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What makes people think Spice Up Your Life is racist?


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I've heard people say that in a few reaction videos.

 

That's...completely baseless, and I'd even go so far as to call it intellectually dishonest.  Where in the episode does it poke fun at Saffron's culture?  Where does it portray her culture as being lesser than the establishment?  Anyone who has watched the episode would know that the writers were praising Indian cuisine and putting down the stuffy comformism that was stifling the creativity of the Canterlot restaurant scene.

 

It's as if they didn't even watch the episode and simply experienced a knee-jerk reaction to hearing that a pastiche-Indian culture was portrayed.  Of course, that's assuming that anyone who thinks this episode was promoting racism is just an idiot, and not someone who's trying to drum up drama to generate more views.

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Some people seem to think that, if someone makes even a vague respectful reference to another culture, it's racist. 

IMO, those are very sad, angry people who are just waiting for an opportunity to attack.  :(

 

EDIT: Oops. While I was typing this, KeybladeSmasher made a post making essentially the same point. Sorry.

Edited by Kings&Hooves14
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It's racist because they portrayed an ethnic minority instead of just having pure 100% Aryan KKK Approved Accent white man race groups. 

 

Seriously, no matter how accurate the portrayal of something is, if you even so much as make a completely silent character who has a different skin tone wearing the same clothing as all the other characters, people will STILL find a way to call it racist for that person being there and not having it there will still make you racist. 

 

There is never anything racist about it, these ponies are insane. 

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It's racist because they portrayed an ethnic minority instead of just having pure 100% Aryan KKK Approved Accent white man race groups. 

 

Seriously, no matter how accurate the portrayal of something is, if you even so much as make a completely silent character who has a different skin tone wearing the same clothing as all the other characters, people will STILL find a way to call it racist for that person being there and not having it there will still make you racist. 

 

There is never anything racist about it, these ponies are insane. 

I don't think its possible to deny that applejack's barn is, in fact, very racist though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c96ifBjUp8Y

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Yeah people will get triggered over anything .and let get this straight Eqeutria IS NOT EARTH

I foudnthe pair quite enjoyable. what did you expect them to do? hire idian voice actors for one episode..yeah i dont think so.

Edited by BlinkZ
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Where do indian ponies come from anyway , thats what botthered me .

Most people point that out in comments LOL

In universe I think they're from Equestria. "Indian ponies" may not be a thing in universe. I mean, they're obviously based on Indians, but their accents and food might be unique, not part of some cultural background. Which still begs the question how they got those accents in the first place, but never mind that.

 

Hmm, I find it curious how a post of mine got removed for pointing out some actual (negative) things in India that make this episode's portrayal of the two unlikely. I assure you, if you research India, you'll find that not a single thing I said is untrue or inaccurate. There really is a serious problem there with exploitation of the lower classes. They really do widely use child labor as household servants. Marriages are typically arranged when a girl is in her 20s at the most (and sadly in many cases younger), due to Indian ideas about fertility.

 

That isn't racist, it's factual information. I find it deeply ironic as a result that my post would be removed (for presumably reasons of that type), considering the topic of this thread.

 

I even balanced it by expressing my support for Indian vegetarianism and India being the birthplace of my favorite pacifistic religion, Jainism.

Edited by Daring_Do
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Racist barn is a misheard lyrics joke about that song.

sig-4674551.large.jpeg

This gave me a really good LOL.  Brilliant, but it would be way better if the sing-along lyrics actually said "racist barn".

 

So, my parents and I were actually just discussing the topic of racism over dinner.  I told them about Sam Harris's recent podcast on racism, which I recommend to anyone (just like any of Sam's work).

 

I'm going to guess that the accusations of this episode actually being racist are either by idiots who haven't watched it, or by people just intentionally trying to stir up drama, as @Hazard Time suggested.  I don't think the asinine idea of Spice Up Your Life actually being racist is even worth entertaining, so I'm not going to say another word on that.  However, racism is an important topic to discuss anyway, and this seems like a good excuse for me to speak my peace on it, which I haven't really done on these forums.

