … not a link to TV Tropes.

      Last time I followed one of those, I lost a Tuesday.

      • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

        That happens.

    • Don Rappe

      Cost me several hours, but, I was warned.

      • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

        I’ve been reading stuff on that site so long and am so nerdly…

        I made a page for one of my fan fictions. Seriously – though I only did so because some of the regular members found said piece worthy to put on their illustrious Fan Fiction Recommendations page. I thought “Hey, if people like it, I pretty much troped it out in my head while I was writing it so might as well make a page for it for fun.” Got permission from my co-writer, who’s also Tropes-addicted.

    • HA Senidal

      Hmmm…although Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria are in Hop, I wasn’t considering watching it. Seeing jellybeans as bunny poop didn’t entice me to go to the movie theater. Now the racism angle i adding to my “don’t see this one” feeling. Even if it wasn’t intentional, man, just…man. Talk about unfortunate implications. I’m having Last Airbender flashbacks. If there was a positive message being delivered, it just got muddled up by unfortunate implications.

      As for TV Tropes, I’m sure someone will add an entry for it in the appropriate category on the Unfortunate Implications page if it hasn’t been done yet. It could also be posted on Hop’s YMMV page. Also, yes, it does eat so much of your time. Devour it, really. Plus, the terms latch onto your vocabulary and never let go. Fun site.

    • Tammy Lubbers

      Oh, Jeannie. You seemed so innocuous, and so sweet! Now i am totally addicted to TV Tropes. Dang you and your free dime bag!

  • http://lisainbc.blogpost.com Lisa Salazar

    All this discussion reminds me of how I reacted to “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” as a ten year-old. My family had just arrived in the United States from Colombia two months earlier; this would be our first Christmas in America. Our fifth grade classroom was decorated for the occasion and Mr. Bennet, our teacher led us in singing carols, all of which were new to me. I was struggling to learn English at the time, so these songs meant nothing to me. But when my classmates sang “Rudolph…” it was with such gusto and enthusiasm that it made me want to know what the song was about. As I translated the words and wrote them out in Spanish, I had a very strong and negative reaction to the message of the song. What I got out of it was this: if you are deemed to be different, people are going to abuse you and make fun of you, but if you possess something that can be exploited, then they will want to be your friends. Maybe as a kid I was too serious, but hell, I had my own reasons to fear being different. That’s another story.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yeah! I never understood the popularity of that song, for the exact reasons you note. It’s The Cruelest Carol of All.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson

      can’t say i ever really paid that much attention to it before… but that is so true.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I always thought of it as basically sending the same message as “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”. I’m sure there are things about all of us that somebody could make fun of—and it’s not as if kids aren’t aware of that (sometimes accutely so)—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t ultimately some use to our being exactly as we are, even if it is a bit “different”. But of course that’s a cruel message to a culture in which equality is understood more often than not as equivilancy and equated with dull, superficial uniformity.

    • Tammy Lubbers

      Perhaps I am still being my usual “Pollyanna” self, but I thought the moral of the story was that our differences are what make us strong and wonderful.

    • Don Rappe

      I think it’s a version of the Ugly Duckling. Probably a myth about going through puberty. But Rudolph’s act was more than just useful. With the American sacred/secular image of Christmas, Rudolph’s act was Christ-like.

    • Jeannie

      As a child with cerebral palsy, and one of the first to be mainstreamed through the public school system, I remember thinking the exact same thing about Rudolph. I still hate the song and the show. But I am aware most don’t see things this way. My daughters love Rudolph and even though the story makes me cringe, I am glad they aren’t “different” enough to pick up on the undertone.

    • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

      I liked the song and story as a kid because I was a misfit – kid all the other kids made fun of, and it sort of gave me hope that some day, I was going to do something so wonderful they’d stand up and pay attention…

      It never happened.

      There’s a lot of myths in our culture about the triump of the underdogs, that if you’re a nerd, or downtrodden, you’ll get your day (had people who liked my ability to draw but knew dip about the typical fates of real artists thinking my talent would make me rich, hahaha). Reality says most of the time, the downtrodden remain so, or just grow up to be normal slugs like everybody else.

      We need more children’s stories that reflect that reality so even the hurting kids can learn to try to make the best of the now, I guess.

    • http://bentonquest.blogspot.com Benton

      Later in life, I had the same reaction to Rudolph. I also found it sad that Santa would be against someone who was different.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        How was *Santa* against anyone being different? It was Santa who valued Rudolph’s unique gift and placed him at the head of all his brothers, who earlier had ridiculed him.

  • Kara

    I should never underestimate the ability of people who don’t want to see racism to hand-wave it away, even when it’s absolutely blatant.

    Thanks for the warning, John. I’m crossing off my list of movies to see, and warning my aunt and uncle not to take my young cousins.

  • Don Rappe

    I think racism is one of the devil’s best, most powerful, inventions.

  • sayla

    This is Truth *snap*. Hey, why don’t you cross post this on Racialicious, a blog about race an pop culture. I read it for years and I think this post is a good fit and a poignant message to share for the racialicious readers.

    http://www.racialicious.com/

  • JP

    Really people…it’s a kids movie! If you spent half as much time deconstructing this movie for racial innuendos and put it into a just cause like education or volunteering then maybe you would get somewhere. I feel sorry for you that you cannot go into a lighthearted movie such as this and just enjoy yourself and watch your children have a blast with it. Apparently you are in the minority as well because it is the #1 movie.

