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 racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion

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namuhna

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:18 pm

Zadzi wrote:
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and yet still sort of unconsciously keep recycling some stereotypes that have been around forever and have also been outdated for a long time.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.

Thank you Zadzi. That was a very nice post and probably required more patience than I am capable of (ADHD, since I see we're sharing). From your response I see more understanding and acknowledgement that maybe elfquest has always been subtly racist through its entire run despite attempts at being progressive, which is what I was missing from Lunakats responses and why I got so mad.
I don't feel early issues are safe from criticizm today just because they were ahead of their time back then, but it really seemed to me as if that was what Lunakat was implying...Though I appreciate Lunakats diplomatic efforts as well, at least now that I've had time to cool down.

wingthing wrote:
namuhna wrote:
..If you seriously can not see how Shuna is your standard white savior in a fairly racist story then you all need to get educated. She is.

See also how Ember, Venka and Savah, three capable darkskinned ladies, all wait for the much needed learedship of your extremely white GaryMary-StuSue. The same garymary who led the Go-Backs to war and taught the sunfolk to fight back. It's pretty gross, and it's very much a recurring theme throughout Elfquest. I'm not saying you need to hate and ban elfquest as racist propaganda, but the least you can do is acknowledge its faults.

AMEN! cheers The cultural imperialism of the Wolfriders has always enraged me. The overarching theme of the original quest could be read pretty much as "The Wolfrider's Burden"

Isn't it weird how positive responses get forgotten when you get real riled up about something? Thank you wingthing. Lol, "The Wolfrider's Burden"  Very Happy

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.

Laughing  ... Crying or Very sad


Last edited by namuhna on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:31 pm

@Embala- I can't ever remember a time I've told you to shut up.

I wish I had time to address this today- but I don't.

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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:50 pm

You don't have, Lunakat.

EDIT: guess I found where I was misleading - edited in red to clearify

Take your time to read ... and address this whenever time meets mood.

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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:08 am

I don't think you've 'failed' on any points, Embala.
Thanks for the post, I think it's beautiful and honest. I don't think you've 'failed' - you not being aware of certain things doesn't make you racist, talking about what you feel or think doesn't make you that way either. You are NOT a failure - I CANNOT say this enough! It makes me really sad to read that. Hug

I am really sorry if it was perceived like that. I don't feel you've said anything 'wrong' - and I have always seen you as a very thoughtful, compassionate, fair, kind individual here.

It's just that this is a very hot button subject, and feelings are always on high alert when this type of thing is perceived or heard. We can't get past it but maybe we aren't in a place in history (yet) to move past it. There's a lot of wounds to heal. And healing, in my humble opinion, is not a very pleasant thing always, because the wound has to be cleansed before it heals, and that stings.

I know a lot of us are not going to see eye to eye on this, maybe not in our lifetime. And while it's sort of depressing, to me the *most* important thing is the dialogue, and seeing another's perspective, and having that *in balance*.... that way, we all feel heard, validated, etc.

I've rambled on long enough xo

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namuhna

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:58 am

Embala wrote:
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 to 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.


Thank you for your honesty and openness. And your capacity of admitting hurt. I'm going to try to respond in kind...
When I tell you and others something is racist... it really isn't so much intended as an attack as it is a statement of fact (for me that is). We are surrounded by racism, it's everywhere. I have several racist tendencies I'm fighting against every day, probably more than I'm even aware of.

But let me tell you why I consider racism to be this simple fact. I've studied psychology for 8 years and one of those were spent in Tennessee where I took a class on Southern History and learned in detail how white supremists used literature in increasingly subtle ways to further their agenda. We spent three weeks reading about white saviors in particular, and learned how focusing on white superiority was much better received by white people since it's a direct compliment to them and it makes it harder for them to question. If the poc arent portrayed as directly and consistently negative stereotypes, it's so very VERY easy to find excuses and deny racism because we don't attack poc, nono, we just make the white hero and his or her experiences and feelings and thoughts and culture and tribe a liiiittle bit more important than all those non-whites. Always. Poc might be charming and nice, but they're never ever the hero. They need to be taught and led by the white guy. Use traditional fairy-tale tropes from old european anti-jewish stories and somehing in white people just respond instinctively. We like it. To use terms I've learned of in psychology; creating subtle in-groups and out-groups. I felt like a detective, combining psychology and literature to find tropes and subtle hints of racism and also learning how much fiction affacts culture and real world problems. (Did any of you ever read about how Jaws pretty much resulted in mass hunting of sharks? It's heartbreaking and very illustrative of how people will attack anything if fiction tells them they're justified!)

