AKA: The “Old news is old” post.
I’m sure someone somewhere took this title the wrong way. And I’m sure that same someone would comment claiming that I’m being racist without reviewing the content of this post.
The first time someone pointed out the “racism” of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers I must have been in fifth or sixth grade. I don’t quite remember but the grade I was in shouldn’t matter. I don’t know how the conversation started but a classmate of mine chimed in about how the Black Ranger in Mighty Morphin’ was black and the Yellow Ranger was Asian. As a child, I’d never made that connection before, but this classmate pointed this out I was laughing and a bit shocked that I hadn’t made that connection earlier. Being raised with a father who’s always pointing out racial connections in society (even when they don’t exist), I’m surprised I didn’t catch on to the Black Ranger conspiracy at least. The connection between the color yellow and Asians was something I was taught much later in life and to this day I still don’t understand it.
I’d learned that Power Rangers was based off of a Japanese series around the same time but since I didn’t have any interest in the Power Rangers franchise at that time, I didn’t watch the Super Sentai series or think about them until…well now. And so this (rather silly) realization hit me recently…”In Japan…the Yellow Ranger’s always Asian”. Depending on what sort of person you are, you’ll either find this incredibly offensive or absolutely hilarious (or neither). But before you decide you’re going to hunt me down with pitchforks and torches, hear me out.
Was it really a racist decision that an Asian played the Yellow Ranger? Or that a black person played the Black Ranger? Do you know for sure that the people making casting decisions sat around a table and turned down people of other races just because they wanted to put an Asian in the place of the Yellow Ranger and a black guy in place of the Black Ranger? Had no ordinary people decided to complain about this supposed racist connection, the actors would have stayed the same, no one would have noticed, and the Power Rangers could be left to save the world from evil. Which brings up another question…what exactly was racist about the decision? Colors are just colors. They have no power. But if you want to give a color the power to be “racist” then far be it from me to stop you.
If colors are the driving force of power behind this racist claim, why has no one called sexism since girls always play the Pink Ranger or because a girl has never been the Red Ranger (even though Power Ranger’s Samurai should have a female Red Ranger since Samurai Sentai Shinkenger’s leader was a female)? Stop reading a message that a show isn’t presenting. It seems to me that this is just another way people look to the media for something to complain about.