IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE FIRST THREE EPISODES OF SEASON 4, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.
There seems to be some confusion about Juice's discomfort and fear regarding the discovery of his black father. This is a racial reality in outlaw motorcycle clubs. We've touched on the issue lightly over the first three seasons of SOA. The fact is that most of the bigger MC's do not have African American members. There are black clubs and there are white (Caucasian, Latino, Asian) clubs. Most live in harmony. HA and the East Bay Dragons have been friends for decades. That relationship inspired the Grim Bastards in season 3. We delve into the delicate why's and how's of this racial bi-law later in the season, but it was one of those odd, historical barriers that I've wanted to explore. It's a throwback to a different era that is still in practice today. I can honestly say that none of the guys I know in the life are racist, yet they function within a structure that is built upon a form of segregation. To me, that's fascinating and fertile story turf. The depth and weight of this rule varies from club to club and this season we see how it's handled by the Sons of Anarchy.
This plot point kind of came out of the blue for me. It makes sense the way you explain it here and hopefully that comes across later on screen.
These are bad guys doing horrible things so it's a struggle to like them so much as it is. Racism though, that's brutal. Was handled great on The Shield so I'm looking forward to seeing how you do it with main characters here.
Weird. Although I know that this is true I just don't see Clay or any SOA member giving a shit about the color of Juice's dad. He is too important. I mean if the club can survive killing the wife of another high ranking member I think they will survive having a half black member. Having said this, I can't wait to see what happens. Kurt and company have never disappointed.
Interesting concepts to explore but I felt episode 4 didn't have the pace or excitement of the previous 3......
I'm an african american female and I just wanted to say that SOA is my favorite show on TV. It was very hard to wait a year between each season, but every season and episode gets better and better!!! I love Tuesday nights!
I was wondering about that issues with Juice. I figured if you brought it up in an episode there had to be a good reason. The way the boys of Samcrow have been written so far don't seem like they'd have a problem with it, but Clay is turning a new leaf lately...and not in a good way. Looking forward to see how you deal with it!
I had some doubts on Juice when they picked up Salazar's aunt and she only spoke Spanish. Clay looked to him and was confused that Juice didn't know any Spanish. The fact that his father is black just adds to my doubts thanks Kurt for getting some background into Juice this season can't wait for the next episode
In real life, wouldn't Juice and Happy not be allowed in the club - due to their Latino-ness? I'm guessing the S.O.A. are more leinient(sp?) than real life, though. :0)
Firstly, I want to say that I enjoy SOA and admire the ways you've tried to include diversity in your cast over the seasons despite the show being about a white MC. It doesn't seem to be a priority for a lot of tv and film right now. I don't know how well it will go over with other viewers but I am most certainly anxiously awaiting to see how you deal with the topic of race at the forefront. I enjoyed watching it play out on Deadwood, The Shield, and The Wire and trust you will handle it as intelligently as those shows did.
A friend and I were talking about Juice, Hap, and race on Saturday. For some reason she also believes Hap is black or mixed and is curious as to why it's not an issue for him? I, on the other hand, had no idea Hap was supposed to be black but apparently the writing has alluded to or stated that Hap lives in a black area. She also believes Hap has "black features" but, again, I never really noticed that either. So what's the deal with Hap?
Also, will we see more of Marianne Jean-Baptiste? I've adored her for years and was thrilled to see her pop up on SOA.
The fact that you chose to explore this is a shining example of how dedicated you are to true and in depth story telling. I'm sure you knew it'd create confusion and even set some of the likable characters in a bad light, yet you went with it anyway because it is true. Kudos for not catering to the masses and being faithful to your art.
Cool post , it is a very interesting world for us who don't move in those circles or live in that world . As you expand on this issue in SOA you may want to look at street gangs for now some have become Hybrid Gangs for they have members from all nationalities !! As a result there may be a hybrid MC !!!
After watching 403 several times, I didn't get the impression that Juice was scared of what Samcro will do if/when it comes out that his sperm donor was black. He looked pissed that Roosevelt was playin' the race card, tryin' to use him (Juice) as a means to get under the club's skin.
I do feel that seeing how this will be played out will be fascinating. It has certainly led to fascinating discussions on some of the message boards I post upon.
Additionally, I am captivated by the way that SJSD's (not so) Charming commandant is proving to be as fastened to Jacob Hale's tit as his late brother once accused Unser of being.
Speaking of JH, is it my imagination, or does that man look even more scuzzy than last season?
As always, cannot wait to see how you play this out.
"none of the guys I know in the life are racist, yet they function within a structure that is built upon a form of segregation."
