Clint Eastwood: people have ‘lost their sense of humor’ about race

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Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood’s living legends. He’s beloved universally by the actors and actresses who have worked with him, and by the actors and actresses who want to work with him. He is beloved by Steven Spielberg, who often cites Eastwood’s career longevity and professional quality as something he, Spielberg, aspires to with his own career.

But it’s not all roses for Eastwood in Hollywood. Throughout his career, Eastwood has been accused of promoting an anarchical vigilantism, accused of being (gasp!) over-rated as an actor and director, and accused of promoting racist stereotypes. It’s on this last accusation that Eastwood spoke out in his usual gruff, no-nonsense way, and it really is an accusation that has dogged him in his westerns, his Dirty Harry films, and in his most recent directing-and-starring outing, Gran Torino. The Daily Mail has more:

Clint Eastwood believes the rise of political correctness is no laughing matter.

He says the world would be a better place if we could still laugh at inoffensive jokes about different races. The Hollywood actor and director, 78, said we live in constant fear of being labeled racist for simply laughing about national stereotypes.

‘People have lost their sense of humour,’ he told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.
‘In former times we constantly made jokes about different races.

‘You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth otherwise you will be insulted as a racist. I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a “Sam the Jew” or “Jose the Mexican” – but we didn’t think anything of it or have a racist
thought.’

‘It was normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem… I don’t want to be politically correct. We’re all spending too much time and energy trying to be politically correct about everything.’

From The Daily Mail

I understand what Clint is saying, and when it comes down to hiring crews or casts, or in choosing friendships, I doubt Clint has a racist bone in his body. But I do think there’s room for maybe a little bit more… racial sensitivity, perhaps? But otherwise, I can’t fault the guy. It’s not like Clint was caught making “slant eyes” in a photo.

At some point over the last year, director Spike Lee accused Clint of being a racist because Clint didn’t put any African-American characters in his WWII films about Iwo Jima. Clint shot back, and then Spike shot back, and it was a mess. Neither artist looked good at the end of it, but Clint got some extra credibility for not really giving a sh-t what people thought about race.

Clint Eastwood is shown “receiving the ‘Palme d’or’ award for his lifetime achievement during a ceremony organized by the Cannes film festival, held at the Fouquet’s restaurant in Paris” on 2/25/09. He is shown with wife Dina Eastwood and daughters Francesca, 15, (with ex Frances Fisher) and Morgan, 12 (with Dina). Credit: WENN.com

 

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67 Responses to “Clint Eastwood: people have ‘lost their sense of humor’ about race”

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  1. Rreedy says:

    You are right on that one, Clint.

  2. geronimo says:

    Well he’s right in principle, and I hate political correctness, but his generation is coming from a difference place on what is and isn’t acceptable, particularly in terms of terminology. Unfortunately, political correctness wouldn’t be so widespread if people had a bit more respect and sensitivity towards others, and a better understanding of why one person’s ‘harmless’ joke (and the intent behind it) can be hurtful and offensive to someone else. Political correctness, at base, is just an attempt to impose respect.

  3. Holly says:

    I agree with geronimo. I see where he’s coming from, but if its going to happen, it can’t be from his generation. As much as he says the casual joking wasn’t rooted in racism, I have my doubts.

  4. teri says:

    I was so sad that Clint wasn’t nominated for this movie with an Oscar. It was great and people of different backgrounds enjoyed it with applause.

  5. hmm says:

    I am always unsure of what people mean when they slam political correctness. Are you talking about racial jokes or racial epithets? The term is too vague and encompasses too many things. People joke intra-ethnically and intra-racially about themselves all the time because they know that they will not be misconstrued. It’s not necessarily about what you say it’s about the intentions of the speaker.
    And Clint may be pissed at Spike Lee but Spike had a point. We can debate whether he should have addressed it the way he did, but the fact is that black men have fought and died in every single American war since the Revolutionary War and it would be nice if films reflected that fact in some way. That’s not political correctness, that’s historical accuracy.

  6. for_realz says:

    I LOVE Clint Eastwood and thoroughly enjoy all of his movies.
    Geronimo has made a great point.

    I too, am so sad that he didn’t receive any nominations for Gran Tourino! IMO it was a fantastic movie.

