True Blood–Are They Being Hugely Racially Insensitive?

One shouldn’t take True Blood too seriously. Few television series should be taken seriously. True Blood is fun and interesting and often creative but it’s also pretty silly. Still, I am annoyed enough by the newest one to say, I think they’ve crossed a line with their analogy between vampires and racial (and sexual) minorities. My wife, a big fan of True Blood, does not agree with me about this. But: They’ve been making the civil rights for vampires analogy all along–though they had a series of shows in which there were vampires quite flagrantly ignoring the “artificial blood only” prescription for acceptance, and then a whole cult of vampires going wild with Lilith worship and tearing humans to pieces. But now they’ve gone too far: they have a vampire who was dragged to death behind a truck by rednecks for being a vampire. The scriptwriters think they’re clever, do they? A black man was dragged behind a truck, dragged to death in Texas about five years ago, by white supremacists. For being black. So what are we saying here, in True Blood? That this is really analogous? That vampires are a racial minority? Well–no. They aren’t. They’re not human. They really aren’t. They feed on human beings. They’re parasites, predators. So are you saying that blacks also are not human? That blacks feed on human beings? What are you saying here? I know that “blacks feed on us” wasn’t in the writers’ minds. I’m suggesting that *not very much* was in the writers’ minds. I’m suggesting that they didn’t think it through. They didn’t care enough. All they cared about was their Cool Idea. “Hey what if they dragged a vampire to death like that black guy in Texas…” That’s a pretty inappropriate use of that man’s death. A man named James Byrd. Just five years later…

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