I'm trying to wrap my head around that ...
I guess that's true for a great many people though, more then we care to admit, and when you start thinking about it, it really is fascinating.
I should probably brush up on American history (I'm from Holland) to better understand where you (/the Sons) are coming from; America and Holland are very different countries and I'm afraid a lot is 'lost in translation', simply because we come from more or less different worlds. (Having said that, please bear in mind that while Holland loves being considered a very tolerate and liberal country, I'm afraid reality is, sadly, very different.)
Anyway, I guess watching a TV show is not the best way to pick up a thing or two about live overseas ;) but I do love the way SOA can make you think about real-life issues. No small feat! Thank you and your team for creating not only some of the best entertainment on TV, but for keeping it interesting and make me actually pay attention to all the layers when watching.
I am eager to find out how the Sons of Anarchy deal with it. Whether good or bad, i know it will be very realistic as most of your shows have been. My husband and i Love the show! Keep up the great work!
Hey there, i think you were so right to write about the connection about white and black in SOA, and even all the discussions about prove that it is so important... it makes us fans to talk and share opinions (and for me more communications and explain point of view make the world more open and less stupid)
my own thoughts about Juice being reluctant about talk about it to his brothers (maybe he had talked about to some, who know right now .... ;) ) can be because 1/ never meet him and dont care about his biological father and dont give a damn or/and 2/ he is afraid that his MC seeing him differently or rejected him . But for me most of Sons dont care about his origins because he showed that they can trust him (i hope he will not fall for the trap of the sheriff!)
the great thing about this is more Juice/Theo Rossi scenes ;)
and you didnt fall for certain fans pression about "Ahhhhh OMFG Jax's hair! bla bla bla" thank you so much for that!
Anyway when i thought you cant do better than season 3 it seems i was so wrong!!!! Thank you SO MUCH! Mr Sutter! :)
I've lost sleep since that scene of Juice in the Sheriff's office wondering just how this is going to end up playing out. I'm sure that I'm not the only one waiting to see just how this plays out. Maybe I'll even have fingernails when it's done. I've rewatched the episode twice on my DVR just to make sure that I didn't miss anything.
I have an unhealthy love for a fictional character. It makes me happy that Juice's story is being told, but my heart sank knowing that something bad may happen to him. Theo's smile lights up the whole screen and I am sad that he won't be able to show that side of his real personality in this season. Oh I just hope you don't kill him off! Ack is it Tuesday yet?
As I've said elsewhere, since Juice is the club's "tech" guy, I saw this as a red herring. Something the club knows about (or else Juice would have erased it) and allows the sheriff to think he has a hook in the club, when he really doesn't.
I really love this story line, being of bi-racial decent myself. I'm interested to see how this is going to play out. I want to see if you are willing to portray the club as racist despite your multicultural veiwers. Kudo's to you for not being afraid to make us squirm uncomfortably in our seats.
I guess I just assumed that Juice wasn't white from the beginning. I seem to remember some banter about him being puerto rican? Would that have somehow been more acceptable? I could totally be wrong though. I'll go back and watch all of the previous episodes eventually. I can't wait to see how the MC handles it when they inevitably find out. I'm also curious now about the actor that plays Juice and whether his real life ethnic background fits with the one unfolding on screen. It's a fantastic thing you guys have done. The tale and the tellers are both amazing, thank you.
There was a Black HA member up here in British Columbia. When the HA's Patched over Satans Choice, one of the stipulations was that Blackie(that was his club name) remain a member. He was not aloud to go on international or national rides though. But besides that he was a full patch member who attended church and voted
I thought it was rather obvious throughout the seasons. If the shit talking wasn't clear enough, then the new sheriff basically calling the club racist for not having any black guys photos on the wall of either past or present members should have made it pretty clear. Sorry for those who didn't get it, but I think you were quite clear! IMO
Lovn' what you've been givin' us!
Excited for more in Valley Village
Have you ever thought about the relationship of anarchy and racism;
How about exploring this;
Thanks for the clarification but i think as long as he is honest and tells Jax what's up, they won't care! They already knew he was a Peurtican from the Queens!
Kurt your writing is exceptional, but please don't let Juice get in bed with the law just because of his father. He is a great asset to the club.
I love the idea of SOA going to season 7 or 8. Afterall Grey's did it. How about getting some cd's of all the music?
Why the choice of Juice to explore the racial aspect? Most convenient (easier to believe the character is biracial than others)? Is Theo Rossi partially black? Or, convenience/to explore a character's background who hasn't had much background explored?