  7. J-Lin says:

    Yes, Clint says this as he put on his hood and pulls out his lighter fluid to set a cross on fire.

    Why won’t he just hurry up and die!

  8. Joe says:

    I agree with Clint. And his explanation isn’t an artifact of his generation. In my high school days in the early 2000s my little group would dig on each other about race and everything else we could find. It wasn’t to hurt each other, just to get a laugh. Were still like this to this day. In front of a PC nutjub we would appear to be racist brutes, despite the fact that we come from different races and are best friends. 99% of the times political correctness makes a race issue out of nothing.

  9. Foolio says:

    He may be the smartest, most savvy dude in Hollywood.

  10. for_realz says:

    @ J-Lin

    I most certainly hoping that you are joking right?!

    Otherwise, you are sick for condemning a living legend. That man has more talent in his little finger than most have at all.

  11. Codzilla says:

    J-Lin: Wishing Clint would “hurry up and die” is odd, seeing as you’re criticizing him for what you perceive as a lack of sensitivity.

  12. J-Lin says:

    I’m not criticizing him for lack of sensititivity; I’m criticizing him for being an overall asshole and I do think he’s racist.

  13. daisy424 says:

    Amen Geronimo.
    Good point Codzilla.

  14. Scott F. says:

    “We can debate whether he should have addressed it the way he did, but the fact is that black men have fought and died in every single American war since the Revolutionary War and it would be nice if films reflected that fact in some way.”

    He made a film about Iwo Jima. Marines fought on Iwo, not the Army. Why is that important? Because the Army was the only service containing black combat regiments in World War II.

    He could have had black soldiers, but they would all have been cooks or supply men – and then Spike Lee would have complained they were being portrayed as the ‘help’ while the whites were the heroes.

    It would have been nice if the military was always desegregated, but that wasn’t the case until the 60′s. Putting black soldiers on Iwo would have been historical revisionism, which is why Spike Lee had, and still has, no valid point about this.

  15. Whitney says:

    I believe that as an old white man,
    clint has probably most frequently been the butt of racial or ethnic jokes….NOT!!!! Spend a week as a comical minority being racially profiled, having your ass beat by the police or being followed around a store and tell me how funny it is. Then we can all share that laugh together.

  16. Blondie says:

    This post is scary. I believe that Clint Eastwood comes across as racist in this interview. He came across racist in his last film. Honestly, he’s always come across that way to me. But to see so many people defend and agree with him because “he’s talented” is horrifying. I don’t think he or anyone else has the right to say that we shouldn’t be politically correct aka considerate and sensitive of other people’s feelings. Maybe with his generation it wasn’t so much that Sam the Jew and Jose the Mexican didn’t care about racial jokes…maybe they were just too afraid to speak up about it.

  17. Ana says:

    its funny when a member of the race who’ve had the power and have dictated social norms to the rest of us, get to tell minorities when or if they should be insulted by their insensitivity. maybe if a few of you spent some time surrounded by folks that didn’t look like you, and got to hear stupid drivel about who you, and those “others” that look like you, are, as a group, you’d gain a little empathy. Naw, hasn’t happened so far, you’re too busy patting yourselves on the back for electing a black guy as opposed to a geriatric war monger and a village idi.ot.

  18. Codzilla says:

    His last film was about overcoming preconceived notions about race and bringing two cultures together. How is that racist?

  19. Codzilla says:

    Ana: You have no idea who any of us are. I am, in fact, a Mexican who grew up in a predominantly white area, and was the butt of jokes quite often. You’re entitled to your opinion about Clint, and I respect that, but don’t insult our intelligence with your tired histrionics. And don’t insult Obama by implying that we elected him to feel better about ourselves. Is it so hard for you to believe that he was elected for his abilities as a leader?

  20. for_realz says:

    @ Codezilla & Scott

    Apparently we are the few here that understand what Clint Eastwood is about.

    Too bad others judge him with the same racial hatred and misunderstanding they accuse him of.

  21. Wonder Woman says:

    for_realz: I agree Gran tarino was a great movie which should have won something.

