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Could we just delete this trope? It's extremely racist. Not to mention Western Centric.
Schindler's List was removed because the editor considered Jewish people "white". Whiteness isn't a color, it is a concept created by white people to exclude others. One of those others have been and, at times (witness St. Louis this week) are still Jewish people. And, despite racial taxonomy, there is still the problem of religious difference. Dallas Buyers Club, which I also added, has been left intact. It features someone who is white male and hetero as the savior of people who are mostly white male and not hetero. Most everyone is still "white" but their sexuality differs. It would be impossible and historically ignorant to base this trope only on skin color.
Wow, that is hilariously not an example. While you're right it's not all about whiteness, unless Schindler is considered more Jewish than the Jews, and Matteo is considered better at being gay than the gays, those are both serious shoehorns.
Yeah, the trope has sort of lost its meaning over time and now it's every kind of savior that doesn't share the same background as the people they save. Wasn't this about an outsider inexplicably being superior at being part of a group than most people in the group itself?
I don't think Schindler counts and it has nothing to do with his ethnicity.
Fine then, I'm movie them you White Man's burden.
"Whiteness isn't a color, it is a concept created by white people to exclude others."
This is known as a contradiction in terms. If "whiteness isn't a color," then how could it be created by "white people?"
The concept of who counts as "white" has shifted over time as ostricised groups gained more acceptance and/or assimilated. The Irish in the 1800s are one example as are European Jews (though the modern ones with close connections to their heritage may still carry the memories of those times as they were passed down to them, affecting their outlook.)
I don't see how Batman is this. He didn't visit some culture, learn their methods, surpass them and become their savior. He traveled all over the world learning skills from different cultures, then went back to his native country and used all he had learned to protect its people. Nowhere near the same.
He visited them, learned their methods, and surpassed them. That's the trope.
The "became their savior" is a common, but not necessary part of it.
Was he ever shown surpassing them at their methods? Because I don't recall seeing that.
Ra's, yes. At least he thinks he's a more worthy successor than anyone in his organization. This is particularly true in Batman Begins but is usually true in every medium.
I don't think he ever did surpass Lady Shiva. I think she does at one point imply that he could surpass her, but his code against killing holds him back.
I don't know anything about the tracking.
Ra's wasn't his mentor outside of Begins, though. You have a point about Ra's choosing him to be his successor though, but outside of Ra's (who isn't part of his origin, except in Begins) I don't think he was ever depicted as this trope. If anything, he's a jack of all trades. He has a lot of skills that in combination make him a formidable crime fighter and detective, but he's not the best at any of them.
Personally, I agree. My issue is your reasoning in your first post was incorrect.
I wouldn't mind seeing it gone overall, but in regards to Batman's lore, there's so much of it that it's impossible for me to say with certainly that something didn't happen, you know?
I think in that case what we want isn't an entry about Batman in general throughout comics history— because like you say, there are just plain too many versions to say definitively that Batman "in general" does or does not fit— but specific examples of specific Batman stories in which he's portrayed as a Mighty Whitey, if there are any that fit the trope.
If we can't come up with at least one specific example of a Batman story that fits, then it's Not an Example.
I suppose the League of Shadows is a two-fer, you've got both Ducard and Bruce as the best they've produced even though they're a vaguely non-white group (since they seem to be based in Asia).
I can't remember, does DCAU count? Bruce and Kyodai Ken had a fierce rivalry, and I want to think it's because Bruce, the outsider, was better, but I don't recall. Haven't seen it in ages.
Bruce definitely surpasses Kyodai Ken after becoming Batman (although Ken was the superior fighter when they were students together), and as far as we can see they're the star pupils of the dojo, but there's nothing to indicate that either of them ever surpassed the old master who trained both of them, who even admonishes Kyodai Ken that "there is always someone better" when Ken mocks Bruce during training. I don't think it's a very good example.
I'd consider that Not an Example, then. Just thought I'd spitball it since I genuinely couldn't remember.
All good. I did a Batman: TAS dive pretty recently so that one was fresh in my mind.
Man, I've got to rewatch that. It's on Amazon Prime, right?
I believe so, in the U.S. at least. I've got the DV Ds so that's how I usually watch.
I agree about Batman not being an example. His story rarely ever makes a comparison between his skills and those of the people he learned from. Rather, his origin is "rich guy travels across the world to learn skills from different cultures so that he can fight crime". Beyond that, the story never made a big deal out of the relationship between Batman and the people he learned from, or showed how well his skills measures against those of the people he learned them from. There's a subtle but important difference between his origin and the Mighty Whitey trope. If there are no objections, I'll remove him from examples.
Ironically, the one place I think this should count (Batman Begins) it's not listed. But based on this thread you can probably pull the BTAS and Comic Book entries.
Hmmm... I don't seem to recall Ra's/Ducard choosing Batman to be a successor in Begins. IIRC, he was training him to convert him into another member of the League of Shadows. Am I misremembering? Though he DOES seek to make him his successor in some continuities; those cases would count as examples.
I removed Batman. I was about to replace the origin mention with the Ra's thing, but decided it's not really an example of the trope. Ra's and his people are Arabs, and Arabs aren't a race, but an ethnicity. They would have to be black or Asian to count.
"Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Madoka becomes a goddess to save the European and African magical girls."
This example should not be here, because it has nothing to do with other cultures. She was saving every magical girl across time and space from the horrible fate of becoming Witches.
I was under the impression that tropes are not bad, but this page reads like an essay on why its trope is not only bad but reflects badly on anyone who uses it- plus a few comments on how insecure white people are. I realize how touchy things get when race is brought up, but isn't this all a little extreme? It seems like too many assumptions are being made about the motives behind creating these kinds of stories.