That was a genius twist.
For sure, I didn't see it coming and the implications & dilemmas stemming from it - and where you choose to take it - have me pretty darn excited.
Also, I can already tell we're going to get some excellent performances from Theo Rossi.
Bring it on!
One of the problems that comes from tryin' to post from an Iphone is large fingers + small keys + fast typin' + faster flow of thoughts = not all the thoughts gettin' added into the comment.
Fascinating. What I meant to say about Roosevelt and JH was that Roosevelt is as attached to JH's tit as JH's late brother once accused Unser of bein' attached to SAMCRO's tit.
Am I the only person who DID see this comin'? As soon as Roosevelt mentioned that there were no 'brothers' on the SAMCRO mug shot wall, I knew he was gonna bring reverse racism into the picture.
Race is a very sensitive issue. The race card gets played quite often. I've never considered SAMCRO truly racist. Sure, Clay used the 19ers in Season 1 to his advantage, but doesn't everyone use someone at one point in time or another?
And yes, Clay made a joke about 'black irish' when Lucas questioned him in S3 about the Grim Bastards. I didn't consider that racist myself.
Consider this, when push came to shove, it sure didn't matter in S2 what color/race the group was that helped SAMCRO stand up against LOAN. He turned to the chinese and the blacks for the fight with Weston, and it wasn't race that was issue with the Mayans; it was their choice of allegiance.
This is, hoever, a very explosive issue, and I await with antici --- pation the end result.
Something has been bugging me about this though. In season three when they find Salazar's aunt to ask about Tara, they turn to Juice as if he should know how to speak Spanish. Doesn't that imply that they think he is of another decent? If that is the case why should it matter if his father is black?
to me, i don't think the club would mine that Juice is half black, because he very loyal to the club and his brothers.... Loyalit is very important to any club.... So juice is a loyal memeber.... Should stay in the club even if he is half black and half puerto ricen
I think it's awesome that you are braving the more delicate issues of real MC's and you deserve major credits for trying to bring as much realism into the show as you can.
"The price of brilliance depends upon how much you bring to the table"
I can certainly see how the Juice storyline might prove interesting, and given the historical segregation in the MC "world", it's not far fetched either.
I can certainly understand why it would initially worry Juice, but I don't think it would worry him to the point of working for the law. I say that because Juice has been around to see what the club will forgive before. Tig and Clays betrayal, Chibs' dabble with the ATF, etc. In the end of the day, Juice never knew his dad (based on episode 3) and his mother was Hispanic, they might very well say that as far as they're concerned, he's Hispanic.
So yes, historically, I agree that the storyline is compelling, I just think it clashes a little with what we've seen from Sam Crow so far, depending of course, on what will happen next. :)
Finally, Kurt! There is so much I want to say. I have to admit it was a challenge spreading the word on this fantastic addictive show because of the redneck factor. Paris Barclay became my mantra. Your exploration of the Mayan and Bastards’ cultures made me want more. I particularly was wondering and scared of where you were going with Juice and Roosevelt. From season 1, I told myself the hell with the others, but if Jax said or did anything racist, i'd have to pack my bags-- real slow. I realize his neck is a little more exposed to the sun now and I’m still questioning your big mouth. So bring it.
Thank you for not sugarcoating anything on this show. The fact that you have introduced various issues regarding race,sexism and class in this show makes me love SOA even more. I am a big fan and will remain one.
I thought that it was pretty interesting that you made Juice half black. I never know what to expect from SOA. Its nice to watch a show and not know what is coming next.
I'm happy to see Juice have more story, whatever it is- like Tigg the colonic thing is freaky though. Really enjoy the show Mr. Sutter and LOVE Gemma and the sheriff.
Tribe just got more tribal. Can't wait to see how you've handled it. All the primal fracture lines are in place: club v. society, men v. women, husband v. wife, women v. women, group v individual, man v. himself, white v black, trust v. paranoia, even a clash of the gods going on, all playing out on a bed of ancient crime. And that twisted religious fanatic Otto. Wow dude, you've got one fertile mind. And no, it's not too much. It feels kind of real.
Thanks for the spoiler warning! Of course I had to read it anyway and it didnt give away anything I couldnt live with. I cant wait to see the new season. I love all the hype on f/book etc but I skim past posts and links so I dont get too much info!!! I love that you keep it turning all year round. You're blog and youtube channel keep me feeling like one of the in crowd!
Love ya work
Racism? In California?!?! In a motorcycle club?!?!? I'm surprised it took four seasons for it to come up. I'm just looking forward to an ending like season 3 when they flipped on Stahl.
