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General (Anecdotal) conversations with Asian gamers on some problems they currently face in the D&D world of RPG gaming

Racism is a societal construct that suppresses people who aren't considered white/Caucasian from equality, equity, and equal justice with the ruling white caste. By definition, all Caucasians are racists, because we're taking part in and reaping the benefits of a racist system that raises us up and pushes everyone else down.

Just no. This is so wrong. Anyone of any skin color or race can be racist. And no group is ubiquitously racist. I would argue, saying there is something fundamentally wrong with a particular race (like you are here) is itself a racist statement.
 

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Racism is a societal construct that suppresses people who aren't considered white/Caucasian from equality, equity, and equal justice with the ruling white caste. By definition, all Caucasians are racists, because we're taking part in and reaping the benefits of a racist system that raises us up and pushes everyone else down.

Eh, no. You'll find plenty of racism in countries where caucacian is not the dominant skin color. And no, not everyone is racist by default. Frankly I find this statement a bit offensive.

I know that's asking a lot of people, and it sounds hard and we just want to sit back and play our TTRPG and not think about these issues. It's also a lot less than what's asked of non-white people every day. Lives are at stake. Livelihoods are at stake. Sitting on the the sidelines is picking a side, and it's not the right one.

The reason I'm not in the streets protesting right now, is more in regards to Covid19. Gathering in a huge crowd simply isn't a very good idea right now, no matter how important the cause.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Just no. This is so wrong. Anyone of any skin color or race can be racist. And no group is ubiquitously racist. I would argue, saying there is something fundamentally wrong with a particular race (like you are here) is itself a racist statement.

Racial bigotry is bad. Racial bigotry that is backed up by the power to keep the ones being discriminated against down seems worse. Merriam-Webster recently took note of that distinction which has been made more and more in the humanities since Bidol wrote about it in 1970. Merriam-Webster Definition of Racism . That second definition has been the default usage of many for over a decade now, especially in parts of academia and in organizations fighting racism. It feels like most of those using that definition would like all racial bigotry to go away - but many find it absurd to worry about it all equally when it's practical impact is far from equal.

The idea that some real world groups on average would be getting some extra bonuses if written as starting D&D characters doesn't seem hard to justify. Comparing the distributions of wealth between white and black families in America shows that starting wealth for the two clearly wouldn't be computed using the same table. Neither would the distribution of mentors, contacts, and ease of acquiring training. These differences were legally enforced in the lifetimes of some posting on this board (and certainly in the lifetimes of many of their parents lifetimes). In spite of lack of such blatant official legal sanction today, it's still not hard to find examples that aren't much better than the now-illegal redlining. And there are certainly many comment sections of news sites that can turn out folks that would be right at home in the days of segregation and Jim Crow laws - if not slavery.

In any case, when there is a historical ongoing systemic imbalance of power, whataboutism to say everyone is racist often feels like a great derailer. In many cases I'm sure the person arguing about the definition is sincere, but an AI system trained to recognize stormfront-influenced posts would probably raise some flags.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Eh, no. You'll find plenty of racism in countries where caucacian is not the dominant skin color. And no, not everyone is racist by default. Frankly I find this statement a bit offensive.
"You cannot fix what is broken unless you admit to yourselves you’ve been raised and taught by racist parents, who raised you in racist systems and white spaces to give you the best chance of making it in a White world because they knew how bad it was being Black."


Yes, we can argue that, say, Japan maintains a racist system against people of Korean and Chinese descent, and there's discrimination based on it and some people get away because they "pass" as Japanese. We can even argue that " Caucasian Gaijin" have a harder time in Japan because of anti-immigrant/anti-non-Japanese sentiments there. We can make a stance about Han Chinese and racism in China versus other ethnic groups. We can even argue that countries like Zimbabwe have had regimes that responded to centuries of oppression of Africans with their own systematic oppression of European-descended immigrants.

These are individual country level systems, and we can argue that they're racism on a systematic level as well. It's still not comparable to the world-wide systematic and racist oppression installed by and descended from European colonialism to every inhabited landmass in the world.

In addition, while translated, D&D is written for a primarily English-language speaking audience - i.e., people who live in societies built upon the systematic oppression of non-white people. If you're a white person playing D&D in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc, you can't be not-racism because it's not a quality specifically of you, it's a quality of the political and economic and social systems you are a resident of.

The reason I'm not in the streets protesting right now, is more in regards to Covid19. Gathering in a huge crowd simply isn't a very good idea right now, no matter how important the cause.
Understandably. But there are other ways to support the protest than marching yourself.

I think the shear number of people protesting in American streets and the Democratic party and national media's public stance to condemn racism demonstrate just how many millions people do now hold racist views.
Not talking about political parties, but about racism. Racism is a societal level structure, an individual white person cannot be "not racist" because whether they want to or not, they're benefiting from a system that props them up and pushes other people down on the basis of the (perceived) colour of their skin.

In any case, when there is a historical ongoing systemic imbalance of power, whataboutism to say everyone is racist often feels like a great derailer. In many cases I'm sure the person arguing about the definition is sincere, but an AI system trained to recognize stormfront-influenced posts would probably raise some flags.

