Why Kaldur is Black
I just read it… And their reasoning is fucked up to say the least and at the most… it’s rife with internalized racism…
Basically, I think they’re seriously sipping the kool aid when it comes to race and they’re wrong on top of that.
Their logic has major holes in it. Kaldur isn’t Black because he doesn’t identify as Black? Is that how it works because in that case, I wasn’t Black for the first half of my life. I was West Indian.
Except… That’s not how it works. Kaldur is coded as a mixed race and mixed species person in the show.
His father is Black Manta and I hope that people realize that it’s not because he had a goth phase in high school: the man is BLACK. He fell into the naming trend of Black superheroes all having the word “black” in their name as though readers would somehow miss the way that African (American) features were drawn in the silver age. So already, half of Kaldur’s genetic material is black. You can’t argue otherwise and you can’t argue that Black Manta doesn’t remember and talk about his heritage (see the African masks and I think that statue that were in the room when he took off his mask for the first time.
His adoptive father is also Black and human from what I remember. Giving up a life on land doesn’t mean that you’ll give up the memory of what experiences you’ve dealt with. You’ve seen the Little Mermaid right? Similar shit. Cal was black and again, inference would put him growing up in a time when Black wasn’t all that awesome so he’d have definitely held on to some of those memories because that’s not something you forget.
Now let’s talk about his mother: Sha’lain’a isn’t a pale-skinned Atlantean. chocolateisbrainfood claims that she’s gold and that nullifies any race she might have. Yes, because the lady looks like Beyonce and you get “there’s no race blah blah blah” out of it….
Anyway: Their main logic is that Kaldur can’t be black because he’s Atlantean and the two are mutually exclusive along with the fact that they’re saying that they know how Kaldur feels and identifies. Except… no.
If you know anything about comics (which I’m starting to believe this person doesn’t which would be okay if they weren’t making posts rife with internalized racism that would give fuel to racists looking for reasons to whitewash characters) you’d know how race was handled for the longest time. It was handled badly as shit. There were divisions in the species we saw that weren’t human and in the Silver Age, there were both Black Atlanteans and Black Krytonians and they were identified as such.
And let’s talk about identity while we’re at it.
See what’s in blue?
Kaldur’s race does define him. Not in the context of the show (so far) but when fandom decides to write or draw him, when little kids get excited to get his toy because he looks like them, when people go “oh stop complaining about diversity, you have a black main character already.
And the whole thing here is that they as a Black person are going “I am offended by the idea that Kaldur is being seen as black because he’s NOT JUST a token black dude, he’s better than that and I know how he identifies”
Some identities aren’t identities you choose.
Kaldur is black because the genetic combination of a Black human father and an obviously non-white Atlantean mother have given him specific features. He is black because he is coded black and mostly human. It’s not like how J’onn is coded black but is a martian. There were no black martians.
You asked me what my opinion on their post is? So let me stop giving out a history lesson and hook you up with a screencap from their post:
Their post is insulting to me as an African American because I know more than enough about my heritage/history/culture along with the struggles that I’ve faced in and out of these internet environments and I don’t need someone who is obviously internalizing some serious shit to try and rationalize why they don’t feel that one of my favorite Black superheroes is black.
I’m angry now because I know firsthand how many racists lurk in the comics fandom and how many people will gleefully take their post as permission to run with the idea of Kaldur being anything but black and whitewash the holy fuck out of him.
And I’m disappointed that this person, who claims to be POC is obviously misunderstanding the way that fictional identity exists outside the identity.
Kaldur isn’t African American, but he is a Black Atlantean. He may not know his heritage or he might know it, but either way, he isn’t the one idenitfying as anything. He’s identified as Black by the way they cast a Black actor to do his voice and the way his hair works and hold on, they do know that Kaldur was originally Jackson Hyde and the changed a bit of his character for the show right?
Not black my ass.
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