By Jesse Taylor
Saturday, June 21, 2008 21:46 EDT
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For those of you not familiar with the series, Resident Evil is a game that’s about the purest of pastimes – fucking up zombies and other nasties with an ever-expanding lineup of weapons.

Resident Evil 5 takes the series to Africa…and then there’s controversy.

On Your Black Writers today, Tolu Olorunda takes exception to the RE5 trailer:

What I witnessed [in the RE5 trailer] was nerve-wrecking, painful, mind-numbing and heart-racing… It wasted no time in capitalizing upon the long history of blatant depictions of Africans as savages and helpless imbeciles. The trailer featured a Caucasian male mutilating African villages, along with Africans. With the not-so ancient history of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Africa, the issue of racial insensitivity and indifference must be brought to the centerfold…

My opinion? The trailer above shows a disturbing insensitivity to the rather loaded images of a heavily armed white guy mowing down rabid Africans. But I don’t think the game is intentionally racist, simply totally tone deaf to what’s implied by the previous sentence.

But there’s something more disturbing than the trailer. It’s the dumbasses who watched it and couldn’t see anything even potentially wrong with it.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces
Submitted by JimK – June 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm -0500

I am SO sick of race-baiting jerks who claim everyone else is racist when it’s THEM who can’t see past skin color.

I wonder if these idiots know how much damage they do to race relations in America.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces
Submitted by JC – June 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm -0500

Same, they them selves keep racism alive instead of letting it die a quiet death. These people just want attention, thinking they’ll be given some recognition intead of gaining infamousy.

Kotaku has done a few posts on RE5 and race, and going through the comments, you keep finding the same creeping line popping back up – people who remark that things are or potentially could be racist are in fact themselves perpetuating racism and even causing people to be racist themselves.

It’s not new to any of us who have seen your average conservative ranter bloviate about race pimps ad nauseum, but it’s rather telling that this has gone from black people exploiting racism to black people causing racism.

From later on:

I am nerve-wrecked, pained, mind-numbed and my heart is racing that this person is trying to perpetuate hate and race-mongering by writing the article.

I can understand a certian amount of outrage on this honestly, though it would be nice if these people would bother to read in a little on these sort of things than just see “WHITE MAN SHOOTING A BLACK MAN! IT’S RACISM!!!!!”. For goodness sake, the game is in africa and about “zombies” it’s not portraying all african amercians as being zombies. It’s a game about killing ZOMBIES which are trying to eat your face off. It has nothing to do with the color of their damn skin. And I agree with JimK, some of these ‘activists’ are so pronouncedly towards their side that they are indeed being racist towards white people. I’m not saying white people didn’t do bad things in the past mind you but for god sake but just continuing the cycle of hate and hurt doesn’t solve a damn thing.

Does anybody know the episode of South Park when there was a debate about changing the South Park flag? The flag was racist because it’s a bunch of white stick people watching a black stick figure being hanged. Many kids were so not racist that they didn’t see that it was a black stick person being hang, all they see is just a person being hanged.

The message of the episode was that many people became so anti-racist that themselves are racist by making a image look racist. That’s how I fell about this topic.

We’ve finally arrived at the point where racism is dead. Unless, of course, you say it isn’t. Which, of course, makes you the racist. I understand that this is a few random people on the internet, but it’s not nearly as random as one might think – the same attitude is oddly prevalent among a number of the younger conservative people I know, the belief that if racism exists, it’s the justified reaction to the whining, victimhood-reveling targets.

What the hell happened?

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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