 

This racism thing seems to have exploded in recent years.  True racism is still a problem in America, but it seems to me that an equally big problem is this massive over-sensitivity to racism that doesn't even exist, and this incessant need to make accusations of racism where there is none.  It's gotten to the point where simply referencing an ethnicity or culture in any way will get people screamed at for being racist.  From what I understand, this is especially bad on college campuses.  I heard that at one college, a student was accused of being racist against Japan for wearing a t-shirt with the rising sun emblem on it.  A lot of people seem to want anything that references any culture to be banned.  I also heard that a non-Chinese family wanted to open a restaurant that served Chinese food, and they were immediately slammed with racism accusations.  It's gotten so bad that you basically can't say that a black person is black, that an Asian person is Asian, or that you like Indian food.  I'm white, and I wore a kimono out to dinner tonight.  I'm surprised I didn't yelled at for being a racist.  All of this is utterly asinine, of course.  It's truly weaponized stupidity.

 

It needs to understood that the political right and the political left lead to a form of totalitarianism if taken to far.  Imagine the left and right simply being on a giant circle, and they will eventually fall and meet on the underside.  If the ideals of the left are taken to ludicrous extremes, it soon becomes "offensive" for anyone to even talk about culture at all.  It becomes offensive to wear clothing of another culture, to eat food of another culture, to write about another culture, to respectfully depict another culture on screen.  Anything becomes offensive to the point that we are forced to pretend that all culture and ethnicity doesn't exist.  If taken even farther, into a dystopian future scenario, this could mean the banning of all culture, and the requirement for all peoples of the world to wear gray uniforms and eat that tasty wheat slop from The Matrix.  At present, it simply seems like many overly-sensitive people want any cultural or ethnic references banned, apart from those who are that ethnicity.  I.e. only an Indian person can make Indian food or wear Indian clothing and so forth.  This is just another path to segregation.  It's all approaching totalitarianism, just from a different side, and for different reasons, but the end result is the same: homogenization, loss of freedom, and senseless banning of wonderful things that should be celebrated.

 

There just seems to be a rabid fear of racism today, and it's doing needless harm.  At the same time, people are terrified and unwilling to discuss the actual statistics, problems and violence that exists.  We're ignoring actual racism, and flying off the handle about harmless t-shirts, food, cartoons, and anything else.  In many ways, racism seems to be a problem that is made worse the more people talk and worry about it.  The real problems need to be discussed, but all of this other nonsense would just disappear if people stopped talking about it, and everyone would see that there was no racism there to begin with.  Racism has just gotten to be such a buzz word and trigger that intellectual honesty and conversation is being made almost impossible.  We should be on the cusp of a truly progressive society with the least amount of racism in history, but if we don't tread carefully going forward, progress might well be set back decades.

 

Well, I guess that's all I wanted to say.  My two bits.

 

 

Where do indian ponies come from anyway , thats what botthered me .

 

post-26336-0-41596500-1474529847_thumb.jpg

Probably somewhere around there.

 

Don't forget, this isn't Earth.  They're not Indian.  They're just a pony ethnicity that closely resembles Indian on Earth so that people can easily relate to it and go, "Oh, cool an Indian restaurant!  I love Indian food!"  Every pony on the show has some sort of culture, and everypony has an accent, even if it's just American, which is an accent too.  None of it is from Earth, it just that their world and cultures evolved in a similar way, so much of it resembles ours.

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So basically saying minorities aren't every bit as capable as the majority isn't? Thanks for clarifying.

But the concept of the map is helping everyone. So you are saying that minorities can not be the ones featured in a map episode? I am pretty sure you would not have liked them being villains in some episode either.

 

The only issue with those ponies I feel could be pointed out is that we should feel these Indian style ponies more often in the backround as other characters if such place in Equestria excist. But since the writers just made this up I can not see it helped. And maybe the location they come from is remote (and was it really stated to be in Equestria? Maybe it is closer to Saddle-Arabia).

Edited by snowflame
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Ethnic minority tries SO SUPER HARD but is helpless and needs the Mighty Majority to swoop in and save the day? Yeah, totally not racist at all. Nope, that's not the Colonialist Narrative.

