Iron Fist

This blog previously covered the collective ulcer Marvel’s Iron Fist was giving Social Justice Obsessives prior the official casting announcement. Work prevented me from circling back on their meltdown after Finn Jones of “Game of Thrones” landed the part, but as luck would have it a friend of mine sent The Great Iron Fist Lament of 2016 by i09’s Rob Bricken. His smug is so strong that he even applied it to the headline: “It Actually Really, Really Sucks That TV’s Iron Fist Is White.”

Does it “really, really suck,” or does it only suck in the mind of pasty-white Rob Bricken and his social justice obsessed friends?

The author writes:

Yes, it’s true that the comics character Iron Fist is white, and thus it is indeed technically accurate for a white guy to play the role on TV. But technical accuracy does not equate “the right thing,” for lack of a better term. Because as with so many superheroes, there is nothing about the character of Iron Fist that requires him to be played by a white person. Nothing. It is fundamental to no aspect of his personality, his origin, his powers.

To men like Rob Bricken, the creator is not the lone arbiter of what constitutes “the right thing.” Instead, it is weirdly up to Rob Frickin’ Bricken.

It tends to be the Brickens of the world who say Luke Cage’s “blackness” is a “fundamental” aspect to his personality (even though Cage could have just as easily been a Mexican or Vietnamese immigrant facing similar circumstances), but yet when a character is white … then the color of his skin is inconsequential. Telling.

In fact, Iron Fist is unique among Marvel’s other superheroes that have made the leap to live-action in that making him, say, an Asian-American would have unequivocally improved him. Why? Because Iron Fist never should have been white in the first place.

Again we see Bricken behaves as though he is some infallible being, a Lady Social Justice of sorts, blindfolded with the “Scale of Should” extended in his right hand. When a creator comes to The Wizard of Bricken with a new character, it is Rob alone who determines what its race should be.

Newsflash: If the creator of Iron Fist wanted Danny Rand to be purple, then he should be purple. If the creator of Iron First wanted Danny Rand to be blue, then he should be blue.

Any time an activist gets up on a moral pedestal and starts ordering creators or fans around in terms of what the race of a character should be, then fans have an obligation to knock him off it — hard. The wannabe totalitarian is strong in the social-justice types, which is why it is necessary to always push back against their claptrap.

Bricken continues:

His character was, and is, an appropriation of Asian culture —no different from American Ninja, Shogun, The Karate Kid, The Last Samurai, and all the other movies/comics/stories where a white guy discovers a foreign culture, learns its ways, and becomes better at it than the people born into it. It is both crappy and a cliché, and one that still gets used too often. This obviously wasn’t considered a problem in the ‘70s, but it sure as hell is a problem now.

How pathetic does a man need to be to get bent out of shape over Ralph Macchio’s “Daniel” getting trained to take on the Cobra Kai by Pat Morita’s “Mr. Miyagi”? Since when did Asian people get sole custody of martial arts? The answer to the second question is never.

No American should ever apologize for enjoying the Karate Kid, Iron Fist or any other work of fiction that allegedly “appropriates” Asian culture.

Note: Nowhere in China is there an Asian Rob Bricken telling artists to stop writing about robots because Western Civilization embraced the fusion of science, technology and free markets for hundreds of years while rulers in the “Middle Kingdom” scoffed at compasses and telescopes as children’s toys.

But here is the kicker:

Besides racists, there’s only one group of people who had an emotional stake in keeping Danny Rand a white guy, and that’s the small group of die-hard Iron Fist fans for whom changing anything would be a betrayal of the highest order.

There it is — the telltale sign of the social justice goon — the “you’re basically a racist if you disagree with me” card.

I’m not a die-hard Blade fan, but I would be annoyed if a director turned him into a white guy. I’m not a Storm fanatic, but I wouldn’t want her to be Russian. That’s because I think creators who adapt material for different platforms should try as hard as they can to be loyal to the source material. But to smarmy io9 editors, there are only “die-hard fans” and “racists.”

Every time these clowns pull the “racist” card they need to be mocked and ridiculed. They have no convincing arguments, so they try to shut down debate by sliming critics as racists, bigots, homophobes, etc. The only intolerant ones in these discussions are the people claiming to be society’s paragons of tolerance.

There was very clearly a right choice here, and Marvel didn’t make it. Be upset. Let them know. And don’t let them forget it.

