Why this is considered a slur in one image. Describing ethnic groups as animals is also considered offensive in the US as well. But I’m going to assume there’s a culture gap in play considering the forums here are very diverse so no harm or foul was intended. At best US history and sociology was learned today.
No one described them as animals, it was a joke based on the fact that, in the world of Fallen London, there are actually plenty of people (not necessarily humans, but people) who are all sorts of colors, including those not found in the range of human skin tones. In fact, because of this, the term “people of color” (as we use it) doesn’t even really work in the world of FL, since it most definitely applies to more people than just “non-caucasian humans.”
In my experience, it is best not to describe any ethnic groups as animals at all. ;)
Why this is considered a slur in one image. Describing ethnic groups as animals is also considered offensive in the US as well. But I’m going to assume there’s a culture gap in play considering the forums here are very diverse so no harm or foul was intended. At best US history and sociology was learned today.[/quote]
All right, let me clear something up here. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I nver compared any ethnic group to the animals. Like Kukapetal said, it was a joke, following the logic of one of previous posters in this thread, who listed Blemmigans and Rubberies and similar characters. That’s all.
Quick note: the definitions and terminology of a modern era do not necessarily apply inside of Fallen London. But that’s in-story, which we are not. We are in this modern world. And here in this world where all us players live, there are people celebrating when they feel represented. When they feel like a work of fiction has reached out and said ‘yes, you’re welcome here, people like you are worth depicting.’
This is important to real people. I don’t believe any jokes in this thread have been made in malice, but they may have been made without necessarily considering the importance the subject holds in the hearts of fellow players?
Even the most delicious of friends misspeak.
This is an incredibly weird thread.
No offense meant to the OP, but why, exactly, is this a thing? It feels rather odd to see someone make a list of fictional characters who aren’t Caucasian. Is this supposed to be an important characteristic? I don’t really see how this defines them in any way, or sets them apart from Caucasian characters. Not saying this is racist or anything, but it definitely feels weird.
Because works of fiction where all or almost all of the major characters are white are still depressingly common. Or, if there are PoC characters, they’re laden with stereotypes and/or the villains. Or, in speculative fiction works, aliens or monsters are meant to represent PoCs, which might have been radical decades ago when a story explicitly addressing racial issues would have struggled to get published, but today comes across as “we’re more comfortable writing seven-headed insects that live on distant moons than we are actual humans who aren’t WASPs.”
But how does this help? I’m well aware Caucasian characters are extremely common in media (though I find ‘depressingly common’ a bit of an offensive way to describe it, to be honest - I usually don’t let someone’s race bog down my enjoyment of a story) and a diverse cast is certainly a good thing, but how does categorizing characters by their race help? It seems to really draw attention to a detail we should be trying to care less about. It’s also acting like this is an important part of their personality.
In short, what’s the point of making a list of characters where their selected defining trait is their race? It just wastes time, categorizes and simplifies well-written characters, and brings a bad air to the thought of Caucasian casts.
These are questions that far better minds than mine have addressed - plus, I feel it’s important to note, I am really really white, so my stake in this is moral and intellectual, rather than being a fight for my life and my culture. That said, I don’t think treating race as "a detail we should be trying to care less about" is a good approach. It’s not an issue we can afford to ignore. I honestly don’t have the words to capture my position right now, so I ran some searches and found these, among many other articles:
Why Does Representation Matter?
Why Color-Blindness is a Counterproductive Ideology.
When you say you "don’t see race", you’re ignoring racism, not helping to solve it.
Why Does Media Representation Matter?
It’s probably a generations gap thing here…many of us grew up being taught “race shouldn’t matter…see the person inside, not what they look like.” This has changed lately, with race now being treated as if should matter a great deal. While I understand the argument, I also know that it runs counter to what a great many of us have been taught is the morally correct way to view race for our entire lives.