  22. Christina says:

    i’m a white girl (actually i’m armenian but i pretty much look like a white person) and i grew up in a poor, predominantly black and hispanic neighborhood… i was teased, beat up, gum thrown in my hair, etc etc and basically had to skip the 7th grade cuz i couldn’t take it anymore… but now i’m getting my phD in physics…. what’s up now bitches? hahahahahaha… ahem… what was my point? i dunno, i don’t think only minorities experience racism… and you can make all the jokes you want but please don’t beat up and terrorize people just because they are not in the majority *tear rollsl down face* :|

  23. javelin says:

    J-Lin,
    Alluding to Clint being involved in the KKK is a bit ignorant, as he is married to a woman of color and obviously does not share the hateful views of such a group.

  24. Zoe says:

    @Scott F: nice to have you back, where ya been?

    good points. I think it’s racist to assume he racist just because he’s an old white guy. Where the hell is this coming from anyway?

    @J-Lin: you sound not only racist, but kinda evil as well.

  25. hmm says:

    Scott, I don’t believe that I specifically referred to only Clint Eastwood movies about Iwo Jima but to Hollywood in general.If you went by Hollywood’s standards the only people involved in wars are white men and that’s not true. I’m not calling Eastwood a racist because I don’t know him and I don’t know what’s in his heart. But when people start talking about the evil of political correctness the first thing I think is what is it that you want to call me or say about me or another person of color that I may find offensive. And I would follow up on Anna’s response and say that it is much easier to talk about political correctness gone too far when you’re not the one being offended or insulted or when your not the one at the butt of the joke constantly. These are the same arguments used by people who defend the NY Post cartoon. I don’t think speech should be stifled but I think if you say something stupid or offensive then you should be called on it and you should have a better response than people are just too sensitive.

  26. J.D.M.J. says:

    Folks,
    Yes, Clint is the man, and I, too, understand where he’s coming from. However, hearing a racially charged comment or joke from him as opposed to hearing one from Rush Limbaugh is like comparing apples to dog crap. So how do you handle a situation where it’s okay for some to joke, but not others?
    FYI: Clint Eastwood has been very instrumental in helping blacks in Hollyweird. Offhand, I can personally remember Mario Van Peebles expressing his thanks to Clint for helping him.

  27. Feebee says:

    I kinda think it’s where you’re from and the racial undertones in that country/era etc.

    I’m 37, first generation New Zealander from Irish stock. Our favourite jokes usually had a mix of Kiwi/Aussie/ American/Pom/Scot/Irish doing something stupid… the usual butts were Aussie (obviously) then Irish and American (stereotypically). But from friends who had mainland European blood, EXACT same jokes but nationalites had changed. No-one was being racist, just getting a laugh. Ahhhh, I miss those days. Funny though, it seems to be that it’s only acceptable to still tell irish jokes.

    I know it’s not always the case but I usually only take the mickey out of people I like. If I don’t like you I’m not wasting a joke on or about you.

  28. Zoe says:

    BTW, if you’ve seen “Bird” about jazz great Charlie Parker, it’s pretty ridiculous to call Eastwood racist.

    There was also a lot of talk that Spike Lee was just pissed that an “old white guy” was in his “territory” as a director and decided to get his name in the news by attacking Eastwood. Naturally, it pissed Eastwood off. Why is it ok to fling accusations around like that without any merit to back them? Sorry, but if someone dared called Spike Lee racist… *shivers*

    That’s called reverse racism folks, and political correctness has only made it worse by constantly implying that our differences are something to get defensive about.

    I resent political correctness because it dictates that everyone should be “color” or “gender” or “culture” blind. I’m not ashamed of being a woman and I’m not ashamed of my skin color or my family’s cultural history, even if it’s painful to me, so why constantly look for offense?

    When people ask me where my people are from “originally” I take it as a compliment that they’re interested(obviously, not if it’s a racist/sexist comment, and yes, we know where the questions are coming from!) I don’t have the time or energy or frankly the insecurity in me to be looking for offense at every turn.

    I take it as an opportunity to hang out and talk about our diffences and similarities. If people are too scared of offending me, or being called a racist, where the hell are we going to be in fifty years?

    He might not have said it in a perfect way, but he’s totally right: a sense of humor is desperately needed about our differences.

    Yeah, I’m a horrific speller, oh well, don’t have time to edit!

