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 racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:10 pm

It's not that the dehumanization of the other never existed earlier-- it's that dominant cultures remained remained generally un-self aware

Elwing-- seriously? You've been chatting with us for how many years? And you don't know anything about us? Ouch! I'm pretty sure you don't mean that.

As for "picking fights with friends"-- I think the whole point of this forum, rather than just hanging out on Facebook with the rest of the fan club, is to be able to talk about stuff like this. I do t think we've been personally insulting toward each other. I think everyone has made some good points.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:17 pm

Yes. Autism sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:20 pm

I'm sorry. Yes- autism is a complicated thing to deal with. I forget sometimes that certain people here have autism. I'm going to try to be more straight forward in my comments from now on and less snarky about things. I hope that will help. I'm sorry about how I was expressing myself and if it caused any confusion.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:52 pm

It's okay, and I think you are perfectly reasonable. But the aggressive tone in the early part of this conversation really bothered me.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:10 pm

I'm usually quiet, here, but...

@namuhna wrote:
Well anyway Elfquest is racist from page one. It still is.

Pleeeeeze, namutna :
This statement of yours honestly intrigues me to no end !

WHY do you interpret Elfquest as "racist from page one" and to still be so ?!

WHAT, exactly, makes you think so ?

HOW could this comics ( or graphic novel ) be qualified as such by anyone, while I just never found any other literature work to be THAT good at precisely exposing the exact opposite philosophy ?

In MY eyes, Elfquest points precisely how ACCEPTING the differences is the KEY to peace, to mutual understanding between sentient beings, be they elves, trolls, humans... and hence even more between humans differenciated only by skin hue or cultures.


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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:49 pm

Well-- I think that anytime you depict light skinned characters and dark skinned characters in conflict-- as collective groups-- you are stumbling into potentially dangerous territory. Elfquest did this from day one. I kind of think it was gutsy. It really could have gone either way-- and maybe it did, depending on how you perceive it. Elfquest tried to skirt the potential conflict all together by making one set of characters non-human. And then tried to subvert racial stereotypes by having the brutish white characters meet up with the more sophisticated and more culturally and technologically developed dark skinned tribe. But you can't really escape the larger context of the world we live in-- and its history. So within the world of Elfquest-- it was all well intentioned and worked. But within the larger world in which Elfquest exists, it has raised questions.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:32 pm

@PCoquelin wrote:
I'm usually quiet, here, but...

@namuhna wrote:
Well anyway Elfquest is racist from page one. It still is.

Pleeeeeze, namutna :
This statement of yours honestly intrigues me to no end !

WHY do you interpret Elfquest as "racist from page one" and to still be so ?!

WHAT, exactly, makes you think so ?

HOW could this comics ( or graphic novel ) be qualified as such by anyone, while I just never found any other literature work to be THAT good at precisely exposing the exact opposite philosophy ?

In MY eyes, Elfquest points precisely how ACCEPTING the differences is the KEY to peace, to mutual understanding between sentient beings, be they elves, trolls, humans... and hence even more between humans differenciated only by skin hue or cultures.




There are in fact other graphic novels which talk about certain diversities but they're not fantasy with elves, so it doesn't really matter, and that really isn't the point here at all. We;re not discussing other graphic novels or comics.

And while Namuhna's posts have been a bit in-your-face, they really aren't that far off the mark. Lunakat's explanation is pretty damn good and I feel it tempers both perspectives very nicely.  

As someone who was born in the Middle-East, lived in Europe as well as the US, I can tell you that the subtleties of racism are so expertly woven into the tapestry of fairytales and we've been conditioned to just accept them at an early age and not see into them. Hell, a lot of people not of my background can see that. But a lot of them don't, and that's also fine. It's not my job to open anyone's eyes or force them to see the other side, but that also doesn't make the other side stop existing either.
That's why the Pinis can do something unique and different and groundbreaking on the one hand, and yet still sort of unconsciously keep recycling some stereotypes that have been around forever and have also been outdated for a long time.
For a long time I accepted these somewhat racist stereotypes because I did have a great deal of admiration for the story, and saw that it was still genuinely, earnestly, trying to do something different.
Yet I'm not going to turn around and say some of those other stereotypes don't exist. They do, and continue to.  

