For the life of me, I can’t recall if I’ve ever touched on the topic of skin color or not on my blog. All I know is whenever I come across things like this, I realize there are some people in some serious need of sensitivity training or just good home training. Hell, I’ll just settle for manners.
First, I have not read The Hunger Games and don’t know if/when I will. I’m really not into dystopian, but could be persuaded if the story is good enough and I’m in the right mood. Nonetheless, I applaud Suzanne Collins for seeing the world through more than just one-skin-tone glasses. There should be more books that support a mixed cast of characters, rather than the single one the author sees in their mirror. To me, it’s one of the easiest ways to add some believability to a story. And if all else fails, you can always have a token black like Hollywood does and kill them off midway through the story. Not! 😡
In the case of the commentors who commented on Cinna, we African-Americans can have a “calm temper and quiet personality” believe it or not. In fact, I can give you a couple of names, if you want them. We are also “flamboyant” when we want to be. I can name a couple of friends that fit that profile, too. Since when does being “sweet and loving” only apply to white people? If that’s the case, then you should meet my Chinese friend Min who more than fits that bill. The same goes for my friend Diane who happens to be black. I’m guessing you’ve never met my friend Munerah (from Yemen) either. Those are just a few comments that really prick my brown skin. Talk about being insensitive. Too bad we’re not as willy-nilly with our opinions when it comes to talking about someone who’s disabled or has Down’s Syndrome. A simple, “I didn’t know Cinna was black” would have sufficed, due to the lack of a better description around Cinna. Better yet, taking a moment to think before posting a derogatory comment like those seen on Facebook would’ve been better.
The part that really kills me is Suzanne Collins specifically described Rue as “She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.” Dark. Brown. Skin. And yet, people seemed shocked about the DARK BROWN SKINNED girl chosen in the poster. Was something missed in the translation? Should the description have been in ebonics or gangsta-speak to make sure everyone understood? I sure hope not.
Your thoughts? Sadly, I still think we have a long way to go when it comes to race relations. For my daughter’s biracial sake, I hope we resolve these ridiculous issues in her life time, if not mine.