Not saying that everyone is racist. I'm saying that you can't tease apart a white person's racism/not-racism from the racist structures they're benefiting from. It's not whataboutism, it's holding ourselves to task and not sitting on the sidelines when it comes to human decency, respect, equality, equity, and equal justice.
 
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I have not been raised and taught by racist parents. My parents are very much against racism.

These are individual country level systems, and we can argue that they're racism on a systematic level as well. It's still not comparable to the world-wide systematic and racist oppression installed by and descended from European colonialism to every inhabited landmass in the world.

I don't think it is necessary to make this distinction. All racism is a problem, and its all equally bad.

Understandably. But there are other ways to support the protest than marching yourself.

I choose to support the protest by being vocal about my position on these issues... like on these forums, but also in real life. I believe that speaking out is one of the most important things you can do to show support.
 

Not talking about political parties, but about racism. Racism is a societal level structure, an individual white person cannot be "not racist" because whether they want to or not, they're benefiting from a system that props them up and pushes other people down on the basis of the (perceived) colour of their skin.

When I was a minority living in Morocco, was I also a racist? Do my "racist beliefs" depend on geographical location?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I don't think it is necessary to make this distinction. All racism is a problem, and its all equally bad.

Some racial bigotry helps keep the average household wealth in America for some groups lower by a factor of 10, the family income lower by a factor of 1.5, and reinforces vast differences in criminal justice outcomes for similar cases when comparing across racial groups. I'm really boggled how some racism isn't worse in effect than others.

That feels like saying that all crimes are equally bad so there's no need of a distinction. "Hey officer, I know you're on your way to stop a mass shooting, but why can't you make the neighborhood kids stop hanging out on the corner on your way."
 

Some racial bigotry helps keep the average household wealth in America for some groups lower by a factor of 10, the family income lower by a factor of 1.5, and reinforces vast differences in criminal justice outcomes for similar cases when comparing across racial groups. I'm really boggled how some racism isn't worse in effect than others.

I think there is no need for the destinction, because you can always find a case of racism that is worse than the one you just provided. That does not make the case you sited less important. How about we just oppose ALL racism?

That feels like saying that all crimes are equally bad so there's no need of a distinction. "Hey officer, I know you're on your way to stop a mass shooting, but why can't you make the neighborhood kids stop hanging out on the corner on your way."

Surely we agree that all crime is also bad? You don't need to make a distinction in the types of crime to be against all crime. And sure, a mass shooting is statistically worse than one guy getting shot, but they are both equally bad in my view.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I have not been raised and taught by racist parents. My parents are very much against racism.

It's not about what you or they have espoused. It's about identifying that you have benefited from a racist system that has raised you up and pushed others down. FYI, Science.

And tools for assessing if the organizations we work for are taking part in the racist system, and how to lessen that impact.

Most importantly, I highly recommend listening to Jane Elliot's words on racism.

When I was a minority living in Morocco, was I also a racist? Do my "racist beliefs" depend on geographical location?

Beliefs are a part of racism, but far more important is what whiteness gives a person access to, in terms of safety nets, travel, economic and education advantages, a safe sense of being. I can't speak to your experiences in Morocco, though I'd be willing to be that most Moroccans who were in the ethnic majority did not have the same amount of privilege you did to leave the country when you wanted to.

How about we just oppose ALL racism?
Missing the point, and diminishing the impact. Sounds terribly similar to "All Lives Matter."

Of course all lives matter, and of course all racial discrimination is bad. But we are dealing with the systemic oppression of people based on the pigment of their skin, enforced by a school-to-prison pipeline and a police forces that overwhelmingly value people perceived as white over those with darker pigmented skin, and reinforced by the media we consume, the corporations that make our consumer goods, and the politicians they line the pockets of.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think there is no need for the destinction, because you can always find a case of racism that is worse than the one you just provided. That does not make the case you sited less important. How about we just oppose ALL racism?

Surely we agree that all crime is also bad? You don't need to make a distinction in the types of crime to be against all crime. And sure, a mass shooting is statistically worse than one guy getting shot, but they are both equally bad in my view.

No distinction because they're all equally bad?

So you would just have the anti-discrimination team roll a die to see what they tackle first: (1-2) go after the officers planting evidence on minorities to bump up their arrest stats, (3-4) go after the bank who is denying loans based on race, or (5-6) go after the person who picks minority contractors to work on their house because they say their tired of wondering if the white ones will be racist.

Or three calls come in to 911. Roll a die to see what they go deal with: (1-2) a shooting in progress at a local school, (3-4) a robbery last night that was just discovered, or (5-6) some kids in a pool who may or not have families that live in the complex but they don't look like they belong.

Or do I misunderstand what equally bad means?
 

It's not about what you or they have espoused. It's about identifying that you have benefited from a racist system that has raised you up and pushed others down. FYI, Science.

I disagree that the stereotypes that are ingrained in our brains since our youth are the same as active racism. They are not the same to me.

No distinction because they're all equally bad?

snip

Or do I misunderstand what equally bad means?

