ENTERTAINMENT/OPINION

The Not-So Noble Adventures Of
Prince Caspian & Remy Ma

I took my kids to a screening of “Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” on Monday night. Fun movie. Not as well-written as the first “Chronicles of Narnia” flick, but very exciting. One thing bugged me though. The peace-loving Narnians (assorted mythical creatures, talking animals, dwarves) and the four human kids who help them all sound like Brits, while the villains – the genocidal “Telmarines” led by the purely evil King Miraz – speak with Spanish and Italian accents. (Indeed, the top baddies are portrayed by actors from Italy, Spain and Mexico.) The result is that the clash between good and evil in “Prince Caspian” appears also to be a clash of cultures, with the invaders depicted as dark-haired, olive-complexioned folks who talk like they’re from southern Europe or south of the U.S. border.

Whether intended or not, this plays on very old, persistent and cruel stereotypes about so-called “swarthy” people sweeping in and “taking over.” The xenophobic American laws passed in response to Italian and Eastern European immigration in the early 20th century were an expression of this attitude. So is the current hysteria over illegal immigration and the growth of the Latino population in the U.S.

Bigots, fear mongers and pandering politicians have become very bold about blaming our nation’s problems on immigrants from Latin American countries. Now, along comes an otherwise wonderful children’s film, which seems to play into those ignorant, narrow-minded attitudes.

REMY MA SHOULD LEARN FROM T.I.
Wow. So, Remy Ma actually burst into tears when she was sentenced to eight years in prison on Tuesday. Even though she was convicted of shooting her friend twice in the stomach, the rap diva was actually shocked when the judge handed her serious jail time. But Remy’s weepy, self-pitying reaction comes as no surprise. She reacted the same way when she was found guilty a few weeks ago. Back then, she called in to “DJ Kay Slay’s” show on Sirius Satellite Radio and ranted about the racial make-up of the jury, and what she called “a whole conspiracy against rappers.” The fact that witnesses saw her cock a loaded gun and point it at the victim was irrelevant to Remy.

Judge Rena Uviller put the case and Remy’s despicable, childish reaction into its proper perspective at the sentencing hearing by saying: “This is not the first time she has been engaged in a violent act. She has never taken responsibility for her actions. This has nothing to do with rap; it’s about the actions of one person. Remy is an extremely angry young woman, who feels that the rules do not apply to her.”

Remy Ma could learn a lesson in grown-up behavior from rapper T.I. Tip went on BET the other night and ‘fessed up to the foolishness of trying to buy those machine guns and silencers. His explanation about wanting the weapons because he felt paranoid leaves me skeptical, but his admission of guilt and willingness to accept responsibility is admirable. “I exercised extremely poor judgment and, for that, I must be willing to pay whatever price that comes before me.”

T.I.’s been saying things like that since Easter Sunday (before Tip got his relatively light sentence), when he shared the pulpit with Bishop Eddie Long at a gigantic worship service in Atlanta. It’s the message he’s been sharing with high school students, and it’s an example we should all emulate.

Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my two cents.

THINK! IT AIN’T ILLEGAL…YET!

Cameron Turner is a Los Angeles-area native whose editorials, entertainment news features and audio documentaries have appeared on national radio networks, online and in print for over 20 years.


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