The Corner

PC Culture

Racist Orcs Redux

The brouhaha over The Lord of The Rings being racist because of its depiction of orcs has me feeling deeply nostalgic (Kat Timpf has the details here).

This was a controversy over 15 years ago when the movies first came out (they were also decried for their pro-Western warmongering). I wrote about it here in 2002. An excerpt:

Sigh. Okay, yes, it’s true. Many of the Orcs (and the super-Orcs) are dark-skinned and have slant-eyes. They are also — how shall I put this? — Orcs! Ya frickin’ idjit!

One is tempted to ask who is the real racist here? On the one hand we have people — like me — who see horrific, flesh-eating, dull-witted creatures with jagged feral teeth, venomous mouths, pointed devilish ears, and reptilian skin, and say, “Cool, Orcs!” On the other hand we have people, like Mr. Yatt, who see the same repugnant creatures and righteously exclaim “black people!” Maybe he should spend less time vetting movies for signs of racism and more time vetting himself if, that is, he free-associates black people with these subhuman monsters.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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