  29. hello says:

    Scott F! Where have you been? I loved your posts from way back when, and you said exactly what I was thinking. He made a movie that was supposed to be accurate and the reality of that point in time is that races weren’t allowed to mix.

    My high school was only 33% white and we all made jokes about race. It wasn’t rooted in racism at all. I think if anything it acknowledged differences, but sort of dismissed them at the same time, as in the fact that looking different makes us different, and that the level focus on the racial difference is the joke itself, because really we weren’t different…that’s not convoluted or anything!

    As a person who is black, it drives me crazy when people start to call me black and correct with oh- I’m sorry African American. For one, it shouldn’t matter, but it makes me sad that people so afraid of offending me because of my race and think I’ll yell at them for it. Unless I’m told something really awful that is indeed racist, there are no worries. We’re all people and as people we err…the white people, the black people, the asian people, the whatever people.

    A person’s noticing of race should be in the passing, like noticing that a person’s hair is curly or straight, and being overwhelmingly PC doesn’t allow for that, IMO.

  30. Because I Say So says:

    @Zoe: Great post. Exactly my thoughts!!

    Spike Lee is a bigot and he reinforces many of the stereotypes out there of an angry black man railing against “the man.” His only tired line is everyone else is a racist. I totally applaud Mr. Eastwood for calling him out.

    As a person of color, I abhor what Spike Lee, his movies, and what he stands for.

  31. J-Lin says:

    Damn, the old fart is still alive! It’s time for the US to eradicate itself of ass whipes like Eastwood.

    John Wayne was a huge racist and was married to a woman of color. I know a lot of black men who are married to white women and and are some of the racist people I know.

    I wouldn’t call myself evil, but I would whoop that old man’s ass in a heart beat.

  32. hmm says:

    I’m sorry but people are on this board defending Clint Eastwood and saying what a horrible thing it is to be called a racist and then come right back and call Spike Lee a racist and denounce every film he has ever made? O–kay. And I have never understood why people are offended because someone prefers to be called African-American or black, or chicano or latino. Why is that oppressive to you? And to Christina, I don’t recall anyone saying that only white people are insensitive or bigoted or bullies for that matter. And Zoe, I respectfully disagree with your assessment about what constitutes political correctness. I don’t know any person of color who wants someone to ignore their race or ethnicity, quite the contrary. It’s not about acknowledging that someone is of a different race or ethnicity that creates problems, it’s when you decide who someone is based on their race and ethnicity and what their possibilities are. I’m always surprised at how sensitive people get when someone labels a white person a racist and yet their first reaction is to tell you how bigoted and racist black people are. Until people are willing to come together and cease calling names and have a serious discussion about race, then it will remain the divisive issue it is.

  33. torietee says:

    Zoe: there is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism.

    I am speaking from personal experience here and this is how I see things.

    I think when it comes to issues about racism and so called PC there is always going to some kind of divide on ‘race/ colour’ ‘ lines. When I was young ( I am in my late 30s) I was abused on a daily basis and called a ‘wog’ short for a Golliwog which is black doll that has big red lips and ‘wiry’ hair. The white people who called me this thought it was ever so funny and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t laughing. I find that term deeply offensive. What is so funny about signally somebody out because they are different? Recently, there was a furore about Carol Thatcher (she’s the daughter of the former British Prime Minister, Lady Thatcher) who was sacked by the BBC because she referred to a tennis player as being a wog- off air in the green room of a television studio. The player was black. She was challenged and said what so many people who are challenged about their racist language / behaviour that she was joking and didn’t mean to offend and people shouldn’t be so sensitive. She also said that she wasn’t a racist. However, you do not have to be a racist to use racist language.

    She called him a wog because he was black. If he had been a white tennis player she wouldn’t have called him that. So why did she do it? By referring to the player as being a wog she was being racist. The right wing press screamed PC has gone too far. It caused such a furore that it was talked about for days. What didn’t surprise me was that the majority of people who thought that Carol was not being racist or that the term was offensive was not offensive were white. The consensus was that people are too sensitive these days and PC is load of crap and people should be allowed to call people/ groups what ever they liked.

    This topic makes me so angry because the people who scream that it’s gone too far
    belong to the dominant culture that have never been at the butt of a racist joke or racist language. Clint is wrong on this. However, he comes from a generation where racist language was the norm-but just because back in the day Sam the Jew and Sam the coon didn’t complain doesn’t make it OK. When I was called racist names or people made fun of me for being black I didn’t complain either- I even laughed -but let me tell you it hurt.