I always asked myself if I was being 'too sensitive' to these things (don't you know, this is something that a lot of us who live with stereotyping and racism, everywhere from the glaring to the obscure, ask ourselves often?).
I mean I asked myself for years. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't crazy and what I saw actually was happening, and it does happen in a lot of ways in the world around us. But I also liked the story and I respected the art, and so I continued reading, and yes, I occasionally rolled my eyes when I read certain panels. And when the storyline began to suffer at times, as well as the artwork, these stereotypes felt...more glaring at times, and harder to just ignore or gloss over.
Such is life, I suppose.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:44 pm

Just wanted to let Elwing and PC know: I'm with you on this topic.  But you worded it MUCH more diplomatically and gently than I would ever have tried. Racism annoys me no end - be it white, black, yellow or skyblue-pink.


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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:45 pm

That is a really great statement, Zadzi. Thank you for expressing that.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:58 pm

Lol, if someone is skyblue-pink, put your inability to comprehend complex social structures aside, and call a doctor, that's a symptom of loss of oxygen. You know cpr? You better hope to.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:04 pm

@kathleen, put your own trauma aside and try to see how annoying your own racism appears to people who never suffered your kind of history.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:19 pm

I think this is the point of confusion-- because everybody is right. The story is progressive- in ways. But is also problematic in ways. It has wonderful messages in it about the nature of prejudice and exploration of identity and what it means to be of two worlds and bi cultural-- there is so much of that. And it's wonderful. It's why I liked the story. And probably why so many of us felt such a connection to this series.

But at the same time- there are these troublesome elements. And there is the sense that the authors are oblivious about it-- which indicates that, while they consciously and intentionally are writing against racism and other isms, they have unconsciously and unintentionally absorbed certain racist elements of dominant culture that are subtle and not as overt as just, say, denying someone a seat at the bus.

So as readers, or maybe as a community of readers, we feel conflicted. Because we love this series. But we see these problems and we want them to be better.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:24 pm

@Stormcatcher wrote:
@kathleen, put your own trauma aside and try to see how annoying your own racism appears to people who never suffered your kind of history.

That is really inappropriate, Stormcatcher. The fact that you can't relate to what Kathleen is sharing and find it annoying is no reason for her to stop expressing herself. And attacking someone personally for expressing how they feel is not, imo, an appropriate way to respond. It's not what we tend to do with each other here. Respond to the idea she conveyed. Disagree with whatever point she made. Share your own experiences and elaborate on them. But don't attack Kathleen. She's a friend. She's been here a long time-- many years. We love her and we shouldn't have that kind of environment on this forum.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:27 pm

@kathleen3.0 wrote:
Lol, if someone is skyblue-pink, put your inability to comprehend complex social structures aside, and call a doctor, that's a symptom of loss of oxygen. You know cpr? You better hope to.

Okay- I didn't see his earlier. Kathleen-- this is totally inappropriate too! For all the same reasons I mentioned above. (Love you girl! But still...)

Guys-- let's step back from doing this kind of stuff. It should be okay to disagree. We're trying to debate -- not fight.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:31 pm

I kept shut far too long! And I'm not gonna take this 'eurosplain'-shit any longer! And kathleen surely is NOT my friend, never was, never will be!

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:33 pm

She's MY friend

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:34 pm

@Stormcatcher wrote:
I kept shut far too long!  And I'm not gonna take this 'eurosplain'-shit any longer! And kathleen surely is NOT my friend, never was, never will be!

She's my friend-- she doesn't need to be yours. But we are all interacting here together and we need to treat each other civilly.

I think you are upset. So take a breath. Take a step back from the conversation and recenter. And then come back and calmly make a good point to argue against that. If you are sick of it, explain why in a way that you think will help other people understand.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:40 pm

You guys, please stop with the outrage! See, this is exactly the reason why conversations about race cannot be healed - this kind of reactionary stuff. This convo is bigger than both of you, and bigger than all of us. And it will NOT be healed with these kind of interactions.

Maya Angelou once said (I'm paraphrasing here) that you may not remember what someone said to you but you sure as hell can remember how they made you feel.
Please do not go down this path now, in saying hurtful things.

