The Racist Tapestry of Lord of the Rings
By Lloyd Hard
Indymedia – December 29, 2003
I don’t imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity’s behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants. Not to mention the elephant riding mercenaries that resemble the cultures of the Arab world as well as Africa, Persia and East Asia and the fact that the Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden a white guy yelled out “You great warriors of the West” in the final part of his speech to rouse the troops into battle in the third film.
In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas (the Texas capital punishment policy under Bush) has stolen the American throne and called for a “crusade” against the “evil doers” in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.
Can you imagine how people of skin color, of Persian, Arab and East Asian ethnic background feel when they come out of these films where all the heroes are white and all the “evil doers” are of dark skin. Being married to an Asian American I watch people disregard my wife everyday while regarding me, simply because of her skin color. Being part of a European family that has lived on the North American continent for 400 years I’ve been lucky enough to gain perspective that when you create an evil character (Uruk-hai) that resembles native Americans as they have done in the Lord of the Rings films a great deal of cultural and racial alienation will occur.
I am sure that once the filmmakers read this article there will be claims that they had to stay true to the story that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, but the fact is, African and Asian cultures have always been a part of the European fabric whose ancient legends and fairy tales gave birth to J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic portrayal of the battle between good and evil. And what about the Ancient Picts, a tattooed darker skinned cultured that once dominant in the UK. As someone who has grown up in one of the nation’s of the Commonwealth of the British Empire, I know for a fact that J. R. R. Tolkien’s generation were deeply influenced and thus deeply moved by all those people of skin color that fought alongside white members of the British forces in World War One and World War Two forming lifelong friendships and deep emotional ties.
In fact all Europe’s mathematics, reading and writing and technological advancements in transportation and warfare are all based on African and Asian concepts. The reason that Western medicine has not advanced to the enlightened technological level as Chinese herbal medicine and why most Western technology is diametrically opposed to all life on this planet, poisoning our air and water and causing widespread disease and death is for the simple fact that the Freemasons and the Church have not yet let go of the death grip they have on each other’s throats. In other words, the enlightened knowledge that the church has attempted to destroy that the Freemasons attempted to save and capitalize on with Western patents has turned into a death struggle that has created destructive technological paradigms here in the West that are now being forced on the populations of the entire earth destabilizing life and bringing with them the pollution of the air and water that once existed only in Christendom.
Of course there are redeeming images and ideas portrayed in the films such as the Ents protecting the forests by destroying the industrial military complex as well as the fact that white people can be turned to evil to join forces with all the evil dark skinned man flesh eating Orcs and Uruk-hai.
It is important to understand that young people are impressionable and influenced by the symbols foisted on them by the popular culture. It would not have been that difficult to make a contemporary version of the Lord of the Rings that included the heroic symbols of people of skin color. I think J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn’t have minded including people of skin color as heros in these films if he were alive today. Especially after witnessing the rise of the civil rights movements in both the U.S. and the U.K.. I’m so glad that the Dwarfs, Elves and Hobits finally got their due but unfortunately this was washed away by the lack of heroic images of people of skin color. After watching the Lord of the Rings films I thank the universe and Mother Earth for the Rap/hip-hop culture and the counterbalancing influence the Rap/hip-hop culture has on the youth here in America and around the world.