  34. bizzibe says:

    yeah, it’s really terrible when people don’t have a sense of humour about jokes and comments based on their physical appearance or traits they are powerless to change.

    like when i rib my blind friend about not looking where he’s going and he fails to laugh.

    selfish git.

  35. kiki says:

    Clints daughters are very pretty. Clint is not a racist hes married to a latina who may or may not be also AA

  36. daisyfly says:

    Clint is right in some aspects. I HATE having to always be politically correct for fear of someone jumping down my throat and screaming “RACISM!!!”

    Case in point. A friend of mine and I were playing with our children in our local park. Our two preschoolers were swinging from the bars on the playground and I said “whee, look at our little monkeys”.

    Another mother pitched a fit and said “don’t you call that child (my friend’s) a monkey, you racist c*nt!”

    See, I said “look at OUR little monkeys” because they were swinging from the bars like Curious George and making monkey sounds. She heard me say “look at YOUR little monkey” and assumed it was because my friend’s child happens to be of Caribbean descent. My friend immediately came to my defense and was appalled, not just as the accusation, but also at the language in front of such young children, and we ended up gathering up our children and leaving.

    Suffice it to say, I still call our two preschoolers monkeys because they still swing from the playground bars and pretend to be Curious George, but people have become so sensitive to labels, they automatically assume that when one is uttered, it’s a direct insult, even when it’s nothing but the opposite.

  37. Seth says:

    Why the hell would I want to hear a “race” joke putting-down someone else.
    I take pride in my humanity that I don’t think bad racial thoughs nor allow anyone around me to make racial jokes, Mr Eastwood lacks moral fiber if he needs to hear that.

  38. greta says:

    I’ve been loving the Dirty Harry movies on AMC this week! Dirty Harry is an equal opportunity “racist” if what you mean by “racist” is hatred of thugs, hoodlums, lowlifes, and irresponsible people. Dirty Harry had the old American character, take no prisoners, make no apologies, I won’t mess with you if you won’t mess with me.
    I’ve been telling you people who have this nouveau sensitivity about “race”, that you are asking for the imposssible. You cannot legislate respect for others. All you can do is tolerate what you don’t like.
    What Clint is saying in this article is that the old America is gone, and we as a people are heading down the road to dictatorship. That’s what all you sensitive people on here would like to see, I believe, such as the sad soul who wishes he would die!

  39. Ruffian9 says:

    Great post Zoe; you sound like a terrific lady. Can I hang with you?

    And yes, I am someone who is curious about people I meet, where they’re from, or what their backgound is. My queries are sincere, and absolutely meant in a complimentary way. In my experience, people have responded graciously.

    Thanks again for your post!

  40. Baholicious says:

    “In those earlier days every friendly clique had a “Sam the Jew” or “Jose the Mexican”

    Ah yes, Mr. Eastwood. Those glorious, sepia-toned good old days when the Toronto river my grandparents swam in as kids had signs posted that said “No Dogs or Jews Allowed” and ‘Help Wanted’ signs contained the proviso “No Irish Need Apply.”

    I do agree though for the most part the PC thing has gone way too far.

  41. Zoe says:

    @rufian9: anytime baby :)

    I think you made a good point. If there’s a sincere curiosity, I think that’s a huge compliment and it hurts to see people in these situations look suspiscious, or jaded, life’s too short.

  42. Aspen says:

    I totally agree with Zoe.

    I’m also sick of people from any of our many American ethnic minority groups throwing out the, “You’ve never experienced racism” crap.

    I most certainly have. Being “not Caucasian” doesn’t exempt people from being hateful. I’ve been called names…SPIT on…and been on the butt end of undeserved anger by hateful, awful people on several occasions. Those unfortunate encounters with mean kids and, later, mean adults did not sour me to every member of their respective races. I didn’t lose my ability to commune with people who don’t look like me. I didn’t lose my faith in the basic goodness of the average person because of it.

    Clint Eastwood’s point is that people need to loosen the eff up. What kind of misery must your life contain to be constantly on the lookout for offense?

