What’s supposed to be a romantic moment in Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope ends up being one of its more problematic: we see the protagonist, Malcolm, tell his love interest Nakia, “Don’t sell yourself short” when she explains that, should she get her GED, she plans to attend a community college before, hopefully, moving on to Cal State Fullerton or a school in that system.
Malcolm’s remark is meant to be encouraging, to spur her on to defying expectations. But there’s also a touch of unwitting condescension, of classism in play in that response. And the vexing thing about Dope is that it’s a coming-of-age tale that won’t let him see that other side even as it insists he’s maturing before our eyes.
Lost in the morass of morons who decided to pop up after Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America on Sunday was … well, just about everything else about her.
But as Lakshmi Gandhi pointed out at The Aerogram, Davuluri is a nerd in both the academic and pop-cultural sense: she’s holds a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science and plans to apply to medical school. She is also a self-identified Star Wars and Star Trek fan.
The New York Times‘ Jeff Yang added to this on Sett, both citing Gandhi’s post and posting a shot of Davuluri in full cosplay:
You think we’re being racist, my Mom said so many times as I was growing up, when we went round and round about these weird books and movies. I heard an accusation. But what she and my Dad were trying to make me hear was their question: Why do you love a thing that won’t even let you exist within their made up worlds? – Pam Noles, “Shame” (via Racebending)
The debacle this week surrounding some fans of The Hunger Games made it painfully clear, once again, that geekdom has a major problem with many discussions–or even acknowledgements–of race as part of our day-to-day existences. One would like to think that the new ventures of geek celebrities Felicia Day and Chris Hardwick can, eventually, help with that process.