I just came back from the cinema where I watched "Skyscraper" with The Rock. It is an aweful movie. Predictable from beginning to the end, cheap and cheesy lines and the oh so anoying clapping by the portrayed public whenever something succeeds in the movie. The movie could've been awesome with the good actors and the shitload of money that was spent, but the script was just bad. So bad, that only The Rock could somewhat save it. Because, of course, you just can't not like Dawyne "The Rock" Johnson. He might not be an Oscar-grade actor, but he is just great to see on screen.
Another such actor is Idris Elba. I love his acting. Wheter it is The Avengers, Luther, RocknRolla or The Wire, he is always great to watch. He's just a fantastic actor.
Now I read that Idris Elba will likely be the next James Bond. Not because he is a fantastic actor - which he is - but
"because it is about time for a black James Bond".
So his acting becomes at least secondary, if not irrelevant, because of his skin color? There are plenty of other great British actors, but he will (likely) be chosen because of his color? What is this, if not treatment by race?
Don't get me wrong. Great historic movies are made by actors that play the historic figures as closely as possible. A movie about André the Giant shouldn't be played by Peter Dinklage. Would Samson be played by a bald person?
So of course, you'd choose a black actor not only for his acting, but also for his skin color to portray Idi Amin - and Forest Whitaker did it well enough to earn a justified Oscar for it. "Der Untergang" (engl. "Downfall") is such a fantastic movie because the cast was specifically chosen to resemble historic figures. They trained to play their roles as closely as possible and Bruno Ganz played Hitler in a way that might have fooled some of Hitler's contemporaries. How would the exact same movie (not a parody version) have been with a towering black Hitler?
But why would his skin color have any relevance for a fictional, non-historic charakter? James Bond is a fictional charakter working for the British Government in the present. There are black men employed for the British Government in the present, so 007 might very well also be black. Why not, if he is a great actor? He can have blue eyes or brown ones, so why not have a darker skin also?
But with justifying this descision by saying "We chose him because he is black!", the whole thing became a racial issue. Why is it necessary to bring race into the equasion? What is the benefit from it? If Idris Elba is considered to be the best choice, why not just choose him and say: "we took the best one."?
This racism is completely one sided
But of course, this is only relevant one way. The mythological Greek Achilles is now portrayed by a black actor and Joan of Arc is depicted by a black woman. If you dare critizise that, you're a racist.
But if Moses and the Pharao are played by caucasians, the roles are reversed. Then critizism is very loud by the same people who before called everyone racist who dared question an ancient Greek with black skin. And how dare the producers of Dunkirk portray the battle correctly by showing ethnic British instead of mixing in Blacks and Indians who played no actual role in the historic battle? And do I really have to mention "Black Panther" that was celebrated as "diverse" for having 90% black cast and a film crew that was specifically chosen for its black skin color.
When whites portray other ethnicities, it is "whitewashing". When whites portray whites, it is "not diverse enough". But when blacks portray whites it is a cause for celebration and a completely black crew - chosen for its skin color - is diverse. Do I dare explore what a completely white crew chosen for its color whould be judged as?
And now imagine the reactions, if historic black figures where casted with white actors...
Do you see the difference? It could be rather simple: If one action or one sentence is deemed racist when targeted against blacks, jews, latinos, asians... - it is also racist when the same thing is targeting whites. So when "whitewashing" exists, then "blackwashing" also exists. When dating sites for blacks to find other blacks aren't racist, then dating sites for whites to find whites aren't racist either. When historic figures can be played by other ethnicities, then all historic figures can be played by other ethnicities. When it is racist to boast about an all white crew at a film set, then the same is true about an all black crew. You get the point.
But, if you still follow, you might slowly ask yourself: But why did he mention The Rock? What does Dwayne Johnson have to do with all of this? Nothing. Except for one thing: I follow The Rock on instagram and a few days ago, he wrote about himself: "The son of a Samoan and a Black". Wait, what? I knew he was samoan, but I had no clue whatsoever that his father is black. And doesn't that mean by some US standards, that he is black also?
Well, I never considered The Rock as anything but a great actor and probably the most charismatic celebrety at all. I never saw him as anything other than the incredible individual he managed to shape in the public eye. As little as his hair color mattered (not that he had hair now), his genetic composition mattered to me. I have not regarded The Rock as a black actor, nor will I do so in the future. Because he is just The Rock, a great actor.
Why can't the others act the same way? Why do so many nowadays follow this insane revival of racism under the label of identity politics? Instead of ignoring our color it is rather getting emphasized.
When everyone talks about race, what choice do I have to aknowledge at a certain point that I am apparently white and that this matters to many in a negative way, as I am not considered diverse (which is crypto-speak for "non-white") and thus get discriminated against in many western institutions?
When I get a whatsapp from a friend in Panama, I see with the simple "thumbs up" sign that he considers himself as of another color than me, as the big companies decided to divide us even more by adding skin colors to everything. With a little something like an "ok, I'll be there", I get reminded that my friend isn't white-white. Why is that necessary? What does that help? How can we expect racism to be marginalized when we emphasize our differences with everything we do?
I have since turned to using only the yellow hand signs again, as I agree with Morgan Freeman: The way against racism is to stop talking about it. Just cut it. Don't turn race into any excuse or reason whatsoever. Yes, our skin colors are different. But except for a need of sun screen, this mustn't ever be any reason for anything.