Woke mainstream media outlets have recently had the chance to watch Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and following their praising of the show for introducing a Sam Wilson as the new Captain America, one particular outlet has made it his role as the Steve Rogers’ successor about race and not merit.
As seen at the end of Avengers: Endgame, an old Steve Rogers gives his iconic Vibranium shield to Sam Wilson in hopes that he will eventually take up the mantle of Captain America, and this is where the new Disney+ series picks up.
Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson) has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) was released, and he has become a fan-favourite amongst moviegoers.
Ever since Sam Wilson was first introduced, Mackie has done a phenomenal job depicting him as a charismatic and heroic character, but woke media outlets have chosen to see nothing but the colour of his skin as the main attribute that makes him deserving of the title of Captain America.
In a recent article by The Undefeated about the recently released The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, writer Raina Kelly prefaces her piece by asserting, “A Black superhero steps into the spotlight when neither the world nor the Avengers are OK,” completely missing the point about Sam actually being a worthy successor.
“Falcon has been given both the shield and the mantle of Captain America by the supersoldier Steve Rogers himself,” Kelly continues.
She then adds, “And just as we knew that long-standing systemic inequities in health care and the economy meant COVID-19 would have disastrously disparate effects on African Americans, it is clear that Falcon’s journey will be wildly different from that of the white Captain America who came before him.”
Well, that took quite the interesting turn. Is the author of the aforementioned article suggesting that Steve Rogers’ Captain America would’ve had a different journey just because he isn’t black? That’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for her.
“Most conversations about what it means to be Captain America usually involve varying interpretations of masculinity or American exceptionalism, and in 2019, that was appropriate,” Raina Kelly continues.
“If you’re comfy in the Marvel world, you understand that Captain America starts his arc as the symbol of the American triumph at the end of World War II and ends it as a counterweight to governmental excess,” she added.
Here’s where we can find one the biggest stretches within the article, and there are quite a few, as the author implies that Captain America’s backstory mirrors that of black people in the United States; making it almost exclusively about race and not about the values all Americans share.
“But another important narrative considered in the movie but rarely discussed critically is Captain America as a story of dislocation, at first because he was deemed to have no power and later because his power was feared,” she continued.
Kelly also proposes that, “The secret to the hero is not only the Super Soldier serum but a permanent feeling of being apart from America despite being chosen to represent it at its apex — an alienating feeling that while the promise of America may not have yet come true for him, its promise is still worth fighting for. That’s a hella Black story. That’s a hella Black-in-2021 story.”
Kelly also makes an interesting, albeit rather biased, interpretation about Sam’s suggestion that Steve to listen to Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack in the opening minutes of the MCU’s critically praised Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“It also neatly explains why when the time came to give up his shield, Cap gave it to Falcon. Because of all the folks he might have considered, he chose the one who told him (in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) that everything Cap needed to know about the 70 years he lost frozen in the ice could be found in Marvin Gaye’s soundtrack to the film Trouble Man,” the author added.
That is quite a reach, considering that Steve didn’t walk up to Sam or Bucky in Avengers: Endgame. It was actually Bucky who encouraged Sam to go and talk to Steve.
If anything, Steve left it to either fate or Bucky and Sam to decide. Let’s not forget that when Steve gives Sam his shield, Sam looks at Bucky and it is the latter who gives what can be interpreted as approval. Whatever the case, it was not the Marvin Gaye soundtrack that inspired Steve to think of Sam Wilson as this century’s Troubled Man.
It gets even better, as Raina Kelly also suggests that Steve Rogers’ Captain America is a symbol of white supremacy — because, at this point, why not? Although the author doesn’t explicitly allude to it, it is heavily implied.
She writes, “Perhaps it’s another example of the vast difference between the Black gaze and the white gaze — a difference defined by that same sense of dislocation that while the promise of America may not have yet come true for us, its promise is still worth fighting for.”
“It’s another deeply weird consequence of COVID-19: The alpha-male, superwhite, superprivileged definition of Captain America is gone because that Captain America is gone. The reasons are varied, but watching it, the result feels true,” Kelly wrote as the closing paragraph.
Steve’s decision to pass the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson doesn’t boil down to Sam being black. Steve knows that Sam is worthy of the title because he has all of the characteristics of a hero, and making this about race is a poorly-thought-out, and rather simplistic take.
Kelly’s article was actually retweeted by Marvel Entertainment’s official Twitter account, which is quite unfortunate since the article itself isn’t really thought-provoking. It comes off as a biased, unfounded opinion that suggests Kelly has no real understanding of the characters she’s writing about.
Twitter users were quick to react to Marvel’s tweet linking to Kelly’s article on The Undefeated, calling out the writer for pushing a narrative that chooses to focus on race instead of actual characterisation.
“Why is everything about race?” rightfully asked Twitter user ChubStuf, getting a reply by GrandOldPhoenix that stated, “It’s getting really boring, there’s not even a context anymore… LOOK, HE’S BLACK!”
ChubbStuff would respond, “This is Black Panther all over again. The fIrSt bLaCk mCu fiLm.”
Twitter user @ComicClass also made a compelling point, asking “Why is race the first thing you push? Racism wont end until we just call people heroes and not a Black white or mexican superhero.”
Bringing up yet another compelling point that brings the woke narrative down, Twitter user @AlMaeder, “If you watch every movie/TV show through the lens of everything is racist, this is the kind of idiotic article you come up with.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Marvel virtue signaled about race. In fact, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland has referred to Captain America’s shield as a “white symbol,” and has even expounded about the implications of having a black person wield said symbol.
“It’s a very important conversation that we’re having all the time but in particular it’s really bubbled to the [forefront] in the past year: What does it mean for a Black man to pick up such an iconically white symbol?” Skogland noted during a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment.
“What does that mean for the character? It’s a real exploration of what we have traditionally laid into with this iconic red, white and blue of it, and now we are taking it down another road,” he continued.
Skogland then added, “We’re really exploring what that is, and we don’t necessarily want to give answers. I think it’s also really important to provoke discussion.”
While it is fair to expect that a superhero movie, TV show, or comic book be thought-provoking, there is a fine line between encouraging legitimate discussion and using the aforementioned platforms for blatant activism.
Sam Wilson may end up becoming Captain America by the end of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but woke journalists need to understand that this has to be earned, and the colour of a character’s skin should never be a requirement.
An argument could be made about Bucky being every bit of a worthy successor as Sam Wilson is, but you’ll likely never see an article that will entertain that idea — not on a woke mainstream media outlet with a biased narrative to push, at least.
What do you make of Kelly’s article?