It seems that racist fans of The Hunger Games are also very bad at reading comprehension, expressing their outrage via Twitter over the fact that two characters — who are both described as having “dark brown skin” in the book — were portrayed by black actors in the film.
I read some of the tweets last night (Jamelle Bouie retweeted a bunch of them and there’s a Tumblr blog dedicated to finding and publishing them); they made my stomach churn. Prior to seeing these tweets, I didn’t have anything at all to say about The Hunger Games: I haven’t read the books, I haven’t seen the movie, and doing either of these things isn’t at the top of my list.
But, of course, now I have a comment:
In all honesty, I’m not at all surprised by the sentiment, as I have a pretty good idea that we’re not living in the post-racial paradise of (some of) our dreams and, as an educator, I know that reading comprehension is sorely lacking in this country.
But I really am shocked that people want to tweet their racism and stupidity out to the universe. I continue to long for the day when racist idiots keep their idiocy to themselves as I really believe that’s the first step in doing away with the idiocy altogether. As the philosopher Richard Rorty once wrote, “what people cannot say in public becomes, eventually, what they cannot say even in private, and then, still later, what they cannot even believe in their hearts.”
Apparently, we’ve still got a very long way to go even to get to that point.
 Richard Rorty, “What Can You Expect From Anti-Foundationalist Philosophers?: A Reply to Lynn Baker,” 78 Virginia Law Review (April 1992), 725-726.