    The truth is that people don’t think about you, your skin color, your ethnic background, your gender, your religion, your level of happiness, your weight, your preferences, your education level, your hairstyle, your lifestyle choices, your sexual orientation, your place of residence, or anything else about you nearly as often as you want to think they do.

    They don’t think about you that much. You’re just not that important to the mass of society around you. You just aren’t. Neither am I or any other individual.

    Police your own corner. Make your life and demeanor one that you are proud of. Stop looking for offense where none is meant. LAUGH at a joke that is funny when it points out quirks or foibles of your “group” of people.

    When you can’t laugh at yourself or forgive other people for laughing at you in a friendly way (and, yes, the vast majority of culture and race oriented jokes are friendly in nature…not mean-spirited or dehumanizing), then I don’t envy you the misery you heap on yourself and the joy you are MISSING by being so pent up, suspicious, defensive, and angry all the time.

  43. LondonParis says:

    I’m African-American. I absolutely LOVED Gran Torino. I was wincing at the racial barbs at first, but by the end I was completely sucked in and I loved Eastwood’s character.
    Political correctness has gotten too extreme. It is to the point where things that are (at times, CLEARLY)not racist are being speculated on- which still keeps everyone’s minds on the prejudices, the stereotypes, the hatred that racist ACCUSATIONS are based on. Having to be completely aware of how politically correct one is keeps one’s mind constantly on the racist aspect of race and culture relations. Sad.

  44. LondonParis says:

    Zoe: I agree, except that there have been MANNNNY people to call Spike Lee racist- I am happy to be one of them. Racism from ANYONE in ANY form should not be tolerated in my opinion- not because of the political correctness, but because of the fact that if you are so STUPID to be a racist person, you should not be allowed to exist in a functioning society. Yes, it’s harsh. Whatever- it’s just a dream of mine.

    J-Lin: I’m sorry, could you just look at the header picture before you go and post something so mindless? Of course he’s not racist. His wife is CLEARLY multi-racial (according to Wikipedia, “her father was of African-American and Japanese descent, and her mother of Irish, English and German descent.” Yep, had to look it up.), as is his daughter (obviously). I’m sure he’s burned many a cross on his FATHER-IN-LAW’S front yard.

  45. RUTI says:

    He is right about Iwo Jima. If they are Marines and no back guys are involved, then no black actors in the movie. I remember him saying something about Brokeback Mountain too. I understand that not everybody is gaga about gays.

  46. Voice of Reason says:

    For anyone who calls Clint Eastwood a racist…. His wife is half African American/Japanese.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dina_Eastwood

    Funny how even a miscegnator gets called a racist! I think Mr Eastwood was right on the money about political correctness.

    Anyone who calls Clint a racist is a PC moron.

  47. madmutha says:

    i’m from a minority group and have experienced some form of racial unfairness from time to time. what i HAVE learned is that you have to pick your battles, and have a sense of humor. my son (who’s in HS in a 99,9% all white school) has experienced some heckling too, and i’ve explained to him that by being too sensitive he’ll be wasting too much time with needless things. he’s eventually learned to pick his battles, he has a great sense of humor so it wasn’t hard to adjust, and he’s realized that some people just don’t know better…
    clint eastwood is a noble man, being a racist is beneath him.

  48. Seth says:

    Ah, Mr Eastwood, don’t we just long for the days gone by when we were racially free.
    The good old day when in Florida the Hotels had signs that read “No Jews or N***** allowed”.
    In the south the signs read “No colored allowed” (a kinder name)
    Throughout the country there were these great joke of how “stupid Polish people were”, How dirty Irish people were, etc.

    those were really the good old day Mr Clint, why can’t we just turn back the clock to a time when everybody knew their place.

  49. J-Lin says:

    Oooohhhh, his wife is of mixed heritage so he can’t be racist! If that’s how you feel, you must live in a very small world. Many people call Charles Barkely and he was married to some random white girl.

  50. for_realz says:

    @ Seth

    Your lame attempt at humor was about as spot on as calling Mr. Eastwood a racist. In other words, you are so far off the mark you need to post on another page.

    Maybe you haven’t read some of the other comments by the above posters. You should. He is not racist, and perhaps you are with your nasty little comments.

