Editors note: On July 22, 2011, a short book on superheroes and whiteness will be released. Expect to see a few Web sites carry an article or two (in truncated form) that will be featured in this tome. This is a passion of mine – along with college football – and the date coincides with the release of Captain America: The First Avenger .
Fitting that Harvard University would publish a study – Shaping the Nation: Estimating the Impact of Fourth of July Using a Natural Experiment – that finds July 4th parades as nothing more than jingoistic events that benefit Republicans only:
Democratic political candidates can skip this weekend’s July 4th parades. A new Harvard University study finds that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.
“Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party,” said the report from Harvard.
“The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans,” write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam. [Enjoy political cartoons about President Obama.]
Their findings also suggest that Democrats gain nothing from July 4th parades, likely a shocking result for all the Democratic politicians who march in them. [Check out editorial cartoons about the Democrats.]
“There is no evidence of an increased likelihood of identifying as a Democrat, indicating that Fourth of July shifts preferences to the right rather than increasing political polarization,” the two wrote.
We live in a nation where the United States national soccer team was booed viciously on American soil, in what amounted to a ‘home game’ for the visiting Mexican national team in Los Angeles:
Speaking to the LA Times, Mexican supporter Victor Sanchez said: ‘I love this country, it has given me everything that I have, and I’m proud to be part of it.’
The 37-year-old Monrovia resident reflected the sentiment of most of the 93,000 strong crowd when he added: ‘But yet, I didn’t have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be.’
The question you have to ask yourself is simply this: “In an increasingly diverse nation, where racial loyalties supersede any bonds of commonality to the United States history (past, present, or future), what is the point of celebrating July 4th anymore?”
When the history is of the United States is nothing more than white males dominating People of Color (PoC); creating white privilege; exploiting Black people for their slave labor; and demonizing immigrants who risk everything and leave behind their nation for the chance to succeed in America, what hope does July 4th have anymore to instill pride in PoC who are taught to loathe and despise this country?
In short, it doesn’t. July 4th was always a holiday celebrated by white people, who in 1964 represented 90 percent of this nations citizens. As the Republican Party becomes the de-facto ‘white’ party, it only makes sense for July 4th parades to become the dividing line between what constitutes the old concept of ‘American’ with the Democrats concept of the PoC rainbow coalition.
Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs) hate July 4th, because deep within many of the Untouchable White people throughout this land some connection to Pre-Obama America still exists, and with that, the belief that an actual nation worth defending is still there.
But you must remember one of the two most important comic book characters and iconic figures in all of American pop culture turned his back on ‘truth, justice and the American way’ recently (read What is Superman Renouncing? ) and the words of James Kilpatrick from an article at Alternative Right will help show that celebrating July 4th is an anachronistic activity at this point:
In the same way, Superman, Batman, and other iconic American characters once reflected certain aspects of the American experience but have since become brands. Killing off characters only to bring them back and creating drastic character changes straight out of pro wrestling only create short-term profit spikes and news-cycle mentions. The larger significance and importance of characters that were once national icons are slowly drained away.
Of course, in some ways, Superman is not really abandoning America, but fulfilling it. American conservatives, the self-defined champions of the Constitution, the Flag, and the Troops, have set themselves up for this by creating an American patriotism divorced from any particular attachment to an American nation. To the American conservative movement, America is to be a universal nation, where anyone from any background can come to a land of freedom and fulfill their dreams. When Barack Obama noted that presumably people in every country have a national dream, conservatives pounced, claiming that ours is superior precisely because America is the purest exemplar of universal values of freedom, equality of opportunity, and prosperity.
It is only in comic books that some concept of the United States still exists: the villains and criminals are all still white guys (a departure from real world crime rates); the nation appears to be permanently stuck in 1960s American demographics; and Superman renouncing his U.S. citizenship is meaningful in any way, when the concepts he vowed to defend have long died.
But it is one character whose debut on the big screen (discounting the horrible early 1990s film) curiously doesn’t coincide with July 4th that has scratching our head. Steve Rogers, that 4F weakling who volunteered for a military experiment and became the super soldier known as Captain America, will see his story told on July 22 with the release of Captain America: The First Avenger .
Knowing that we live in Black-Run America (BRA) it would be wise to point out that in Marvel Comics lore (as of 2002), Rogers was retconned as the second Captain America with a Black person being the original, an obvious homage to the hoax known as the dastardly Tuskegee Experiment.
Just as July 4th parades are seen as a way to turn kids into Republicans – the ‘purported’ party for white people – and have them love the flag, daring to release Captain America: The First Avenger over the July 4th weekend in theaters would wrap this film in a saccharine patriotism that should no longer exist.
White people can have no heroes anymore and daring to make Captain America a hero on par with Will Smith would be heresy. Wait, you forgot that July 4th was designated as “The Release of the Latest Will Smith” movie?:
I just realized something. None of this matters. A critique of Hancock is an essay in irrelevance. It’s Independence Day Week, and six times since 1996, that’s meant a Will Smith movie — a mega-giga-gigantic hit. Independence Day; Men in Black; Wild Wild West; Men in Black II; I, Robot: He shows up, people line up. Thomas Jefferson used to own this holiday, but now the former Fresh Prince does. So why should critics even bother to review a new Will Smith movie? You’ll go see it anyway.
