Malazan Empire: Is it racist? - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Is it racist? I hope this doesnít offend anyoneÖ

#1 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

  • Shameless Minister of Silly Catwalks of the Abyssmal Army
  • Group: The Abyssmal Army
  • Posts: 477
  • Joined: 08-December 11
  • Location:New York

Posted 02 December 2023 - 06:05 PM

Ok, so we have made huge progress towards equality in the last century, but we still fall short. I know that I donít believe that Iím racist, and I donít judge others except for when I think they are being hateful. BUT, how much of what I say and do comes from racism from previous generations?

Iíve wondered over the years, and this particular instance makes me wonder how socially incorrect I am. This isnít an easy topic to cover so I brought it to our diverse group.

This is a dumb example, and I admit that it is embarrassing, but I follow the royal family. I know, news about them is trash, but we all have our guilty pleasures. Anyways, I remember when the Meghan and Harry crap came to a head and they said that ďfamily membersĒ raised concerns about young Archieís skin. Obviously I would be pissed if someone did that to me too, but not knowing the whole conversation I wonder whether there were any misunderstandings here. No matter who my kids marry I will wonder what my grandkids will look like. How does my daughterís red hair and green eyes mix with someone of Asian descent for instance? I canít imagine that the result could be any less than stunning! I can see myself saying something stupid though while she was pregnant by speculating on what the child will look like? Some people may be offended at this, but Iíd honestly just be doing the color combinations in my head, not being able to wait to see the baby looks like. So is this wrong? Is this where I should just keep my mouth shut and wait to see? If she was married to a blonde man, Iíd be equally curious as to whether the baby would be blonde or redheaded, and I donít think anyone would judge.

Where does the line get drawn? I think we need to be sensitive to each otherís feelings but I wonder if we can ever behave in a way that someone isnít going to get offended.
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - Shylock
0

#2 User is offline   amphibian 

  • Ribbit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 7,941
  • Joined: 28-September 06
  • Location:Upstate NY
  • Interests:Hopping around

Posted 02 December 2023 - 07:39 PM

You can wonder what your grandchildren will look like, but isn't the important part that you'll love them no matter what they look like? The fetishizing of certain body parts or certain ways of looking (being "blonde" etc) hurts people all the time.

What misunderstanding is happening when people with power express concern about the skin color of a future baby and how the parents will interact with the power structure afterwards?

The Royal Family should have said "We will love your child no matter what and we'll drive the racists into the stone age because you're our people and we love you." Instead it was concerns, leaks to the press, and exclusion.

I'm a half Nepali and half American person. I look white in most contexts. However, my parents always raised me to belong wherever I was and pushed hard at people who didn't go along with that. That's what a great family member does - not worry aloud about shitty treatment in a way that leaves someone else to deal with the problem.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
0

#3 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

  • Ascendant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 3,006
  • Joined: 07-February 16

Posted 02 December 2023 - 07:55 PM

Quote

"In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time so we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born," Meghan said.

She said the remarks about skin colour were made to Harry and he relayed them to her.

Asked by Oprah whether there were concerns that her child would be "too brown" and that would be a problem, Meghan said: "If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one."

Meghan and Harry interview: I didn't want to be alive any more, duchess says - BBC News


There's a big difference between wondering about what the baby's skin color might be and expressing 'concerns' about it. Though of course they could have also been concerned about the reactions of racists (... other than themselves...).

Apparently Kate got a standing ovation for being outed as one of the 'royal racists'. That seems pretty terrible---shouldn't they at least have been faithfully pressing their heads to the streets for her to step on or something?...
0

#4 User is offline   Tsundoku 

  • A what?
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 4,614
  • Joined: 06-January 03
  • Location:Maison de merde

Posted 02 December 2023 - 08:43 PM

IMHO speculation is fine, concerns are borderline (depending on the content/tone) and negative judgement is not.
"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious." - Indomitable Courteous (Icy) Fist, The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes

"Well well well ... if it ain't The Invisible C**t." - Billy Butcher, The Boys

"I have strong views about not tempting providence and, as a wise man once said, the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck doesnít work if you push it." - Colonel Orhan, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
0

#5 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

  • Shameless Minister of Silly Catwalks of the Abyssmal Army
  • Group: The Abyssmal Army
  • Posts: 477
  • Joined: 08-December 11
  • Location:New York

Posted 02 December 2023 - 08:55 PM

I certainly hope they did. But again, from my perspective there is nothing wrong with wondering what beautiful combination of genes your child or grandchild is going to have. It may just be too sensitive a topic for some people as they could misunderstand your meaning.
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - Shylock
0

#6 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

  • Shameless Minister of Silly Catwalks of the Abyssmal Army
  • Group: The Abyssmal Army
  • Posts: 477
  • Joined: 08-December 11
  • Location:New York

Posted 02 December 2023 - 09:02 PM

View PostTsundoku, on 02 December 2023 - 08:43 PM, said:

IMHO speculation is fine, concerns are borderline (depending on the content/tone) and negative judgement is not.

