Calypso crooner Harry Belfonte was on hand to receive some kind of “honorary Oscar” award Saturday night. During his acceptance speech, he thanked a couple of people and then went on an extended rant against the racism of Hollywood. He reserved most of his venom for a figure he considers the vilest racist in cinematic history: Tarzan. Yeah, the Lord of the Jungle is Hollywood’s most offensive racist.
Belafonte started out saying that D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation caused Americans to go on a “murderous rampage” killing blacks with “baseball bats and billy clubs.” Then he blamed President Woodrow Wilson (a democrat, mind you) of validating this one-sided race war by screening the film at the White House.
And while that may seem bad, Hollywood’s real crime against blacks was in the release of the Tarzan movie series according to Belafonte:
In 1935, at the age of 8, sitting in a Harlem theater, I watched with awe and wonder incredible feats of the white superhero, Tarzan of the Apes. Tarzan was a sight to see. This porcelain Adonis, this white liberator, who could speak no language, swinging from tree to tree, saving Africa from the tragedy of destruction by a black indigenous population of inept, ignorant, void-of-any-skills, governed by ancient superstitions with no heart for Christian charity.
Sounds like Tarzan was just trying to help. What’s the problem? I mean besides the fact that he was white.
Through this film the virus of racial inferiority — of never wanting to be identified with anything African — swept into the psyche of its youthful observers. And for the years that followed, Hollywood brought abundant opportunity for black children in their Harlem theaters to cheer Tarzan and boo Africans.
Oh, I get it now. The Tarzan movies were racist because they showed a white guy trying to stop Africans from killing each other and wiping out majestic animals. We all know that African warlords never slaughter their own people. And history has shown that tribal and ethnic African factions never brutalize each other in genocidal conflicts. And certainly, Africans never poach endangered species or kill those trying to protect them.
Africa was a messed up place long before Tarzan and it continues to be so to this day. It should be noted that Tarzan also fought against evil white guys and European colonialism. The Ape Man was all about protecting the jungle and its inhabitants; not promoting some racial agenda to degrade blacks.
What’s next? Flash Gordon was a racist because he fought against “space Asian” Ming the Merciless? Actually, I’m pretty sure someone thinks Flash was a racist because we’ve reached the point where anytime a fictional hero is white and the fictional bad guys are minorities it is seen as clear proof that racism is a problem in the real world.
Belefonte’s misplaced anger is part of a new wrinkle in the race hustle: It’s now considered racist when white people try to help black people. I touched on this when I reported blacks consider Diff’rent Strokes the most racist TV show of all time because it showed a rich white guy compassionately caring for underprivileged black children.
This new racism of “white help” doesn’t actually stop blacks from accepting aid; they just reserve the right to say “f*ck you, whitey” while they’re taking it. How’s that for integrity?