But once my class was finished and my eyes were opened... Going back to my favourite comics, books, tv-shows, movies... and seeing the extent of all those subtle stereotypes in everything I had loved so much for such a long time...hurt like HELL! And the only one who was shouting racist at me was myself. And I could not deny it. So yes, I know a little bit of your pain, I've definitively gone through some of it myself. It's a kind of self-hatred and self-doubt that's not alot of fun. But you know what? it's also indicative of a very big heart. If we hadn't cared at all that's when we had actually deserved to hate ourself.

I learned to accept that being a racist is simply a part of growing up as a white person, but that doesn't make me, or other whites, bad or evil. I know damn well that my view of the world wasn't intentionally racist so I also eventually also learned to forgive myself for having never noticed those things. However, once accepted that racism is part of me I need to keep my eyes open, call out racism when I see it, and fight all the time not to fall into the easy trap I was born into. People of color HAVE to think about their color ALL THE TIME, and now I'm gonna try to do so as well. I educate myself, I keep up to date via tumblr and twitter, I read articles and I discuss with likeminded friends and I call it out when I see racsim everywhere.

But then people deny it. So what can I do? how can I possibly keep calling out racism when people consistently deny things that to me are clear as day? When they side-track and excuse and use the exact kind of excuses I had learned about in my classes that white people use when confronted with racism?
How on earth can I possibly fight against that? I can't teach you everything I learned from all my years of studying and listening, it took me years to see what I'm seeing! Before I realized I needed to listen more I wrote a disgusting essay in my southern history class where I concluded that the southern flag was maybe not that offensive for goodness sake!! When you ask me to calmly explain and discuss I don't even know where to begin! Do I dig up all my sources? Do I refer you to a ted-talk? Do I explain my lifes story? How can I possibly make you see? How can I forgive myself for not noticing racism if I don't even know how to make you notice it too?

So...we get shouting and sarcasm...
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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:59 am

Namuhna, that's one hell of a thing which you did - and I really commend you. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it is though in turning your world upside-down in a way. You got some serious initiation by the sounds of it  Wink
I do intend on commenting in more on your post but I'm going to bed because it's like almost 2 AM here.

Before I go to sleep I want to say that while this is kind of dumb, I came across this old music video the other day and it made me totally nostalgic. I remember when this came out, how optimistic the mood was, how optimistic the video was. How confident.
Damn, 1989 I think it was? Damn. I have this theory that the longevity test is really the ultimate factor. But it still holds strong, nothing in it wilts as far as I'm concerned. Nothing but free will, we're completely responsible for how things turn out, ultimately.
And damn, Janet just kicked serious ass.




Lyrics: http://genius.com/Janet-jackson-rhythm-nation-lyrics

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kathleen3.0

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:30 am

Anytime someone tries to comment on the racism in the comic, they get basically told to sit down and shut up. And European fans often try to come in all "well, we don't have this in my country, so obviously you, who have actual experience with this, and who know about the issues at play here, are too emotional to handle this". And yeah, I was out of line, but frankly, I am at my limit with this.

And yeah, I'm angry.

EDIT: none of you need to see this.

So yeah, I'm angry, because the way Elfquest portrays Indigenous people was racist in the seventies, in the eighties, in the nineties, and it is racist today. It was unacceptable then, during Wounded Knee and the AIM movement, and it is unacceptable now. It contributes to the dehumanization of Indigenous people in Canada and the USA and worldwide, which serves to diminish the humanity of the entire world.

I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt because of my anger and my "trauma", but what I don't get is why people can't take the beautiful art, the somewhat above mediocre storytelling, and also say, "There are a lot of unacceptable elements here."

