Black Jesus cartoon too discriminatory

Poke fun at Christian beliefs all you want, but cut the racism. That’s what I say.

Times Live reports on a short cartoon that featured a black Jesus:

The two-minute animation, created by Johannesburg company Mdu Comics, depicts a “black Jesus” attempting to commit suicide after his doctor “diagnoses” him as a Shangaan.

In the clip, which has had 49000 hits on YouTube, “Jesus”, who speaks Zulu, consults a doctor after breaking his toe. After a DNA test, the doctor says: “Jesus, there is no easy way of telling you this … You are Shangaan.”

The character then scrubs himself with bags of oranges to rid himself of his “shangaan-ness” before leaving a suicide note.

Shangaan part of an ethnic group in South Africa, the Tsonga people.

According to the Tsonga, there exists a strong relationship between the creation (ntumbuloko) and a supernatural power called Tilo. Tilo refers to a vaguely described superior being, who created mankind, but it also refers to the heavens, being the home of this creature.

The Tsonga believed that man had a physical (mmiri) and a spiritual body with two added attributes, the moya and the ndzuti. The moya is associated with the spirit, enters the body at birth, and leaves at death to join the ancestors.

The ndzuti was associated with the person’s shadow and reflected human characteristics. At death, in the spirit world, it left the body. This meant that the spirit was attached with the individual and human characteristics of that person. Inherent in this concept is not only the belief in life after death but also that the dead retain very strong links with the living. Passing over into the spirit world is an important stage in the life of a Tsonga.

The country is rife with racist notions of certain tribes being better than others and the woman who initially lodged the complaint has heard many a slur against her Shangaan roots. Caroline Sithole thought this particular cartoon was worth taking to the Human Rights Commission after an acquaintance sent her to look at it.

“The [animation] came from a colleague and friend who said: ‘I am happy you will be Zulu soon’, referring to the fact that I will be getting married to a Zulu man.

“Well, it is sad that in this democratic South Africa you still have people who really believe Zulus or other tribes are more superior than Shangaans and that Shangaans are non-human or sub-human,” Sithole wrote in her complaint.

She said the animation carried many upsetting stereotypes.

“No wonder my son refuses to be Shangaan. I grew up being ridiculed by schoolmates for being Shangaan and I was not sure where this hatred was coming from.

Nowhere logical or scientifically factual, I’m sure.

Mdu Comics founder Mdu Ntuli denied the cartoon was offensive.

“It is purely fictional . Every nationality has a joke on each other and that’s just how it is. For me, it is just ridiculous for any Tsonga person to take this personally,” Ntuli said.

“Just how it is” is just what the problem is. So long as people refuse to see the problem with that kind of attitude, the longer the attitude will persist.

About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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5 Responses to Black Jesus cartoon too discriminatory

  1. Yusri says:

    It is totally unacceptable and greatly disrespectful in Islam to depict any of the Holy Prophets in pictures cartoons or any type of sketch and/or etc. Therefore I am completely/totally disgusted by the depiction of Jesus (May peace and blessings be upon him) in cartoons and the like.

  2. 1minionsopinion says:

    I’m aware of that aspect of Islam. Christianity prefers to have lots of pictures of saints and saviours and there are so many ridiculous “sightings” every year in every day objects. Mostly I’m amused by it. I’m appalled by seeing Christ on a crucifix, myself. It’s a torture implement and I know the point is to see the sacrifice he supposedly made to save mankind but it’s still mind boggling that that image is the one people want to hang in their houses and keep around their necks.

  3. omalone1 says:

    I am startled. That sounded like a progressive animation so why the hassle?

  4. mark says:

    I’ve looked and looked to leave your website a comment, but this is ridiculous. If you think its ok to show this after 10pm, in my opinion you’re completely wrong, Everyone has their opinion about what Jesus looked like and what he did but please don’t make a mockery of it. I am so sorry that I happen to come across this, enjoy your opinion but just know what the word says is what it means. I’m not judging, just voicing my opinion, but just know our youth stays up past 10pm and sees this type of programming.

  5. 1minionsopinion says:

    At first I thought your comment was spam but then I read the whole thing.

    This post has nothing to do with the tv show. This post is from 2012 about a racist comic.

    I think you meant to leave your comment on the post about the tv show about Black Jesus:

    Of course it’s okay to show that show. America is not a dictatorship where people will be killed if they don’t properly worship Jesus and treat him how you’d like to see him treated.

    The U.S. is a country with the freedom of speech and that freedom extends to bad television – although, it’s not doing badly as a show. A CBC blog post notes it’s doing well despite boycotts.

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, Black Jesus brought in more than two million viewers during its premiere, averaging a solid 0.9 rating among adults 18 to 49 during its 11 p.m time slot on Thursday.

    In a TIME op-ed published Friday, Pastor Leslie D. Callahan of the St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia made a case against boycotting Black Jesus on the grounds that there are much more important things one could boycott.

    “I’m not inclined to get too irate over the mere possibility of blasphemy,” she wrote. “Now this is not because I am incapable of indignation. I’m just saving my ire for other things, such as, the carnage in Gaza, food insecurity in my city and every city, and even the nonsense folks preach in pulpits depicting Jesus as a money-hungry capitalist, which by the way is at least as blasphemous as portraying him as a cussing, smoking, homeless dude in the hood.”

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