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 Skin color- how much does it matter?

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:00 pm

Something Kathleen said in another thread caused me to take a look at tumblr. I found this. In lieu of the conversation we were having the with Pinis just a couple of days before they shut down the forum, I found it interesting. Just wanted to get other peoples' opinions


http://nerdfaceangst.tumblr.com/post/72171071161/elfquest-the-pinis-and-racism

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:30 pm

Well that's...really kind of shocking.

It almost seems that recently, the Pinis have had their finger on the self destruct button. They seem determined to drive fans away. So much for inclusion, love and tolerance. Rolling Eyes The whole race thing...they won't even try to understand why people are getting upset. It seems like they feel they are above criticism.

Shaking my head. No
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:44 pm

As I just replied in the *final quest thread*, I'm pretty upset by this. I agree with everything you said stargazer!

My own opinion. I really don't care about soneones "skin color". Why should i? Does it descrive a person it's personality? No, it doesn't. I do not care about someone's appearance. To be honest, i do know that I do in fact judge on people their appearance, though not in a racism way. I'm just someone who really judge other people, including myself...i judge everyting... don't judge me Laughing I just can't help it.

ontopic Very upsetting to hear this. I hope one day they will learn, trying to understand why this upsets people. That they are not above everyone else because of their skin. It does sound ridiculous to even think that you better then anyone because of a damn color!
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:36 pm

I know I'm new here, and I don't want to argue with anyone or start fights...but can I say I disagree without being attacked?
And I think the whole cosplayer-thread was one feather turning into a whole barn of racist hens?
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:37 pm

Sadly racism rears it's ugly head again.

I don't care what race you are. We are all to the same race. You know the one called the Human race.

I treat others as I would like to be treated and that is the way things should be.

Another thing racism is not exclusively a white thing. You won't believe some of the things I have heard those who consider themselves of color say about others whose skin tone is lighter or darker than theirs.

Racism just needs to stop period.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:51 pm

Blackbird wrote:
I know I'm new here, and I don't want to argue with anyone or start fights...but can I say I disagree without being attacked?
And I think the whole cosplayer-thread was one feather turning into a whole barn of racist hens?  

Disagreeing doesn't not mean you're going to be attacked, hun. Everyone has their own point of view when seeing and taking in any issue.

Some get the vibe that what was said was outright rude.

Some see it as some things taken out of context, or blown out of proportion

The point is, we're all entitled to our own opinions. And I already know the members here have respect for that. Wink That's what I missed about the forum and the sense of family community we had.

We knew we could disagree, but still respect and appreciate each other without the fear of backlash simply for stating our own thoughts and feelings about sensitive issues.

So no worries when here Blackbird I love you
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:22 am

http://lawfulgoodness.tumblr.com/post/32194020027/daily-reminder-that-you-do-not-have-to-darken-your

http://irresistible-revolution.tumblr.com/post/33371004668/reading-is-fundamental-fools

http://katblaque.tumblr.com/post/99965267564/a-cosplayer-is-being-labeled-as-racist-for-her





Here's some links I found that explain the racism aspect of the costumes better than I can. I really recommend the videos, because KatBlaque is supernice and makes it easy to understand. The links might have some strong language, FYI, but they make a half decent starting point.

For me, the real problems here are not just the use of brownface. It's the dismissal of several POC who are clearly dedicated fans and who are being sincerely respectful having their concerns dismissed, or worse, ignored.  That is pretty clearly racism, especially since these fans have clearly been singled out as not being worth engaging with since, as minority people, those opinions either have less value, or more bias than the opinions of white fans.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:49 am

Blackbird wrote:

And I think the whole cosplayer-thread was one feather turning into a whole barn of racist hens?  

You're not the only person here with that opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:20 am

Davrille wrote:
Blackbird wrote:

And I think the whole cosplayer-thread was one feather turning into a whole barn of racist hens?  

You're not the only person here with that opinion.