    Lighten Up..life is too short.

    • DR

      What an insightful comment, I’m sure that everyone here who’s expressed concern over the movie’s content (that’s being blasted everywhere by critics for the same reason, FYI) took a sick day today from work/education/families/homeschooling/volunteering *just* to talk about this cause. It’s been quite the time suck.

    • Mindy

      Why would I WANT to “have a blast” with such a movie? Ew. No thanks. You’re right – life IS too short, and I will be doing other better and more fun, even light-hearted, things with my kids this weekend.

  • http://www.nathantaylor.net.au Rabid_womble

    John,

    I sounds so bad I will not even pirate the movie!

    Interestingly, it is common for people in minorities to be more sensitive to discrimination (overt or covert) than those in the dominant group. Read http://www.aelc.edu.au/the-naked-ape/the-internal-racist-part-5/ and

    Meanwhile, the overt racists and those with racial biases who may actually be ‘good people’ are unaware of the messages they are sending. http://www.aelc.edu.au/the-naked-ape/the-internal-racist-part-1/

  • Gina B.

    Took my 8yr old this weekend. Told her this Easter movie probably wouldn’t mention the true meaning of Easter but it looked fun. I thought the music was good, animations were great, and didn’t catch the racism but did catch the greed and conniving and felt awkward about the adopted Asian sister (both my husband and I were adopted). I was shocked, however that the Carlos character painted a self-portrait on an egg as he touched the hand of God. REALLY?!? For a secular movie, I found that rather offensive.

    When I asked my daughter why she got out of the movie, she said,” The Easter Bunny poops the jelly beans in my basket every year.”

  • denver

    Wow… both at what is depicted in the movie as well as some of the mean comments on this thread. O.o

    I was one of those oblivious kids growing up… I mean, I knew racism was there: my father was racist, and we always thought he was an idiot for it, even as kids. But the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle – I had a doc once that whenever giving me this nasal spray stuff to help clear out my sinuses instead of saying, “okay, count to three” and do it would say, “okay, say kkk!” I don’t think I knew what the kkk was, so I thought that was the name of the medicine. It didn’t dawn on me until years later, when I asked my mom if it didn’t dawn on her that perhaps he was a kkk member) things always flew over my head until years later when I realized how messed up they were. Prime example: I didn’t know until reading historical fiction as an adult that “maroon” was an old term for people who were part American Indian and part European. I always thought (contextually) that Bugs Bunny was pronouncing “moron” funny.

    So what I’m saying is I’m glad people point these things out, because were I a child nowadays I would have been watching this having no idea of the subtext, only to realize later how messed up it was.

    • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

      I am reminded uncomfortably of something I experienced as a teenager.

      I grew up in Arizona – southern part, and my family went to property in the northern/north-east part for a couple of weeks during the summer to escape the heat. As a teenager, I went with my parents here – in the White Mountains area, Show Low, Greer, Taylor, if you know where those are. We had a resturant reccommended to us by a relative – great burgers – HUGE burgers.

      Somehow, the name “Katy’s Kountry Kitchen” did not register with me, even though half the place sold military surplus. In that part of the country, a lot of places double as other things and I though the “Ks” were just a cute, purposeful misspelling.

      Back at class in high school, I was describing this place to a classmate, and he pointed out “KKK.” and then the Fridge Horror came.

      And it makes perfect sense, too – Northeastern AZ does have a lot of survivalist types/mountain man types/white supremacist types though they kind of are hidden. But, yeah…. I felt stupid, and then I didn’t want to eat there ever again even though they had awesome burgers. Sad.

    • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

      Just for the record, the saying “kkk” thing when you’re doing drops in your nose is physiological in basis — it creates an opening and closing of the soft palate and makes the drops work their way back to where they’re supposed to be. An ENT could likely explain it better. Making the “kuh, kuh, kuh” noise would work equally well, and it’s what I tend to do rather than “kay kay kay”.

      Thought I’d toss that out there — sometimes a cigar is, really, just a cigar.

      • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

        And this is NOT to derail the discussion; I apologize if it appears I was trying to do so. The situation in “Hop” is clearly racist; my only concern is that racism was being seen where there was none.

        It is also possible I am incorrect regarding the genesis of the whole “kkkkkkkkk” noise to be made while using nasal drops or a nasal irrigator, and if so I am sorry for my assumption, which is based on my past as a rather snotty-nosed child whose sinuses were irrigated nearly daily during hay fever season using this method.

  • Quin

    That’s it?? That’s the underlying racial score here??

    Maybe the Easter Bunny just doesn’t like Carlos. Maybe he’s a slacker, a stocker, a little creepy. Maybe he’s just not pretty enough. Maybe he has a tendency to show up late for work. Maybe it has nothing whatever to do with being Hispanic. And maybe, just maybe, that Hispanic family you mention left quietly for any number of other reasons and, quite frankly, your assumption that they were offended could be considered a bit of racial profiling of your own.

    From your description, if Carlos had been Karen and passed over for a promotion for no apparent reason, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Women have been passed over without cause ever since they entered the boys club known as employment. It’s just not as much fun to talk about.

    There are plenty of clear and obvious examples of racism. This is stretching it a bit. It’s a cartoon, folks. Do we really need to walk on brightly colored eggshells here, worrying about whom we might offend? Do we need to look for underlying bigotry where likely none exists, in silly movies? Because if we do, the Out of Towners once portrayed all Englishmen as show tune singing cross dressers. Perhaps the English should bristle up and get all offended too.

