Racialicious Links Roundup 8.8.2013: A Black Batman — And More…

By Joseph Lamour


    • Why Batman Can’t Be Black (Blogtown/The Portland Mercury)

      People don’t like the implication they could be the bad guy on this issue. Racism is bad. That’s axiomatic. Thus, arguments against changing Batman’s race tend to go like:

      “It’s not that I don’t want Batman to be black. With the right writers, I bet it’d be cool! I’d love for popular culture to be more diverse! It’s just that, unfortunately, it simply can’t be done in the case of Mr. Bruce Wayne. There’s too much history and continuity. It’s a shame, but that’s just the way the world works.”

      Which is bullshit. Bruce Wayne doesn’t exist. He’s not real. It wouldn’t take a miracle of genetic engineering to somehow flip the needed switches in his DNA to transform him from a rich white guy to a rich black guy. He’s completely fictional. Of course he can be a black man. He’s been a lot of things over the course of his 70+ years in existence, most of them infinitely more ridiculous and unbelievable than possessing a darker skin tone.


    • Jew Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me: Weiner, Spitzer, Filner … Are Jews less likely to cheat? The data says no. (Slate)

      “What’s the matter with Jewish men today?” Josh Greenman, the opinion editor of the New York Daily News, raised that question after Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting relapse. Jodi Kantor, a Slate alumna and New York Times correspondent, responded with a 1,200-word essay on the troubles of Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Although the three cases are very different, these “libidinous, self-sabotaging politicians are causing grimaces among fellow Jews,” Kantor noted. They’re discrediting the assumption “that Jewish men make solid husbands.”

      Where did we get the idea that Jews are faithful in marriage? Sounds to me like an old yente’s tale. The data don’t support it. Jews stray as much as—if not more than—spouses of other faiths.


    • An In-Depth Look at How “Orange Is the New Black” Compares to Real Life (Bitch Magazine)

      It’s historically been difficult to generate activist attention around criminal justice reform, but increasing media attention could add more hearts/minds/bodies to the thousands who’ve been battling these issues tirelessly for years, like The Sentencing Project, The Women’s Prison Association, Families Against Mandatory Minimums and The ACLU.

      And now we have Orange is The New Black (OINTB), the first American television program since Oz to so poignantly dramatize, eroticize, and criticize the system. Plus, OITNB does a thing Oz rarely did, which is make us laugh. As formerly incarcerated writer Joe Loya wrote about why he prefers the new show to Oz: “The show — though not a biopic, therefore not literally accurate — still captures truthfully the zaniness of prison. And the sex agonies. The fortunate camaraderie. The hidden likenesses between the guards and prisoners. The collaborations. The antagonisms. The pain of family visits.” Also: The humanity. You cannot write these people off.


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  • Keith Creech

    I questioned your understanding of fiction, still do btw, and once again you are being reactive, that is not a tort that is a fact. Dwayne McDuffie has described this Phenomenon amongst white male reader ship eloquently. When it comes to already established white characters and black characters doing the same things or having similar back ground white readership tend to suspend disbelief for white characters yet get hyper rational and defensive when the black character does the same thing and get called out on that double standard. Even the idea that a black character has to bring up the disparity of the criminal justice system in a fictional narrative is just as short sited as somehow making him a representative of his entire community.
    what the video yourself:

  • Zahra

    Idea #1: Batman is the descendant of the Gotham-analog of Madame C.J. Walker.

    Idea #2 (if you’re really hung up on the Civil War history): Batman is descended from the mistress of a wealth white plantation owner who was able to manipulate family fortunes and her own inheritance to create a substantial nest egg. The family used a combination of canny investment, white factotums, and maybe even passing for white to make out like a robber baron during the Gilded Age. The next generation re-discovered their roots, enrolled in HBUCs, and partied with Athelia Walker during the Harlem Renaissance, while others opted for European exile.

    The Great Depression made the family fortunes teeter (they had to sell off several properties), but they were able to recover and reap the economic benefits of World War II (in which several Waynes proudly served) by developing real estate. The Waynes backed fellow Republican businessman and family friend Carl Hansberry, in his unsuccessful race for Congress after his battle against Chicago housing covenants in the US Supreme Court, though his daughter Lorraine was much too radical for their tastes.

    Being rich and conservative, the family was uneasy with the social change of the 60s and 70s, but made killing in the stock market while the younger members enrolled in Ivy League schools. Their children diversified the family’s financial investment holdings by building an entertainment empire, and regularly party with Oprah and Tyler Perry.

    Idea # 3: The Waynes are modern multinational millionaires with a cosmopolitan background, though sometimes arguments erupt over holiday meals whether their Caribbean resorts, Nigerian oil holdings, or commercial real estate in Addis Ababa are the truth heart of the family wealth.

    IMO Black millionaires don’t require as much suspension of belief as a man who fights crime while dressed as a bat.

  • Keith Creech

    I think you don’t understand the concept of fiction. If a character like the Blue Marvel, from marvel comics, a black superman type character, can fool people into believing he was white in the 1960’s by wearing a full face mask, why couldn’t a black batman, and yes there are black wealthy folks that come from old money, do the same. And who is to say that batman couldn’t be lets say light skinned? If he was running around in the dark it would make it hard to identify him by race or ethnicity because their are dark skinned white people too. If you are saying that Bruce Wayne gets away with being batman because he is white, I doubt it if they knew his identity. Do you know how many law suits he would have on his hands if people know his true identity? The whole idea of batman is ridiculous, the idea of him being black isn’t that much of a stretch unless you have an issue with it. You are doing allot of rationalizing.

  • Herostratus356

    I want a black Batman whose parents were wrongfully shot by cops who were let off easy by the justice system. He becomes a vigilante who combats police racism, corruption, and brutality and turns dirty cops in to Captain Gordon, the head of the Internal Affairs department. Iconic villains like the Joker and the Penguin should be turned into police officers (Two-Face can remain a DA) while the Scarecrow is a neighborhood watchman who douses black kids with fear gas so that he can shoot them in “self defense.”

    • Miles_Ellison

      This would be worth watching/reading.

    • Afronerd Radio

      Marvel did a story similar to this with its Black batman analogue character, Nighthawk. Check out the Supreme power reboot series available at Amazon.