Can we, like, stop reducing complex, multi-layered characters into flat ones just for racial stereotypes?
Can we write Reyes as a complex character, full of life and that Aesthetic™ while also being bitter at the world, being damn good at his job and slightly aloof while truly caring for his men. Or will he forever be reduced to swearing in Spanish and overused la chancla jokes with no character growth whatsoever because you can only see Latino jokes.
Can we write D.Va as a young woman, who is skilled beyond her years, excitable and quirky but also affected by the war she’s been in and the stuff she’s seen, someone who has a lot of room to grow but has also been forced into a position that requires maturity. Or will she forever be a dorito gremlin and baby jokes because she’s Korean and people immediately assume she’s got the emotional capacity of a child.
Can we write Zarya as a woman who’s worked her way up, who has become strong because she worked hard and trained for many, many hours to build her body like that, someone who built their strength to wear they can rip a particle canon off an omnic to save her people. Or will she forever be strong only because she’s Russian so of course she’s strong, right?
Can we write Morrison as someone who has had a lot of stress and the pressure to be perfect in the eyes of the media, with Overwatch breathing down his neck, only to have everything be ripped away from him and his only motivation left is why he lost his family, who went into the SEP knowing he might die but did it anyways. Or will he forever be White Bread™ because hey, he’s a white male so he’s automatically an awful human being and an asshole.
Can we write Mei as someone who woke up to find everything she knew gone in one horrible blizzard, discovering that 10 years have passed in the blink of an eye, finding that her goal of saving the world hasn’t been progressed while she’s gone, but still manages to smile at things and giggle at puns, still manages to be friendly to those around her instead of slumping into a major depression. Or will her being Chinese forever cast her as either being an evil, angry, small Asian woman, or naive because people associate a Chinese accent with failing to understand things?
By all means, add their culture. Add traditions and language and beautiful things from all around the world. But do not squish them into their stereotypes and destroy multi-faceted characters and nullify any development they go through.
In spanish, your parents don’t say “Of course you can date, you are a responsible young adult who can make their own decisions” they say “Pinche estupido ni te puedes limpiar el culo y ya quieres tener un novio/a” and that’s beautiful.
on the topic of finding mexican/latino accents (when speaking english) “funny”
when we are making jokes within our communities about our accents, which totally happens all the time,
(there are many examples-a few off the top of my head: the whole #estarguars; when televisión mexicana shows skits of ppl mispronouncing words, george lopez comedy skits, or us making fun of how el chapo pronounced sean penn, SO MANY examples lol)
it is different from when someone outside a latino community, (be them white or of any other ethnicity) makes fun of us. it is ok for our own communities to find humor in our experiences and ways of being. but when it is a white-dominated media world that is making fun of our accents, that is what is so damaging
Because jokes about our accents have been used to justify the dehumanization and exploitation of latino communities as a primary labor force in the United States for DECADES
Racist humor has a purpose, it isn’t just racist for racism’s sake. when non-latinos make fun of our accents they are perpetuating a system that thrives off of latinos’ percieved “unintelligence.” Because this has historically allowed, and continues to allow, stereotypes to ensure that mexicans/latinos be percieved and treated as unintelligent, that the jobs that the poor take on (like fast food, cleaning) are not due to exploitation and also not the result of international policies, but rather that the people doing those jobs are so “lazy, dumb, can’t speak english therefore not smart, unmotivated” and that is why they don’t deserve a living wage, or they don’t deserve healthcare or “welfare” etc etc
this dates all the way back to white power structures (in regarding mexican immigration) implemented after 1848 when the U.S. absorbed mexican people living on their newly acquired territories as citizens of U.S. after the “treaty of guadalupe- hidalgo” that ultimately robbed the mexican government of half its land
Constant racist jokes about Latinos and immigration.
‘Silent Asian’ jokes.
Worst of all, white girls with cornrows.
Basically everyone who is not a skinny white girl in this movie is the butt of a recurring punchline about their difference. The Black girl is not only the butt of all these lame jokes about her sexuality, but is also conveniently available to cover all the rap verses in songs AND HAS TO BRAID THE WHITE GIRLS’ HAIR.
I had to watch this with my 10-year -old niece and then tried (unsuccessfully) to deprogram her afterwards.