    • Don Whitt

      If you’re going to be racist, own it. Admit you dislike certain races of people and be honest about it. Then tell me why and we can have a real dialog. But to pretend that something isn’t racist is simply dishonest and/or ignorant. Some of my best friends are racists. Hell -most people I KNOW are racists to some degree. But let’s be intellectually honest about it and not sweep it under the rug. That’s just a way to keep it at the ready for personal and political gain. For me, seething, couched racism is worse than in-your-face undeniably racist racism. I can throw eggs at neo-nazi parades. It’s much harder to deal with the smiling, denying racist who insists they love all people equally and support everyone’s equal rights to equal opportunities while they work behind the scenes to subtly thwart every effort to get to that state of equality.

      Racism is normal. It goes back to human beings survival instincts of identifying what’s different and affiliating with that which is the same, defending against the different. Social and psychological studies point to how incredibly fundamental that sort of reaction to “difference” is in humans. But so is my wanting to smack people I don’t like. However, I can intellectually resolve that internal conflict by realizing:

      a) Smacking the jerk can get me in big trouble

      b) Physical violence is a nonconstructive way to resolve conflict

      c) I think I might have have an anger management issue

      Likewise, we can look at these things like HOP, recognize the racist veins within the story arc and character development and think, like John, “wow, that was a really bad decision.” rather than pretend it wasn’t or defend it for being “harmless”.

      • Quin

        Ah…because I don’t agree that this is covert racism rather than simply a bad decision qualifies me as being racist. No, I simply don’t agree.

        I will say, though, that while I am caucasian, the only thing that has ever been handed to me on that account is sun tan lotion. But of course I must be racist. I’m caucasian. Silly me.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Wow, Quin. What a bitchy little answer. (And how dense do you have to be to claim that being white in this society has been of no particular advantage to you? What blind, snotty arrogance.)

          • Don Whitt

            Hey, Quin. It’s not about you. It’s about racism in cinema.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Speaking of arrogance, how would you know whether one’s skin color has been of any advantage for them, John?

            (I’m sure it has for me; and probably it has for you; but I know nothing about Quin’s experience and background, beyond the color of her/his skin, and I’m not about to be so prejudiced as to form any definitive judgments based on a person’s skin color.)

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            You need to back away today, Matthew. Exercise your fighting mood elsewhere. I’ll let this last insult to me slide, but one more will be the last comment you make on my blog. Okay, brother?

          • DR

            Matthew, if you honestly don’t understand how being Caucasian in and of itself -in any country – ours in particular – comes with an automatic privilege that others will never, ever have? Then that’s your fault for being completely ignorant of how the world works. The privilege that comes with being caucasian in America is so prevalent – it is so pervasive – it is so widely known – that you not knowing about it and asking this kind of a question means you’ve willingly chosen to not learn.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I should wish I were so “completely ignorant of how the world works” as this.

          • DR

            Read a couple of those books, then we’ll talk. But not until then.

          • Quin

            Thank you Matthew. I appreciate your attempt, regardless how poorly received it was by our host. I’m sure we’ll be persona non grata together. Sad. I’ll have to find someplace that allows for differing opinions without threat of banishment.

            I’m very disappointed in you, John.

          • DR

            Poor, victimized Quin.

          • DR

            (I know it’s been a year. Still.)

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            (I know. I have no idea why I just didn’t delete/moderate Q. right away. Sorry about that.)

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Professional? It’s a BLOG.

          • DR

            Maybe someone should call Human Resources to document this “unprofessional” behavior.

            Oh, wait. THIS IS A BLOG WHERE WE OPINE ABOUT THINGS.

          • Quin

            Apparently only if we’re all of one opinion.

        • DR

          We know, Quin. You have a lot of black friends!

          • Quin

            As a matter of fact…not that their complexion ever mattered much, except perhaps to you.

          • DR

            I bet you’ve said a thousand times that “love sees no color”.

      • Kellan

        You… You’re kidding, right? Because she doesn’t agree with something being racist, that makes her a racist? Are you just racist-happy, or something? I didn’t see any of you tweaking a nut at every blatantly anti-Islamic movie made since 2001. It’s a freaking cartoon! Let’s see you get up-in-arms about Pinky and the brain (They must be against the handicapped!) What demographic do chicken fall into, anyway? I mean, they’re yellow, so that must be Asian, Carlos is a Spanish name, and the voice was Mexican. James Marsden is a blue-eyes white guy, so he must be Arian, and EB was British, so he must be against capitalism. Wow… this is one racist movie, alright.

        And what about those Loony Toons!! And Winnie The Pooh! Christopher Robin was a Poster boy for the third Reich, Rabbit was an unhappy and gay, so it must have been a hidden message about how being gay makes people unhappy, Eyore was blue, and that made him blue, so it must have been a statement against the…umm… Blue Man Group? And the owl was SO racist against quiet people. Oh, and old people! Old people, right? Could you be more sanctimonious?

        • DR

          Lighten up!

        • Don Rappe

          Yes, I agree. Lighten up!

          • Kellan

            Yes, I was being serious. I honestly think that Pinky and the Brain and Winnie the Pooh are anti-Semitic and homophobic. I’m also a ninja pop tart in a pink tutu.