Patrick Henry once implored, “Give me liberty or give me death!” as the colonies were on the brink of war with England. Today, every single online Rob Bricken thinks he’s a patriot when he melodramatically laments the race, gender or sexuality breakdown of fictional characters. Sad.

 

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

29 comments

  1. I saw the i09 article the other day and was hoping you’d comment on it. These SJW clowns need to be called out on their BS and mocked relentlessly. It’s your typical SJW article: filled with white guilt and buzzwords like “racist” and “cultural appropriation.” That last concept is such BS. That’s how you learn about other cultures, through their pop culture and customs. It’s not “stealing.” It’s called being interested in aspects of a culture. Is someone who likes anime (and I know plenty of people who do) “stealing” or “appropriating” Japanese culture? Absolutely not. They just like anime and maybe through it they’ve learned a bit about Japan. Is someone who does yoga (I don’t, but again I know people who do) “stealing” Hindu/Buddhist culture? No. It’s just ridiculous. Unless you’re a University in Canada, and you ban it because white people are using it to “commit cultural genocide” or some such nonsense.

    Also, there are plenty of white people who know martial arts. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I know people who do. A former classmate of mine (who was also on the wrestling team with me in 9th grade) does mixed martial arts now. I could literally list dozens of examples proving Bricken wrong.

    And I also see that Bricken is bellyaching over the “white savior” trope. SJWs hate that. Never mind that the savior trope has been a part of many different cultures over the years and many religions are based around such a thing. No, it’s “racist” to these clowns. He notes that it wasn’t a “problem” in the ’70s.. well, back then, people didn’t get worked up a fictional character’s race and generally had more important things to do. SJWs like him would’ve been institutionalized back then. My dad knew people just like him growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, and back then people actually were willing to call them out.

    And sorry, Bricken, I’m not going to apologize for watching and enjoying martial arts movies.

    1. “That’s how you learn about other cultures, through their pop culture and customs. It’s not ‘stealing.’ It’s called being interested in aspects of a culture.”

      Rob Bricken, whether he wants to admit it or not, is a lot like Kanye “Please do not comment on black music anymore” West. Social Justice Obsessives complain when you allegedly don’t pay enough attention to [insert aggrieved group here], and then they complain you allegedly pay too much attention to them. One day you’re a racist for not praising the Kanyes of the world, and then the next day “white publications” are told to by the same people to shut up and go away.

      These are petulant children, intellectually immature goofs who have no idea what they really want. They’re blindly led by their emotions, but because they’re in adult bodies they are a legitimate problem. You can put a baby in its crib and close the door. Unfortunately, each Bricken and West has a political counterpart trying to control your life.

      It’s one thing to say, “I don’t like that Iron Fist is white. I wish he were an alien.” It’s different to say “Iron Fist should have never been white.” No thanks, Mr. Thought Police. If I want to write a story about a white guy who learns Kung Fu and saves the world, then I’ll do that and it should be that way because it’s my story.

      I know you’re working on your book, Carl. I can see someone like Bricken reading it and saying, “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. This is a travesty. Carl’s main character should have never been white.” My response to that is not very nice, so I guess I’ll just hold my tongue.

    2. “It’s one thing to say, “I don’t like that Iron Fist is white. I wish he were an alien.” It’s different to say “Iron Fist should have never been white.” No thanks, Mr. Thought Police. If I want to write a story about a white guy who learns Kung Fu and saves the world, then I’ll do that and it should be that way because it’s my story.”

      Same here. It’s my story, so I decide who the protagonist is and what he or she looks like. I’m sure the SJWs will have ulcers if I ever publish my book because the protagonist is- GASP!- a straight white guy, just like me. It’ll piss off the SJW crowd, but I really don’t care.

      “I know you’re working on your book, Carl. I can see someone like Bricken reading it and saying, “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. This is a travesty. Carl’s main character should have never been white.” My response to that is not very nice, so I guess I’ll just hold my tongue.”

      I actually finished it last week! I wrote it longhand over a period of seven months and I just started typing it up this morning! But yeah, I can see the Brickens of the world saying like that. Like you, my response to that is not very nice, either.

      Speaking of things that piss off the SJWs, I thought you might be interested in reading this, Doug:

      http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

      This talks about an author whose publisher dropped him because an SJW editor didn’t approve of the story he’d written.

    3. “I actually finished it last week! I wrote it longhand over a period of seven months and I just started typing it up this morning!”

      Great news, man! It sounds like things are coming together for you. I’m really happy to hear it.

      In regards to that book by Nick Cole, that is a crazy story… How ironic is it that editors at Harper Collins now act like something out of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”?