Oh my, if only someone had taken the time to research and find a whole bunch of information that specifically explained why people had a problem with the incident, made up a comment of some kind, and provided a small synopsis of why this particular incident was disturbing at the bottom.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:11 am

kathleen3.0 wrote:
Davrille wrote:
Blackbird wrote:

And I think the whole cosplayer-thread was one feather turning into a whole barn of racist hens?  

You're not the only person here with that opinion.

Oh my, if only someone had taken the time to research and find a whole bunch of information that specifically explained why people had a problem with the incident, made up a comment of some kind, and provided a small synopsis of why this particular incident was disturbing at the bottom.

I understand the argument. I simply disagree with it.




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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:01 am

I already commented on the other thread; overlooked this one, so I'll just say in with this:

Did the thread get out of control and excessively overblown? Absolutely.
Did it need to? No, and that's the real problem.

On my end, the real issue I have with that mess of a thread is that people who were upset with it were ignored or pooh-pooh'd and their upset invalidated. And the comment made to the Cutter cosplayer being too femme (wasn't it a FEMALE cosplayer?) and ugly wasn't acknowledged. It was the lack of acknowledgement that caused the spark to turn into a raging wildfire. And sometimes it is hard to get people who haven't been on that side of the fence to understand why you're offended. And unfortunately that's what happened here.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:10 am

"Skin colour - how much does it matter ?"

It doesn't matter at all, to me.


After all...

" Under the sky, under the Heavens..
..we are but one family! "
( Bruce Lee )

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:03 am

Dark Serval wrote:
On my end, the real issue I have with that mess of a thread is that people who were upset with it were ignored or pooh-pooh'd and their upset invalidated.  And the comment made to the Cutter cosplayer being too femme (wasn't it a FEMALE cosplayer?) and ugly wasn't acknowledged.  It was the lack of acknowledgement that caused the spark to turn into a raging wildfire.  And sometimes it is hard to get people who haven't been on that side of the fence to understand why you're offended.  And unfortunately that's what happened here.  

I completely agree with this. This is why I was reactionary to Richard Pini in that last argument with him on the old forum. It bothered me that people were expressing their discomfort with that element of the story- and he jumped in to pretty much invalidate how they felt. If he had just stayed out of it, we could have banged it out among us and reached some sort of resolution- or agreed to disagree (which is how these things usually end)... But he jumped in. And as a partial creator of the story- he was the voice of the authority as to intent. And he just, as you put it, poo pooed everyone's point of view.

And it was kind of ludicrous. Saying it's your story and you're going to tell it how you want is pretty much saying nothing. It's like saying "the sky is blue." Of course it's their story and they can tell it how they want. That doesn't mean they aren't going to get a reaction- or that any reaction they get is unwarranted. Every author in the world who told a story told that story the way they chose. That's like saying "the sky is blue." It's a non-statement. And it didn't address any of the points people raised. And he tried to use this non-statement as an argument. That made no sense.

Then, reading the screen capture here, Wendy flat out says that she included the Sun Folk because she wanted people of color (in general) to be able to relate to the story. (Let's set aside Kathleen's very valid point about that for a moment!) Aside from human beings (who are mostly antagonists), the only dark characters in the story are the Sun Folk. So if you say that was your intention in creating the Sun Folk- and then you make the Sun Folk white... what does that communicate? That aspect of your story suddenly becomes an exclusionary element, then- right?

And why the heck are the Sun Folk the only dark elves anyway? Surely other elf groups spent some time in the sun!

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:19 am

Freakin-a. Every author writes their story the way they choose to tell it. And every reader reacts. That's why literature. That's the whole basis of literature classes. People spend their entire lives analyzing books that authors chose to write the way they chose to write them, and even make careers out of responding in books of their own. That's called "criticism."