I go back to that we donít know WHAT was said as itís all hearsay. Regardless, I have wondered if they might have said something that was never intended to be heard as a concern. It just made me ďawareĒ that it could easily be a foot in mouth situation, that I definitely would want to avoid.
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - Shylock
0

#7 User is offline   amphibian 

  • Ribbit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 7,941
  • Joined: 28-September 06
  • Location:Upstate NY
  • Interests:Hopping around

Posted 02 December 2023 - 09:37 PM

View PostLady Bliss, on 02 December 2023 - 09:02 PM, said:

View PostTsundoku, on 02 December 2023 - 08:43 PM, said:

IMHO speculation is fine, concerns are borderline (depending on the content/tone) and negative judgement is not.

I go back to that we donít know WHAT was said as itís all hearsay. Regardless, I have wondered if they might have said something that was never intended to be heard as a concern. It just made me ďawareĒ that it could easily be a foot in mouth situation, that I definitely would want to avoid.

Intent isn't anywhere nearly as important as the impact.

I can intend only to do a funny thing, but if I throw an ice ball intending to miss you, yet slip as I throw and it hits you and damages your vision/hearing permanently, the impact outweighs the intent.

And note that my intent of a "funny thing" in that example is still a cruddy thing to do.

Focusing much more on impact instead of intent is what people who want to do good work for themselves and for others do.

I'm not going to carry water for someone who's as thoughtless and hurtful as wondering out loud to expectant parents about the body parts of their child + societal racism. Just keep it moving, deal with the fears with professionals, and give all the support one can to the new parents and the child. That's proper and loving behavior.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
1

#8 User is offline   Tsundoku 

  • A what?
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 4,614
  • Joined: 06-January 03
  • Location:Maison de merde

Posted 02 December 2023 - 11:39 PM

Everyone on the planet speculates how the child may take after mum or dad. That's human.

Wondering how the child may look isn't racist. Worrying about it can be.

You can't control how people are going to take everything you say, otherwise we end up with a silent society where everyone is fearful of how someone, somewhere is going to interpret what they say. We're having a taste of that these days with the platform-formerly-known-as-twitter mobs as one example.
If someone wants to find racism, they're going to find it, real or imagined.

I don't know exactly what was said about the royal kid, nor how it was expressed. No fucking idea, I haven't read any exact quotes. The intent could have been racist as hell or completely innocuous. You can't control interpretation, only intent and delivery.

Very minor example: My dad has blue eyes, my mother has hazel eyes. I have dark brown eyes (dad calls them my bullshit indicators :rolleyes: ). There was noone on either side with dark brown eyes until someone on dad's side recalled his grandmother (not sure what side) had dark brown eyes. For years the joke was I was the milkman's kid - this little Irish dude was the only one anyone could think of with similar coloured eyes.
Was anyone offended? Nope.

Too many people are too ready these days to interpret everything they hear through the lens of some sort of -ism. There are a lot of very long bows being drawn. Sometimes it may be right, sometimes wrong.

Racism is intent. Even then there's a lot of people who are secretly racist and you'd never know because they don't say a damn thing, but it's there in their heart.
But can you call them racist if they don't display it? Nope. Accusations of racism requires evidence, and what you think is going through their heads when they say something is not evidence.

"I wonder what the baby will look like? Daddy's pale ginger looks or mummy's dark hair and slightly darker-than-pale complexion?" Not racist.

"Oh God, I hope the baby doesn't take after the mother." Possibly, more likely probably racist if they are worrying about how it will be received. Definitely racist if they don't want that in their family.

Amph said: "Just keep it moving, deal with the fears with professionals, and give all the support one can to the new parents and the child. That's proper and loving behavior." Seems like a decent way to go.