    4. I’ve been typing it up the past couple of days, though initially I was busy with other things so I didn’t get the chance to for a week. I’ve also started a sequel. My hope is for it to be an ongoing series. It’s sort of a superhero tale, although it’s more of a contemporary fantasy with elements from “Harry Potter,” “The Dresden Files,” “James Bond” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (the movie, not the comic) thrown in.

  2. As a fan of Iron Fist i’m happy that Marvel had at least tried to cast an actor that resemble Danny Rand, but for this clown i’m a racist. If he is so offended by racism why he doesn’t do some social work to help people that suffer for real racism instead of writing bull—t on internet?
    P.S. Also the white saviour tropes is another bull—t talking about Iron Fist, in the comics he adopt and respect another culture, he doesn’t act like a sort of colonialist trying to change other people culture.

    1. “If he is so offended by racism why he doesn’t do some social work to help people that suffer for real racism instead of writing bull—t on internet?”

      Because that takes actual work and sacrifice.

      P.S. Also the white saviour tropes is another bull—t talking about Iron Fist, in the comics he adopt and respect another culture, he doesn’t act like a sort of colonialist trying to change other people culture.

      I remember when learning from other cultures and respecting them was a good thing. Now doing that makes you an evil racist, no better than Bull Connor or Strom Thurmond.

    2. “I remember when learning from other cultures and respecting them was a good thing. Now doing that makes you an evil racist…”

      Don’t enjoy that anime too much, rawlenyanzi. If the video games you design are too close to that style, then i09 will accuse you of appropriating Japanese culture. 😉

    3. Don’t enjoy that anime too much, rawlenyanzi. If the video games you design are too close to that style, then i09 will accuse you of appropriating Japanese culture. 😉

      Heh. I suppose so. 🙂

  3. Man I used to like Rob’s Topless Robot site… shame he got his head stuck after a few years.

    The Karate Kid, … where a white guy discovers a foreign culture, learns its ways, and becomes better at it than the people born into it.

    Did… did he even watch the Karate Kid? (heck watching it nowadays it could be argued that Daniel is a minority beating up on some Aryan youths, I’m surprised it’s not a cultural treasure to some SJWs)

  4. Perhaps we can start an SJW controversy right here. Psylocke is set to be a major character in the upcoming X-Men movie. But as we all know, Betsy Braddock’s origins are that she is a white English (or British) woman transported into a Chinese woman’s body.

    This is SJW gold because there are so many ways to go with this. Is it cultural appropriation? And if it is, is it cultural appropriation of Oriental culture or British culture? Is Olivia Munn the “right” ethnicity to be playing Psylocke? Should Munn be more white or more Chinese? Is Psylocke an example of the patriarchy creating a fantasy woman? . . .

    And so forth.

    1. “Perhaps we can start an SJW controversy right here. Psylocke is set to be a major character in the upcoming X-Men movie. But as we all know, Betsy Braddock’s origins are that she is a white English (or British) woman transported into a Chinese woman’s body. This is SJW gold because there are so many ways to go with this.”

      I think it would be incredibly easy to become a “mole” of sorts in the SJW and cause all sorts of hilarious in-house drama. The list of “rules” and grievances the have are tied into a giant ball of knots. You don’t have to fool around the string to much to create additional knots. Heh.

  5. There’s a whole other angle here too:

    Bricken decides to become a spokesman himself for Asian equality and shows the kind of preening, patronizing yet typical entertainment racist liberal he is.

    The bane of Asians in cinema isn’t being replaced in martial arts shows, it’s getting typecast into martial arts shows. I’ve made this point before here: These liberal’s don’t have a problem with de-humanizing roles, especially desexualizing Asian males, and paying lip service to every actual racist stereotype that they helped develop in the first place.

    I could probably commit suicide by holding my breath waiting for Bricken to ask why an Asian isn’t cast in a romantic lead, why an Asian wasn’t considered for a recent high impact drama, or cast in various other non-martial arts roles…but for the stereotypical Asian martial artist? LETS GO.

    I don’t need anything from Hollywood other than to be entertained. If I really need to see an Asian martial artist, the market is aggressively saturated if I just look outside of CONUS. Some of it is pretty good, and I love Asian movies (especially triad and crazy korean action) of every stripe. This is what I’ve been saying to Oscar protesters…start making movies that get you off the stereotype bandwagon…if the only movies that get you Oscar notice are movies that involve racism, the ghetto and…well…more racism?! maybe you need different movies. Just no more after-earth.

