Tag Archives: African-American

Michael Medved: Black Panther’s Misleading Utopia


“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.


The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.


In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.

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Michael Medved: Not as Fragmented as the Pessimists Presume


A major study from the Pew Research Center should reassure those of us who worry about the fragmentation of America based on race and ethnicity. Among the 43 million U.S. adults with Hispanic ancestry, a full 5 million don’t identify themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino” at all.

Moreover, among families who’ve lived in the United States four generations or more—in other words, those with parents and grand-grandparents who are American born—Hispanic identification is only fifty-fifty. This means Latinos follow the familiar pattern of other immigrant groups, like the Irish or Italians, who de-emphasize ethnic identity after several generations in the U.S.

This contrasts with patterns of racial identity, where the great majority of African-Americans still describe themselves as black, even after several centuries in the U.S. Heavy intermarriage plays a big part in the increasingly rapid assimilation of Hispanics: among married third generation Latinos, the big majority—nearly two-thirds, in fact—have a non-Latino spouse.

Perhaps we’re not as fragmented as the pessimists presume.

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Michael Medved: A New Monument to Black Confederates


Two Republican legislators in South Carolina proposed a new monument on the state Capitol grounds to honor Confederate soldiers—this time commemorating black fighting men who went to battle for the South.

This idea is both ill-considered and offensive. First, the estimated 6,000 African-Americans who did fight for the Confederacy were mostly slaves, and forced to do so—many deserted when the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation offered freedom to those who crossed Union lines. Second, black soldiers represented less than 1 percent of the 750,000 white Confederates—and a tiny fraction of the 200,000 blacks who served the Union military.

Finally, it makes no sense to construct new memorials to those who fought against the United States in an effort to destroy our country. Yes, there may be romance and sentiment associated with the South’s “Lost Cause” but conservatives who want support from people of color must unequivocally acknowledge that this Lost Cause deserved to lose.

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