  51. MissSmilla says:

    I don’t think Clint is a racist, I just think he’s out of touch. The fact is that if you and your friends are comfortable with jokes like this then fine, but now there is an awareness now that maybe these jokes aren’t funny to everyone, and you should try to be a little more “PC” to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Or at least develop an awareness of how certain terms can be offensive. It’s not being color-blind, its just being respectful.

    Like the British commentator who said the word “wog”. The woman who said it doesn’t even consider it racist, because noone ever bothered to point out to her that it was offensive. She probably said it to black friend’s to their faces, never heard a complaint, and thought it was equivalent as calling someone any other insult. She wasn’t educated in how to be PC, and ended up being very hurtful.

    His comment about every clique having a Sam the Jew or Jose the Mexican is very telling. These people weren’t really “members”of the group, they were there for comic relief, like Buckwheat in Our Gang. So Jose the Mexican, who was really from Guatemala, never said anything, so everyone thinks it’s ok.

    Well, it’s not.

  52. Christina says:

    the fact that one’s wife is of mixed heritage has SOME merit… right? i mean, why would someone create a life partnership with a race they considered to be sub-par? it, at least, shows a decent amount of acceptance i presume.

  53. roadkill says:

    WTF…

    Dudes and dudettes…

    The founder of the Aryan Nation [a very hardcore white supremacist group] had as his wife a Vietnamese woman…

    Being married to someone of color don’t mean JACK. And while I respect Clint Eastwood, I think he is prejudiced, though not racist. Basically, he thinks what was ok with the polite society while he was growing up and what is ok now with the Rush crowd is still ok.

    I wouldn’t lump him with Rush or Savage, but he’s probably a lot like good many WASPs out there, like George Will or the late William Buckley. [The last two are famous American conservatives.]

  54. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Zoe you make a lot of sense lady – must be that ace name that does it!

    I’m english, white, blonde and grew up in north london with pakistanis, bangladeshis and indians amongst others. I now live in the middle east with an even more ethnically diverse community. People are people and I really get the raving hump with people who are overtly PC. Prince Harry was lambasted for referring to his pakistani friend as his ‘paki friend’ – well then should I be cross or offended when I am referred to as a Brit? Or an australian as an Aussie. If someone says it without being malicious then it’s not racism any more than me referring to a friend as ‘the ginger one’.

    Tolerance and understanding seems to be the key – there will always be vile oppressive racists but the majority of us aren’t.

  55. Shay says:

    What’s the problem? I think some people can joke about race without malice. But you still have people who buy into racial sterotypes as truth because they aren’t familiar with people of the race in question. Some people can’t seperate the truth from assumptions.

    As far as marrying someone of another color erasing the possibility of being racist that isn’t true. I can’t tell you how many people tell me “I hate ____” but will be married to someone of that race.

  56. Autumm Leaves says:

    OMG! Reading these comments further lets me know that Americans and those abroad have a serious mental illness when it comes to racism, prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance. I’m not even going to go into the ridiculous notion of “reverse racism” because I’ve just calmed down from laughing. Seriously a lame attempt to denigrate the posts of those who know what racism and discrimination is as opposed to the “feel the pain of experiencing ‘reverse racism and political correctness’. Please tell me you all are joking. Please tell me that you don’t have the average education from public schools where you develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

    And I’m sorry but telling “race jokes” like N*word jokes weren’t funny in my black 95 year old granddaddy’s from Lynch-you Alabama, and they will never be funny in my time. Get use to it. We aren’t going to the back of the bus because you are uncomfortable with losing your “superiority complex”.

    To those of you having a hard time with ‘political correctness and reverse racism’, go back to ironing those white sheets for the next cross burning meeting. If you are offended by my last comment, then you have lost your “sense of humor about race”.

  57. CB Rawks says:

    “the usual butts were Aussie (obviously”

    Sigh. Poor little wannabe. ;)
    Can I borrow your jandals?

  58. lrm says:

    I didn’t read every post on here,but most miss the point. You know,why is it okay for my black friends to openly tell me they make fun of whites all the time? And to say everyone makes fun of different cultures? But whites are currently the only ones held accountable.
    Say what you will,but many other groups have been racist,and still are. China,Korea,Japan,and yes,even within Africa and the Middle East. [And this is historically so,not just b/c of recent 'white is best' attitudes based on military and/or economic power,that discrimination occurs.] Read your true history,and you will realize what Eastwood said was in context.
    Stereotypes exist for a reason: Because they are founded in some characteristic trait that is true.