    Let me leave you all with this on cultural appropriation: My niece is a big time liberal. I also love her very much and despite our political differences she’s very special to me, very compassionate and loving human being. Her and a friend were complaining about cultural appropriation (they are white). They were talking about white people wearing the dress of other cultures. She asked me: “Uncle, wouldn’t it bother you if guys were wearing the clothes of your people?” My response: “If you decided to wear a Baro’t Saya at your wedding, or anywhere else, you would be so beautiful and I would be so honored by you. Few things in this world would make me more happy”

    that was the end of cultural appropriation for her. A small victory.

    1. “If I really need to see an Asian martial artist, the market is aggressively saturated if I just look outside of CONUS. Some of it is pretty good, and I love Asian movies (especially triad and crazy korean action) of every stripe.”

      I may have mentioned this on another post, but my wife and I enjoy watching foreign marital arts films on Sunday nights. When the social justice types were complaining an asian Danny Rand would be stereotyping I thought, “Have they ever watched anything other than American cinema? I thought liberals were supposed to be more worldly. I guess not. Sad.”

      “[My niece] asked me: ‘Uncle, wouldn’t it bother you if guys were wearing the clothes of your people?’ My response: ‘If you decided to wear a Baro’t Saya at your wedding, or anywhere else, you would be so beautiful and I would be so honored by you. Few things in this world would make me more happy.’ That was the end of cultural appropriation for her. A small victory.”

      Nice! I find it weird when white (usually liberal) men and women try to speak on behalf of all [insert minority group here]. My wife is an adult. She doesn’t need the Rob Brickens out there act like her spokesperson.

      Totally unrelated racial side-note: My wife and I went to a Chinese noodle restaurant today and the server gave her chopsticks and me a fork. We just started laughing and when he left I was like, “I see what you did there, buddy. Touché. Nonetheless, I will eat with this darn fork.”

    1. “Ha, I love how you brought up the hypocrisy that a character’s skin is only essential if he’s not white. Great post Doug.”

      Thanks, Lenny. I’ve noticed that when the double-standard is pointed out to the social justice crowd they just sort of change the subject.

  6. I read that piece on io9, and was actually encouraged when I looked at the comments section and saw that everyone else picked up on the obvious: isn’t it quite racist to argue that only Asian actors should be cast in martial arts roles? At least with this, the io9 community isn’t the hive mind I thought they might be. Love the blog, always love your perspective!

    1. “I read that piece on io9, and was actually encouraged when I looked at the comments section and saw that everyone else picked up on the obvious: isn’t it quite racist to argue that only Asian actors should be cast in martial arts roles?”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, gallagher619. I really appreciate it. Yes, I noticed the comments section of i09 as well and was similarly encouraged. I think a lot of people who were initially on board with the social-justice bandwagon are finally realizing the totalitarian nature of the movement’s activists.

  7. “Because Iron Fist never should have been white in the first place.”

    Bricken is not fit to lick the shoes of Roy Thomas and the late Gil Kane, let alone suggest that he knows what should’ve been done with one of their characters. After all, he thoroughly demonstrated in that piece that he is completely inept. I honestly wonder if Bricken even has the slightest idea who Iron Fist is and didn’t just do a cursory glance at Wikipedia before writing his SJW piece. After all, no one who is even remotely familiar with the character would’ve penned that slop.

    And man, Bricken’s gonna be pissed when he finds out that Bruce Wayne also trained at martial arts. Curious, though. I tried running some Google searches just now and get this: I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding posts of Bricken condemning Marvel/Disney for casting Tilda Swinton as Dr. Strange’s Ancient One. Funny how Bricken gets on his high horse about a white man being cast to play a white character, but he apparently doesn’t bat an eye over an old Asian man being race lifted into a white woman. Food for thought.

  8. Editor’s Note to the guy whose comment I just deleted: Even if I agree with your overall message that SJWs have a poisonous philosophy, there are certain standards to the comments section that are not up for debate.

    Look at how my regular readers present themselves and then consider the vulgarity you tried to introduce yourself with today. That doesn’t fly around here.

  9. Thanks for linking me here, sir. Man, that was a hundred times WORSE than the one from Hitflix. Is… is this “Rob Bricken” person even for real? He’s like a living satire of everything that’s wrong with the SJW movement.

