Published on May 9th, 2012 | by Chucky Chesus6
The racist moment that almost was
I’m a little confused, as you can probably tell. I need to re-see The Avengers simply for one specific line, which I’m sure I missed. Allow me to explain, I think that there is a good moment of light racism that plays into Captain Americas character that I think could have been quite the ‘wool over the eyes’ moment.
The scene in question is when Captain America enters the head quarters of S.H.I.E.L.D.S. flying fortress and hands Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson’s character) a ten dollar bill. To me, I immediately thought it was his sort of way of “tipping” the African American Nick Fury, which I thought was racist but a little funny. While initially feeling a little strange about seeing that, I later heard that there was a line where he bet Nick Fury ten dollars over having seen everything at that point and there was nothing he couldn’t believe, which makes total sense. Stay with me here, I’m not trying to take a shot at Joss Whedon, I’m actually a massive fan of his work as well as the Avengers which I think is arguably the best super hero movie ever.
Why would this joke be ok? To put it simply, the era that Captain America is from. It doesn’t even make him racist or look negative, in a way, it just made him clueless. It was sort of like his injection of understanding a reference later on in one scene in the movie. I wouldn’t have been shocked or been offended really. It’s a little strange though that something that’s actually some what “realistic” happening is completely over looked while the casting of an African American actress for Rue in The Hunger Games set the internet ablaze, even with the characters being described as having “dark skin.” The joke, had it been used in my opinion, would have been highly satirical. Somewhat of a jab at an uncomfortable part of American history.
After Micheal Bays jive-talking robot twins in the second Transformers movie, I walk into any blockbuster movie with the attitude that there might be a moment that can be read very easily out of context. Which I’m sure I did here but my point in even talking about this very small moment is while it would have been in a literal definition racist, it could have been seen as harmless and a little witty. The simple answer is that I missed a line but had the line been intentional, had it been a somewhat of an “I’m from a different era, I don’t understand” kind of joke, that would have been fine by me.