Guest Sites: Racism towards Native Americans and Blacks

9 Aug

So there are things so racist that it’s hard to even consider them racist. (you’ve heard that somewhere before, trust me). Bet you weren’t familiar with ‘ Rastus Robot, the Mechanical Negro from 1931 ‘…no… me neither.

Looks harmless today. If this was Rustus the gay negro there would be murders and riots however. 1931 thought, the thought process was much much different.

Couple years ago they had an mechanical negro in the movie Transformers 2.

Mechanical Negro….


n the early 1930s Westinghouse created a robot named Rastus, the “mechanical Negro.” And what was Rastus going to do? Nearly take an arrow to the eye, it would seem. The photo above appeared in the September 6, 1931 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) and shows Samuel Montgomery Kintner playing William Tell with the robot.(thank you guest site ‘Paleofuture’)

It happened and it may have not been racist at all. Just a Sci-Fi experient and a play on William Tell. (Or so it may seem holding arrow to peoples heads and stuff, ya mean ?)

Mr. S. M. Kintner, of the Westinghouse Research Laboratories, creates a mechanical Negro known as “Rastus Robot.” Mr. Kintner is here enacting a modern scientific version of the famous episode of William Tell, who shot the apple from his son’s head. In this demonstration a flash of light is sent out from a tiny bulb concealed in the arrow, the light is picked up by an “electric eye” on “Rastus,” which ignites a charge of powder that blows the apple from the robot’s head. The arrow does not leave the bow.”

Native Americans Racism (but really stereotypes portrayed in games) -by Dorkly

(edited by Cezl)

If you haven’t been to the Dorkly website and you like video games then you are missing out.

The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Stereotypical Native American Characters in Fighting Game History

It takes a lot to make a good fighting game. You need a balanced roster, engaging graphics, and a style that is both fun to pick up and play, yet rewards dedication and practice. But, most importantly, you need one Native American stereotype. No more, no less. Here’s our tribute to the characters that filled that mandatory diversity spot on their respective rosters.

7. Julia / Michelle Chang, Tekken

Reason for entering tournament: Everyone wants their tribe’s magic amulet.
Special Moves: Twin Arrow, Snake Step

Michelle discovered Julia as a baby, though if you were just judging on strategy guides you’d swear they were related by blood. They have the same fighting style, combos, and special moves. Michelle starred in the first two Tekken games, but was replaced by her daughter because Tekken actually has a timeline that moves forward and it would be completely unrealistic if an older woman was competing in the Tekken tournament.

6. Wolf Hawkfield, Virtua Fighter (Remember him)

Reason for entering tournament: Ominous prophecy
Special moves: Virtua Fighter doesn’t really have special moves (or racially motivated ones at that)

Wolf Hawkfield employed the fighting style most familiar to the game’s target audience, professional wrestling. While not technically Native American, he was a First Nations woodsman who achieved fame as a pro-wrestler, (somewhat like a Canadian Tatanka <<<<remember Tatanka).

5. Black Hawk, Samurai Shodown

Reason for entering tournament: Shaman told him to.
Special Moves: Tomahawk Swing, Double Tomahawk, Hawk Dive

The bar for Native American costume design in fighting games has been set so embarrassingly low, the first one that shows up wearing a shirt will probably win some kind of humanitarian prize. That winner will not be Black Hawk, from Samurai Shodown. Granted, Samurai Shodown is set in the 18th century, so his dress is period-appropriate, even though science tells us that shirt technology existed back then. But “Black Hawk”? When you’re naming your token Native American character, why are “hawk” and “wolf” the only animals that come to mind?

4. Rick Strowd, Fatal Fury (You don’t remember him)

Reason for entering tournament: Heard the call of the wind.
Special Moves: Blazing Sun Burst, Machine-Gun Wolf

Welcome to Videogame Cultural Sensitivity Training. Pop Quiz: If you were a young, athletic, Native American man with a forte for boxing, where would you naturally make your living? If you said a casino, then shame on you, we expected better. Also, congratulations! You’re exactly right according to Real Bout Fatal Fury 2. Rick Strowd spent ten years as a casino show boxer until “nature’s voice” called him away to become an unpopular bit character in a difficult-to-follow fighting game franchise. It was good advice: Rick had everything a Native American needs to win a fictional multinational fighting tournament: a deep-yet-undefined spiritual connection with nature, gratuitous body paint, and a coupon for discount crab legs at the casino buffet. Unfortunately, he was bumped out of the next game and hasn’t appeared in a mainstream title since. The Japanese developers said it was because Rick wasn’t “interesting” enough, which, oddly, is the same excuse American frontiersmen used whenever they poured concrete over an Indian burial ground to make room for a new whorehouse.

3. Thunder Hawk, Street Fighter

Reason for entering tournament: To reclaim his tribe’s land (from M. Bison) / rescue his kidnapped sister (from M. Bison)
Special Moves: Rising Hawk, Diving Hawk, Mexican Typhoon

Super Street Fighter II brought one more adjective and a few new characters into the SF mix, including Dee Jay (Breakdancing-type), Cammy (thong-type), and Thunder Hawk (stereotype-type). Like most characters on this list, T. Hawk’s name came out of a Native American-themed word jumble. Looking at his character design, two things jump to mind: First, his feathered headband and warpaint: clearly a man in touch with the spirit of the land. Second, jesus christ what is wrong with his body. His bio lists him at 7’7” and 360 lbs, and 90% of that is upper torso.

2. Nightwolf, Mortal Kombat

Reason for entering tournament: Become the ultimate shaman and guide Liu Kang back from the spirit world.
Special Moves: Tomahawk Chop, Spirit Arrow

You probably assumed that because Nightwolf has a move called the “tomahawk chop,” he’s just another Native American caricature who walks around with tomahawks. Well it looks like you owe an apology to the 10-year-old boy whose job it is to design new Mortal Kombat characters. Nightwolf is completely different. Instead of carrying around actual axes, Nightwolf is so in touch with spirits and elders and you know, energy, that he can form tomahawks out of green ectoplasm. He can also create a bow and arrow for a projectile attack. He’s like Green Lantern, if Green Lantern’s ring could only make things that would appear on a Family Feud board under “Things Native Americans Had.”

1. Chief Thunder, Killer Instinct

Reason for entering tournament: Looking for his brother, Eagle (that’s not his brother, an eagle, and a third thing we forgot to type. His brother’s name is “Eagle.”)
Special Moves: Tomahawk, Phoenix Dive

Despite his Native American heritage, what Chief Thunder really reflects is 1994. He has the facepaint of The Crow, the pants of a Bret Hart, and the mohawk of a punk from the the Ninja Turtles cartoon. He is easily the stupidest looking character on this list, and that’s saying something. Chief Thunder holds another dubious honor – he is one of three characters from Killer Instinct who didn’t make the cut for Killer Instinct 2. Do you know how hard it is to get cut from a fighting game? Traditionally, they only add more and more characters until gamers stop paying attention and they reboot it to the original characters everyone loved. Killer Instinct’s problem? That requires original characters everyone loved. It was a game with a lot of hype and solid gameplay, but characters like Chief Thunder and Eyedol held it back from the pantheon. That’s right, Chief Thunder didn’t even have the worst name in Killer Instinct.

Ok so I reeled you in with the racism, but it is more stereotypical…but equally outrageous if you were a Native American though. Like all they do is have mohawks, shoot bow and arrows and have face paint….

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