...Is there a particular reason there are doubles of some folders near the bottom of the page?
I dispute the Planet of the Apes part where Pete is described as "a recognizable African-American". Pete was played by James Naughton. Here's◊ a photo of Naughton along with his costars (he's the one on top). Does he look African-American to you? Here's a more recent picture of Naughton.
Was Pete ever identified in the show as being African-American? If not, then axe the whole bit. If so, then make a comment on it.
Sorry, trope poster here; must have gotten the live action show confused with the animated "Return To the Planet of the Apes" series, which did have an African-American protagonist.
John Carter is compared to aliens, not humans of other races. The whole issue with the different color martians might be an example of Space Jews, but has nothing to do with this trope.
Lawrence's success has nothing to do with any kind of intrinsic or genetic advantage. As listed, he has a whole lot of tangible assets at his disposal.
The hero of the film, as I recall, isn't white. His white sidekicks aren't shown to be any more powerful than the other, darker characters. As I recall, they're pretty useless.
Also, this trope is really about white people beating other races at their own game. The white characters here never join another race's culture.
Dances With Wolves is a poor example of the trope. I changed the wording instead of removing it because it's the trope image right now and it'd just get added back in by someone else anyway. If the image gets changed, it should be removed. Costner's character is never shown to be any better than the Sioux. In fact, the whole movie is about how totally awesome the Sioux are.
Cruise's character is already a decorated professional soldier before he ever starts living with the samurai clan. The fact that he's outclassed by them in so many regards and grows into a complete person by learning their culture is actually an inversion of this trope. People got bent out of shape about this film because Cruise's character is the only one who doesn't die (he survives because he doesn't sacrifice himself, not because he fought better) and because they think he's the eponymous last samurai (the title refers to the actual samurai he fought with).
Now that there is a White Male Lead trope, I agree that Cruise's character fits that better (ditto the protagonist of Dances With Wolves).
>>Can be a Justified Trope as it did happen in real life. Explorers from a more advanced civilization had access to education, technology and general skills and experience that a native who never traveled further than the neighboring village didn't. Especially as only those who were already among the strongest and bravest in their home countries did have the courage and motivation to become explorers in those dangerous times.
Is this paragraph necesesary? It's really not true, historically speaking, especially the last sentence — plenty of explorers were missionaries (and thus motivated by religious zeal and enthusiasm more than common sense and experience, resulting in plenty of deaths) or were looking to profit from being the first to cash in on resources in unexplored (by white Europeans) territory. Also, the "dangerous times" line is kind of ridiculous — which times are we talking about? How were they more dangerous than now? Weren't these people only in danger because they were walking into foreign lands and cultures and trying to impose their opinions and ideas on the people who were already living there and were understandably not particularly receptive?
Not to mention that the whole "more advanced" line is pretty offensive to begin with, and is based on the assumption that "technologically superior" = "better".
Agreed. Let's wipe it out.
Does anyone know why the original introduction was axed? I always liked it, it explained the trope in a nutshell, but in a humorous way:
"Anything you can do, he can do better. He can do anything better than you. Oh yes he can, especially if you happen to be of Asian, Pacific Islander, Indian, African, Aboriginal or Native American descent. It doesn't matter that you have spent your entire life living in the densest African jungle, being taught how to survive there since you were old enough to stand up — the moment a colonist arrives in your town (most likely as a prisoner of war, an orphan or a lost traveler), you might as well hang up your blowpipe and take up crochet."
My guess is that it came across as a bit too bitter, which can be problematic for pages dealing with touchy subjects such as race.
I have a few doubts about a number of examples of this trope. It seems like this trope really is "White person goes to another culture... doesn't COMPLETELY suck at it" and then the fandom elevates them to seeming "superior" even if the original work does not imply it.
In a lot of these works (Dances with Wolves, Last Samurai) it seems people who'd jump to a "Mighty Whitey" conclusion are themselves completely missing the point. Costner or Cruise is the protagonist, and thus important to the narrative, but both are far from the best. Pretty well corresponds to Banderas in the 13th Warrior (but yet that's not "Mighty Arab" or something)- where he's competent AND the protagonist, but is never presented as SUPERIOR. These characters often need some kind of defining "well this is what *I* do well" component to offset their fish out of water status...
just seems people make more of the racial aspect of this trope than there really is.
Could someone clarify what is meant by "Original Version" and "Modern Version"?
I'm surprised that Ian from tower prep is not there.
Then add it in rather than complain about it not being added in.
Real Life Example of Gonzalo Guerrero?
Alright, we seriously need to start limiting the use of this trope. I understand what it's about, but it seems nowadays any film or whatever that features an especially talented White person gets the "Mighty Whitey" label.
not Leonardo Dicap... I he's good in his own right. I do wish him and Denzel Washington to a movie together.
Went ahead and chopped that out. This trope is about a character from one culture coming in and being automatically better than another culture at something he really shouldn't be. Marston is a gunslinger, and while his contributions are unrealistic this applies to every fight a player gets in during the game.
I really don't think Lelouch of Code Geass counts. He's not the best pilot on his own side. Also, he's far from being morally superior to the Japanese characters.
Really, you could easily see the show as having a stance closer to Japanese superiority than the Mighty Whitey trope.
He's not the best pilot, but he is the best strategist and capable leader, and Episode 25 goes as far as to having the Black Knights fall apart in his absence, eventually ending in their defeat.
That's true, but one of the typical tropes associated with Mighty Whitey is that they are "better at being that culture" than the people from that culture themselves- Lelouch isn't like that at all.
Also, I don't know this for certain, but I wonder if the Caucasian Asian trope means that the Japanese audience would pretty much look at Lelouch as like them rather than as a European person.
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