Elfquest being racist doesn't make the people who read it racist. Gas lighting and denial of people who point it out does make some elfquest fans hard to deal with. And even the fans who agree with us have their own issues(gypsy moth, too bad there isn't some kind of cultural tradition of name changing that could be used to fix that?) because we're not perfect either(sure, focus the story on Leetah, but it's still about how cool the wolfriders are). There are still a lot of great things about this series, valuable things we can take from it, even Final Quest. There are also some very harmful elements that should not be ignored or glossed over.

And being racist isn't a horrible insult. It's a byproduct of 500 years of colonization and oppression that we all have to carry with us. It's an infection that has long since needed treatment, but instead we'd all rather pretend it isn't there, until we need to cut off the limb. As if trying to cure the infection is more shameful than carrying it.

It's 2016. Uhura doesn't just wear a fancy earring and announce hailing frequencies, she goes into battle and loves and is loved. It's 2016, and one of the stars in Star Wars is a Black man, the other a woman and a Jedi. It's 2016, and I am tired of good intentions and colour blindedness and of people who would rather call me angry than use a search engine. It's 2016, and we're all still okay with this. It's 2016, and I am not willing to let little children of colour go out into a world where people will say "gone native" without regard for their little innocences, which frankly, matter more to me than your shock over how racist our society actually is. It's 2016, and the stories that have helped to shape our world are changing, so everyone can come to the table.

I will not apologize for being angry, I will instead continue to be appalled that you are not and come to the only conclusion I can. In a world more full of information than ever before, where marginalized people are sharing their experiences freely, where knowledge can be got at the tap of a finger, some people will continue to choose to remain ignorant in the defence of the status quo and at the expense of the vulnerable. And they're not even bad people. They're funny and wise and kind and wouldn't hurt a fly. They're just also refusing to take antibiotics for an infection that they don't want to acknowledge that they have, that is spreading rapidly. And more often than I'd like to admit, I'm one of them. It took a great shock to make me notice much of the injustice in the world and I still turn my head and deny a lot of it.

Again, I apologize for being out of line and saying hurtful things. I was very tired and angry, so I should have kept my temper better.

Oh, and by the by, skunks are adorable animals, they're smart, cute, and utterly fearless. They can grow tails as long as their bodies, that bloom out like flowers. They have this habit of casually glancing over their shoulders when confronted by peril that makes you laugh.

And Stormcatcher is right. We joined the same forum. We don't have to be friends. We don't even know each other.


Last edited by kathleen3.0 on Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:07 am

Kathleen: you're awesome and make great points and I admire the hell out of some stuff you write, and I agree with a lot of it, but your passive aggression just pisses me off sometimes, seriously.
It's counter productive and it SHUTS DOWN A CONVERSATION which is necessary to have.
I mean seriously, what the fuck do skunks have to do with anything, is that like some obligatory feel good cozy meme to show me how pissed off you are? I already see it. I don't need that.

Yes, being racist is a horrible insult. It's got baggage. The TERM HAS A LOT OF BAGGAGE. Because the history CARRIES baggage.

And....you are appalled ? Stop being appalled for a few minutes. Seriously.
The second you do, you'll be able to hear the other side. Maybe it does't matter to you and sounds like a long suffering howl. But I do believe in hearing what others have to say. I don't need to agree with them. I do however need to understand them. I need to. I don't think you get it. My livelihood as a writer, as an AY-Rab, as a woman, as a human being, needs to hear it, because it matters to me. The second I stop listening, even when I'm pissed off, I'll hate myself.

While we're all bitching about how a comic book offends us, a trio of assholes in Kansas has been arrested from trying to bomb an apartment complex full of Muslims and wanted to dip the bullets in pigs blood before taking out the 'cockroaches'. Look it up, because I'm too APPALLED to post a link. Like I said, the Pinis have perpetuated some stereotypes but they're not the center of my attention - I can speak about the quality of their work critically and yes sometimes I'm emotional. They're a bit provincial but that's pretty much their only crime. It's not worthy of such ire imo. I mean, maybe it is on a bad day when I'm PMSed and have had an extra helping of merlot, but wtf. It's not that bad.
They aren't the source of evil. They're just some well-meaning hippies stuck in a time warp. God's sake, let them stay that way. It's fine. I'm not traumatized. I have other comics I love. Things have gotten shitty but so what. So what. Seriously so effing what. They're not going to change it now to what we want, so just deal with it, accept.

