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

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.

All you are doing is insisting people adopt all of your assumptions, down the line without question, and if they don't, you label them a racist or as promising racism. I am probably not smart enough to contend with this argument. I am old enough and have lived long enough to know when an argument feels like a form of sophistry. Especially when it is this uncompromising and unbending, and frames anyone who disagrees as morally bad.
 

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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.

The patterns that our brains learn, help keep us safe in every day life. They are not based on a personal bias of us based on skin color or race, but on life experience. Racism is not based on facts, like those brain patterns are. And they are not some defensive coping mechanism or instinct. They are not the same.

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.

I'm not a part of the problem.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
All you are doing is insisting people adopt all of your assumptions, down the line without question, and if they don't, you label them a racist or as promising racism. I am probably not smart enough to contend with this argument. I am old enough and have lived long enough to know when an argument feels like a form of sophistry. Especially when it is this uncompromising and unbending, and frames anyone who disagrees as morally bad.

I'm not saying you're morally bad. I'm not saying that sitting on the sidelines = white hooded lynchers. That would be diminishing the intensity of evil in the latter case.

But there is a spectrum of evil, and sitting on the sidelines is taking a stance to not be anti-racist. And that's part of the problem.

I'm not a part of the problem.

If you can't acknowledge that you're part of the problem, then by definition, you kinda are. This is textbook case of head in the sand.
 

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.

I've also worked with white children living in villages so poor their families could not afford a toilet so they had to shit in a hole in the ground. I knew 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.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I would protest all the cases of racism you listed, at the same time. Your analogy does not fit.

I think the crime analogy fits very well, especially after you stated "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."

Protesting everything seems to require a level of colocation, cloning, or time-loops that I haven't mastered yet. :)
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I've also 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.
And that's terrible too, and a major problem we also have to face and solve. Economic discrimination is a big problem.

But they're still benefiting from being white. Just because they're suffering doesn't mean others aren't suffering more. It's a compounding effect.
 

Protesting everything seems to require a level of colocation, cloning, or time-loops that I haven't mastered yet. :)

Nonsense, we simply protest the issues that are most prevalent in our society, and affect us the most. And we don't have to pick and choose. We can protest income inequality while at the same time also protesting police violence. Another problem with your analogy, is that a lot of these issues of racism are connected.

That is why your analogy does not fit, no matter how hard you try to make it fit.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
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.

Once you know which set of definitions they're using, would there be a benefit to continue the discussion, but in your own writing to use "systemic racism", "racism from a position of systemic power", or "race based bigotry" as appropriate to each specific meaning?

Even if it isn't clear why the other side wants a vocabulary change - if one's goal is to fight all racial bigotry, why is it important enough to derail things to make it clear that a majority member needs to be able to call a minority who calls them a slur a "racist" instead of just a "racial bigot"?
 

And that's terrible too, and a major problem we also have to face and solve. Economic discrimination is a big problem.

But they're still benefiting from being white. Just because they're suffering doesn't mean others aren't suffering more. It's a compounding effect.

Which situation do think imbues an individual with a larger advantage:

1) White skin vs. Black skin
2) Born to a future US president vs. Born to a family who can't afford a toilet
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Which situation do think imbues an individual with a larger advantage:

1) White skin vs. Black skin
2) Born to a future US president vs. Born to a family who can't afford a toilet

Straw argument. 99.9999% of Americans do not fall into category #2.

73% of Americans identify as White in the US census, and the remaining 27% are by and large victims of systematic oppression of some sort or another, INCLUDING the Obamas, even if they've largely been able to "make it."
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Which situation do think imbues an individual with a larger advantage:

1) White skin vs. Black skin
2) Born to a future US president vs. Born to a family who can't afford a toilet

If you lined up everyone white and black in America together in terms of "advantage" (wealth, contacts, income, medical care availability, quality of schools, etc...) and ranked them, would the ranking look like a uniform spread? Or would one group be much lower on average? (If you were making a realistic game system, would they use the same starting wealth and contacts table, or would one clearly be a better table to want to use -- even if it didn't guarantee every single character started off better?)
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I think we have strayed a bit from the original topic.

I'd argue that we're looking at very similar systems of oppression toward Asian-Americans, though ones not factoring the history of slavery in America.

It's part of a larger discussion about privilege and what D&D should espouse or endorse, actively or passively.
 

Anti-inclusive content
Straw argument. 99.9999% of Americans do not fall into category #2.

73% of Americans identify as White in the US census, and the remaining 27% are by and large victims of systematic oppression of some sort or another, INCLUDING the Obamas, even if they've largely been able to "make it."

Which I why I believe racism is a problem.

Unfortunately, the anti-racist position hurts those children who grew up shitting in a hole while helping the children of Barack Obama. I worry what other unintentional consequences their blunt policies may cause.

I believe in helping the disadvantaged. That involves looking whether a person is in need, not at a persons race. Furthermore, I believe that creating laws and policies related to race will increase racial tension, not decrease it. The answer to past racism is not present and future racism.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Which I why I believe racism is a problem.

Unfortunately, the anti-racist position hurts those children who grew up shitting in a hole while helping the children of Barack Obama. I worry what other unintentional consequences their blunt policies may cause.