It’s my theory — and I have the stats to back me up — that Hollywood is in its first ever post-movie-star era. Big celebrity names no longer guarantee box-office hits. Casting dramatic stars like Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, etc., no longer guarantees a movie’s commercial success; and the more reliable comedy stars, from Adam Sandler to Ben Stiller, lose much of their audiences when they try something a little different.
To all this, Smith would say ha, and rightly so, since he’s the big exception. He actually deserves that overused epithet “the last movie star.” For more than a decade, he’s been immune to moviegoers’ fickle fashions. His films have earned $4.5 billion worldwide. And except for his pro bono work in Ali (for which he won an Academy Award nomination) and Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance , every Will Smith movie has been a hit or smash, earning at least $100 million in North America and another $100 million or more abroad. Sometimes lots more.
Strangely, Smith’s charisma (and movies with Black leads) seem to only ‘go over’ with American audiences, as international audiences sour to films with Black characters:
As The New York Times reported in a long feature yesterday, Dreamgirls has earned more than $101 million in the U.S. and Canada, but Paramount expects it will make little more than $60 million abroad. Which is particularly problematic in an era when Hollywood increasingly depends on foreign box office to drive profits. These days, 52 percent of movie earnings come from international markets. As BET Networks entertainment president and House Party director Reginald Hudlin says in the Times ‘ story, “I always call international the new South. In the old days, they told you black films don’t travel down South. Now they say it’s not going to travel overseas.” At home, frequent box office champ Will Smith seems like the biggest star on the planet, but the Times quotes industry watcher James Ulmer as saying that Smith ranks no better than No. 12 in terms of worldwide bankability.
Who’s to blame? “The international marketplace is still fairly racist,” Ulmer tells the Times .
When you remember white action stars are slowly giving way to a world governed by Fast and the Furious (a guy like Thomas Jane is ‘too white’ to star in an action flick), you’ll understand that Will Smith is seen as bigger then spandex wearing white people trying to save the world yet again. For more on Will Smith, check out Hollywood in Blackface . He is seen by many as the real Captain America:
Box office champ Will Smith has become as synonymous with the Fourth of July as fireworks and backyard barbecues — but the star says he takes nothing for granted as he opens yet another summer holiday blockbuster with his new action film, “Hancock.”
“I feel like I have a relationship with the audience,” Smith told Matt Lauer on the TODAY set, winding his way through a cheering throng of fans. “They agree they are going to go in droves, and I agree that every time they go, it’s going to be better than the last time.”
Smith, 39, has launched such all-time action hits as “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” on Fourth of July weekends past.
Smith, whose films have grossed more than $4 billion in his prolific career, told Lauer he plans to play the real-life role of public advocate for Barack Obama’s election this fall — saying he can already feel the mood of the world tilting toward America as a result of Obama’s campaign.
“I just came back from Moscow, Berlin, London and Paris, and I’ve been there quite a few times in the past five to 10 years,” Smith said. “It just hasn’t been a good thing to be American. And this is the first time since Barack has gotten the nomination that it was a good thing.”When Lauer countered, “Do you think people can’t get behind America led by John McCain?” Smith said: “There’s certain ideas I believe Obama stands for that are fundamental, that the forefathers of this country wrote down on paper that we’re all supposed to pay attention to, and we’re not supposed to ignore it and do what we want to do because we have different ideas.”
Though in the real world it is almost exclusively white people saving and defending Black-Run America, movies must no longer have a white superhero. Rumors persisted for years that Will Smith was going to be offered the role of Captain America, something incredibly hard to believe considering the United States Military was segregated during World War II. It is unknown if there is veracity in these rumors:
Just when you thought Marvel was trying to get a blue-eyed, blonde-haired muscle head to play Captain America in their upcoming live-action flick, MTV sneaks onto the scene with one whopper of a rumor. While speaking to Derek Luke about Miracle at St. Anna up in Toronto, the actor let slip that, as far as he knows, Will Smith was offered the part of Captain America. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Chris Evans will play the part of Captain America in the film debuting on July 22, but you can bet that had Will Smith been cast in the role the film would have debuted on July 4th (or July 4th weekend). Having a white dude synonymous with the red, white, and blue is draconian and an image that can no longer be tolerated.
Some writers, including Jeff Sneider at The Wrap , attacked the whiteness of the character of Captain America. Attacking whiteness of Captain America is attacking the foundations of this nation and as the late Sam Francis correctly pointed out about then Senator Barack Obama after his 2004 Democratic Convention address:
Mr. Obama in other words is both a living testament to the power of black racial consciousness and identity and at the very same time a living renunciation of white racial identity.
As Mr. Tilove notes, Mr. Obama “can argue for policies virtually indistinguishable from Sharpton’s in cooler, non-racial terms, while still affirming a message of racial identity and uplift implicit in his very being.”
“I think he is talking about race when he’s not,” Professor Dillard says. “Something about the way he pitches things is perfect for this moment.”
And what is “this moment” exactly? It’s the moment when America ceases to be a nation defined and characterized by the white racial identity of its founders and historic population and is transformed into the non-white multiracial empire symbolized and led by “people like Obama.”
So now you know why Captain America: The First Avenger couldn’t come out over the highly logical July 4th weekend. What’s more American then Captain America, fighting to win World War II and being the ultimate embodiment of the dictum E pluribus unum?
Well, when you remember that the United States soccer team was booed by Mexicans who have colonized Los Angeles – ethnically cleansing Black people from Compton in the process – you realize quickly that Captain America, a blue-eyed and blond hair warrior, can’t go the way of July 4th parades.