Salman Rushdie wrote "The Satanic Verses." Was his reaction to the public's reaction to say "oh shut up, because I'm the author and that's the story I want to tell- so why are you criticizing me?" No, he took it like a man. Nabokov wrote "Lolita." When people get critical of the plot point of a grown man marrying a woman so he can get it on with her twelve year old daughter (yeah, that's what it's about- hope that didn't spoil it for y'all)... do Nabokov fans stand up and say "wait! You can't criticize this book! Because it's the author's story and that's how he chose to tell it!" No way- cus that would just be dumb. When we debate the language in "Huckleberry Finn"- nobody jumps up and says "but those are the words the author chose, so we can't ever question them!" And these are great works of literature- not a comic book. Heck, let's include something despicable. Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf"- that was his story the way he chose to tell it. Is he now above criticism?

What a dumb thing to say. I'm sorry- but dumb.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Okay, so... I'm transplanting this discussion, in a super awkward way by using quotes, from the Final Quest thread:

Blackbird wrote:
When I was young, I liked to play Elfquest, and I wanted to be Leetah, I was white and blonde, why can't I be Leetah? In my eyes she was the prettiest elf, and I wanted her golden skin and beutiful hair. So if I was a cosplayer, and wanted to dress up like her, because I love the character, and maybe got some spraytan, and coloured my hair, I'm offending someone?

So maybe we Europeans don't have the same history of slaves and racism, and we don't have the same problems with racism as you in the us, you still think we should be scared to offend you all the time? You know, not all europeans aren't blonde and blue eyed either. and there is more ways to be discriminated than for the colour of your skin. There is always something to mad about, Elfquest don't have any overweight characters, few, strong, open gay characters, no one with downs syndrome, no elves took an abortion, oh, and there is NO ASIAN or asian-looking character, that's racism!! My point is, they can never make EVERYONE happy, it's a COMIC book, and they made it, not to please everyone.

As for your talk about blackface, I do know about it, I don't like it, but that is not what that poor cosplayer was doing, she just wanted to look like Leetah, for crying out loud. If she was all pale someone would give her a hard time about that to. A cosplayer should get to dress up as their favorite character, even if the character is a different sex, race or whatever.

Everyone should stop getting so offended for everything. Choose your battles, giving a cosplayer with spraytan a hard time is not a battle.


Thoughts guys?

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:32 pm

I understand the argument. I simply disagree with it. wrote:

You said it.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:43 pm

Okey, good thing to take it here instead.

I see you edited your post before I got to read it properly, but ok, maybe we just should agree to disagree?
I do see what you mean, I'm maybe just a naive, white norvegian, but I know people suffer under racism, and I've experienced it myself, but I don't see racism in Elfquest, and I don't agree with the critique against people dressing up as comic-book characters who dosn't look like them or agree that Ruffel being paler was wrong. You can feel that, and that's ok. As I said before, there can still turn up other elf-tribes with different skin colours.

As for people being offended....Smile



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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:08 pm

I wouldn't say there is actual racism in ElfQuest. The line about 'getting paler' concerned me because people might mistake it for a racist statement. It was the kind of line that might alienate new readers. It remains to be seen why that line was put there, how the elves will react to the change, and why that change took place...
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:15 pm

When I was criticizing that- I didn't mean to say that the comic book was racist. I meant to say that lightening the only dark characters they've got, who Wendy specifically said were there so that people who are non-white can relate to the story- is problematic. Because, out of all the different groups of elves they've got, not one other tribe is anything but white. And... it's completely unnecessary to the plot or even to getting the point across. I mean... I got that the elves were evolving back into high ones just by virtue of the fact that they are growing taller. That's all they needed to get that across.

You don't have to be deliberately racist to project a racial bias.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:25 pm

Blackbird wrote:
Okey, good thing to take it here instead.

I see you edited your post before I got to read it properly, but ok, maybe we just should agree to disagree?

My comment was in response to Blackbird's question about cosplay, not so much the comic itself.