 

Seriously? There are businesses and government organizations that flat out refuse to help people because they're a minority. Especially banks. A black person can apply for a business loan and get denied at every turn, or make a large deposit and have their account frozen on suspicion of acquiring funds through "illegal activity". Nobody with a shred of decency would ever agree to these practices.

 

Here we have an episode where two "majority" ponies are helping a minority in need, and all of a sudden it's racist. Which is it?

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Alright, simmer down a little here. While this topic touches on issues related to racism, this is not an excuse to turn this topic as an annex to the Debate Pit. More to that, marginalizing an entire real world population is against our Abusive Content rules. We do not want to see that again. 

 


 

 

I have commented on this in the Episode thread. The episode was not racist in its depiction. The narrative and moral were clumsy at times, but not racist. 

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>on the note of "Minorities need the mane six to help them"...

EVERYONE was failing just as much as the minorities were here, the problem in the episode was EVERYONE in that town was having to change what they served to please Zesty. So its not like everyone else was succeeding, the issue was just that everyone was obsessed with what zesty thought so no one could be themselves.

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Oh for Buck's sake.

 

Y'all were SO FLUMMOXED trying to figure out how it could possibly be racist. The Colonial narrative, where the Noble Whitey swoops in to save the day because the resident darkies just can't figure it out is one example. Just ONE possible interpretation that a person may feel denigrates them.

 

Now, since I personally liked the ep just fine, harping at me about how "but the majority was failing too" and "so saying the act of needing help is racist" and all that other whining petulant apologist shit... well look at that, some of y'all found the interpretation I posted offensive. Huh. Interesting. Couldn't POSSIBLY be the point I was driving at about dictating what other people are allowed to dislike or be offended by. Nope.

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I feel like people are reading WAAAY to into this and making it into a race problem when it had nothing to do with race in the first place.

 

If the episode revolved around Rarity and Pinkie Pie correcting Saffron's and Coriander's "traditional" yet "backwards" ways, which involved convincing them to abandon their culture and conform to the "superior" culture of their surroundings, then yes, you would have a point.  However, while something like that DID happen in the episode, it was considered the wrong thing to do.  The food culture of Canterlot was depicted as being bland and uncreative because of a culinary fascist declaring herself the authority on fine dining, whereas Saffron's cooking was praised as being fresh, creative, and tasteful.  By the end of the episode, this was enough to convince the other restaurant owners NOT to conform to the demands of a single self-elected authority and instead focus on expressing themselves through their food.

 

On top of all that, these claims of a "colonial narrative" fall apart when you truly think about just how much Rarity and Pinkie Pie had to do with the success of The Tasty Treat:  All they did was advertise.  Neither of them changed any of Saffron's or Coriander's recipes, nor did they try and appeal to common tastes of Canterlot, because every time they did, it only caused more problems.  The success of the restaurant rests entirely on the father and daughter who run it.  Rarity and Pinkie only convinced other ponies to disregard Zesty's rating, it was Saffron's and Coriander's cooking that sealed the deal.

 

So to sum everything up in a teal deer, Pinkie's and Rarity's only true challenge was getting the ponies of Canterlot to disregard the words of a self-elected authoritarian and to actually try it for themselves.  The moral had nothing to do with racism or colonialism, it was simply that you shouldn't let your own personal tastes be shaped by others simply because they fashion themselves as an authority.  Among the many themes of this episode, race and colonialism were not among them.

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Oh for Buck's sake.

 

Y'all were SO FLUMMOXED trying to figure out how it could possibly be racist. The Colonial narrative, where the Noble Whitey swoops in to save the day because the resident darkies just can't figure it out is one example. Just ONE possible interpretation that a person may feel denigrates them.

 

Now, since I personally liked the ep just fine, harping at me about how "but the majority was failing too" and "so saying the act of needing help is racist" and all that other whining petulant apologist shit... well look at that, some of y'all found the interpretation I posted offensive. Huh. Interesting. Couldn't POSSIBLY be the point I was driving at about dictating what other people are allowed to dislike or be offended by. Nope.