As someone in the life Im seeing that you guys are missing the point of Kurt. The rule is the rule. We follow them no matter when they came about and usually with bi-laws only a handful are still around that can tell you why. Its blind loyalty.
I was going to email Kurt about that particular scene. Is so cool that he took that time to make it clear for those who were confuse about that scene. Like many of SOA fan i have never looked at the club as being racist except for Piney i swear in season one episode 13 if i was Laroy I would have shot Piney on the leg or at least punch him for using the N word lol, but seriously i don't see Clay ,Jax or any of SOA members having a issue with Juice being black.
I didn't realize how serious race was in these clubs, but I remember when I went to the easy rider show in Sacramento to meet Charlie Hunnam, there were HA members there and they were wearing patches on their vests that said "white power." I knew they werent racist though because of their Asian girlfriends (lol) but being as brown as I am at a convention where people are wearing white power patches scared me a little, but you could see how serious they were about it.
I assumed there was no "color on the wall" because there weren't many, if any, black people in Charming. Given the club's origins I can't see them as being racist. I see this playing out as another example of the sherriff underestimating the club. I guess this would be an issue if it was a part of the charter that all members of the MC be white. But we've never seen the charter.
A lot of shows out there you can anticipate or get a feel of what is going to happen next. The story line about Juice's dad shocked me (in a good way!). This is one of the many reasons Sons is my favorite show, because every time I sit down to watch a new episode I never know what to expect.
In an earlier post I stated the racial issues were obvious. However, based on other posts, even after your explanation, it seems it still isn't clear. Be that as it may, Mr. sheriff made his point and Juice is not happy...with good reason! Whether or not Samcro knows, or if they will keep him once they find out remains to be seen. Compelling writing to say the least!
Happily anticipating Tues in Valley Village
Thanks for the explanation, because it made me go, "huh? what's the big deal?" I see now what you meant what you said this season will explore loyalties and interactions between Sam Crow members. I loved the conversation between Opie & Jax, where Opie says the two of them will set it right once Clay steps down, while in the meantime Clay promises the president patch to Bobby. And last but not least, the GUNS on Opie - omg! - and I don't mean the metal kind! LOL!
Can't wait to see where the road leads in season 4.
Kurt, have you ever thought of shooting an episode during an actual bike run? Here in Yuma AZ we have at least two HA runs a year, lately one of the two includes Sonny b for book signings..but would be cool to see an episode with real bikers in it. To have the true run feel....and there's always a slew of local pd to go around lol...
Sorry, I don't buy that.
I understand that it makes sense in the real world, but you've made it very clear over the last 3 seasons that the sons don't give a sh*t about race. So much so, in fact, that there's been constant complaining on various boards that the sons are not racist enough for a white MC...
either way, it's a great show and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
"Yo, Sal, how come there ain't no brothers on the wall?"
I think this is a really interesting plot point. I've always wondered how the racial dynamic worked in the MC world, as I have met a number of black MC club members in Baltimore (it didn't occur to me that it is likely an all-black club).
The only thing that's confusing me, like some others, is how Happy was so easily accepted. Is Happy supposed to be white? Or is his (apparent) non-100% white ethnicity part of the reason why he's a Nomad?
As someone in the life Im seeing that you guys are missing the point of Kurt. The rule is the rule. We follow them no matter when they came about and usually with bi-laws only a handful are still around that can tell you why. Its blind loyalty.
Sep 25, 2011 4:29:00 PM
What he/she said above....
Another African-American female LOYAL fan. I was disturbed and actually a little saddened at the Juice scene. Thanks for the additional info. on what you're doing... But it's still sorta weird since Samcro considered Juice Puerto Rican... and I think Happy is Latino too (maybe Mexican?). I'm hoping Juice is simply setting dude up, because as you've written the characters thus far... I don't think there's a racist bone in their collective bodies... and even Piney was just pissed off about Donna... so I can't even consider his angry outburst as truly racist. I guess with all that is going on in the REAL world, many fans look to television as an escape from all the drama. I would hate that I've been rooting for dudes that are racists and would just as soon spit on me than to sit down and have a drink.
Thanks. I always saw the Sons described as "racially mixed" and thought this weird, especially since I have known a lot of 1%ers and never noticed there are no Black members. I knew there were mixed clubs, and clubs that only allow one race, but I never knew there were clubs that only disallow one race. What Kurt says is true about the racism thing to a degree. I can show you a lot of pics of 1%ers with shit like SS symbol;s and swastikas, but those I have personally met (even those from pure White clubs, like HA) don't get down with that swastika shit.
