Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extra special daily post

I was flicking through the new WFA posts earlier today and came across this one looking at Dark Reign: The Hood \1.
The poster would like to draw your attention to the dodgy racist Arab stereotype portrayed within, and the PHD educated guy who starts talking like he's from the streets.

I would like to draw your attention to one of the dumb ass commenters who thinks that if the author didn't mean to be racist, then the end product can't be racist.

Err, no. That's not how it works. People are unintentionally racist (and sexist, and homophobic) all the time. Just because they don't view it as racist doesn't mean it isn't. I mean, goodness, if we were going to go down that road we'd still have slavery, because it wouldn't be racist to keep folks as property, because that's just the way black people are meant to be.

OK that may seem like quite the extrapolation but it's really not. By saying that the author didn't mean to be racist so therefore it's all ok, you are drowning out (silencing) the offended (oppressed) party. Well isn't that a handy way of keeping the status quo.

Hey, if you don't want to be racist try creating 3 dimensional characters and not using crass stereotypes. If what you're writing looks similar to media depictions of other individuals, if you're using coding to show someone's evilness, (for example, in this case it would be the nubile young thing in the car, the dodgy broken English, the hook nose, bad teeth etc,) then you aint writing a 3 dimensional character. You're probably relying on crass tropes and if your trope is based around race, or gender, or sexuality or whatever, you're quite likely to be producing something bigoted.

Sort it out.

(This post has been inspired by Avalon's Willow, who a while ago was asking where all the white would be allies are and why we're staying silent. She has a good point and she got me thinking as to what motivates my posts and the subject matter contained therein.
I'm hoping those last two sentences don't sound as pompous or self aggrandising as I think they do.)

Today's thoughts brought to you by a dual soundtrack:
Manic Street Preachers' Imperial Bodybags from the Send Away the Tigers album
Zombina and the Skeletones who I saw in the city last night and who are just as good as last time I saw them, after the Reclaim the Night march. Zombina herself is lovely and smells of coconut.

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