Links of Interest: Americans Attack Australians in “Red Dawn,” and Romney is Only Pro-Choice Because the Mormon Church Told Him it was OK to Pretend

First, on the “Hollywood is being racist again” front:’s Review of the New Red Dawn Remake reviews the new remake of Red Dawn, which is a lovely story of yellow peril.  The best bit is how the (white) American protagonists are played by Australians, and the formerly-Chinese-redubbed-to-North-Koreans-cause-that’s-not-offensive-right? antagonists are all played by Americans.  You know, Asian-Americans.  Because those do exist.  Choice quotes:

All of the Wolverines of color die except for one. […]  The white characters and characters of color are put in equally dangerous situations. It’s just that the story bullets just happen to hit brown kids, and the character development lines just happen to go to the white kids.

In Red Dawn, Washington patriots must defend their home by driving out Asian invaders—an unrealistic scenario that has never occurred in history. The historic scenario was essentially the exact opposite: The citizens of Washington, driven by racism, invaded and burned down entire Asian American communities and drove Asian Americans from their homes and out of the State, forcing them onto trains to Oregon.

The foreign invaders are played by American actors, while two of the focal American heroes are depicted by Australians.

It’s also weird that although the Red Dawn remake is set in Spokane, WA and depicts African American residents of Spokane, it doesn’t depict any Asian or Latino Spokane residents (there are more Latinos and Asians in Spokane than African Americans, so you’d think they’d be impacted, too…) The State of Washington is pretty diverse and has a long Asian American history. Washington State also boasts the first governor of a state in the Continental United States of Asian descent, and the only Chinese American in history to serve as a governor […] Seven percent of Washington is Asian American.

[A] 2009 survey of the “general population” of the United States found that 45% of Americans believe Asian Americans are more loyal to their countries of ancestry than to the U.S., up from 37% in the 2001 survey and 20% believe Asian Americans do not care what happens to anyone but their own kind. This is worrisome because at least 28% of the general population of the United States reports rarely or never interacting with Asian Americans—so there are no real life interactions to counter the stereotypes presented Red Dawn (2012).

Come on, you’d think they’d at least throw in an Asian-American protagonist on the U.S. side.

Next, on the Mitt Romney and women’s rights front, this is fascinating:

An Interview with Judy Dushku About Mitt Romney

Judy Dushku, political activist, women’s rights advocate, and Mormon, speaks candidly about her personal interactions with Mitt Romney—particularly concerning his regard for women and for people who are more disadvantaged than he is.  Choice quotes:

I felt that he wanted to tell me what I needed without my input. He did not want to hear what I said.

“Yes, I’m definitely for choice,” he said. And I said, “Great, we agree on that.” Then, he said, “In Salt Lake, they told me it was okay to take that position in a liberal state.”

He once said to me, “Judy, I don’t know why you keep coming to church. You are not my kind of Mormon.”

If you were ever at a ward party and sat down with your plate of food and found yourself at a table with Mitt and five other men, you would just expect that you wouldn’t be in the conversation. No one was particularly unkind, but there was an in-group made of up those who were in the circle of male leaders—many Harvard Business School types—and their wives.

One told me that he put Mormon women to work only in a particular place in the campaign. She said, “Sister Dushku, you’re right. He treats women from outside [of Mormonism] wonderfully and with such respect. Women from the New York Times and businesses in Boston come, and he is the most respectful and relaxed person. He says ‘hi’ to us but we are so clearly on the sidelines. We’re not criticizing him, and we still support him, but we do think of you when it happens.”

2 thoughts on “Links of Interest: Americans Attack Australians in “Red Dawn,” and Romney is Only Pro-Choice Because the Mormon Church Told Him it was OK to Pretend

  1. InMyBook

    Remind me not to see the new Red Dawn remake. Talk about anti-Asian racism.

    I don’t get that survey of the “general population” of America finding that so many people consider Asians to be partial to their countries of ancestry and their “own kind.” They do not specify whether these Asians are new immigrants or third-generation Americans, but doesn’t that make a difference? It is ridiculous to speculate that Asian Americans care any more about their countries of ancestry or their “own kind” than any other Americans. This certainly has not been my experience.

  2. slhuang Post author

    They do not specify whether these Asians are new immigrants or third-generation Americans, but doesn’t that make a difference?

    Apparently not. It seems there is a large chunk of the American population that thinks Asians are all loyal to somewhere else, even if they were born here.

    I’m guessing that these attitudes vary widely regionally. I have friends from the Midwest who had never known an Asian person in real life until they moved. Some communities are very insular and have little to no racial diversity — which is a very, very good reason for us to be conscious of evenly balanced portrayals of characters of color in media, because sometimes popular media is the only exposure people get to other races. It’s a vicious cycle: Hollywood stereotypes race, people internalize those stereotypes, people express attitudes that think along those stereotypes, Hollywood thinks that people want to see more of those stereotypes, Hollywood produces more of those stereotypes, and it all circles around again.

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