I absolutely love how you take hot button issues by the horns and ride it until you get every ounce of emotion out of it you can. I cannot wait how this all turns out and I'm sure you will leave us wondering what hit us. I know you hear this all the time, but you are a genius. You take a right and wrong kind of girl like me and MAKE her see the grey of the world you have created. Don't get me wrong I live in a no hate zone! But, you make me love these characters and when I would normally be rooting for the so called "Good Guys"; I'm not!! Looking forward to episode 4, but in the back of my mind I'm sad. Sad because I know, after tomorrow night, there are only 9 more left!!
I think it's a very important subject to be treated and I congratulate you on the choice even if I do not understand the father was very dark skin is seen in the photos but more and more Latin Juice and this seems a little strange (dario from Naples, Italy)
I have nothing witty to say, that you Kurt Sutter,
An your cast an crew are awesome! I do have a huge
Favor to ask please don't kill Tara off! Please!
She really helps make the show , everyone gets
To live some sort of dream out of this show an I
Can't help but hope that their will be a happy ending
For Jax an Tara in this show! Don't kill my dream please!
I am very interested to see how you handle the Juice issue. The only thing I know for sure is it will be eye opening and spellbinding to watch. I grew up in an area where the Banditos were prevalent and always noticed there were Whites and Latinos in most charters but not all. Yes, it will be an interesting episode or two.
It may be too soon to talk about this but I just finished watching Ep. 4 of the current Season. Man, watching Gemma give Clay the cortisone shot was definitely cringe worthy. I have arthritis in my hands and have to get them sometimes. I use a wrist rest on the throttle and my husband installed a hydraulic clutch on my FLT a couple of years ago and they've made all the difference. Hot packs inside your gloves in the winter don't hurt either. ;)
I hardly ever post but I've been with you since the first, watching. SOA is the best show on TV. Oh, and it's always fun to see another actor from Deadwood.
I have several friends who are 1%'ers from the West Coast and the East Coast and the places in between. No offense, and I hate to say it, but contrary to what has been presented to you, most white 1%'ers are what you would refer to as racist. Of course almost none belong to White Power, the KKK or nazi organizations but they are what they are in terms their views on race relations. Especially if they've been to prison. Which is why blacks aren't ever going to be allowed in. Hispanics yes, blacks no. The guys you've hung with in California are what you would call racist too but they don't really don't talk about it because it's bad PR. And it would be especially worse PR in discussing it with you considering you being who you are. They aren't about to openly share those feelings or beliefs.
I think some people are missing the point or just didn't read the post entirely. It's not about a "White Only" rule for the club, it's an "Anybody BUT Black" rule. Juice and Happy being hispanic has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
I think it funny that no one has mentioned that Chibs' wife and daughter are of "black irish" descent. Of course I understand the difference with them not being exclusively tied to Samcro and not being a fully patched member like Juice. If the guys don't have a problem with Fiona and Kerianne being of black descent I would guess that they couldn't give a shit less about Juice but that's my opinion.
Although I know its going to be good when its all said and done, it still pisses me off that I can't tell where your going with this. Which in turn makes me love the show that much more.
Anyway love the show can't wait to see where it goes!
My .02, I think the club is going to handle the Juice situation like they handled other things, in a surprising way, even if the rules say otherwise, they will not blackball him. Jax seems too smart, Chibs, well how do you explain that to your half black daughter, you say its just the rules, Gemma's not a member, but she seems to be annoyed by ignorant racists, and Juice is the talented computer member. Piney is the only one. The characters are too likable, if they do shun Juice, I probably won't like the members anymore, regardless of "old club rules"
CT MCs: We held a Veteran's Event last Sat. in CT honoring the CT young men & women killed thus far in Iraq and Afghan, and it was so cool because several MCs attended. It was just great! The 8th year--this event now is high profile with senators & congressmen from DC attending. And out in the crowd were several MCs, colors and tats and all! I hope they come every year. When my friend's son was killed in Iraq they came to the church to stand honor guard with flags to create a buffer in case those psycho-nut-job protesters showed up protesting a Military funeral against gays. I love these MCs. They walk in a lot of worlds, and as long as you leave them to themselves, they tend to do the right thing. (The running drugs and guns--not so much.) But just like the mafia, the Catholic Church, and most blue-collar immigrant neighborhoods: It is possible to have your own Ethical Value System while claiming the right to do terrible things.