In short, it can be difficult for people to accept that they must do a complete 180 from “if you don’t view this person as simply ‘a person’ instead of ‘a black person’ you are a racist” to “if you don’t view this person as ‘a black person’ instead of simply ‘a person,’ you are a racist.” At best, it comes across to them as backwards and nonsensical, at worst, it comes across as morally repugnant.
And while, like everyone else, I have my own opinion on the subject, I’m not trying to argue here which is right or wrong…only to point out that, if you challenge people’s deeply held moral beliefs, there is bound to be some argument from them. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean said people are one step away from burning crosses on other people’s lawns.
It might be better to stick to the less fantastic and more mundane characters (humans). After all, the spirit of such lists are very much about human representation. ;)
[quote=Kukapetal]It’s probably a generations gap thing here…many of us grew up being taught "race shouldn’t matter…see the person inside, not what they look like." This has changed lately, with race now being treated as if should matter a great deal. While I understand the argument, I also know that it runs counter to what a great many of us have been taught is the morally correct way to view race for our entire lives.
In short, it can be difficult for people to accept that they must do a complete 180 from "if you don’t view this person as simply ‘a person’ instead of ‘a black person’ you are a racist" to "if you don’t view this person as ‘a black person’ instead of simply ‘a person,’ you are a racist." At best, it comes across to them as backwards and nonsensical, at worst, it comes across as morally repugnant.
And while, like everyone else, I have my own opinion on the subject, I’m not trying to argue here which is right or wrong…only to point out that, if you challenge people’s deeply held moral beliefs, there is bound to be some argument from them. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean said people are one step away from burning crosses on other people’s lawns.[/quote]
Couldn’t agree more with you here, Kukapetal. Categorization and classification (whether by race, sexuality, gender, etc) are a big part of today’s world, while in the past the message spread was often that people are people regardless of class, creed, or faction. The argument for categorization by traits is an understandable one - people want to have their own identity and want to know that there are others like them out there. Personally, while I sympathize with the means and find them very understandable (It can get quite lonely being a Russian patriot in America during this Cold War-esque time, or being a bisexual in the rather ‘traditional’ Midwest) I find the results and implications unhealthy. Finding your own people is good when treated casually, like how you would treat finding a group of others who love art, or music, or black and white movies, etc. When treated as something very important, though, and treated as a defining part of who a person is, it more leads to factions than anything, which is entirely unhealthy. People are defined more and more by their factions, their groups, their people, and these definitions come more and more to be treated on a higher pedestal than species, which is something we all share as one large human race.
But now we’re getting into Sagan territory, and I think Carl explained all of this a lot better than I ever could, so I should probably stop.
TLDR : +1 to Kukapetal and Carl Sagan
I am honestly just so happy to see that such a difficult subject was discussed and treated with such courtesy and consideration on this forum. Haha, this is one of the many reasons I love this place! Thank you so much, Sir Frederick.
The main reason why I wanted to start this list was because I’m running the incorrect fallen london quotes blog over on tumblr and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t accidentally excluding anybody. The way racial discourse is in the US, as a White Person[color=#ffffff]™[/color] I feel like I have to put extra effort in to make sure I’m inclusive, because the nature of the racist beast works itself out a lot in your unconscious assumptions - or at least that’s what I’ve found. If I don’t make the effort to think about it, I don’t do it. Making the extra effort means I’m less of a racist jerk. That’s a goal I can get behind.
And then I figured that, hey, maybe other people would appreciate that list too for reasons of their own. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine - there are plenty of other threads here to join. I believe that representation matters, and that focusing on people who don’t always get represented is crucial to a holistic understanding of our world. American society treats white as default - from my understanding, so does Great Britain. That’s not only a disingenuous and dishonest way to look at the world: it’s actively harmful. It primarily hurts people of color, who don’t get to see themselves represented and then get ignored when bad things happen to them. It also is bad for white people, who lose their ability to empathize with people of other ethnicities and a realistic sense of themselves in the world. Focusing on people of color and their experiences is absolutely crucial to fighting these things. That’s something that’s very important to me.