I deleted it cus I thought I was talking to much and just being too didactic. But if you want to read it, I'll paste it below. Blackbird asked if it would be offensive to dress up as Leetah and paint herself dark, not as a comment on race, but as a tribute to the character. This was what I first wrote back. Please feel free to argue with me if you think I'm off base:

Lunakat wrote:

Yes, you would likely be offending someone. If you do it in the privacy of your own home, no problem. But if you take photos and put them online or go out for Halloween dressed that way- or whatever... there is a good chance you are going to offend someone.

I get where you are coming from. I had the same reaction to Leetah when I first saw her. I was eight years old, reading this comic book for the very first time. I was reading it panel by panel- not even looking the slightest bit ahead. I was all about Ember- because she was a tom boy and I'm tom boy... and then, someone threw a knife. I looked at the next panel- and gasped. It was the most beautiful, sparkly princess I had ever seen in my life- and she had thrown a knife perfectly and saved this kid! And then Cutter got on his knees and gave her knife back... and I was like- this is totally a Princess! And she wasn't- but she was close enough. And so after that, I wanted to be Leetah. Cus Leetah was gorgeous and strong and just awesome!

But if I dressed up in dark makeup all over my body and put on a crop top and skirt and left the house that way-- I think my parents would have had a conniption fit. And by the time I was thirteen, I understood why. Because there is a bad history to white people doing that.

Just because you want to do something, that doesn't mean it's cool.

Look at it this way. Let's say I really like the TV show, Avatar- so I want to get dressed up as one of the characters for a convention. That's cool. It's cool for me to wear the outfit and try to impersonate the character. But what if I decide that I need to come off as more asian- and my solution is to tape my eyes so that they squint and then, maybe, fake a Chinese accent? You can see how that would not go over well, right? It's the same kind of thing.

Or what if you just thought that a swastika was the prettiest design ever, so you drew it all over stuff. (On your backpack, your t-shirt, holiday greeting cards...) Heck- you didn't mean anything bad by it. You just like the shape! So why are people getting upset at you? Just because something doesn't have certain meaning for you, personally- doesn't mean it doesn't have a larger meaning. Right? And just because you like it, or want to do it- that doesn't mean you can't offend someone by doing it.

And regarding slavery and racism, etc... Europe only misleads itself by thinking that it doesn't have the same relationship to all that that the United States does. Of course Europe had slavery. Of course Europe practiced racism. Like I said before, Europe exported it. Most powerful, European countries, at one time or another, had colonies and enslaved people- they just went abroad to do it. They went to Africa or South America or Australia or Jamaica or Haiti or any other islands, with military force, took land and power from the native people who lived there- and generally enslaved the local populations. Then, they established abusive, racially segregated societies in order to reinforce their power. So Europe totally did the same thing we did- they just didn't do it at home... so it's easier to forget or ignore, I would imagine... because you don't live with the consequences of it all around you, like we do. But it's still a thing.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:33 pm

I'm definitely with you on this one, Luna. That kind of makeup/cosplay combination would not be appropiate, anywhere on our planet. But earlier times had a certain cruel innocence. Things were different even in my childhood - some of the children's songs and stories I learned as a child were racist and ignorant, and would not fit the world we live in now.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:35 pm

Yeah, and I disagree, so that's why I said let's agree to disagree Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:56 pm

Shouldn't matter, but somehow it matters- but one thing is certain: it does not matter in here, because we can't see each other. Internet is the great equalizer*


*I'm actually light lavender with an orange/green tartan pattern but don't tell anybody.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:13 pm

I think it only doesn't matter to people it doesn't bother- because it doesn't have to matter to them because it doesn't insult them. But isn't it sort of important to care whether somebody else is insulted?

Kathleen posted a couple of really good videos on the previous page that break it down pretty well...

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:15 pm

@Leanan- that's a good phrase... "Cruel innocence." But can any of us really claim to be innocent that way anymore?

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