Mr. Sutter: My love for you grows weekly. I thought I was going to be the 1st to make this request, but I join my fellow SOA-sister in this request: No matter how dark and defiled you make this SOA journey, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE find it in your heart to let Jax and Tara get out and survive it all. Please find the flicker of humanity that believes that sometimes the right people are saved, get the break they DESERVE, and have a chance at a good, full life. PLEASE. I can't beg you enough on their behalf. You can kill everyone else anyway you like. But please let Jax & Tara & kids escape to a new life. My heart depends on this.
God this show is good! I record it and put time aside with NO distractions so that I may be completely absorbed in the story line and characters. I rewind several times to make sure I do not miss any action in each scene.
I see this show as very long running event.
SOA always prompts memories of brothers and sisters lost.
I sit and think of so many of my friends who have lost their lives riding, to drunk drivers, to drugging drivers or just plain inconsiderate drivers! You must watch out for the motorcycles on the road and have respect.
~Forever in the Wind~
I've hosted a few Vagos parties at my bar, and the last time they had a party I noticed an African American woman there. I think she may have been half, or at least light skinned. It was bizarre to say the least, as those guys are obviously very scary and racist and mean. But she was young and cute and clearly had the okay to hang out... even so, there were still no black members and she definitely wasn't wearing a 'property of' shirt like many of the other ladies there...
It appears that I am blocked from following you on Twitter I can only guess that one of my bad jokes offended you and for that I sincerely apologize, I would be heartbroken to think I pissed off someone I highly look up to.
Bottom line: Like a loyal member to a club, I'm loyal to your writing. Your thought process is detailed and intelligent, you know what the Hell you're doing. I'm going to continue to relish in your riveting, roller coaster of a story, so deeply layered on an unparalleled level. Question your direction, one that's only ever provided me with immeasurable satisfaction? Yeah, I don't think so.
Just my two cents because I am a huge fan of the show and have always blogged on other (not as great) sites.
I never ever thought that race would be an issue here. After the 19er's showed up to back SAMCRO against LOAN and before that when Laroy could have pulled the trigger on Piney and instead waited and explained that they had nothing to do with Donna's death. It seemed that SAMCRO unlike the Mayans and Nords didn't have any racial prohibitions in their charter.
Shock - oh hell yeah. That said I cannot see the club "paying back" Juice without losing Chibs. And losing Chibs means losing the IRA/Irish Kings alliance. Chibs and Juice have always seemed to be best buds (like Opie and Jax) and I could see where push comes to shove and Chibs gets out. After Fiona appears to mixed as well.
On the other hand, I am also willing to believe that if Juice got outed and since SAMCRO already has an alliance with the GB's, that Juice would in fact "patch over" to the Grim Bastards. Not that there wouldn't be reprecussions (sp) to that move as well.
Kudos to you Mr Sutter for bringing up a tricky issue deftly and getting people to THINK about it rather than knee jerk reaction it.
Wow Sutter. Wow. So there is nothing that can break the spirit of a religious fanatic... until the priest of the govt meets the priest of the mc. Did. Not. See. That. One. Coming. The one thing that could break him: betrayal by the ideal he holds most dear.
The higher the compression, the bigger the explosion.
People have to remember that the club isn't like the KKK, their purpose isn't really about race, so they aren't going to care about someone's daughter or old lady, and in the end I think they might not care too much about Juice's bloodline the way they would if they were a group like the League of American Nationalists from season 2 or the Nords. They can do business with and have alliances with non-white groups, but they aren't going to consider them equals as far as membership.
If you've read that book HELL'S ANGELS by Hunter S. Thompson, you'll see that in the Sixties the Angels had non-white members, but no black members, and although they did have the good relationship with the Dragons and other black clubs, they were also gearing up for a potential race war with the Black Panthers.
Racism is part of that culture, and as someone has mentioned, especially when you have people who have done time. I've always thought it was something that the show didn't address enough, and I think it's going to be really interesting to see how it plays out.
Re: Chibs' old lady...
Since women aren't members of the club and aren't involved in business dealings, I don't think their race matters as much. The guys (particularly Bobby) were all fine partying with the African-American female hangaround at the patch-over party in Season 1.
I'm still not really getting why Latino members are more acceptable than black ones though...hopefully this will be delved into more down the line...or maybe SAMCRO is just reflective of the general racial hierarchy in society that says lighter is better, darkest is worst.
I also think it's really interesting that (as Kurt said on Twitter) this is a show about cold-blooded murderers, but some audience members have a harder time accepting that they are racist. Personally -- just my humble -- I think American TV viewers have gotten too used to the type of standard network or movie storytelling where the protagonists are heroes and good people, at least at heart. SOA is more in keeping with THE SOPRANOS or THE WIRE -- this is a show about bad people who do bad things. Which doesn't mean they have no humanity, or NOTHING good about them, or aren't interesting to watch (just the contrary!). But I think viewers have to accept, whether now or at the end of the series, that SAMCRO are most definitely *not* heroes.
