This post got away from me after I began writing, so it’s a little off the intended topic of the MartyrMade blog. Times like this make me thankful I don’t actually have an audience.
For most Americans, looking back on pop culture portrayals of minority groups and foreigners is always a mixed bag filled with shame and guilty humor. We might experience unqualified outrage when we realize that Bugs Bunny was an unapologetic racist, but anyone who doesn’t admit to feeling a bit of morally-ambivalent nostalgia when they remember Transformers villain Abdul Fakkadi (Supreme Military Commander, President-for-Life, and King of Kings of the Socialist Democratic Federated Republic of Carbombya) is a repressed liar.
The squared circle has more than its share of racial not-giving-a-shit (anyone who doesn’t laugh at Roddy Piper trolling Chavo Guerrero and his Mexican fans by playing La Cucaracha on his ‘pipes can go hate freedom with the Carbombya whiners), especially since it is the job of half the roster to offend and enrage the audience. As with portrayals in the broader culture, racial stereotypes in pro wrestling come in different flavors and levels of severity. Some are unforgivable gaffes that even committed racists try to forget, while others get us going through our friends list trying to decide who it’s safe to share with. The Iron Sheik has always been a tough one for me to place on that spectrum. Continue reading
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