Sorry for going off. I'm really sorry. Kathleen, seriously. You make good points. Valid ones. But sometimes they're really hard to read. I mean I'm actually in agreement with you and I'm a bit offended. I can't imagine what it's like to be not in agreement with you. I'd be like Fuck this shit. Can't imagine this is the reaction you'd want.

*deep breath* Going to bed now.

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:51 am

@nahmuna: It was really interesting to read your explanation, but I'm wondering, can a Caucasian author write a fictional novel with a POC protagonist? I assume, the writings of an author are based on his or her won experiences. They are reflections of his life. Maybe they are changed, altered, twisted, but... We study an authors life to better understand his or her work (otherwise such exercises would be pointless).
If a white author writes about the adventures of a POC protagonist, he or she will not have any own experiences, what it means to be such a person. He or she would have to rely on second hand guesses.

I guess, it could be easier for a fantasy author. One could write about a world without prejudices and racism, where skin colour really doesn't matter. Then such matters wouldn't affect the protagonist (and the reader wouldn't expect them to affect them). On the other hand, the readers of such a novel still life in our society, so stories don't exist in a vacuum

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:08 am

Sorry, guys. I'm sorry, Kathleen, for going off like that. I hope you can forgive me.
I got all emotional and ranted. I'm giving myself a timeout now because I feel I've been counterproductive to the argument.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:26 am

So what did you 3 achieve here? An unhappy online community.

Coming into a dedicated fan forum of any kind and yelling that the whole thing is "racist from day one" would get you banned anywhere else. Accusing other users of racism with vague but suggestive words like "Eurosplaining" can only be interpreted as an attempt to rile up the user community and cause infighting.

I'm actually sympathetic to your cause and I have tried to have tried to keep the peace, but I'm done with this. You minds are closed and set to rigid black and white thinking. I was going to ask you about your opinion about this newpaper article- http://observer.com/2016/02/the-totalitarian-doctrine-of-social-justice-warriors/
But I don't think any of you will read it.

And leave the skunks out of this. They do at least know their enemies and not go around randomly spraying their own kind with "perfume de nazi".

And Zadzi? Don't apologize, seriously. An apology is needed here, and it's not yours.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:34 pm

Miss Gillespie wrote:
@nahmuna: It was really interesting to read your explanation, but I'm wondering, can a Caucasian author write a fictional novel with a POC protagonist? I assume, the writings of an author are based on his or her won experiences. They are reflections of his life. Maybe they are changed, altered, twisted, but... We study an authors life to better understand his or her work (otherwise such exercises would be pointless).
If a white author writes about the adventures of a POC protagonist, he or she will not have any own experiences, what it means to be such a person. He or she would have to rely on second hand guesses.

I guess, it could be easier for a fantasy author. One could write about a world without prejudices and racism, where skin colour really doesn't matter. Then such matters wouldn't affect the protagonist (and the reader wouldn't expect them to affect them). On the other hand, the readers of such a novel still life in our society, so stories don't exist in a vacuum

Well honestly everyone can write whatever they want of course... most writers are bound to write some experiences that they haven't had themselves after all. whether they can do so respectfully is very much up to the individual. I would certainly never discourage it, but I would insist on and expect that if a benevolent author chose to write about poc then they need to acknowledge and respect those poc, or those who speak on their behalf ,who may tell them why and how they did it wrong. Simple acknowledgement of the mistake and an authentic apology if necessary, and trying to avoid similar mistakes in the future is often all the respect that's needed. People like to think it's endlessly more complicated than that, but most of the time it really isn't. Accept that there are things others know better than you, apologize and try to change for the better. That's it.

While you probably need to do some research nobody really expects anyone to be perfectly respectful to everyone at their first go, even if rudeness and high-strung emotions make it seem like they do. Maybe try to remember that experiencing real world-racism is a heck of a lot more traumatic than being called a racist, so some angry rants should be allowed in your direction, if you're white.

This also goes for men writing women and abled writing for disabled and generally anyone privileged writing for less privileged.


I see alot of you talking about how big real life issues are so very big and how this silly little comic really don't deserve this much emotion and attention. That's not how I look at it.
For you little things don't matter because of the big thing, but to me the big thing makes the little things matter even more, if that makes sense... I can't move a big boulder, but I can maybe push the little rocks around abit?