 

You, and everyone else on this planet, is allowed to be offended by anything you desire. Nobody can stop you from finding something offensive personally. If someone thinks "Spice up your life" was in some way racist, that's their right. However, it is also someone's right to disagree. I don't find "Spice up your life" racist at all, someone else might. Neither of us are necessarily right or wrong, and neither of us can dictate what the other thinks. But it's a good thing to have discussions about topics like this, and disagreements should be allowed.

 

 Personally, I don't see this single episode as being racist. Nothing about it seemed like it was attempting to insult or degrade a culture of any kind. It was simply two ponies in need of help, and Rarity and Pinkie tried to help them. Honestly, there was nothing Saffron and her father was even really doing wrong, simply Zesty's fame allowing her to control everypony on Restaurant row. If anything, the episode shows there is nothing wrong with the food Saffron and her father make, or the culture they come from, and that that's actually a good thing. Variety is the spice of life, ponies of all different cultures and backgrounds can make good food, in different ways, but Zesty only wanted a single kind allowed.

 

 But if someone disagrees with me, and thinks in some manner the episode was insulting? Very well, that's their opinion. I can't "Disallow" them to think that. As long as they're respectful, and don't try to call me Racist for simply disagreeing, I have no problem.

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I never heard any hint of people calling the episode racist. Then again, I find the fact that people make "Reaction" videos of themselves watching an episode to be absolutely pointless. Maybe that's why I never heard anyone makes such an absurd accusation.

 

Now if someone was trapped in orbit with a couple of friendly robots, and they made comical and topical comments, riffing away while silhouetted down in the lower right hand corner, I might feel differently. 

 

Saying "That's Racist" because a character said the word "Curry", isn't funny or topical.

 

Here's what I mean.

 

(at the mention of curry)

 

"Hey, didn't Dave eat all the curry on the Red Dwarf?"

"I could go for a chicken Vindaloo!"

"You just leave Scootaloo out of this!"

 

(Who knows? Red Dwarf fans may be laughing at my comment right now!)

Edited by cuteycindyhoney
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You, and everyone else on this planet, is allowed to be offended by anything you desire. Nobody can stop you from finding something offensive personally. If someone thinks "Spice up your life" was in some way racist, that's their right. However, it is also someone's right to disagree. I don't find "Spice up your life" racist at all, someone else might. Neither of us are necessarily right or wrong, and neither of us can dictate what the other thinks. But it's a good thing to have discussions about topics like this, and disagreements should be allowed.

 

Personally, I don't see this single episode as being racist. Nothing about it seemed like it was attempting to insult or degrade a culture of any kind. It was simply two ponies in need of help, and Rarity and Pinkie tried to help them. Honestly, there was nothing Saffron and her father was even really doing wrong, simply Zesty's fame allowing her to control everypony on Restaurant row. If anything, the episode shows there is nothing wrong with the food Saffron and her father make, or the culture they come from, and that that's actually a good thing. Variety is the spice of life, ponies of all different cultures and backgrounds can make good food, in different ways, but Zesty only wanted a single kind allowed.

 

But if someone disagrees with me, and thinks in some manner the episode was insulting? Very well, that's their opinion. I can't "Disallow" them to think that. As long as they're respectful, and don't try to call me Racist for simply disagreeing, I have no problem.

*applauds*

 

Well said! And admittedly much less acerbic than what I said. :P

 

I guess I don't get why anybody CARES if someone else thinks it's racist. *shrug*

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Coriander and Saffron have white voice actors. Those are not their actual voices. Do you see the problem? 

 

The Colonial narrative, where the Noble Whitey swoops in to save the daybecause the resident darkies just can't figure it out is one example. Just ONE possible interpretation that a person may feel denigrates them.

There's a few occasions where the show has stumbled into that. I think they're getting a little better at managing it (I mean, I feel "Spice Up Your Life" is one of the better examples, in part because Rarity trying to enforce her own perspective only makes things worse), but that's something I really wish the writers would be more cognizant of. 

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