Tuesday, June 1, 2021

*Kung Fu and Bow & Arrow Accessories Sold Separately


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Rasheed, Muhammad. "*Kung Fu and Bow & Arrow Accessories Sold Separately." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 01 Jun 2021. Pen & ink w/Adobe Photoshop color.

This #MRasheedCartoons image was created as the cover illustration to a lengthy dialog I engaged in over at the official FB group for the The Destroyer, the men's adventure pulp novel series created by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir. Back in the day, as the story goes, Murphy had an encounter with a Black woman that he considered his friend, and he ended up creating a character of her in the series. Nothing serious, just a rather standard 'blaxploitation' era "tough cookie" type that Murphy initially used to satirize the affirmative action/diversity & inclusion political trends. After that, unfortunately, he started making moves to keep the character around as a regular, building a sexual tension between her and Remo Williams (not dissimilar to that between Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Max Cherry). Eventually, he would change his mind or whatever and the character was written out 4 or 5 novels later.

In the FB group, I had quickly grown tired of reading about the white fans' ad nauseam fetish-lust posts about her, and suggested that we can finally let that shit go, please. Naturally, they disagreed, but at least I formally laid out my case for the record.


Muhammad Rasheed - Y'all need to let Ruby Jackson Gonzalez go. The entire point of the character was to make fun of the "affirmative action/diversity hire/blaxploitation" scam. To keep her around beyond that gag will just transform her into an "exotic fetish chick" and it's crap.

There's enough of that bullsh*t in mass media genre. I cringe every time her name comes up... ugh. The "exotic fetish chick" genre trope does NOT prove you "don't judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," it just means you are lusting over the "exotic fetish chick." That's it.

Gerald Welch - Nah, Warren was thinking about bringing her back and i wanted to know what she's up to these days.

Had no idea she's only an exotic chick.

Muhammad Rasheed - Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy was from the very last generation you would want to get that kind of advice from. You may as well had talked to Edgar Rice Burroughs about it. lol

Gerald Welch - She was based on someone he knew and cared about. I never got a bad vibe from him when he discussed her. She was a strong person in real life whoever she was and he admired that.

Muhammad Rasheed - Sure.

Moving on.

Cory Strode - @Muhammad... He said it in multiple interviews as well as in The Assassin's Handbook.

Muhammad Rasheed - Guys, I already know what he SAID.

Justifications by a particular author do not change the nature of that particular trope in pop culture. Let that bullsh*t go.

Clark Willis - @Muhammad... I like you; I respect you; I'd even like to be your friend. BUT, you see racism everywhere, even when it's not there.

Muhammad Rasheed - Racism does fall on a spectrum, Clark... some expressions of it actually are milder than some others, but when grouped together as a full campaign that effects generations of people, it's devastating. By design.

Isolating one of the mildest pieces and pretending that racism isn't real at all, is a gaslight technique, assuming you aren't serious.

Clark Willis - I never said racism doesn't exist; that would be ridiculous.

Muhammad Rasheed - There are some expressions of racism that are less obviously harsh than others. Just because some of those milder forms don't seem that bad to you doesn't mean they still aren't racism.

"Diversity & Inclusion" politics is tokenistic racism designed to shut up the activists without making any real changes. "Look... here's a painting of a black woman on this pancake box! Now there's magically LESS racism!"

Brian Woodman - I respectfully disagree. Well she got her job with the CIA due in part to affirmative action, the joke is on the government – – she is fit her job regardless of good intentions. Plus she carried her weight and was a likable character. She was kind of a meathead to the two Archie bunkers that were Remo and Chuin. I also don’t think that being black qualifies as exotic anymore. Kerry Washington is a sex symbol because she is beautiful not because she’s black

Muhammad Rasheed - You're respectfully disagreeing from a very specific political angle, Brian, not from objective analysis. That specific political angle -- built from concepts of integration, assimilation, tokenism -- that do not show Black people in a good light at all, is the very point of this thread.

Re: Kerry Washington, the entire point of the Scandal show's core theme is the fetishism inherent in interracial relationships, that's why it's a political button.

Brian Woodman - I am ashamed to admit I’ve never actually watched scandal. I just think Ms. Washington is rather nice looking

Muhammad Rasheed - OF COURSE she's nice-looking! And so is Ruby Gonzalez!

Did you think my point was that we should let that trope go because they are ugly?

Brian Woodman - I understand your point about racial politics being mired in unwanted identification tropes. But when voodoo die was written, affirmative action was a point of discussion. Government agencies like the CIA were in the pressure to hire within a certain framework. Plopping that on the table to dissect or satirize is fair game. Let’s face it. Race, gender, sexual orientation are topics of discussion in this country even though we should have progressed past them. That is our reality.

Brian Woodman - I don’t think Ms. Washington is attractive because she fits some exotic cyst fantasy of mine. I think she has nice cheekbones and beautiful eyes and full lips and a nice figure.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian wrote: "Plopping that on the table to dissect or satirize is fair game."