I commend Lunakat for having the guts for this diplomacy. I just can't right now.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:01 am

@ Luna: I've been upset since that ridiculous blackfacing talk ages ago - how much longer would you like me to step back?  There's no point in trying to calmly make a point if someone chooses to keep his/her blinds on.  And I don't think I have to explain anything as obvious as this.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:36 am

By black-facing talk-- do you mean that discussion about cosplay?

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:39 am

Yes - long time ago, but still annoying. And I always keep shut as not to disturb the 'wa' of the community - and it makes me sick.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:55 am

Well- you don't have to shut up. You can tak about how you feel. Maybe that would help you feel less angry than holding it in. Just explain your pov.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:23 pm

See- this bothers me. I think we are almost all on the progressive side of things. But the discussion about racism is increasingly about symbolic matters that could define moral purity (or not). Like which women can wear corn rows and which can't... And meanwhile black men get shot in the streets by police over absolutely nothing... And in my country "Piet" gets invited for a job interview while "Mohammed" is far less likely to be invited after sending the same letter.

This is the enemy we are facing. But instead we are here bickering with each other over the possible racist implications of the expression "going native". There is this... liberal myopia.
We are picking apart a well intended 35 year old comic. Even though there is agreement on some of the more problematic aspects. Does anybody like Shuna?

Some of the ideas vented here are very extreme.

"White people attack darkskinned people. A white person should NOT lead the darkskinned people to defend them. Can we all please at least agree on that?"

No, I don't agree. I think black people can follow or appoint any leader they want of any color. I think a white teacher can teach a class with mostly black kids- as long as he or she is a good teacher. I think a white person can and should defend a black person, and vice versa! These are perfectly normal things. The important point here is the absence of coercion, and free choice of the individuals involved.

Namuhna have you ever watched Steven Universe? Great show. Yes, and the main character is white and male and goes around saving people of various races. Quelle horreur! But, now I'm placing diversions myself...

I must say I'm beginning to find this topic very tiresome.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:46 pm

The following is adressed both to you, Lunakat, and to Kathleen as well. Now that I talk I want not just talk about you but talk to you, Kathleen. It feels inappropriate to do otherwise.

@Stormcatcher wrote:
@kathleen, put your own trauma aside and try to see how annoying your own racism appears to people who never suffered your kind of history.
@Lunakat wrote:
That is really inappropriate, Stormcatcher. The fact that you can't relate to what Kathleen is sharing and find it annoying is no reason for her to stop expressing herself.

Please read one more time, Lunakat. There is no "... stop to express yourself!" in this post. More of a - admittedly blunt - "open your eyes and see how you overrun and hit others".

You allow no path alongside your own, Kathleen, not even a narrow stripe, and no other pace than your own. Who’s not rushing forward right in your footsteps will be condamned.

@Lunakat wrote:
And attacking someone personally for expressing how they feel is not, imo, an appropriate way to respond. It's not what we tend to do with each other here. Respond to the idea she conveyed. Disagree with whatever point she made. Share your own experiences and elaborate on them. But don't attack Kathleen.
Each time I've tried to follow one of the discussions on this topic or participate myself I got the notion that you are the attacker, Kathleen. That there is no discussion but a written-in-stone point of view I either have to swallow completely and with delight or will get slapped.

@Lunakat wrote:
She's a friend. She's been here a long time-- many years. We love her and we shouldn't have that kind of environment on this forum.
I was too late to know Kathleen from to Old Scroll. I remember that I've read few of your old stories, Kathleen, more of your old vivid discussions *with big surprised eyes * and noticed the friendship you (I include more of the old members here) have shared. You were a respected elder for me, Kathleen. I've smiled happily when you've joined the FTH because it was one more chance for old friends to reunite.
But here I don't see you give any respect to anyone unless s/he is an old friend who knows you very well or fully shares your "one and only right way". I've felt shut up by your way to discuss and by your way to talk, Kathleen. True - you've never directly told ME to shut up but that's the impression I regularly got. I was so used to step back and  hold my tongue that I not even noticed at first read what this line ...

@kathleen3.0 wrote:
OH MY FREAKING GOD. DO NOT EUROSPLAIN YOUR USE OF A RACIST TERM AWAY.
... means in case I interpret that term "eurosplain" right. How should I (respectively Redhead for I think it was addressed at her) tell my mind without basing it on my cultural and social background? That's really telling someone to shut up and  stop expressing oneself.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:46 pm

@Lunakat wrote:
Well- you don't have to shut up. You can tak about how you feel. Maybe that would help you feel less angry than holding it in. Just explain your pov.