            If you believed any of the above statement, congratulations! You have all the god-given sense of a wet rock!

            I was making with the funny. I was also trying to point out how anything – given enough creative twisting – can appear as racist (and god, am I really getting to hate that word). You are taking yourselves and this conversation too seriously. I don’t believe in racism, I believe in assholes. Racism is not some incurable disease. It’s not something you contract at birth and have no control over. Neither is being an asshole. Stop being an asshole, and you’ll probably cure yourself of that racist issue. Just sayin’.

        • Quin

          Sarcasm is obviously wasted on this crowd.

    • Mindy

      YES, Karen – we MUST walk on those “brightly colored eggshells” carefully when it comes to issues like this. I was offended by the Hispanic content before I even knew about the Asian daughter – I happen to have two of those, and while they are old enough to take something like this is stride and label it as the stupidity it is, I’d hate to think how they’d have felt at, say, age 5, to hear a cartoon kid talking about being adopted only because the other kid wasn’t cutting it. ICK.

      You can say those things go over a kid’s head, you tell people to lighten up, you can ignore the fact that kids internalize the messages of the stories they hear throughout their lives, or you can speak against it. Your choice.

      If Carlos had been female, YES, this conversation would be happening, altho’ with as a rant against sexism rather than racism. We need to tell our children stories that help them hold onto their openness to all people rather than begin layering in the “others” they should dislike or hold in lower esteem.

      • Mindy

        Um, I meant Quin. I don’t have any idea why I wrote Karen. To all the Karens out there, my apologies. :)

        • Don Rappe

          Lighten up, Mindy! I’m sure the Karens all took it in stride. Although they won’t be speaking to you anymore.

  • Mindy

    I am going to copy a response I wrote on John’s “Six things . . . ” blog post – I hope you don’t mind, John. It initially addresses black/white racism, but it remains true for all of it.

    To all those who insist that the racism in this movie isn’t real or that we’ve somehow moved past racism in this country:

    I would very much like people to understand the difference between race and culture. Many do not. Many assume that cultural traits are inherent by race, which, of course, is not true.

    I would also very much like people to understand that the systemic racism that has plagued blacks in the US as long as they’ve been here grew directly out of slavery and out of the fact that the vast majority of black people here are descendants of those who were forced here against their will. They have no history of a great migration or pilgrimage across the sea. A culture that grows out of being stolen from your homeland and becoming property is vastly different from a culture grown from voluntarily emigrating to a better life.

    Being forbidden to read or learn or own anything or vote or appear freely in public or freely associate creates a culture that makes up for all of that in different ways. Staying connected, storytelling to share history, gathering, celebrating, mourning – all the human activities that create community and culture – had to take place in secret, in creative ways that kept slaves from being flogged or worse and families from being separated. Women were regularly raped, and their men were helpless to stop it. What do you think grows in a culture like that?

    Now racists blatantly discriminate against Hispanics by assuming that anyone with a Latino name is here illegally and probably part of a drug cartel. They are not given credit for coming here to create better lives for their families or for doing the low-wage jobs that none of the rest of us will do – even though many who ARE here legally are doing just that.

    None of my family owned slaves, none of them employ undocumented workers. So what? We also grew up immersed in white privilege without every having to think about it, and as such, have no concept what what it might be like to have people make assumptions about us due to the shape of our features or the color of our skin.

    My daughters have assumptions made about them all the time, simply because they are Asian. They are assumed to be intelligent, because people can’t seem to understand the difference between RACE and CULTURE. Most Asian cultures value education above all else, and THAT is why Asians are successful in school. My girls aren’t growing up in an Asian household, so whether they succeed in school or not will not be because of their Asian-ness. They are assumed to have accents, or not speak English, or be bilingual – none of which is true. They are assumed to be “exotic,” sought after by some men, even though they are as American as any other person raised in this country.

    The thing about racism is that we ALL stereotype and make assumptions based on how people look – race, clothing styles, weight, etc. We do that because we are human, and our brains seek understanding through patterns and sorting. Stereotyping is a normal, natural behavior – part of how we make sense of the world around us. And stereotypes happen because they contain truth.

    BUT – Racism is what happens when we mishandle stereotypes. When we take a stereotype and remove our own empathy filter, racism rears up and takes over.

    Here’s a basic example: When I see, on the news every night, that the vast majority of arrests made in my city are of black males, a stereotype forms. “Black males are committing crimes at the highest rate of any ethnicity.” This fact, in my city, leads to the stereotype that black men are more likely to commit crimes than white men. Which may or may not be true – IF ALL ELSE WAS EQUAL. Because all else, in this city, is most definitely not equal.

    Now, I can either seek to understand what is behind this inequity – poverty, discrimination, poor education, easy access to drugs and guns, lack of parenting skills in poor communities, etc. – and help look for solutions for those problems, OR I can close my mind to anything deeper than the obvious, and become a racist. As a racist, I could label all black men as potential criminals and blame their criminal behavior on the color of their skin alone. Because it sure is easier that way – hey, I can recognize those darned criminals from blocks away, steer clear of where they live and hang out, and not worry myself with trying to find solutions because they are hopeless, ya know. They’re black, so why bother? See what a good racist I could be? Without even trying!!

    OR I can acknowledge that while that statistic may well be true, the problem is cultural, not racial, and until the systemic problems and flawed institutions that maintain the poverty and the poor educational options and the lack of parenting skills are dealt with, it isn’t going to change. AND that if whites were living in the same circumstances or were plagued with the same history, we’d be just as likely to wear those same statistics as anyone else.