Last edited by namuhna on Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : bit of clarification in the beginning)
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:01 pm

Ahem.

May I suggest that about 90% of this thread get snipped and moved to a different, IRL-related category, with a new title? (Perhaps something like "-Isms and The People Who Use Them"?) Because the last time I looked, the title of this thread is "Final Quest #18".

Yes, I'm a noob here and therefore am probably being seen as being impertinent instead of speaking my mind. Too bad. I could play several "-ism" cards and therefore be completely exonerated, but it looks like plenty of that has gone down already. I'm not adding to that steaming pile.

Discussions are great. Intelligent arguments are great. But time and place, yeah?
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:11 pm

I agree with Bluetree on moving the whole "racism" discussion to a seperate thread.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 pm

Elwing wrote:
So what did you 3 achieve here? An unhappy online community.

Coming into a dedicated fan forum of any kind and yelling that the whole thing is "racist from day one" would get you banned anywhere else. Accusing other users of racism with vague but suggestive words like "Eurosplaining" can only be interpreted as an attempt to rile up the user community and cause infighting.

I'm actually sympathetic to your cause and I have tried to have tried to keep the peace, but I'm done with this. You minds are closed and set to rigid black and white thinking. I was going to ask you about your opinion about this newpaper article- http://observer.com/2016/02/the-totalitarian-doctrine-of-social-justice-warriors/
But I don't think any of you will read it.

And leave the skunks out of this. They do at least know their enemies and not go around randomly spraying their own kind with "perfume de nazi".

And Zadzi? Don't apologize, seriously. An apology is needed here, and it's not yours.

Three points people should ponder:

1)The term "social justice warriors" comes from online fandom. It originally was used to describe fans who used the terminology of social justice to gain attention and brownie points in various fandoms, and to shout down/shut up people who didn't do fandom the exact way you did. The Star Trek reboot movie is a good example of this: some the Spock/Uhura shippers called the Kirk/Spock shippers racist.  One of the signs of someone being a SJW, in this original sense of the term? The inability to see nuance. The inability to see, let alone acknowledge, that people will have different experiences from them. The inability to accept that people can disagree with them on a topic, or points or a discussion, and not be an *ist.

2) Perfection is the enemy of good.

3) You can block people on this forum, so you only see their posts if you choose to click on them. It can make your time here more enjoyable.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:29 pm

I don't think blocking eachother is a solution. I think we should all try to hear eachother. If this demonstrates anything-- it shows how difficult it is for any group of people to talk about topics like racism-- even when the context is a fictional fantasy comic and the people are just an obscure group of fans who have really like and supported each other for years. If we can't do it without blowing up-- how is the rest of the world, with very serious events and people who are strangers, supposed to handle this kind of stuff?

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:30 pm

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, Zadzi.
I don't expect that someone "just get past it". I know this is next to impossible. Wounds need time to heal ... and some never truly will.
Zadzi wrote:
... to me the *most* important thing is the dialogue, and seeing another's perspective, and having that *in balance*.... that way, we all feel heard, validated, etc.
This. From both sides.


Kathleen3.0 wrote:
I will not apologize for being angry, ...
There is no need to apologize for being angry, Kathleen.
Quote :
... I will instead continue to be appalled that you are not and come to the only conclusion I can.
I just wish you could allow a path aside or behind you. Not everyone who does not rush right on your heels in your footsteps is an enemy, stupid or blind. But I've to accept that this is out of consideration.


Sharing your background helps a bit to understand your reactions, namuhna. I see that you walked a long way - and still walk on. I get that you feel the need to make others understand what you've understood. You told that it has cost you years of studies - but now you look for a way to teach others in high speed?
I'm sorry, this cannot work - and you know it. If you want to teach you need to pick up people were they are and lead them on the path as far as they are ready to follow. I can tell what I mean only in a picture.

