A Hunger Game for Racism

The disease of racism strikes one the biggest films in the world, Hunger Games. And again, like Trayvon, kids are being attacked. Two of the film’s stars have become the victims of racist tweets by idiots angry that black actors were cast in major roles. One person tweeted, “Why does Rue have to be black, not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie.” While another wrote, “I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned a black girl was playing Rue.”

Disgusting and disturbing, especially considering most of the movie’s fans are teens. The whole thing, in light of Florida’s drama and the rise in hate groups nationwide, has me wondering if racism will ever end or if the sickness is unstoppable like the common cold.

I remember a random, recent debate with a brother. He had excellent “non-regional” diction, and a pink tie to match his pinstriped Easter shirt. Walking out of the Apple store, with a smiling white woman, he happened to hear me talking about the Trayvon Martin case.

“Racism will never end,” he said, defiantly. “I know, I’ve lived in Texas.”

“Well, I disagree,” I replied, straight-faced. “It begins and ends with the babies. Teach the kids tolerance, and racism ends at the root.”

“Yeah, well I been to Texas and they’re racist and they teach the kids racism.”

“Honey,” the woman said, grabbing his arm. “Don’t walk away from the girl while she’s talking to you. Why are you getting mad? Listen to her point.”

But he still left the scene of my honesty crime, storming down the block like an angry black man, mumbling to himself. This brother effectively played an emotional role that evokes most black folks traumatized by America’s history of bigotry. And I get it, completely understanding the tendency to be black and quick to assume someone has denied or treated you in a way because of skin color. Sometimes it’s warranted. Others I attribute to (PTSS) Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – trickling down the unhealed underground railroad of slavery.

So I’ll be seeing Hunger Games this weekend. Although I haven’t read the book – which is different from how I secretly devoured the predominantly white castings of the Harry Potter novels and Twilight movies. But the Hunger Games’ story of fighting the power, timely plotted with current racial controversy, makes me sprint to see a film that brings together two things I love in a story: Violence and a unique, underdog, activism backbone.

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