Wednesday, 18 July 2012

White Ranger Supremacist Power

I first watched the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers back when it originally aired and at the time I was far too young to realise that the decision to make the Black Ranger African American and the Yellow Ranger Asian was a controversial decision.

I didn't grow up in what you'd call a racially diverse area. In my primary school there was maybe two black kids and no Asian kids I can recall. It was largely a white school. Racism wasn't really something I ever came across. I consider myself very lucky in that respect. One of the black kids was in my class and none of us ever saw this as an issue. She was one of us. She was exactly the same as the rest of us. When I got to high school I first came across racism a concept I've never really understood. Maybe I'm far too naive but I always hoped racism was going out of fashion.

Back to Power Rangers and I always hoped that the Black/Yellow Ranger was completely unintentional. I didn't want to think that it had been a racist decision. The second season saw the races switched in these roles and all series have had a racially diverse cast. Was it just tokenism? Was every black actor actually just the token black shoved in to hide a racist hierarchy's true thoughts on racial harmony. There has always been more white actors in the show and I'd always hoped that was just a coincidence. Then we get a story like the one that's been going round this week.

The story is that of actress Sundai Love being told she couldn't win a part on the next season of Power Rangers because they'd already chosen one black actor. That's right. Not a case of you weren't right for the part or you weren't good enough but that one black actor is more than enough for a team of Power Rangers. I can't believe in the 21st century someone would believe that's an acceptable thing to say. Now we don't know who's said this or how far up it goes but it's an incredibly unprofessional and offensive thing to say. For more details on this story check out Rising Sun Tokusatsu who cover this story in a far better way than I have.

I'm hoping this will all turn out to be a massive mistake and that race plays no part in who gets parts. There shouldn't be racial quotas in a modern world. Kids should grow up seeing that all people are equal not that anyone who isn't white is only there to make up the numbers.

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