(And yes, this includes Jax! We can't just use Clay as our typical, all-bad mustache-twirling villain and set up Jax as the hero who will ultimately overturn Claudius and institute a rainbow tribe, ethnically mixed, feminist SAMCRO in his place. I don't know where this story's gonna end but I severely doubt political correctness will prevail.)
Part of the message of the show, I think, is that for anarchy to be a viable philosophy to build a community around, its practitioners must also practice constant moral vigilence. This being difficult, many (if not most) anarchist communities fail. John Teller came to the conclusion that SAMCRO had lost its way for many good reasons. The racism of its members is probably one of those reasons. I'm sure we'll find out more as time goes on.
Given SOA is based on reality, they will give a shit that his father is black. In fact, they should and will kill him. The reality is....OMCs are racist, well against African Americans anyway. The HA President in Aussie until recently was black, however he was a Maori from NZ, and for some reason they don't seem to mind brown, it's just the black thing. If the show is to continue to be authentic, then, he will have to go. The only thing I don't get, is why no one looked into his background, Clubs look into prospects backgrounds to see where new members are coming from, even if they are recruiting them from other clubs. Go for it Mr Sutter, it ain't pretty, so get down and really dirty.
Kurt, I must confess: the Juice's story about his father and all that problem of his black father confused me. I was thinking when I saw that scene: WTH? Samcro are not racist. This is wrong...
Now that I've read this post, I completely understand it.
Thanks for the info. It's important for guys like me, who are far away from MC's to understand these issues.
Hey, man. Hope you don't kill Juice, ok?
Sons of Anarchy Portugal (blog)
Despite a few issues, I'm really enjoying season four so far. It feels more like the first two, back to the club business in Charming, relationships within the club's different charters, and decent storylines for Tara and Gemma that aren't ridiculous. I don't like it when it's the Gemma Show, but I do like her character and enjoy seeing her in storylines. I felt she had an unrealistic amount of power/control over Clay and Jax last season, and I thought she was just bitchy and pretty awful in general. Glad to see her back somewhat understated, and even though Clay throttling her for confronting him was brutal, I thought it was realistic and necessary to get their dynamic back to a believable place. I'm also enjoying the dissent from Piney and Bobby, and hoping they are able to sway the vote back to better dealings. Overall, I'm very happy the show is back to its old glory.
And the new sheriff is awesome, and so is the weird investigator guy. It makes for better drama when you can really pull for either side, depending on the situation. I've certainly felt empathy towards the law in Charming, even though I root for the club. I root for them and curse them for being awful at the same time. It's great. ;-)
And I hope we find out what's going on with Otto soon. I know it's going to be sad, but I've loved him ever since he bashed Stahl's face into the table. Talk about your ballsy motherfuckers! lol
That said, enough with the cheesy music montages! You can't just begin and end every episode like that..............or maybe you can, but I don't care for it. I do still love the music on the show for the most part, but the montages do nothing for me.
I love the show so much. Besides 'Dexter', 'Sons' is the only show on all of television that I watch. I initially became interested in your show because I had actually heard that Ron Perlman was going to be in it. I was a huge fan of Ron's last show ('The Magnificent Seven', which is still my favorite show ever). Ron pulled me in and I watched the first season, not at all interested in biker culture itself because I deemed it 100% racist white trash thuggery. I was interested in seeing how Ron would pull off the whole white trash biker/thug thing. I was not disappointed and throughout the past few years I have become a fan of others in the cast, as well. After seeing Katey in 'Married With Children' for so many years, I wasn't sure she could pull of the role of Gemma. Damn, I underestimated her and now Gemma is my favorite character. The woman is AWESOME! She's tough, strong, manipulative and a total badass. You have the best written female characters. They are typically strong and smart (Gemma and Tara).
All of that said, I was really hoping you would not make 'race' a major part of this series for any season. The little racial comments in the other seasons were more than enough for me. I know the real biker clubs would be using worse language than we've seen over the seasons but, I really wanted the show to be free of racial crap. I'm a black woman and I have to deal with that madness sometimes in real life. I thought with the setting being in Charming (an obvious lower class town) that we wouldn't have to see it and now with Juice being part black, it's in our faces. I cringe just THINKING about the flying N-bombs and what will happen to Juice when all is found out. I think you are so talented (a rarity in today's Hollywood), the show is great and I'm going to continue watching because I know you will handle this issue responsibly. 99% of writers could not.