    So, as an East Asian man, am I now supposed to be racist against my own kind ’cause I just happen to like Caucasian people from an aesthetic sense and would actually prefer starring them in whatever type of fiction I might write, much less one that uses “cultural appropriation”? Good grief… If the sociopolitical climate is THIS bad in the new tens, I dread to think of what may happen in the following decades…

    1. “Is…is this “Rob Bricken” person even for real? He’s like a living satire of everything that’s wrong with the SJW movement.”

      Haha. Oh yes, these guys are very real. We are now living in a world where it’s almost impossible to tell satire from reality. If you can come up with something weird and insane, then there is a good chance activist-writers will soon embrace the idea. 😉

      “So, as an East Asian man, am I now supposed to be racist against my own kind ’cause I just happen to like Caucasian people from an aesthetic sense and would actually prefer starring them in whatever type of fiction I might write, much less one that uses ‘cultural appropriation’? Good grief … If the sociopolitical climate is THIS bad in the new tens, I dread to think of what may happen in the following decades…”

      You are guilty of Mind Crime. If Mr. Bricken had the ability to send a Tom Cruise-ish Minority Report squad to your home for re-education, then you would be a prime target. Heh.

      I met my wife at college years ago, and she was telling me how her first week at USC she was approached by these SJW-like Asian clubs. She went to a couple meetings and was like, “I had to get away from them. They just sat around all day and talked about what it meant to be Asian. It was so weird. They thought it was odd that I dated white guys. It was uncomfortable.”

      Whether they’re black or white or hispanic or asian, the SJW crowd has a way of freaking your average person out. Most people don’t go around all day obsessing on race or “micro-aggressions.” Most of us just meet new people and if the person is cool then we become friends. We don’t have racial and cultural litmus tests or police our friend’s language. Sadly, I think we are in for some strange days ahead.

    2. “Haha. Oh yes, these guys are very real. We are now living in a world where it’s almost impossible to tell satire from reality. If you can come up with something weird and insane, then there is a good chance activist-writers will soon embrace the idea.”

      I seem to recall a time when satire used to be a highly effective tool in combating these kinds of stupidity, but clearly that’s no longer the case in an age that’s populated by braindead millennials and their all-too-precious “sensitivity”. Although, being born in 1988, I guess there’s an argument to be made that I’m technically one of them too. Sigh.

      “You are guilty of Mind Crime. If Mr. Bricken had the ability to send a Tom Cruise-ish Minority Report squad to your home for re-education, then you would be a prime target. Heh.”

      God, give me strength…

      “I met my wife at college years ago, and she was telling me how her first week at USC she was approached by these SJW-like Asian clubs. She went to a couple meetings and was like, “I had to get away from them. They just sat around all day and talked about what it meant to be Asian. It was so weird. They thought it was odd that I dated white guys. It was uncomfortable.”

      I’m glad for her. She refused to have anything to do with the crazies. Sadly, I can’t say the same for my 1996-born sister. We used to get along well as kids and even played together a lot, be it video games or backyard sports. But something… changed when she started attending college and slowly became more and more obsessed with her laptop, to the point where my last memories of us living together recalls her glued in front of that thing 24/7, only taking breaks during meals. At first, I thought it was simply the stress of her course, but her changing demeanor would later convince me that something was definitely up. She would start making passive-aggressive remarks against me and the characters we used to adore when we were kids (e.g. Spider-man, Wolverine, Bats), citing grievances about the plight of female superheroes… characters she was never even into before as far as I reckon. Eventually, things just got so weird (and uncomfortable) that I finally had to convince our parents to let me move out, and the two of us have only had sporadic encounters ever since… most of which I tend to cut short. I don’t know exactly what happened, but that strange little chapter in my life convinced me to look more into this whole SJW phenomena and its possible long-term effects on society… and indeed, the world at large. I should mention, I’m a Filipino, and the whole SJW pandemic hasn’t exactly breached us the way it did the western hemisphere (yet), but if my sister’s behavior is a sign, not to mention the fact that our country continues to heavily endorse American media… then I fear for the possible future.

      “Whether they’re black or white or hispanic or asian, the SJW crowd has a way of freaking your average person out. Most people don’t go around all day obsessing on race or ‘micro-aggressions.’ Most of us just meet new people and if the person is cool then we become friends. We don’t have racial and cultural litmus tests or police our friend’s language. Sadly, I think we are in for some strange days ahead.”

      I just pray that what is considered the “average person” now doesn’t become the “oddball” someday. If such a reality should ever come to pass, then humanity has declared itself a lost cause as a species.

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