I think we should go after all these things you listed, in no particular order.
 

Beliefs are a part of racism but far more important is what whiteness gives a person access to, in terms of safety nets, travel, economic and education advantages, a safe sense of being.
I can't speak to your experiences in Morocco, though I'd be willing to be that most Moroccans who were in the ethnic majority did not have the same amount of privilege you did to leave the country when you wanted to.

In what way does skin color determine one's access to safety nets, travel, economic and education? I'm quite sure Barack Obama' children have better access to safety nets, travel, economic and education than I do, despite having darker skin.

Likewise, I've worked with white children living in villages so poor their families could not afford a toilet so they had to shit in a whole in the group. I know another family who paid their electricity bill in potatoes because that was all they had. I don't think they benefited much from being white.

Likewise, I was not able to leave my country do to the color of my skin. I was able to leave my country and enter another because of my passport, something which Americans of all skin colors have access to.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester
In what way does skin color determine one's access to safety nets, travel, economic and education? I'm quite sure Barack Obama' children have better access to safety nets, travel, economic and education than I do, despite having darker skin.

Likewise, I was not able to leave my country do to the color of my skin. I was able to leave my country and enter another because of my passport, something which Americans of all skin colors have access to.

The insane lines around the block to renew drivers licenses in the inner cities vs the easy-in easy-out DMVs in the white suburbs should say everything you need to know about access. Just because by law you can have a passport doesn't mean it's economically/socially feasible when you're struggling to put food on the plate.

I'm not talking about all black people suffering. The Obamas are somewhat of an exception because they've been able to hold such high office and make a lot of money on the office-to-book-tour pipeline. But even then, they're not protected from other forms of racism. Just that they've escaped the economic discrimination faced predominantly by inner city people of darker skin pigments.
 


That second definition has been the default usage of many for over a decade now, especially in parts of academia and in organizations fighting racism.

This definition is very new to most people, and hasn't been the default usage in common use (in fact it still isn't the default usage). Just in certain places in academia and activist circles was it so. This is a much deeper argument than I think this thread can manage, and probably well beyond the scope of the forums politics rules. But I think this is a very dangerous definite not racism, and one that weakens the power of the word to address much more active and destructive forms of racism. I just can't sign off on this definition.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I disagree that the stereotypes that are ingrained in our brains since our youth are the same as active racism. They are not the same to me.
They're both manifestations of the racist system, just one is more of a boogey man that's easily dismissed by most white people and the other is a lot harder to face because it's something ingrained in all of us. We don't want to be the bad guy, so we pretend the only problem is those outwardly, virulently hate-spewing people over there. But meanwhile, we quietly take advantage of a system that supports our luxuries in life, whether we know it outright or not.

Identifying the ways in which you benefit from racist systems is the first stem to dismantling racism. You can't be an ally if you don't know or won't accept in which ways you're part of the problem.

This definition is very new to most people, and hasn't been the default usage in common use (in fact it still isn't the default usage). Just in certain places in academia and activist circles was it so. This is a much deeper argument than I think this thread can manage, and probably well beyond the scope of the forums politics rules. But I think this is a very dangerous definite not racism, and one that weakens the power of the word to address much more active and destructive forms of racism. I just can't sign off on this definition.
Anti-racism is not a political stance. It is a human rights stance, and suggesting that this is just "a political disagreement" is another way in which racism is allowed to endure.

You and I and all of us have a moral responsibility to educate ourselves about the ways we are enabled and raised up by the racist system, and if you're not willing to do that then you're a part of the problem. The language has moved on, and we have to get with the program.
 

Aldarc

Legend
In what way does skin color determine one's access to safety nets, travel, economic and education? I'm quite sure Barack Obama' children have better access to safety nets, travel, economic and education than I do, despite having darker skin.
Educational access is often based upon your neighborhood of residency. Neighborhoods were often intentionally segregated by skin color even in parts of the country where segregation was illegal. Educational funding is also likewise subsidized by districts. This also impacted things such as the access to better education (and its associated funding) in the suburbs as black families (and GIs of color) were historically denied housing in the suburbs.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
In what way does skin color determine one's access to safety nets, travel, economic and education? I'm quite sure Barack Obama' children have better access to safety nets, travel, economic and education than I do, despite having darker skin.

Averages and distributions.

Figure out what percentile a white American would be among other white Americans in terms of those things, and then see what percentile they'd be at among African Americans.

White families in America, on average, have something like 10 times the wealth of African American ones, 1.5 times the family income, and are treated vastly differently in the courts. If you were rolling them up as characters, one would have a very different distribution of available backgrounds than others. My home town paper yesterday reported that a black reporter was denied entry someplace because the guard didn't believe his press credential... when a white reporter with the same credential was just let in to the same place. The guard relented when the white reporter vouched for him.

The historical reasons that lead to this were legally sanctioned as just fine in the lifetimes of many of our parents (if not some of the people posting on here). Some of the sizeable number of folks in the US who wish they could still deny employment, housing, or service based on race (if not worse things) are still easily findable on line (including among those running for office).
 

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