    Thoughts are just thoughts. I can’t help, living in the city, the fear that creeps up my neck if a large group of black male teens comes around the corner when I’m walking my dog. What I CAN help is how I handle that fear. I take hold of it and forbid it from showing. I don’t cross to the other side of the street. I smile, I make eye contact, I say hello. I show them the respect I hope they’ll show me, and so far, they always have. Because they are just kids out walking after school, not gangs out to attack the first middle-aged white woman they see, beat her and steal her pug.

    We will make assumptions, sure, but we can also use our senses of tact and restraint and empathy – PLEASE! – and remind ourselves not to judge any individual by standards we ascribe to a group. And we can try to understand which cultural differences need to be overcome by all of us (like uneven poverty), and which should be appreciated as part of the wonderful diversity this country holds dear.

    • vj

      like like LIKE! Mindy, I didn’t read this when you posted it previously, I’m so glad you re-posted!

      • Susan in NY

        Woooo Hooooo! Mindy rocks again!!

        That post should be must reading for all!

        Love ya, Min!

        Susan

        • Mindy

          Thanks, you guys. Because I grew up in a whitebread suburb and never dealt with racial issues til I was an adult, and because I have now felt it, through my daughters, this is a topic about which I feel passionately.

          I clearly remember the first time I felt it – when my oldest daughter was only a toddler. I saw a photo in a parenting magazine, accompanying an article about how parents can teach their kids to be kind about people’s differences. The little white girl in the photo was looking at her dad and making a snotty sort of face, while pulling the corners of her eyes back. Deep in my gut, I realized that bratty kid was making fun of MY baby!!!! The reaction was totally instinctive, protective and very powerful. Afterward, I thought of all the mothers in this country who probably feel that sort of thing every damned day of their lives. And my entire perspective changed in an instant.

  • road

    Ok, I get it. Racism is horrible and I agree that we should strive to be better people all around and accept each other based on their actions and not based on their race. But I think one of the worst things about racism are articles like this. Ones that look into anything and everything in order to bring it down so others can feel better about themselves. “I thought this was racist and I’m telling the world so everyone will know I’m not racist.” That may not be this writers intention, but come on. It’s a little kids movie. Just because the villain in the movie has a Mexican accent, does not mean all villains are Mexican. That is not what this film is saying. The villain of this movie cares only for himself, for his power, and stomping on anyone that gets in his way. That’s what makes him the villain. So basically what I get from this article is that any villain in a movie cannot have an accent of any kind. All villains must be good looking white people, otherwise it is racist.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Sadly, I believe that is all you got out of what I said.

    • Mindy

      Wow, road. Sad that you didn’t really get it at all.

      Or you did, and it is just far too frightening to admit it?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    You know, it’s odd, but it seems that the people most up in arms here don’t actually live—nor ever have lived—as a minority with distinguishing visual and/or audible traits in a society with a history of prejudice against them.

    • DR

      So what? Men care about abortion rights and Black people care about temporary workers that are Hispanic and women care about Father’s rights. This crazy thing called empathy and compassion that moves someone to the core of their being for another human being’s situation, regardless of having to face those limitations ourselves. I’m white I will never for one second know how horrible racism is, I will never have to deal with it. But I can certainly step out of my life, give people of color the last word on what they are facing and try to change it with them.

  • CatchuL8r

    Hey John, I’m actually just curious how you’d rewrite the story. Thanks in advance for the response!

  • Mario

    If you’re interested in a book that looks at the role of discrimination based on accent/linguistic background, you should check out Rosina Lippi-Green’s book English with an Accent.

    In fact, it has a section about this very subject – animated children’s films. People saying that the fact that the villain is Mexican is irrelevant need to look at what the overall messages given in a lot of our cherished children’s films are. If you look at all the Disney animated films, it’s hard to deny that there’s racism and xenophobia (and sexism) reflected in the movies our children watch.

    The most important graph has this information:

    Out of 285 Disney characters (book published in 1997)

    (positive and negative meaning basically whether they were “good” or “evil”)

    US English speaking characters: positive 73.5%, negative 19.9%, mixed 6.6%

    British English speaking: positive 57.6%, negative 30.4%, mixed 12%

    Foreign-accented: positive 37%, negative 40.7%, mixed 22.2%

    Foreign-accented characters are half as likely to be good, and twice as likely to be evil, and three times as likely to be ambiguous, compared to US English. Even Brits are 50% more likely to be evil.

    Now, how many of you would dismiss the fact that this is true over the Disney animated corpus, taking into account almost 300 characters? I imagine if I pulled out a lot of those movies by themselves, a lot of people would deny that anything racist was going on. But the pattern is clear.

    • DR

      This is fascinating, thank you!

  • Michael Rowe

    The asshole quotient among the commentators of the “road,” “quin,” and “Denine” and “Travis” and “Anonymous” variety is extraordinary. Kudos to Mr. Shore for writing something that’s driven them out the walls like cockroaches and sent them scuttling across the page. One of the most effective way to fight racism is to allow racists to showcase themselves in a public forum where everyone can see them for what they are.

    • Mindy

      Bingo! It is rather startling when they scurry out, but you are right, Michael – they show themselves for what they are on a regular basis. As someone else said, if you are a racist, well, just own it.

