There is no such thing as an 'indigenous' Briton
It is deeply offensive for far-right lobbyists to hijack the term to support their anti-immigration agenda
By James Mackay and David Stirrup
They're not the only one. Other European anti-immigrant parties have sought to align their quest to restrict immigration with the politics of indigeneity. A poster by the Italian political party Lega Nord, for example, portrays a stereotypical 19th-century Plains Indian warrior accompanied with the slogan: "They were subjected to immigration–now they live on reservations!" In the first half of the 20th century, the image of the indigene was adopted by the European far right as an exemplar of nobility, strength and resistance. At the beginning of the 21st century, the far right seeks to adopt a curious narrative of victimhood.
The argument has a certain superficial logic: if people accrue additional rights by virtue of being indigenous, then surely the indigenous British should also have these additional rights, over and above "non-indigenous" inhabitants. If indigenous peoples have the internationally recognised right to seek legislation to resist cultural dilution, surely indigenous British (or Europeans) can do the same with regard to "unwanted" immigration. If simply being first is what matters, surely this has to apply in every instance.
The problem here is with defining the term "indigenous." The dictionary definitions are of little help. After all, most people were born in the country in which they live and thus surely "originate" there; on the other hand, go back far enough in history and no group outside Olduvai, in eastern Africa, can lay claim to being truly "native."
But it doesn't seem that hard to define "indigenous" in a way that excludes recent Caucasian invaders and conquerors. How about "produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment since before recorded history"? In other words, if a historic record exists of a group's arrival, we don't classify them as indigenous to the place. If someone observed and recorded their arrival, they arrived by definition.
Conservatives mad about Thor
Here's how silly these protests can get:
Council of Conservative Citizens Calls for Boycott of Thor Over Black Actor
By David Taintor
The CCC is the contemporary incarnation of the segregationist Citizens Councils, which sprung up across the South in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education and which possible Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour praised in a recent interview.
"It seems that Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves," a post on the CCC's website reads. "An upcoming movie, based on the comic book Thor, will give Norse mythology an insulting multi-cultural make-over. One of the Gods will be played by Hip Hop DJ Idris Elba."
Nor is CCC focused on injustices in the entertainment industry. It has nothing to say about whites being cast as Indians, Asians, and other minorities.
No, the sole issue that outrages the CCC is casting a black actor as a Norse god. And that has nothing to do with the CCC's desire to maintain the Aryan purity of the white race.
Uh-huh, sure it doesn't.
Thanks for showing us your true colors, conservatives. Your singleminded focus on maintaining every example of white power and privilege, down to the casting of an inconsequential superhero movie, proves how racist you are.
Black Heimdall okay?
I personally think Hollywood should go with race-specific casting whenever possible. Especially if its a first or major or breakthrough role. So no black George Washington, John F. Kennedy, or Spider-Man and no white Tonto, Jacob Black, or Aang the Airbender.
But I don't think it's a major problem to do the millionth production of Hamlet with a minority cast. Or to make a minor character like Daredevil's Kingpin or Thor's Heimdall a minority. Since white people are overrepresented in most forms of media, changes to increase diversity are often welcome. For instance, making Starbuck a woman in the new Battlestar Galactica.
Let's note a few important points. These are fictional, comic-book versions of the Norse gods. They probably have the ability to change their form and color. The comics generally portray Heimdall in a brown fur outfit. Therefore, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to give him brown skin also.
For more on the conservative mindset, see What "I Want My Country Back" Means and Culture War Over Who's American. For more on casting issues, see Lack of Diversity = Discrimination and Casting Non-Natives as Natives.
Below: Heimdall the black Norse god.