This post has been edited by Tsundoku: 02 December 2023 - 11:40 PM

"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious." - Indomitable Courteous (Icy) Fist, The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes

"Well well well ... if it ain't The Invisible C**t." - Billy Butcher, The Boys

"I have strong views about not tempting providence and, as a wise man once said, the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck doesnít work if you push it." - Colonel Orhan, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
0

#9 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

  • Shameless Minister of Silly Catwalks of the Abyssmal Army
  • Group: The Abyssmal Army
  • Posts: 477
  • Joined: 08-December 11
  • Location:New York

Posted 03 December 2023 - 12:50 AM

Interestingly enough, my mom was walking her dog this morning and when she tried to move out of the way of another lady to be polite, that lady started yelling at her that she was a racist. My mom is SO NOT and she was really upset about it. I told her that she had no way of knowing what had happened to that other lady before the encounter. It just goes to show that we donít know what the other side of the story was and that while she thought was being polite got interpreted as her not wanting to walk next to a person of another race.
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - Shylock
0

#10 User is offline   Mezla PigDog 

  • Malazan Yo Yo Champion 2009
  • Group: Mezla's Thought Police
  • Posts: 2,664
  • Joined: 03-September 04

Posted 03 December 2023 - 07:38 AM

You could say the exact same thing to 2 people and in one context it would be racist and in the other context it would not. And it's all about the intent and the existing relationship with that person. So I can't go up to a pregnant black lady who I just met and comment on what skin tone her baby is going to have. That would be intrusive and insensitive and racist that I saw a person of colour and assumed I had the right to comment. I can talk about it within a friendship or family group where the people present have a track record of being inclusive and sensitive about the subject of race and I know the specific people targeted by the conversation would not find it unwelcome.

And really the above goes for all kinds of social interactions. Man/woman, white/non-white, able-bodied/not able-bodied, straight/gay.

But as a privileged white person I better be damn sure that that kind of conversation is welcome before I start it because the accumulation of micro-agressions towards minorities is a real thing and I don't want to be contributing to it more than I probably already am.

Given Meaghan had already (by her account) not been generously welcomed into that family they had absolutely no business speculating out loud on the skin colour of her baby.
Burn rubber =/= warp speed
0

#11 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

  • Ascendant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 3,006
  • Joined: 07-February 16

Posted 03 December 2023 - 01:18 PM

View PostMezla PigDog, on 03 December 2023 - 07:38 AM, said:

You could say the exact same thing to 2 people and in one context it would be racist and in the other context it would not. And it's all about the intent and the existing relationship with that person. So I can't go up to a pregnant black lady who I just met and comment on what skin tone her baby is going to have. That would be intrusive and insensitive and racist that I saw a person of colour and assumed I had the right to comment. I can talk about it within a friendship or family group where the people present have a track record of being inclusive and sensitive about the subject of race and I know the specific people targeted by the conversation would not find it unwelcome.

And really the above goes for all kinds of social interactions. Man/woman, white/non-white, able-bodied/not able-bodied, straight/gay.

But as a privileged white person I better be damn sure that that kind of conversation is welcome before I start it because the accumulation of micro-agressions towards minorities is a real thing and I don't want to be contributing to it more than I probably already am.

Given Meaghan had already (by her account) not been generously welcomed into that family they had absolutely no business speculating out loud on the skin colour of her baby.


One issue with the common claim that 'intent doesn't matter, only impact' is that 'impact' is determined by context, which includes perceived intent.
0

#12 User is offline   amphibian 

  • Ribbit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 7,941
  • Joined: 28-September 06
  • Location:Upstate NY
  • Interests:Hopping around

Posted 03 December 2023 - 01:52 PM

Perceived intent matters more than actual intent. Impact matters more than either.

To say intent matters more is to believe that a person always gets to define how their own actions are received, which isn't how any of us behave when we're interacting with people.

There's the classic example of a family gathering in which someone shares extremely bad news and another person starts laughing - leaving the first person very hurt. That initial hurt of "they're laughing at me" requires reparative work - perhaps an apology and an explanation that the second person is a horrible nervous laugher. Intent has to give way to impact of how the action or situation is perceived.

Being considerate of others doesn't mean that one can't discuss some truly tricky topics or express fears in the right situations. We have to use tact, recognize that being perfect isn't truly possible yet we can always act with empathy and preserve each other's dignity, plus being willing to change course when realizing that someone's being hurt is a great skill to develop.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users