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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 

Here's how Geoff Johns didn't do real research

On a comics site called Fanboy Buzz, I found an entry by a contributor who actually lives in Dearborn who has the courage to call out Geoff Johns on the dishonesty of the portrait he delivers in the Green Lantern special:
...as a citizen of the town he portrayed in Green Lantern #0, there are very little truths regarding the city of Dearborn in there.

I’ve lived in this town outside of Detroit my entire life, and it was an interesting day on 9/11. On that day, Dearborn Muslims were cheering in the streets. Now, there were probably Muslims who found the actions of Al Qaeda horrific but the majority of the Muslim population in my city was cheering. Now, I found that major detail lacking from the comic which featured the new Green Lantern Simon Baz.

As a White Dearborn resident, I found Johns’ portrayal of us a bit offensive. While I’m sure there’s been racism shown towards them, I can honestly tell readers I have never experienced Muslims being treated that way nor have I participated in such foul behavior. I have some Muslim neighbors, and there have never been any quarrels between any of the other White families and them. I actually have seen our neighbors all get along together quite well, and continue to contribute to the neighborhood.

White Dearborners have actually been nothing but accepting of our Muslim neighbors. Dearborn Public Schools actually teach Arabic to students who are not as accessible in English. A recent federal mandate also has given Dearborn the ability to provide interpreters for Arabic students or parents who do not (or again have trouble speaking) English. I say that’s nothing but generous to the families in this city, and there are no benefits like that given to other racial groups in the city.

My main criticism of Johns was that in portraying a city he grew up near, I would’ve expected him to do more research. I mean he should’ve contacted other members of the community such as White and Black Americans in the city who have also been getting along peacefully. He went to the Arabic American National Museum for research on a city that’s a bit more complex than he realizes I think. [...]

All races get along in Dearborn since I’ve grown up here. We have never had any racial problems like the major city Detroit has. If you ever come back to Dearborn Mr. Johns, please do your homework. I think we would all benefit from that.
But alas, I doubt he will. This story pretty much marks where he's come out into the open about where he stands politically, and is a clear sign of jaw-dropping weakness on his part. He should be really ashamed of himself for going so far to align himself with the Muslim community that he'd even draw such a dishonest picture of what Dearborn is like.

That said, it strikes me as peculiar that this guy implies that Arabs aren't white. They are, and they're just as caucasian as the average white American.

Johns went to the Arab-American National Museum a few days ago, and he said something rather odd while there:
Diversification isn't a new concept in the comic book world, in the 1970's several characters were created during the blaxploitation era that reach most of the decade's pop culture.

Most of comic characters of that era are looked upon poorly by modern audiences. Johns said that he doesn't think Baz will have that type of legacy.

“I'm working with the Arab American Musuem to make sure the scripts are as real and as made up as possible,” he said. “I just don't think that is going to happen. I hope it doesn't happen.
First of all, I'm not sure whether it was Johns, the interviewer or both who said minority members of the 1970s are looked down upon today, but I completely disagree there. Some of them are very good, and had some very good stories provided during that era, like Power Man [and Iron Fist]. And, they were introduced plausibly and in their very own roles too, and still have their legions of fans today. So if he's implied that black heroes of those times are antiquated, I think that's a really dumb thing for him to say. And, as the guy writing for Fanboy Buzz has indicated, the script by Johns is more contrived than real. And after the horrifying massacre at the Libyan and Egyptian embassies yesterday, that even cost the life of US ambassador Christopher Stevens, I'm not sure Baz will find much of a legacy, if at all. We're facing a war with Islamofascism, and this is what he's concerned about coming up with? Sigh.

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Geoff Johns is just following in the same proud legacy of American comicbooks that gave us such pro-Nazi antisemitic superheroes in the 1940s as ...

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Morbid question now that poster has brought it up: how many people were, cheering, as the World Trade Center came crashing down, for whatever reason they could think of?

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