Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

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Re: Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

Postby David Yun on Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:59 pm

Yeah, my response was pretty unstructured. lol

I only brought up Hotel Rwanda because I get the sense that the American public at large only digests such issues in the form of entertainment. I don't know how many ignoramuses were surprised that the film Blackhawk Down was based on actual events. (I heard too many "When did this happen?" remarks.) Hotel Rwanda might be the only blip on many people's radar that such events occurred, and even then, they'd have no idea (or more importantly, care) that that conflict continues to rage unabated.

And yeah, sorry I used the phrase 'nobody cares'. Using absolute terms where they don't apply ends up as hyperbole. I meant 'not enough people care'. To even broach a possible solution, we require sufficient political will, and we're nowhere near that, what with the messes we got ourselves into in recent years. Even if we did have the resources to spare, we lack the human resolve to put them into play.

And wow, yes. Media portrayal of the military is all over the place. It's either utter glorification or complete condemnation, depending on the producer's agenda. We need to come to grips that the military is needed, and is responsible for implementing the necessities of state security - not aggrandizing their actions into emotional intangibilities by simply wrapping them in words like "heroic" and "freedom". Not that those sentiments are invalid, but just mindlesslessly waving a flag is uselessly dangerous without carefully considered application. On the flip side, we need to employ criticism with deliberation, with future improvement in mind, not just tossing around "Abu Ghraib" as a mindless catchphrase. (Never mind the people who don't know what that is.) I'm always turned off by protest movements that put as little thought into their outrage as their targets put into the transgressions in question.

[Edit: Good God; I just reread that paragraph some minutes after posting, and no, I'm not that idealistic. Most people are "mindless". The ones in charge need to be at least a tad smarter and aim the masses at the most effective target.]

As for RE5, there are definitely bigger fish to fry. But as we here are predominately gamers of one stripe or another, I felt it was a worthwhile topic to discuss. There are negative racial depictions in every media at every turn, but RE5 just seemed too blatant to simply give it a free pass. One more time just so we're clear; my position = Capcom/RE5 not racist, just ignorant.
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Re: Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

Postby David Yun on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:27 pm

That made me think a bit further. I know I went on a diatribe about how Caucasians don't really understand what it's like to live with racism, and I realized I didn't give any thought to what it's like to see race relations from a majority perspective.

So this is what I see: "white guilt" does, in fact, crack me up. It just results in questionable attempts to redress racial grievances. Okay, so from there, I can see why white people can get annoyed with white guilt. Racism's not YOUR fault - it's become systemic; so there's no reason to lay it on you individually as a moral entity. (Feel free to help me out if my perspective is skewed or incomplete.) From there, you get annoyed at seemingly constant noise about racial insensitivity/injustices/etc...much of which is genuinely trivial.

Here's the thing. We all need to see past those entrenched positions and strive to see racial problems as human beings, not as members of one particular sect or another. Whether you're white, black, brown, Asian (we're not fucking yellow lol), what have you...affronts to basic moral values we hold in common ought to affect us equally regardless of our genetic origination.

So let's try to understand each other. Here's another attempt from my end: minorities DO in fact just let a lot of shit pass. If we were to call out every single indignation we see in various media, we would never have a chance to catch our fucking breath. So when reasonable people whose insight you would otherwise respect point out racial insensitivity, don't dismiss it out of hand.

Man, I get annoyed at unnecessarily negative treatment of Asians, but you'd best believe I'd be one angry mofo if I was black. One of my wife's acquaintances has a nanny who's black, who just got rolled up on by the cops on her way to work. She was alone and wearing a fucking uniform, but got stopped and searched anyway. This was Porter Ranch, a neighborhood that I'd classify as upper middle class - not even seriously monied. Just imagine how annoyed you'd be with shit like that. I only bring this up, because from my perspective, that annoyance > the annoyance of waving off the constant barrage of racial debate.

Anyway, videogames are reasonably important, culturally speaking. It's a young artform that warrants discussion. Like all media, it's rife with questionable racial depictions. It's just that RE5 hits those notes in such a specific, well worn way, that I feel it's noteworthy enough to point out.
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Re: Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

Postby Zokrah on Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:01 pm

Glad to see the old Yun back with these posts, lol.

No, I got what you meant, but if I'm to defend my side or opinion, I'd have to pick apart your opinion and disprove certain statements to make mine appear more competent.

Very well written responses, and to be fair, I did not actually put myself in a minority's position on this issue. I've got to contemplate my response (if any) to your posts. A lot to consider.

Thanks for the support, but my biggest gripe is that people get angry when the military kills some one, or takes some losses. We're the dogs of war. In war, there is going to be collateral damage. Civilians WILL die. It happens in every war. What's important is the steps we take to minimize them, but if say the bad guys are hiding behind civilians, you can't always just let them pass by unmolested. I could go on and on about this shit, but I'd rather leave sleeping dogs lie, because this is not what this thread is about.
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Re: Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

Postby David Yun on Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:38 am

Seriously. It's war. People die in every war, most definitely including civilians. In our current situation though, I think people are particularly vexed because they feel that every single casualty is an unnecessary death or injury brought on by an unnecessary war.

People also fail to credit the United States for its extremely high moral stance on the subject. Even while facing enemies who fundamentally refute the rules of engagement, we adhere to a strict code of conduct. I was talking with an older first-gen Persian immigrant, and he told me that we were basically stupid. He said that all we had to do, was to grab a kid or two and place them on the hoods of our humvees, and that would be the end of roadside bombings and suicide attacks. I suspect he's right, but I am proud that we would never consider such actions. For all the berating we get from liberal Europeans or whoever (man, aside from the British, those lazy effers just show up in conflicts to sit around doing nothing just so they can say they contributed), we set higher standards for civilian safety and still get the job done. Do these same people harp on the Russians or Chinese?

And yes, this is a different topic altogether. I just couldn't resist because you just touched upon one of my pet peeves: people who complain without sufficient perspective.
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Re: Resident Evil 5 - Racist?

Postby Zokrah on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:11 pm

David Yun wrote:And yes, this is a different topic altogether. I just couldn't resist because you just touched upon one of my pet peeves: people who complain without sufficient perspective.


Amen. Preach on brother Yun!
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