      OR, even better, acknowledge that even though you don’t *think* you are a racist, you hadn’t realized that some of your dismissing what others see as racism might be worth of another look, a piece of yourself you should re-examine, reconsider, think about.

      Instead of lashing out at someone trying to make a point.

      My favorite is the “but look how far we’ve come” response. It’s like driving halfway across a bridge and stopping, so proud of how far you’ve come that you forget to make the rest of the way. Sure, you left the land of slavery, but if you just stay on the bridge, you’ll never get to the land where all people treat all others with the respect and fairness they deserve. You’re just . . . stuck, in the middle of nowhere.

      Get movin’, I say, because you’re blocking the way for the rest of us trying to get there.

  • DR

    Has anyone notices that the particularly nasty comments like this one all contain one phrase? And I’m serious?

    “Lighten up”.

    “lighten up” on the racist jokes, we’re all just having a little fun here. “Lighten up” on the sexism, if we can’t joke a little bit about a woman’s t**s then what can we joke about? “Lighten up” everybody so I don’t have to change because I’m really uncomfortable!

    It’s all the same. I don’t really care about the comments, they’re so stupid that they’re not really worth much of a response. But to think about the people of color who have to deal with these “lighten up!” people everyday, to deal with their total indifference and their complete lack of awareness of both themselves and the media? It’s exhausting to even think about, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to actually deal with the David Alans of the world everyday as a person of color. Ugh.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    For what it’s worth, guys–and this is so, so, so typical–John, CatchuL8r, David Alan, and “road” are all the same people. (He/she/it just posted another creepy comment that I deleted–and then, knowing I had a spamtroller on my hands, I did the little comment search that turned up what I already knew: one person, different ID’s.) As I say, this is extremely typical. Real dirtbags always feel the need to switch their identities, so they can make their crazy sound common. It’s so typical it’s boring. Anyway, I blocked the fool.

    • DR

      What a total moron, I’m embarrassed for him. The internet is like a magnifying glass to the stupid in people.

  • Ryamos Suandables

    Wow…just….wow. Correct me if I’m wrong here (I’ve only seen trailors so far), but um, isn’t E.B. brown himself? Like “Carlos” would be if he weren’t a chicken? And I think I can simplify why a Chicken can’t be a Bunny. Oh wait, I just did.

    I’m all for a scathing analysis and attack on movies that really Do promote class-warfare and racism, I really am. I think racism is one of the most digusting thinks on the planet. And I think class-warfare should’ve died out in the middle ages. However, a goddamn movie about a goddamn rabbit growing up and finally realizing that life isn’t about dicking around doing whatever you want, but instead requires you to be responsible to people besides yourself as well (see, and I got that all just from your review of this movie) is not the same at all as class warfare because a guy has a name that sounds “not white” whatever the fuck that is, and he happens to be a bad person in the movie due to jealousy.

    Now, if Everyone in the movie was all bunnies, and one was named carlos, then yeah, by all means I’d hear you out on your arguement, and more than likely agree too. But you’re comparing apples and oranges and wondering why an apple isn’t considered a citrus fruit as well.

  • http://asad123.wordpress.com Asad

    Before Jim Crow laws, there were Jim Crow plays and blackface theater. Before the Nazi genocide, there was anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda. Before the Peter King anti-Muslim hearings, there were movies like “The Siege,” “Air Force One,” and “True Lies” depicting Muslims as terrorists. Life imitates art. We need media that lifts people up, that explores real issues, that depicts different socio-cultural groups fairly.

    • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

      Beautifully said, Asad.

  • Laurel Hedge

    To the person who posted the statistics about foreign accents in Disney films, thank you. That was MOST enlightening.

    In response to the (probably rhetorical) question? Why are people so angry?

    John, how DARE you accuse HOP, (and those defending it) of being racists? (Yes, I’m being sarcastic, for those who can’t tell.) You have wounded them to the quick, in their very sense of self, so they must try to give that hurt back. Hence the anger. Some people convert the raw material of anger into energy, so they harvest what they can, when they can.

    E. B White said that “analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested, and the frog dies of it.” I find it interesting that almost anything can be considered acceptable and even good, if people find it funny. Perhaps if HOP were a funnier movie, it’s racism wouldn’t be so noticeable. Perhaps if it weren’t racist, it would be a better movie.

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    *Looks back in on here*

    Alright, lately there have been threads about deep spiritual topics, theological quandries and whatnot. 30 comments… 14 comments.

    The topic about a movie about anthropomorphic chickens and bunnies has over 100 comments.

    This… amuses me in a strange way.

    • cody

      Chickens and Bunnies are this generations Jesus and Ghandi. But I think the actual reason is the racist thoughts ;-)

      • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

        Yeah, I know. The messages in our media are important to pay attention to. I remember Happy Feet causing some controversey and I don’t think it would have if everyone thought that it was *just* about dancing penguins rather than stuff to be read between the lines. I remember Right-types getting up in arms over that movie because of them reading a gay-message into the overall “be yourself” message and being irked at the nasty portrayl of the dogmatic “religious” penguins, and then there’s an environmental message that’s as subtle as a brick.

        As far as I’m concerned, if you want to dance, dance.

        Then there’s Wall-E, which had a clear “protect the environment so the earth doesn’t become a trash-heap” message, an indightment of uber-capitalist consumer culture (the Axiom is society run by Wall-Mart!), and a not so subtle message of “get up and exercise you fat sack of crap.”