I’m thinking about starting a list of favorite characters, too, but I wanted to do this one first so that it didn’t get neglected or ignored. Anyways - I’ll edit the first post to include the list of characters and clarify what PoC means! Additionally, nonhuman characters will not be added to the list, for reasons discussed in this thread. It’s dehumanizing to compare people of color to animals. If you didn’t know that, I’m very sure that anyone reading this thread knows that now.
edited by Marianne Anders on 9/13/2016
edited by Marianne Anders on 9/13/2016
Great Britain is a European nation. Europe is where white people come from. It’s great to be more inclusive, but complaining that Great Britain sees white as the default state is like complaining that China sees Asian people as the default state in their art and literature.
I don’t like the implication that if we don’t see non-whites represented that we’ll start treating them like sh*t, either. As if we can’t distinguish what a person is and how to treat them unless we’re constantly reminded. Oh, Whitey, you’re so evil that unless you constantly self-flagellate, you’re going to start forming lynch-mobs, you’re so racist that even when you don’t look at race at all you’re still a filthy bigot, and apparently you’re also so dull, generic and interchangeable that it’s okay to stick ™ after your name like you’re some mass produced junk.
I’m so glad I graduated college long before they started peddling us this poison.
Look: I’m not gonna lie, I found this discussion super distressing. I think that taking a thread that was about making a PoC character list for accessibility and turning it into a conversation about racism is a huge derail. I’m not saying you can’t talk about this, I’m just saying that I would really appreciate it if we moved it to a thread specifically for that in The Surface subforum, which is specifically for and about off-FL-topic subjects. that’s…pretty much what I meant when I said just now that there were other threads to join.
so, hey, I just made a thread. The link is here. Please do this there, and let the people interested in this thread have it.
You were the one who came in here spouting bigoted crap, re-igniting an argument that had more or less died down. You could have just said “Hey, OP here! Can we talk about racism elsewhere? I don’t want to derail my thread, as I’d like it to remain simply a list of nonwhites in Fallen London.”
You chose instead to add a bunch of opinions to the mix, re-igniting the argument, and are now trying to shut down dissenting views by complaining about the thread getting derailed.
[color=#cc0099]Hello, stepping in here. Representation is important. It’s something we purposely try to include within our games. We would like to remind everyone to please be considerate to one another on this forum. We’d like to invite everyone to read this article by Bruno Dias about the difference between being civil and being kind while discussing topics in online communities. [/color]
[color=rgb(204, 0, 153)]
Please consider your actions through the lens of kindness in the future. We do not support baiting no matter how civil the argument. Kindness and civility are not the same and we do demand both from our forums.[/color]
[quote=Absintheuse][color=#cc0099]We’d like to invite everyone to read this article by Bruno Dias about the difference between being civil and being kind while discussing topics in online communities.[/color][/quote]Thank you for sharing that excellent article! I’m sure I will be referring to it again and again in future discussions.
edited by phryne on 9/14/2016
That is a truly spectacular and thought-provoking article.
For me, kindness is sort of a intrinsic part of my understanding of courtesy/politeness/social structures - these things were made for people to help them interact with each other. But they also lack in some very specific things - they’re structures, not morals. They’re surface, not in-depth. And a lot of the time, they get used to ignore the deeper problems and issues at hand. That’s not always bad, because not everything has to be 24/7 intense conversations about hard topics. It’s just not always good, either. :/
I guess I’d like to thank the moderators for stepping in and ending things before they could get any worse, as well as handling this with grace, firmness and discretion. If anyone has any questions they’d like to ask me about this topic, my PMs are open. Otherwise, I guess if anyone would like to continue this list, I’m open for it? I had a busy week, so coming back to see where this thread went was kind of a shock. But I’m still running the incorrectfallenlondonquotes tumblr, and it would still help me out a ton representation-wise.