The blog “where comics and politics meet” is at it again. And before anyone gets upset about the title; no that isn’t an exact quote, but it’s what they insinuated.
Marvel recently announced that they would be releasing variant covers inspired by hip-hop albums. They’re awesome, and the internet is going nuts for them.
But according to Graphic Policy’s founder Brett Schenker, a lot of people are also upset at the decision. Of course, he can’t point to anyone who’s actually mad about this besides himself and an anonymous commenter on Tumblr.
He alleges that Marvel is engaging in racial oppression, stating “In this instance, the ‘white’ creative of Marvel are appropriating a style made popular by African-Americans, from which they will not benefit at all.”
Mr. Schenker calls the use of the covers “cultural appropriation.” He says that Marvel is stealing a part of black culture and exploiting it for themselves. Apparently, white people have no business touching hip-hop material – that’s for blacks only. It reminds me of stories my grandmother told me about her parents warning her not to go to rock concerts because it’s “black music.”
The idea that a genre of music and it’s trappings belong to one race isn’t just shocking and offensive. It’s also patently false. While it’s undeniable that the pioneers of the genre have been predominately black, hip-hop belongs to all of us. What Mr. Schenker calls cultural appropriation, I call a cultural melting pot. People used to see that as a good thing.
So in the end, in order to paint Marvel as racist, Mr. Schenker has made all sorts of racist arguments himself, and demeaned the fruits of diversity. It’s ridiculous, but it’s also par-for-the-course when it comes to this brand of Social Justice Warrior and their crusade against artistic expression in comics.