Well, I will not shut up for once. I'll tell you how I got from puzzlement to learning to anxious anger to resignation ... whoever is bored enough to read.
This is my personal pov, my experience and my emotions. I'm aware that this is not always logical and definitely not an objective look on it.
It will not change anything and possibly makes things worse for me but I need to share with someone. Why not here where it basically started.

When this discussion about EQ, the Pinis and racism came up for the first time months ago (I have forgotten why) and Kathleen stepped in with commitment, passion and anger I was puzzled. I noticed that it still was much more of an issue than I've ever thought. And much of it I hardly understood ... so I decided to listen and learn more.
I've listened well to the discussions and contributions of many tribemates and I learned
-  It is a really huge topic for some people here and lots more in the USA and over the world.
- There are points I simply don't get and others where I disagree.
- Kathleen has even more personal and emotional reasons to be engaged and angry.

It was not only Kathleen who holds strong - extreme for me - opinions on this topic but for some reason she was the one I've noticed most. I've tried to understand on a rational, argumentative level. I tried to understand the emotional affliction and justified wrath.
I felt both anxious and angry. Anxious because I did not want to accidentally hurt feelings and because I know so few about this topic. Angry because whatever was said, whatever was your own horizon of experience, however times and insights have changed - the reply was: "And it is racist. It always was. It is. And it will be! Racist. Racist. Racist."

At this point I started to learn that no matter how much I'd learn or how hard I'd try to understand - I'd fail. Oh, I was able to learn and understand a lot - when it was put in a logical and sensible way and expressed a certain balance of pro's and con's. Or accepted pro's and con's at all!
I understand a lot of what Lunakat said... or Zadzi (examples, not a complete list). I disagree with some statements and still don't really understand others - but I get that there is a problem with certain aspects of EQ, with the use of some terms, with the attitude of the Pinis, with me and some of my ways to think. I'm not perfect. I will never be. And - I don't want to be perfect. But I want to learn and improve. And want to stay myself.

And when I think we could find minimal common ground you get this:
@namuhna wrote:
Looking back at last night, I can't believe I fell for negotiating racism. Even after mocking it. I take back all my replies except the first one.

@namuhna wrote:
Well anyway Elfquest is racist from page one. It still is.
and this
@kathleen3.0 wrote:
OH MY FREAKING GOD. DO NOT EUROSPLAIN YOUR USE OF A RACIST TERM AWAY.
Long before last night I got palpation or migraine when I saw Kathleen has posted something. Almost too afraid to read, terrified by the idea to write ...
Using a wrong term? *I didn't know ..." Racist! *slap*
Doing something frowned on? *Sorry, here it doesn't ..." Eurosplaining racist! *slap*
Don't fully agree with an extreme pov? Racist anyway. *slap*
... no way to do right. All ways to do wrong.
I'm afraid to tell my mind here. Even afraid to have an opinion of my own at all.

You know when I gave up? That cosplay/blackfacing talk again ...

When I learned that a child wearing brown make-up at Fasching (decades ago or now) is racist. No matter whether it intends to act racist or even understands the meaning.
When I learned if said child does not agree as a grown-up that this was a bigbaddyevilwrong s/he is considered a racist - doesn't matter that absolutely no feelings were hurt during this carnival.
When I realized that to get a chance of redemption I'd have to admit that 50 years of my life were a racist fail because I was not aware that I did racist things that were not considered so at this time. Eismohr, Negerkuss, Zigeunerschnitzel ... to tell the least. XD

Yes, this is exaggerated and overdramatic ... but I will tell you what I've really learned.

It is very easy to call someone racist here. And of course it is justified because according to some most recent code of conduct somewhere there will always be reason - or a dozen. It doesn't matter what I might have achieved just by listening and learning over the years. I'm racist because I did not fulfill the most recent standards of a society overseas already half a decade ago.

And I can do nothing against it - because this would be racist, I bet. And then I see in the newspapers and on TV reports about our resident racists - and look in the mirror ... and feel slapped.

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