burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness|
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Friday, August 8th, 2008
So I think everyone should read saskaia's posts on the damage caused by pretendians and her shout out to cinnamon bearclaws.
My ibarw post for the day is one I wrote recently about women of color being told to 'stand together' with white feminists (yet again).
I started a research project last summer, which I'm still working on, about the American West. Among other things I was trying to do was track down black men and women who went west -- when, how, where they ended up, what they did. It seemed to me, suddenly on reading a detail, that I'd never wondered, and never particularly learned, about the immigrants to the West who weren't white, especially in the early periods, before most western movies take place. So I went looking.
I've seen scrollgirl
's posts on fandom's treatment of the canonical racism of one character in Magnificent Seven
, but I've never seen that show and only had a vague sense of when/where it was set, so it didn't contribute to a real consciousness on my part that yes, there were in fact people of African descent in the American frontier West.
.:. If you ever want to get a good feel for where you fit in today's society, pay attention to the commercials you see. On television, on the street, on the radio, everywhere. You will see many ads that feature POC in a service position helping whites. Occasionally this dynamic is reversed, but usually only in a situation where the service job is a skilled job. For instance, a white doctor or lawyer helping a POC customer.brown_betty
.::. Take a second look at your favorite book or movie. Who is the protagonist? Who is the enemy? Who is a 3 dimensional, relatable character and who is a 2 dimensional facade? Who is seen as scary? Who is innocent and pure? Who dies in a horrific manner? Who is dehumanized in some way? If there is a criminal, does (s)he follow the pattern of
'nonskilled crime' - mugging, other types of theft, having a band of colleagues which are kind of bumbling, POC
'skilled crime' - committing thought out heists, a serial killer that is just so interesting, a child molester that had a horrible childhood himself, an individual (either by themselves or standing out from their colleagues), white
, in commenting on a post by Charles Stross
about the Bechdel Test, asks
, "What is the last work you remember that had more than one character of colour talking to each other about something other than the (white) protagonist?"
***fickle_goddess points out
, "Quick, friendly tip to anyone out there thinking of writing a Character of Color: Don't constantly bring up their skin color for no reason except to prove it's a CoC.
From IBARW: Race and Racism in Fantasy Fiction
(a PublishersWeekly.com blogpost by rosefox
While reading Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet (or rather, the first three volumes of it, since the fourth isn't out yet), I was struck by the presence of a character type I rarely see: the merchant who has made his home in a distant country and is respected reasonably well as a businessman even if he isn't fully fluent in the language and looks like a foreigner. In real life, I encounter hundreds of people like this. Why are they so unusual in epic/heroic/high fantasy? More often, you see unquestioned isolationism that leads very quickly to unquestioned suspicion, hatred, and violence between cultures. In order for that degree of strict cultural distance to be maintained, pretty much every fantasy country would have to be run like North Korea, and even then you would still get diplomatic missions and intermarriage and international students and smuggling and so forth. Instead you get theoretically relaxed, open societies where it just happens that none of those funny-looking people from the next kingdom over have ever even thought about coming across the border to, say, start a restaurant or an import/export business, or even to do a bit of shopping. There might still be suspicion, hatred, and violence, but at least it would have some degree of nuance, instead of being predicated on the wholly unlikely notion of happenstance separatism.
From Pirates of the Caribbean: The Tia Dalma conflict
I remember writer Erica Jong said, after doing research for her erotic pirate fiction Fanny Hackabout Jones, that she was surprised to learn just how integrated pirate "society" actually was. Many pirates participated in the enslavement of Africans, trafficking human beings along with spices, rum and other sugar-based exports from the British triangle trade. But others raided slave ships and, instead of just stealing the sugar-based exports for resale, also freed the enslaved Africans on board, welcoming them on their pirate ships as high ranking crewmen. Pirates were thieves ... but most history (and even fiction) never tells you that one of the reasons pirates were hated so much was because of their threat to slave cargo. The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy ignores this important point, too. Enslavement and the life of piracy were intricately connected.
Other links:IBARW: Let's Not Talk About It - Being Black in Canada
) Better than nothing: on the lowered expectations of a lifetime lived on media crumbs [IBARW3]
) about growing up American Indian in Hawai'i c.1972american history is not always two-sided
) some powerful storiesNationwide is sort of on the side of African-Americans now, too
Please tell me this isn't true:
Five year old Adriel Arocha is being blocked from attending school in a Houston-area school district.
As an Apache, he has long hair that he has been growing in his Native cultural tradition that “violates” this school’s dress code rules.-http://www.racialicious.com/2008/07/28/denied-kindergarten-for-being-native/
|"I will be on vacation [...], and will respond to non-urgent business on my return."
( gymCollapse )
I got to be helpful at work today, and I think I wrapped up everything I needed to before going away.
The other day, Ranjan asked me if I was excited (about my upcoming vacation). I said yeah. He said, "I would be leaping." I said that I like my life, so it's not like I'm itching to go somewhere else -- though I know I'll enjoy the trip.
I have not been getting enough sleep this week, but I think I'm not quite tired enough to actually go to bed just yet. But I'm also not feeling up for a whole lot of mental engagement. I think I'm going to lie down on my bed and read.
delicious is now showing Unbundled Tags. Yay! And it let me edit my giant tag bundle.