Btw, besides Gemma, I completely and totally love Opie <3, so try not to kill him, ok? :)
Opie-fangirl, if you love Sons and Dexter, you really should check out Breaking Bad.
Kirk, A 17 yr vet patch. Our reason is kinda simple. In prison, things usually go along racial lines. And that's it. You don't want to put a club brother on the spot and force him to make a choice. Let's face it, we all don't just get along.
Oh, heavens, folks. As for Fiona, "black Irish" has nothing to do with being of African descent. At most, they claim to be of (white) Spanish blood via the Armada.
And as for Juice, yeah, Kurt, it felt somewhat out of left field to me. I think you've been very clear about one side of his ancestry in the past -- Puerto Rican descent -- and i'm wondering if that's really perceived as any different by white clubs from being Mexican...
Thanks for the heads up. I just read about the show and it sounds very interesting-like something I would probably like. I will definitely check it out.
It's Oct 4 and I just finished the latest episode. I guess whether or not SAMCRO finds out about Juice being part African American may be moot now. He's fallen into the trap set by the new sheriff. I'm pretty sure he was done for but it won't be nice now. He would have been better off going to the club and telling them what he found out and that he didn't know and what the sheriff was trying to do with it. He might have gotten out with his life that way. Of course that wouldn't have been nearly as suspenseful or kept us all watching with breath held.
I said before I grew up in Bandidos territory and know they have Hispanic members but never remember seeing a Black man. I have found them to be a lot like the guys you portray on SOA. Good men to have as friends and bad to have as enemies. A Bandido saved my life when I was still in High School many, many, many years ago and I will never forget it. He may have passed away of old age by now but I always say a special prayer in sweat lodge for him.
Great show, followed it from episode 1. But come on. All this talk about how they are not racist, and will accept juice for who he is, etc. These are bad people. They do bad things. Whenever something doesn't go their way, they do terrible things, including to each other. Everyone loves Opie, how's Donna doing? Has no one paid attention to the show?
So Mr. Sutter, you are trying to show how real 1% MC's don't allow black members, but you are willing to do the hollywood BS and write fictional plots for "Gemma"...um 1%er's treat Old Ladies like crap and don't allow them to speak their minds. Yet these old ladies are very strong females that don't stay in the shadows. So excuse me if I think the Juice storyline is a bit pretentious! So why show one aspect of real life and not the other??!! So is this a cop out to write Juice off the show? A half black member not raised by his dad, um okay that's creative. So lets tun him rat so the audience can hate him. Lets see you have Clay beat Gemma up for opening her mouth, I doubt you'll expose that side.
I think adding some of the very real and ugly truths about outlaw M.C.s this season has really made this the best season since 1.
I've read and watched a bit on outlaw M.C.s and while the racism and anti-women thing really makes me uncomfortable, it is fact. And adding that fact makes for a lot of great drama and adds to the impending implosion of the club.
I have no problems with these being explored in the show because they're a part of history. And I'm not surprised by their inclusion (although how the race issue was worked in was very well done). I suppose I'm just surprised that took four seasons to actually explore some of the uglier aspects of outlaw M.C.s.
And yeah these are the reasons why I would not seek out an outlaw for my beau any time soon. Unless it was one particular Veep I invented. ;)
Anyway, love this season. It's the season I've been waiting for since 1 ended.
Looking forward to seeing what other warts you unveil soon.
Support and Success
I guess my problem with this story arch is that it does not seem like the show has ever really led me to think there was this rule in place. And then it kind of came down on us like a hammer to a nail. Although I do LOVE where this season has gone. Its dark, really dark and we are seeing the club for what it has really become and its sad. I do hope Juice gets found out because what he did to Miles was a rat move, I know he was stuck against a wall but he killed a member and set him up to look like a rat. Not cool Juice.
Follow-up to what I said earlier...
I think Chibs' reply to Juice in the subsequent episode was very telling. "You can't just pick and choose which rules to follow" -- why? Because it would be ANARCHY! Free people choosing which beliefs to stand with or abandon, on their own, as free individuals.
The MC was supposedly founded in the spirit of anarchy, but considers itself beholden to certain values and institutions that are the MOST mainstream and MOST controlled by "The Man": misogyny, racism, the rule of force, the prison system and its internal segregation, etc. As such the MC's members are perhaps becoming more and more tightly controlled by their own laws and alliances than they ever were before the club started. In Juice's case, he is not even free to claim his own self-identity. A true irony.
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