One day you left the messy beach to try the water ... got used to it, learned to swim, swam out farther, felt hurting muscles, felt clean and refreshed and realized that you reached open sea. And now you want to show other people - make them become swimmers, too.
Bring them to the beach in small groups and show them ... some will put a toe into the water and run home. Some will just sit in in the waves and others will learn to swim in flat water. Few will follow you and learn to swim out as you do. Learn to love the open sea and maybe start to teach, too ... and more will be inspired by their example.
But when you do your best to drag everyone on a boot, row them out and throw them in the water it will bring you nowhere. Some will drown and the rest will hate the open seas forever. Shouting and sarcasm as a regular measure of choice will get you nowhere.

namuhna wrote:
Maybe try to remember that experiencing real world-racism is a heck of a lot more traumatic than being called a racist, so some angry rants should be allowed in your direction, if you're white.
Oooops ... Seriously, namuhna? Shocked
In a discussion about racism I've expected that you'd come up with a better reasoning than "if you are white".



namuhna wrote:
When I tell you and others something is racist... it really isn't so much intended as an attack as it is a statement of fact (for me that is). We are surrounded by racism, it's everywhere. I have several racist tendencies I'm fighting against every day, probably more than I'm even aware of.

Words, the use of certain terms, seems to have a significant importance in this discussion. And earlier I was told here that the intention does not matter - the term as such is racist. Well …maybe my main issue is the use of another term - of ONE term to be exact.

racist = the Nazi ideology, the people who followed it and justified mass murder with the dehumanization of Jews and people of color.
racist = three neo-Nazis who executed 9 men just because they were migrants (plus bomb attacks, bank robbery and some more killings)
racist = AfD members who want to get rid of all the asylum seeker and people with migration background (simplified definition)
racist = author writing a story with a white savior hero
racist = child using brown face make-up on carnival to resemble a poc
racist = using the term "going native"

Does anyone else see a minor unbalance here? There is exactly ONE term to label all those manifestations of racism. You get this label for the use of a term that was declared inappropriate by one group and is considered a scientific method of field research by another. You get exactly the same for committing mass murder due to racial hate.
Is it really so incomprehensible that people react unaccepting and defensive in the last 3 cases? Especially when the term racist is shout at them out of the blue.

Kathleen3.0 wrote:
And being racist isn't a horrible insult.
Not an insult? Being labeled "racist" for the use of a word or a masquerade puts me in the same drawer as the worst mass murderers and misanthropists I know. And I'm supposed to say "Oh sure, you are right. How couldn't I see the big bad of this term/trope before. Thank you for pointing this out. I was so blind."
This is an insult for me. It's an insult and racist imo when the next baddie in the US-American blockbuster is a blond German Nazi once more - or is depicted like one.* And I won't say: "Thanks for the slap."

There is another issue I see with the excessive use of the "racist" label. Pointing out that the use of certain words and specific deeds are hurtful for poc, to ban offensive terms and make clear that these are aspects of racism is supposed to make people learn.
People are supposed to become aware of the everyday subtle racism among us and within our own lives. And it is a comparably easy way to contribute for to this goal for everyone - moving little stones when rocks are too heavy. Good intentions.
But when those little pebbles get the main attention, when the term racist is overused, people will likely learn something else: "racist” is using an ugly word, painting your face black or wearing the wrong hairdo. And the conclusion can be: "This guy they call a racist can’t be so bad at all!"  or "This deed cannot be so bad - it's just like using an ugly word!" It can backfire.


* This does not belong here. It's irrelevant. I apologize.

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Last edited by Embala on Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:02 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : I.Hate.My.Typos.)
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:33 pm

This is kind of an amazing conversation actually. I mean- I'm impressed we are having it. You guys are saying some good stuff on both sides. I'm trying to stop in and read through what everyone is saying but I'm just crunched on projects and don't have time to jump in. For what it's worth though-- I think you are all great. And everyone is making good points-- even if we don't all agree with eachother.

Heck it's healthy to air it. This is what got us all here in the first place anyhow.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:55 pm

I have a plea ... a suggestion.

I see the reasons for this discussion. I feel the need of some to discuss this topic. I see ground where discussion can thrive. I don't want to shut down this discussion or this topic. I don't want to silence anyone.

The Old Scroll always had room for real life discussions, "red button topics" included. But there was one striking difference. On the old Scroll of Colors the topics were kept apart carefully. When a comic discussion or character discussion drifted off-topic we either moved to a more appropriate thread to go on or the admins splitted the thread and put each part in the designated folder.