That's why I said that once that gag was played out in the novel, it was time to move on. Holding on to the character beyond its expiry turned into something different... something different we've seen a million times over the course of European Imperialism conquering.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian wrote: "I think she has nice cheekbones and beautiful eyes and full lips and a nice figure."


Brian Woodman - I think there’s a fine line between celebrating diversity and observing otherness. Sometimes it is a fine line. I have a good friend who is African-American and people keep telling him how articulate he is. He finds that annoying and as a white person I find it embarrassing.

Muhammad Rasheed - That's 100% relevant to this discussion just from a different angle. The very reason people do that to him has a direct line to treating the women of his ethnic group in a certain way, too.

Brian Woodman - I think that Ruby has some value to the series as a former member of cure and a seasoned CIA agent. Well that is just my opinion

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian wrote: "Race, gender, sexual orientation are topics of discussion in this country even though we should have progressed past them."


"Should have" progressed pass them how and in what way and based on what exactly?

Brian Woodman - And as far as Miss Washington’s beauty, I guess I will just drop the topic. I have said I’m gonna say about it

Brian Woodman - What I mean by that is that I wish race wasn’t such a hot button topic and that we lived in a better world. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian wrote: "I think that Ruby has some value to the series as a former member of cure and a seasoned CIA agent."

Value to CURE? More than Conn MacCleary did? They killed him off in the first hour of the org's mission.

What realistic value does she bring considering we have the Folcroft Four, Dr. Smith and the House of Sinanju? She's just brown, sassy eye-candy, dude.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian wrote: "What I mean by that is that I wish race wasn’t such a hot button topic and that we lived in a better world."

Trust that I wish that, too, which is the point of activism.

Muhammad Rasheed - I would honestly prefer to spend all my time talking about cartoons and the knives of eternity and magic power pills hidden in a ring and only silver bullets will work and et cetera, but the more I learn I recognize that I am obligated to do my part to make the world better for my kids. Ignoring the problems and magically waiting for them to change on their own isn't how life works.

Brian Woodman - Understood. I guess people occasionally disagree on particulars.

Kowalskistein Jiminez Yamazuka - That kinda sounds like rationalizing for PC & cancel culture type thought processes.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Kowalskistein... It sounds like you're saying that the world is perfect and should be left as is and we should only talk positively about what white men want to talk about. Ever.

Rob Floyd - I always read Ruby as a strong, cool character that could hold her own and Remo respected....the Detroyer's Pam Grier.

Muhammad Rasheed - Rob wrote: "as a strong, cool character that could hold her own"

That's part of the tokenism checklist. lol If she were created in the 2000s she'd have a bow & arrow...

Rob Floyd - sorry, it the way it reads to me...

Muhammad Rasheed - She's supposed to read as a sassy, "strong, cool character that could hold her own" because that's the entire point of that trope.

Victor Donald Smith - As the series always was satire at the heart of it, many of the groups that have been used can and often also claim exploitation. I have seen that many times. It seems rather small to select one character as the 'worst' when is you take satire seriously all if is exploitative. Such is what satire means.

Muhammad Rasheed - Victor wrote: "It seems rather small to select one character as the 'worst'"

Oh, there's definitely items that are worst than this one. This is just a pet peeve I wanted to address in this particular post after I read a reference to her earlier.

James Onofrio - I realize this a fan based group, but when a person keeps arguing regardless of what anyone else says, I read Troll. And no, I’m not exploiting trolls. 😃

Muhammad Rasheed - James wrote: "regardless of what anyone else says"

What was said that should have ended the argument in your opinion? Bearing in mind, the only reason I'm bringing it up is to share my own opinion from a different point-of-view clearly different from that of you guys' demographic.

Am I to understand that you don't give a shit about anybody else's opinion outside of how your demographic thinks, particularly about women in other ethnic groups/races?

Shelby Rhodes - You ought to go take it up with Pam Grier for her part in starting any sort of "trope." It would be more meaningful than complaining about a minor character who guest starred in a handful of few 70's adventure novels.

Muhammad Rasheed - Shelby wrote: "You ought to go take it up with Pam Grier for her part in starting any sort of 'trope'"

Why would an exploited party be blamed for the creation of a concept designed to exploit them?

Talking to someone in the film industry about the general principle isn't more meaningful that talking to my fellow True Fans of a specific property about the same concept reflected in these works. We're in the community group together to discuss together the different parts of the work that bring us together. Discussing the negative aspects of "a minor character who guest starred in a handful of few 70's adventure novels" is every bit as relevant as discussing you all's never-ending 'exotic fetish chick' lust posts about her.

David Crouch - This post made me realize that I no longer recall what came of the reporter woman? Something like Cheeta Ching?

James Onofrio - @David... ask the author’s, they’re the ones that exploited a Korean-American journalist. 😃

Muhammad Rasheed - lol Pretty sure a "model minority" group isn't being exploited considering they have one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington DC and can get specific laws bearing their names passed in a matter of weeks without the usual jackasses screaming, "No, ALLLLLL lives matter!!!" type bs at them.

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