    Should people be given less opportunity for these differences? Of course not,but that also doesn’t mean hollywood needs to film a united colors of benetton ad everytime a film comes out by a ‘white’ director. Please.
    And joking about differences is NOT the same as making decisions to discriminate based upon them.

  59. Autumm Leaves says:

    And I don’t care who Clint is married to, he doesn’t get an automatic pass for it. Racial sensitivity goes a long way indeed.

    Whenever I hear a person complaining about “political correctness” that is not a person I want to deal with. If a person feels like they should be able to joke on a minority, put them down, and you just laugh and grin about it like in the “good old days”, then prepare for what’s coming your way. This is a new day and minorities demand to be treated with respect and dignity. Not calling various racial groups names and slurs and joking on them is just politeness and respect for them as a human being. So when a person grumbles about not being able to call a minority a slur like back in the old days they are really mad about having to respect you as a fellow person on this earth.

    And if this went over your head, then you are lost.

  60. Seth says:

    @Autumn
    I totally agree with you.

    We need to replace the words “PC” with “mutual respect”, what is so deficient in your character that you should need to degrade another person in order to feel good about yourself?
    I take pride that I never have to watch what I say in mixed company, because I always practice “mutual respect” for other humankind.

  61. Autumm Leaves says:

    :-) thank you Seth. You made a good point about “character deficiency” because that’s the bottom line. It’s basic decency. Also, you and I are in agreement about having pride in never having to watch what you say in mixed company.

    So when someone says to you, “I can’t stand being p.c. or having to watch what I say”, it’s a red flag into their character.

  62. J-Lin Wannabe says:

    J-Lin!
    YOU ROCK!!! Am lovin’ you posts. ROCK ON SISTA.

  63. melissa says:

    I think political correctness is actually heightening and creating more racial division…we are all becoming afraid of one another and of offending others to an unhealthy and ridiculous degree.
    It causes us all to be pansies and site offense at everything and anything, drawing more attention and reason to build walls with anyone different than us.

    BTW this is not about using racial slurs (rooted in true racism) but about lightening up people. Minorities make fun of other races too.
    Clint is right on about this and I will miss his cowboy attitude when he is gone.

  64. Thinking it over says:

    Racial epithets and ethnic humor promote racism. It is appropriate to discuss our differences, but these discussions should be conducted with sensitivity. So many of us were forced to endure racial or ethnic insults when we were children. In order to fit in, we smiled on the outside, but hurt on the inside. Mr. Eastwood’s comment indicates that the “joking” he engaged in with his friends never caused him any pain. Since he is a member of the racial group that was socially dominant, this is not surprising.

    I agree that polital correctness sometimes goes too far. But going back to a time when racial and ethnic joking was socially acceptable would be a giant step backward for our country.

  65. Holly says:

    Oh give me a break “Autumm”, coming in here and reprimanding us little people for not being as moral and wonderful as you. Get off your high horse.

    Just because a person doesn’t feel like being overly PC does not mean they are a racist who wants to go around calling people rude names. I personally never have to watch what I say in mixed company, but I don’t want to have to feel guilty for being so rude as to notice that someone is different from me, which is what white guilt has turned “PC” into to.

    But go on, I know you don’t care. Right now you’re enjoying feeling superior far too much to understand anything I have to say.

    Funny, too, how you rail against racism based on stereotypes, but then willfully engage in stereotyping “Americans and those abroad”.

    HYPOCRITE!!!

  66. Autumm Leaves says:

    Holly, is this your attempt to start an e-flame? My posts stands. Like I posted before, if you don’t get it, then it’s gone way over your head and the meaning behind my post is lost on you.

    Toodles

  67. Marina Smalberger says:

    I wish to say that Clint Eastwood was my dad’s favourite actor alongside with John Whayne. As children my dad loved to take out movies of old Westerns and we always knew what movies it was going to be. We learn about Clint Eastwood and John Wayne through dad and dad died about 3 years ago. This is one of my fondest memories of dad….yeah those Westerns was great! Still love it today…always