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17 March 2012 @ 01:00 am
Hmmmm. Racism 101.  

Ok, I usually avoid racial issues like the plague. I keep it far, far away from my fangirling ways and I never get into racial issues in fandoms etc. Partly because I simply do not always feel like dealing with it. I’ve dealt with racism in real life, I don’t want to deal with it in my “fictional” life as well. And I’m posting this here and not on Tumblr (yet?) to still try and keep it away from my fangirling ways.

Because if I started paying attention to all the racial undertones, to every offensive thing on television, to the lack of development minority characters are often given and all the other things that would take out all the enjoyment I get from simply watching tv shows and not worrying about all that, I’d never enjoy another tv show again. And I don’t want that. My friend once called me a walking tv guide, I pretty much live and breathe pop culture, even though I barely have the time to watch all the shows I’d like to watch.

But I digress.

I’m only writing all of this down, because I’m getting increasingly frustrated by the racism I’ve encountered in various fandoms, especially in these past few days. It’s all purely coincidental, but there are just several small things that have angered me these past few days and I have to get this off my chest tonight, so that I can start studying tomorrow and pass my exams with a clear mind.

So, yeah, racism for dummies. Racism 101.

1. If you say that an interracial pairing is gross, sickening, disturbing, wrong etc., without ever really explaining why, when you don’t use those words for other pairings and when the pairing in question has done nothing to warrant such a response, chances are you are being racist.

2. If you say two characters “don’t look right” together, simply because he’s “hot as fuck” and she’s “not cute and sooo much darker than him”, while you think his conventionally attractive ex-girlfriend who cheated on him is perfect for him, simply because they have similar features, chances are you are being racist.

3. If you can’t imagine why anyone would ship two characters together, because you think the guy would go for “a more obvious beauty”, (when the girl in question is played by Katerina Graham, who is absolutely stunning and whose beauty shouldn’t even be questioned), like her fair skinned, blue eyed best friend (who is also stunning, but still), chances are you are being racist.

4. If you say that Michael Fassbender dating his new (black) girlfriend is a “waste of his beautiful Aryan genes” and that “mixing of black/white and latino/white” rarely leads to attractive results, chances are you are being racist. (Which, wow, offensive as fuck, by the way. I would not be here if it wasn’t for a little black/latino/white mixing, thankyouverymuch. Also: Naya Rivera, Wentworth Miller, Jesse Williams, Halle Berry, Troian Bellisario, Jessica Szohr, Hailee Steinfeld, Katerina Graham, Jessica Alba, Pete Wentz, Vin Diesel. Invalid argument, OP.)

5. If you are disappointed by the casting of Amandla Stenberg as Rue, even though it was explicitly stated that Rue (and Tresh) do(es) in fact have dark brown skin, if you suddenly cannot imagine Rue as a sweet, innocent little girl who reminds Katniss of her little sister, simply because the actress is biracial, chances are you are being racist.

And, yes, these are all actual quotes etc. I’ve seen on twitter and tumblr these past few days. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I actually do feel better after writing this whole rant.  

slayerkittyslayerkitty on March 17th, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
I am right there with you. Not only in fandom, but in real life, because about half of those statements basically insulted or invalidated five of my nieces and nephews. They're all mixed and beautiful.
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.alissablue on March 17th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
*sigh* Yeah, I'm just getting so sick and tired of seeing things like this in fandom. Especially with these very young fangirls, who don't realize that the things they're saying and the way they're spreading hate (like hate tweets and all that) is incredibly hurtful. Despite its intensity, fandom is still supposed to be fun and enjoyable, but the more time I spend in fandom (especially the Glee fandom and especially with a couple like sam/mercedes), the more I find myself getting angry and frustrated.
slayerkittyslayerkitty on March 17th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
*hugs* I get that, it must be awful to see that kind of hate. Unfortunately, Glee fandom is full of haters.
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.alissablue on March 17th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
*hugs* to you too. Fortunately, the Glee fandom also has awesome people like us.
slayerkittyslayerkitty on March 17th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
sleeper6: BlairWhatsleeper6 on March 17th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't like to talk about it either when it comes to fandoms; it's never pretty.

Anyway, I cannot even believe people are posting such opinions publicly. WTF indeed! I''m not Caucasian so I'd definitely be put off by people insisting that a person like me could not be with someone with different skin color because we don't look the same. *shakes head* Wow, just wow. That is racist, plain and simple.

#4!!! I can't even . . .

Sorry you have to witness all that. *hugs*

Edited at 2012-03-17 12:30 am (UTC)
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.: Santana downwardalissablue on March 17th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC)
People posting things like that always takes me by surprise, you know? Even though it really shouldn't. I mean, it's 2012. We’re supposed to be closer to judging people “by the content of their character”, instead of the color of their skin. I’ve dealt with racism myself, in real life, and fandom is supposed to be enjoyable and “colorblind” and race shouldn’t even be an issue in fandom, imo.

And to think that some people (and what's especially sad about all of this, is that I mostly see these things from teenagers) still think like this and are apparently teaching their children these things... And if they're posting such vicious things about fictional characters and couples, then I have to wonder what they're like in real life.

So, yeah, it sucks.
Every song that will stay unsungmoerlin on March 17th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
My reactions were pretty much OMG, WTF and WOW. :( Seriously?! What is wrong with people. Totally understand your anger. Ugh.

Especially this:

4. If you say that Michael Fassbender dating his new (black) girlfriend is a “waste of his beautiful Aryan genes” and that “mixing of black/white and latino/white” rarely leads to attractive results, chances are you are being racist.

