So when I made a point of saying that forced diversity is a problem posing as a solution, this judge, a charismatic man of Brazilian descent, asked me why. He was one of my students and had argued in class that today's forced diversity in popular culture, and movies in particular, is a commendable and necessary development. During the break he told me he was surprised to hear that someone of color didn't feel that way. Surely I would want more blue men in Shakespearian plays or Terminator 6.
The frown on his face spoke volumes, so I sat down and said, "Listen, I don't need to see myself represented in a movie in order to be able to identify with a character. The same goes for books. When I re-read Toni Morrison's Beloved, I'm all good. Don't worry about me. I don't need Morrison's protagonist to be a handsome blue man instead of an ugly black woman. I don't need the imposing baby ghost in this story to be a modest grownup man who is very much alive."
(Okay, I said something to that effect. Quoting people verbatim isn't my strong suit.)
"I also don't need other people to protect me, people I don't even know. I don't need a white SJW to tell me what's good for me, and I don't need a Chinese director to put more blue men in the movies I watch. I certainly don't need a blue Hulk or a blue Spider-man. That's the worst kind of representation. Race swapping, gender swapping... give me a break. Don't try to help us like we can't help ourselves. I appreciate the concern but it's patronizing and a problem. Gender and race don't define who I am."
The judge nodded and said, "I never saw it that way. You may have a point."
I shook his hand and said, "Let's call it a healthy diversity of opinion."
LUNCH! ONE HOUR!
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