Article about racist tweets pertaining to The Hunger Games.
(More about this here.)
Did these people not even read the book???
Collins clearly states that Rue has dark skin, but race is ambiguous at best in The Hunger Games. The reason: I think it is because the message comes down to ideas about class and war and all kinds of things that affect people of all races.
I suppose that to some people "dark skin" can also mean a great tan...BUT: It also shouldn't matter. Death is death, and it is sad that people think a child's death is "not as sad" because the child is black. Disgusting. These people should be ashamed of themselves.
I have read commentary about people being disappointed that Kat was white. In the book, Collins says that she has olive skin....which could mean that she could be represented by an actor of many races--white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc.--or a biracial actor. I can understand some of the arguments stating that the alignment between Kat and District 11 would have been strengthened had she been played by an African American actress, but I also think that Jennifer Lawrence did an excellent job playing Katniss. In the pool of young actors today, I can't think of a better person.
It is natural to identify characters with yourself when you are reading. If someone identified with Rue, and that someone happened to be white, they might visualize a white Rue in their head in spite of being told that she has dark skin. In some respects, this is positive and exactly what (I think) Collins wants us to do in the novel--identify with the characters. But the ultimate message is that we are all people--and we have to identify with death and suffering no matter what the race, class, etc. of a character might be.