No... just no. If I had that Futurama "I don't want to live on this planet" picture, I'd post it now.
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.: Sookie & Taraalissablue on March 17th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
No... just no. If I had that Futurama "I don't want to live on this planet" picture, I'd post it now.
MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. I need that picture for situations like this. I also enjoy the phrase "I weep for humanity."

#4 is definitely the worst one of all, because that's not even about a fictional couple, but real people with real feelings. Ugh.
bluemagicrose: Britta/Shirley Roxannebluemagicrose on March 17th, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)
This is why I keep my ass out of fandom as much as possible. It's why I got out of True Blood (well, that and the fact that I don't have HBO any more), it's why I'm barely hanging on by a thread with the Merlin fandom. Fandom is sickening and I think part of it is the anonymous nature of it. None of those people making those comments are going to meet the actors that portray the characters, the writers who create the characters, etc. And if they did they wouldn't be saying those things to their faces. So they say it in an area where no one knows them (unless they know the people IRL or have told been told who the person really is) and they can relatively get away with it.

You know what gets me? When people try to make these comments and say they aren't racist. You know what? Own your racism if you want to be racist. Don't make the comment and then act like you didn't say it or that's not what you mean or you're not being extremely ignorant at the very least. You said it, you meant it, own it when people call you out.
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.: Sad!Elenaalissablue on March 17th, 2012 11:17 am (UTC)
I'm not in those fandoms, but I'm well aware of the disproportionate hate towards characters like Tara and Gwen(?). I also once read an interesting article on fandom's tendency to dislike minority characters, most notably black female characters. :/

And I agree. I think that if those same fangirls would ever meet the actors and writers, especially the ones they're bashing online, they would pretend to be their biggest fan.

You know what gets me? When people try to make these comments and say they aren't racist
I've seen so many people make racist comments, only to then (when they're confronted about it) claim that they're not being racist, because "I dated a black boy once, he was really nice", "One of my best friends is black" etc.
bluemagicrosebluemagicrose on March 17th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
How bad is it that you're not even a part of those fandoms and the hatred is that well known? But they're not being racist. And I saw that article too. I shouldn't take that personally, but as a black female I can't help but. No way is any of that a coincidence. No way. (And yes, it's Gwen.)

Yes, the ole "I'm not racist because I dated/friends with/know [insert minority here]" claim. I want to smack those people sometimes.

Why does the comment box have that "tinypic this image or video has been moved or deleted" message? Maybe I'm the only one getting this...?
Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl.: Sad!Elenaalissablue on March 17th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
It’s not just you, I’m getting the tinypic thing, too. I promise to fix it next week, after my exams. I just have to figure out what part of my CSS stylesheet is causing it. XD

I hear ‘ya. I definitely can’t help but take it personally as well. But I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think it’s kind of a negative spiral. You have these Caucasian (mostly) male writers, who don’t know how to write minority (female) characters, because they don’t realize that, for instance, for a decent black character, all you really need is a black actor/actress. They don’t understand that a character will first and foremost be just that, a character, and that race shouldn’t define the character itself.
So they handle them with kid gloves by never give them the same amount of development, by taking away their agency (even in their own storylines), and sacrificing their characters and development in favor of more popular (white) characters. This all leads to fandom not appreciating them, seeing them as threats to their ships, viewing them as boring, judgmental and preachy and irredeemable, no matter what they do. And fangirls then take this preconceived idea with them to their next fandom, where there is another minority female character getting the exact same shitty treatment.

Because it really cannot be a coincidence that in every fandom I’ve encountered, minority characters (and especially black female characters) are hated the most. And it’s usually for silly things. Like on the Vampire Diaries, where Bonnie is hated for the smallest things, while other characters who have done way worse, are forgiven within episodes. Mercedes, on Glee, gets hated for things other characters get praised for.
I think one of the only exceptions is Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice. Those shows have a black female writer, who writes well written characters, regardless of their race.

Yes, the ole "I'm not racist because I dated/friends with/know [insert minority here]" claim. I want to smack those people sometimes.
Exactly. “My cousin’s best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s friend’s neighbor is [insert minority of your choice], so I obviously can’t be racist/homophobic/etc.” Heck, I’ve even heard “I can’t be racist, because I’m [insert minority] myself.”, while said person continued to make racist comments.

Wow, rant, haha. Didn’t mean to make this reply so long, but I’m fascinated by this whole issue.
bluemagicrosebluemagicrose on March 17th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
Good luck on your exams!

God, you just summed it up. You summed it up completely. You know, this really starts at the top. If these television shows had more minority and female writers, then half this problem goes away. Or at least partly. There was an interview with the three actresses from Community and one of the female writers and they addressed this exact thing, about how they go out and challenge the stereotypes of what female and minority characters should be and how they're written, etc. And they said they were proud that the show didn't fall into the same shitty stereotypes. (I could make a case that Shirley does, but she doesn't as well if that makes sense) And I think that's why I love that show so much, because on any other show Shirley, Abed, Troy, Britta, and Annie would fall into those same troupes. And be a top show all the while doing it.

Don't get me started on the reasons people hate those characters. S4 Merlin introduced a princess that was basically Gwen except she was white. Surprise surprise that EVERYONE loved her. I've even read that the reason some don't like Gwen is because she's too good. Um, what? We're now hating people because they're too good? With TB people don't like Tara because she's angry all the time. The girl was raped. How dare she be angry about that. She had a shitty life growing up. How dare she be angry at the situation she was in. I'm glad I never got into Glee cause I really don't think I could handle it, between fandom and how they write the character of Mercedes (never mind the fact that her name is freaking Mercedes)

The reasons people give for not being racist is just hilarious. Again, own it. You're not fooling anyone because a girl you talked to once happened to be black or gay or whatever.

Rant away. I love venting about this stuff. Again, not too involved with fandom so i can't really.