Monday, June 02, 2008

Once You Go Black...The World Ends

Danny Glover has just been cast as the president of the United States in an upcoming Roland Emmerich disaster movie, 2012. This continues a proud tradition of casting black actors as the American president in movies and television.

He joins the ranks of Morgan Freeman (Deep Impact), Tommy 'Tiny' Lister (The Fifth Element), Dennis Haysbert and D.B. Woodside (24), and Duane Elizondo Camacho (Idiocracy).

The interesting trend is that all of these movies deal with the end of the world, or at least some major disaster. Deep Impact and Fifth Element both deal with threats from outer space hurling toward Earth, likely to snuff out all life. Dennis Haysbert never had to worry about anything but threats to national security on 24, but he was assassinated post-presidency, and D.B. Woodside had the misfortune of being president during the first successful nuclear strike on American soil. Duane Elizondo Camacho is president of an America that exists essentially after the world (at least as we know it) has already ended.

These aren't the only filmic black presidents. Both James Earl Jones and Chris Rock have had a go, with less epic results. But they're in the minority.

The real question is how this all fits into the upcoming real world presidential elections. If Obama becomes the Democratic candidate (which seems increasingly likely) should we be worried about the impending apocalypse? Perhaps. I fully intend the Republican propaganda machine to take full advantage of this.

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