        I’m a nerd who loves to analyzed and overanalize media. I’m the person who likes linking to TV Tropes!

        So, yeah… it is disheartening to see blatant racist messages in movies these days, especially ones aimed at the young. It’s just that I find it amusing that an analysis of a kids’ movie is getting heavier respsone than the topic about the nature of the Holy Spirit.

        • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

          By the way, I liked Happy Feet.. the “all the penguins who believe in the penguin higher power are scary dogmatic people who want to keep you from being yourself” irked me, but the “be yourself” message is a good one (and if there really is a gay-subtext to it, I think people need that now).

          And Wall-E is one of my favorite movies.

          The point is, is that even kid’s movies do not come without complex societal messages.

  • Cody

    Sigh, another person who needs to stir conflict at any time possible. It’s a children’s film. In any film, there is always a problem a person needs to overcome. It’s not a story based on the normal actions of “person does good job, gets promoted.” if it was just about some guy who did his job and then was promoted who would watch that? The film is supposed to show how an individual, even without the courage to to something, can find a way to overcome his fear and meet any goal set in front of him. Do you really think there was some racist writing this film saying “yeah! Let’s show how Mexicans can’t do anything! How the white man will always be on top! That’ll show em! Mwahahahaha!!!” no. They created a film to give children drive to do something with themselves. To show them that they too, can overcome challenge. To show that your comfort zone is not where you need to stay. I’m a white guy with all of my managers making double the money that I am. They are also Mexican. I have no problem with that. The guys in charge of the training department of my work, make more than them, and are both African American. This country affords plenty of opportunity to all races. By the way, in case you were unaware, the highest honor in our country is held by an African American. Just in case you were unaware. White people are not typically the hate mongering people you’d like to believe we are.

    • DR

      Cody,

      No one knows why the film was made, no one can assign intent to another. But the impact? That we can talk about, whether intended or not.

      You might want to consider losing your victimhood status as a caucasian, no one has called you a “hate monger”. You’re not being persecuted as much as you’d like to think you are. This is not about you (unless you get pulled over for just walking down the street). This is about a very real problem with subtle tones of racism making its way into an animated film in the same ways it’s done for years in many cartoons and films. And we’re talking about it. That you’re so self-absorbed to actually make this about *your* injured feelings about the “hate mongering” (when all people are doing are talking about the realities of racism) is derailing and frankly? Weird. This isn’t about you, stop making it about you.

      • cody

        so you’re saying that this man can defend a movie for Hispanics rights but I can’t defend my stance as a Caucasian? Seems a bit hypocritical don’t you think? I’m certain no child would see this film and and say “the chicken can’t be the Easter bunny because he’s Mexican. As we all know, all Mexicans can’t be in charge. How silly of them to think they are equal to the white man!” I just feel these race issues have gone on too long. Why can we not see each other as humans? Affirmative action only furthers the idea that each race is different. It says “hey, whites are better, so let’s give all the other races a chance to catch up, even though they’re not as good.” this is America. It’s been 150 years since slavery, with which America accounted for around 5% of. Mexicans are here, whites, blacks, browns, yellows, reds. I just don’t think we should be focusing so hard on this. And even so, a Mexican accent would say that the chicken is from Mexico, not a Mexican-American. I don’t care what you say, I think America is the greatest country in the world and we need to be worried about helping current Americans of any race before worrying about other nations. We have enough problems to fix on our own.

        • DR

          The Codys of the world are so defended and so immersed within their privilege they don’t even understand what they are saying. But they don’t have to, all Cody has to do is stay white, get injured and hostile when it’s suggested that his thinking is wrong, then go back to his life. Ugh.

          • Kellan

            Instead of speaking in euphemisms, how about you tell me, DR, what “privileges” white people have? Scotts are white, didn’t stop their women from getting raped by English men. It didn’t stop the Irish for being treated like scum when they first came to America. It didn’t stop the Band of Thebes from kicking Spartan ass, and it certainly doesn’t stop White people from being poor in America. Our freaking president is a brilliant black man, and there is no United Irish College Fund about to ship me off to my dream school for having red hair.

            Being white also didn’t stop Ted Bundy from getting the chair, but OJ got acquitted. Illegal aliens have jobs in America when there are American citizens of all racial backgrounds unemployed.

            Being an assclown has nothing to do with the color of a person’s skin, and it takes someone who is NOT a racist to see the good and bad in all people in equal measures. Maybe if you saw people as people instead of as ethnic groups then you’d figure out that “racism” is a term people use to segregate THEMSELVES from being a single human race.

            Jackass.

          • DR

            Charming response, dear Kellan, always nice to see the hostility of privilege checking in to keep everyone else pointing it out in their appropriate places, clearly violence and crime happens to everyone. Thankfully even a high school education now provides the clarity around and awareness of what privilege is. Even kids get it, it’s not something that needs to be defined or explained so explicitly anymore because it’s so obvious, the internet provides a massive amount of clarity on its definition and its impact.

            Yet there are those of you who despite all of the information about privilege, will insist on that education being spoon-fed to you, that it’s brought to you on a silver privileged plate in the context of conversations like these. And when you don’t get it? You claim some kind of “internet victory” that people like me refuse to provide the information to you when we both know you have zero desire of learning it. You’re just angry and defensive. So you’ll claim some “internet victory” for me pointing you to, you know, Google, instead of responding to your challenge. And you’ll walk away in your self-deluded victory which you’ll enjoy by yourself because that’s all people who refuse to be wrong are able to do.

        • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

          Affirmative action doesn’t say “whites are better.” It acknowledges that non-whites have not been given equal opportunities in regards to education, housing, employment, etc and seeks to rectify those deficiencies, even if imperfectly.

  • Amaris

    Well I for one may just go see it to get educated. This is of subconscious altering young minds is terrifying. I grew up with it and had no idea. Thanks for the heads up. In Canada it is our first nations people who get the worst end of the racism stick. As a caucasian Canadian I have thought long and hard to how I can be involved in the healing process. It’s touchy ground and one must take of their shoes and tread softly. It is a passion of mine and I admit it is hard to know where to begin!

  • DomainDiva

    I am glad I read this review prior to seeing the movie. Not wasting my money on racial propaganda. Its’ not about white, hispanic, black, green, yellow, red or orange people, it’s about humanity and human dignity and the right to participate on a level playing field.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    Good lord, John, I’m glad I read this. I will happily forego seeing HOP and spend my movie money on something with a better theme than white privilege.

    I live in a town with a primarily hispanic population, so at work and in school and pretty much everywhere we go we are living in two cultures, and more with all of the other folks we share our city with. As you can imagine, this also creates a lot of opportunities for people to exhibit just how racist they can be. I have managed, I hope, to shield my kids from it and to keep a dialogue going about not just people of other cultures and colors but people of other sizes and religions and sexual orientation. I hope by the time they’ve entered into greater society they’ve learned to be welcoming and accepting.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • LaToya Faulk

    I so agree, we just walked out of this movie and I told the movie theatre I’m really pissed off, this movie is racist.

  • Stephen McBride

    On behalf of the entire United Kingdom, can I please apologise for us inflicting Russell Brnad upon the world. He is the most ghastly comdeian, and no stranger to deliberate offence caused on the BBC. Pythonesque he is not.

    • Stephen McBride

      Oh, how I wish I could type properly! Seriously though, it really IS embarrassing that we play our part in producing trash like this. I mean… we gave the world Shakespeare, for goodness’ sake!

  • Dennis Dawson

    Excellent! Now do “Wizard of Oz,” a throwback to the days where being green was equivalent with evil.

  • Elizabeth

    I loved the movie Hop. I didn’t see any racist undertones or overtones.

    As far as I could see, Mr Bunny thought it was funny that he would consider the job because to him, the thought hasn’t occurred. Carlos was so good at what he did, and what Carlos did and Mr Bunny did were such different jobs. The context of the child helping out was completely different. Plus, regardless of his nationality, Carlos was evil. Not BECAUSE of his nationality. Should all bad guys in American movies be white guys?

    Every kids movie seems to need a bad guy. Sometimes they are another race from the main character.

    I must admit though, that in Australia we don’t have entrenched racism towards Mexicans, so it didn’t even cross my kind as a possibility as existing in this movie. If however the bad guy was a nationality closer to home, we might have had a different response… Actually, nope. We wouldn’t have. Don’t get me wrong. Australia can be extraordinarily racist, but I don’t know of any Aussie (I have done a super quick mini poll) who reacted this way or thinks this way about Mexicans generally. We would be more prone to think of slacking off workers or do- gooders as stereotypical nationalities rather than bad guys.

    It seems at first read there is a bit of “Carlos is Mexican. Carlos is bad. Therefore Mexicans are bad. The writer of this movie must have wanted me to think that”.

    But then you mentioned the family… and the context changes.

    Perhaps it’s not the movie. Perhaps it is the fact that it really is still so entrenched that there is an “us and them”, and it is so sensitive an issue that everything fortifies that. Perhaps this particular movie response/nationality response American issue rather than a people issue.

    If it is actually something that in the US causes such strong reaction towards the Mexican community, then I completely agree. Just make all the bad guys white makes with no accents… but which part of the country which you chose the accent from? New York? Atlanta? Texas? Boston?

    From my seat it’s not the movie. But I can see how from your vantage point there may be a differing view altogether.

  • Natalie

    Ok, i’ve got a question: I’ve noticed the comments on this thread are over 100 and i just have to ask, do you think the comments would’ve even reached so high if we were talking about a piece of adult media? Me? I venture they would’ve been higher.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Back when I originally posted this, I had to shut the comments down. (I re-allowed comments yesterday when I linked to this post off my Facebook page.) So … yeah, for sure, the way things were looking, there were going to be a lot more comments on this post. But it was getting too ugly. This post bought out the crazy like few posts of mine have. And that’s saying something.

  • http://www.earlleonard.com Earl

    I’m Australian, and just watched this movie with my five-year-old son. I kept agonising if I should have turned it off, because of how appallingly racist I found it. I let it go because I thought he wouldn’t read as much into it as me. But at the end of the film, when his mum (who hadn’t watched it) asked him what the movie was about, his immediate, non-prompted (and I hadn’t said anything during the film) response was, “It was about how chicks can’t be the Easter bunny, even if they become part bunnies, cause only other bunnies and people can have important jobs like that.” So yes, that’s the message he took away from the film.

  • Elizabeth

    Holy whoa. Project much, Greg? I’m a proud German-Scots blonde, and I call elitist privilege over whatever derivative admixture you are. I also live in Oakland and, before that, Harlem. The racist paranoia door is behind you. About fifty years.


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