August 10, 2010

Cooke defends offensive "half-blood"

As usual, Michael Cooke defends racism and stereotyping--in this case, the offensively named Camp Half-Blood:The context for "half blood" is that of a work of fiction in this instance. Greek Gods aren't human and therefore can't really be considered "white" if you're thinking literally.

The book has already been made into a movie. But it didn't occur to you to protest that?

The thought that "half blood" is an epithet and therefore wrong may have merit, but I'm personally unfamiliar with it being used as an epithet in a modern context. And even you allowed the movie, big budget movie, to use that term without comment.

What is being accomplished is a redefining 'half blood' to suggest a fantasy idea rather than a racist one. Granted Greek Gods are usually depicted as white--but using African mythologies is less safe because those Gods ARE WORSHIPPED SERIOUSLY TODAY, unlike Greek Gods.

The bottom line is you are accusing people using a popular children's book to encourage play and literacy, of a racist agenda. That's not anyone's intent, and the accusation in the face of the good being accomplished is itself offensive.

As if books popular with children should never be used to inspire play and literacy because they might not be politically correct enough. It's people like you that give "politically correct" a bad name.
The context for many racist words and images is fiction. So the hell what? In case you haven't learned anything, the media (news and entertainment) is a primary source for our prejudicial beliefs.

But I forget. You're clueless about the theory and practice of racism in America. For instance, you think minstrel shows have something to do with sadism, which shows how ignorant you are.

Since ancient times, writers and artists have depicted the Greek gods as Caucasians. Which isn't surprising since the gods reflect the people they came from. Perhaps you're thinking of the formless Christian God, because the human-style Greek gods certainly can be Caucasian (white).

For more on the subject, see Racial Type of the Ancient Hellenes.

I'd think twice about using African gods that people still worship. I thought twice about using Native gods that people still worship. Again, so what? I'm not suggesting we avoid using Greek gods. I'm suggesting we avoid using the offensive term "half-blood"--especially as a noun with superior/inferior connotations.

Cooke wrong about "half-blood's" source

Camp Half-Blood is based on Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which doesn't have the term "half blood" in the title. There was no reason for me to address the Olympians title, so you fail on that point. Whoops.

Since I'm a writer and you're not, I believe in reading a lot more than you do. I'm challenging the camp's name, not the use of books to spur the imagination. The organization could've handled the "half-blood" issue in several ways. For instance, by having the children play full-blooded gods or by changing the camp's name.

Intent is rarely the issue when you discuss someone's racist behavior, since it usually happens on a subconscious level. I've explained that before and you haven't shown enough wit to grasp the point yet. Read about it in Americans Refuse to Acknowledge Prejudice and educate yourself so I don't have to.

As with offensive stereotypes, you make excuses for a term the dictionary describes as "offensive." Will you ever condemn an insult against minorities, or is it your mission to defend racism and stereotyping? As we've seen in Cooke Defends Medals, Headdresses, Custer Just a Product of His Time?, and Devil's Advocate Defends Saginaw Grant, that's all you seem to do.

Cooke enjoys being ignorant

I love your basic approach. You haven't watched the Dudesons episode, you don't know anything about "half blood," but you're still spouting your opinions. You're like a kindergartner who thinks everything he says is valid because he said it.

Talk about confirmation bias. Not only do you avoid information that challenges your views, you don't even seek it out. You revel in your ignorance. It's the perfect excuse for you to do nothing about racism and stereotyping.

Since you think you know as much as I do, feel free to take the Pew News IQ Quiz. I'm confident you won't do as well as I did. Again, that's because I get my news from multiple sources and check when I don't know something. As far as I can tell, you don't.

For more of Cooke's opinions, see Comic-Con Protest vs. Dudesons Protest and Irish Band Is Just Harmless Fun?

Below:  The Greek god Poseidon and his wife Amphitrite.


Anonymous said...

Rob just because the words half blood are not in the title does not mean there is no mention of it at all in the movie, in fact the camp Percy goes to is called camp half blood because yes the children in attendance are half god half human.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're right about half-blood's most common usage in America, but there is hope!

The only time I heard the phrase (or actually one like it) applied to American Indians was in a Cher song.

The rest of the time, it was either on TV referring to Mr. Spock, or referring to a couple of kids in my school of international parentage. One English and American, the other French and American.

The only real race-based situations I've heard the term in are both as an adult and used by mixed-parentage friends to describe themselves. One close friend has a white mother and black father. Another has a Korean mother and white father.

Rob said...

I know the book and movie used the term "half-blood." Otherwise the camp wouldn't have called itself Camp Half-Blood.

But Michael Cooke asked why I didn't object to the movie based on the title. He probably was thinking of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but that's a different movie. Anyway, I answered the question he asked.

Rob said...

FYI, I don't think the use of "half-blood" is a major problem. You see and hear it occasionally in Indian affairs, but it's mostly disappeared from the common parlance.

I was just following the lead of the blogger who said it needed "interrogation." I agree with that. We should question things like this, not accept them blindly.