I think this would be a good habit here as well. This way a member or lurker who seeks information about FQ#18 will not accidentally stumble in a heated discussion about racism or other topics. I remember how I've tried to avoid threads for exactly this reason. I think it would make the experiance for all tribemates much more comfortable.



Can we agree on the following?
When we notice that a discussions will go off topic we'll move to a fitting thread.
If it already happened and the thread is derailed we'll call an admin to cut and split it.


EDIT: I havn't realized before that Bluetree and Sifra suggested the same some hours ago.

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Last edited by Embala on Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:20 pm

I agree , Embala. I'd be good with it personally.

@Bluetree - yeah, that is a good suggestion.


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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:25 pm

Lunakat wrote:
I don't think blocking eachother is a solution. I think we should all try to hear eachother. If this demonstrates anything-- it shows how difficult it is for any group of people to talk about topics like racism-- even when the context is a fictional fantasy comic and the people are just an obscure group of fans who have really like and supported each other for years. If we can't do it without blowing up-- how is the rest of the world, with very serious events and people who are strangers, supposed to handle this kind of stuff?

It is a solution. It's not one you like, and it may not be popular, but it is a solution. Especially since "we should listen to each other" seems to only flow in one direction.

To be blunt, it's obvious to me  that neither kathleen nor namuhna give a fart in a high wind about anyone else's experiences or opinions but their own (and it's incredibly US-centric. How imperialistic!) They're trying to take over -- they HAVE taken over -- this thread to what they want it to be. They want a captive audience while they pretend to "educate" everyone else.

The rest of you may have infinite patience to put up with their mutual back-patting performance outrage. I don't.
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:41 pm

Blocking a member would be the last straw for me - in case of direct and persistant personal attack.

Besides this I'll deal with whatever comes ... more or less intense. This is my main "online home" - practically the only one - and I don't want to voluntarily add to my filter lane.
I like to have the option, tho ...

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:06 pm

Davrille wrote:
Lunakat wrote:
I don't think blocking eachother is a solution. I think we should all try to hear eachother. If this demonstrates anything-- it shows how difficult it is for any group of people to talk about topics like racism-- even when the context is a fictional fantasy comic and the people are just an obscure group of fans who have really like and supported each other for years. If we can't do it without blowing up-- how is the rest of the world, with very serious events and people who are strangers, supposed to handle this kind of stuff?

It is a solution. It's not one you like, and it may not be popular, but it is a solution. Especially since "we should listen to each other" seems to only flow in one direction.

To be blunt, it's obvious to me  that neither kathleen nor namuhna give a fart in a high wind about anyone else's experiences or opinions but their own (and it's incredibly US-centric. How imperialistic!) They're trying to take over -- they HAVE taken over -- this thread to what they want it to be. They want a captive audience while they pretend to "educate" everyone else.

The rest of you may have infinite patience to put up with their mutual back-patting performance outrage. I don't.

See- I disagree. Because I don't see Kathleen responding much here. And Namuhna is new- so she can't have been dominating conversations in the past. I definitely see you and Embala and Zadzi expressing yourselves and having just as much of a voice as they do. You might be uncomfortable because they may be disagreeing with you or you with them-- but everyone is definitely getting a chance to talk and to air perspectives. We don't have to agree.

What I do think we all agree with, though, is the idea of breaking this conversation off of the thread about Issue 18 and giving it it's own topic.

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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:12 am

Excellent suggestion, Bluetree. This discussion is a bit of a hot mess right now, but it is important, and it needs its own home. But please call it "race in Elfquest" and not "Elfquest is racist" or something like that. Because it is a very loaded word. Personally, I have a hard time coming up with a more serious insult.

I don't really believe in blocking people either. Blocking people is not the answer, but a civil exchange of ideas always is.
As for banning people- it depends. I don't think there is a reason for it right now, but one aggressive user can completely destroy the atmosphere on a small forum like this. but I'm not the one who gets to decide on these matters.

"I just wish you could allow a path aside or behind you. Not everyone who does not rush right on your heals in your footsteps is an enemy, stupid or blind. But I've to accept that this is out of consideration." you put that beautifully, Embala!
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PostSubject: Re: racial perception in ElfQuest - split from issue #18 discussion   Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:21 pm

How about calling it "issues of race in comics" (then we can expand it beyond Elfqust if we want)

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