I believe in helping the disadvantaged. That involves looking whether a person is in need, not at a persons race. Furthermore, I believe that creating laws and policies related to race will increase racial tension, not decrease it. The answer to past racism is not present and future racism.
I think we've made it clear that the "those fighting racism are the real racists" nonsense has no place on this forum, let alone the foul language and US politics. Don't post in this thread again, please.
 

I know what is to suffer intolerance, and not racism but school bulling and the scars are still on my soul. Once I was so furious what literally I became blind by the rage. I suffered a hit with a glass object and I didn't remember it, and neither felt the pain ever, I have got still the scar. I won the trial. I know what is to be so furious to become crazy, literally, for a minute. It was as closing the eyes and all happening in fast motion. I couln't think, only reflex actions. Thas was truely transient madness.

Maybe I don't notice about possible predjudices, but not worse than a little boy for the first day in the kindergarten/playschool, but nothing we can't fix with a piece of good diplomacy and other social skills.

We agree racism is wrong, but my opinion is if the other suspects there are attempts to manipulate emotionally through feelings of guilt and shame then it's a bad strategy. The right strategy should be to defend the respect for the human dignity. Without this all rebels against authority may become the new tyrants, it will be "our cousin, my brother and me against the world, my brother and me against our cousin, me against my brother". In Rwanda hutus and tutsis killed each other not for the skin color, but the face traits what identifie them as members of the other tribe.

What would be your opinion if a wave of riots started in North-Ireland because a British cop killed an Irish? Or in Germany because a Spanish inmigrant was killed by the police when he was being arrested. Sometimes I propose an exercecise in imagination to test our possible predjudices, the sames actions but done by members of other countries or communities. Would be our opinion about the same facts but with different people, or would be show a double standar?

* In Japan there is still discrimination against the members of the caste burakamun and in China Uyghurs don't enjoy total tolerance, but the own goverment dare to demolish mosques. And in Sourth Korea are more worried about to be pureblood than to be a cosmopolitan society.

* Why lots of young boys want to be as characters from Grand Thief Auto and not as the prestigious economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell? We need more positive examples to be imitated. Sometimes I wonder about popularity of Star Wars because Obin Wan-Kenobi and master Joda were positive pathriarcal figures.

* Take care about demgogues who want to use us as puppets. I remember the strong wave of protests about a ecological disaster happened in my land, but after the next elections and then the other party ruled, new disasters happened, but they were totally quiet and absent.
 
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I will admit I’m racist.

Not intentionally, but unconsciously.

I want our society to change. I want my children to not be racist. I would gladly pay higher taxes to have that money be spent combatting inequity.

And yet I also recognize that I have different reactions to people based on the color of their skin. I wish that weren’t the case, but it is.

Racism isn’t limited to overt white supremacist ideology (or its equivalent).
 

Hussar

Legend
I think we have strayed a bit from the original topic.

Agreed.

I was cogitating some of the statements made in this thread and something occurred to me in regards to the notion of "edginess" and "pablum" in the art and writing.

5e is by far the edgiest and least pablum, most in your face edition of D&D ever produced. You think that the whole "Satanic Panic" was bad? You think that line art of boobies is edgy? My 5e books would have been banned and burned not that long ago. Don't think so? Well, let's look at some specifics shall we?

1. My Dragon Heist book has NPC's who are openly gay and are living openly in a married household. Not that long ago, this would have been suicidal to publish. The backlash would have sunk any chances of printing the game. Heck, even as it was, including a single line about including non-binary and gay characters into the game in the PHB was grounds for major flare ups on forums, Reddit and other places with people being banned from this site for their views, and all sorts of extreme vitriol.

Don't believe me? Scroll back a few years in the forums, or search for the threads.

2. The very first page of my 5e PHB has a black man in a turban wearing some sort of desert gear fighting goblns. You think you could have done that in 2001 with the release of 3.5, just shortly after 9/11? Good luck with that. AD&D didn't even include any images of non-whites in the core books. If you weren't white, you didn't exist. A book with a black man on the first page in 1976? Not a freaking chance.

So, yeah, I'll see your line art boobies and call. The art and writing in 5e includes elements that you couldn't even begin to hint at 10, 20, 30 years ago. Pablum? I kinda wonder what the meaning of that actually is considering that the 5e books have all the flavor of earlier books PLUS a bunch more. Edgy? Having the stones to stand up and be counted on the side of social justice is about as edgy as it gets boys and girls. It's the stuff that gets your stores firebombed and your writers death threats. Pablum would be going back to the old books where everyone is CIS, white, and minorities don't exist.
 

MGibster

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.

The GI Bill was created in 1944 to provide returning servicemen with access to low interest home loans, unemployment benefits, and tuition assistance for vocational, high school, or college. While this was a federal program, it was administered at the state level and with Jim Crow in full effect it meant that many African American veterans were denied the benefits of the GI Bill. I understand you might think "That was 75 years ago, you got something better?" Yes, but I just thought I'd add this here for historical context.

As far as education goes, in many areas of the United States the funding for public schools is largely determined by property taxes. So you run into situations where the wealthier whites have fled the area leaving poorer African Americans behind. A school in a mostly white suburban area might be very nice and provide their students with plenty of educational opportunities while a school in a district a few miles down the road can barely meet their budgetary requirements and ends up providing the students with much fewer opportunities. White flight from some areas has resulted in de facto segregation in many American schools. Black children are also more likely to receive harsh punishments at school including expulsion, than their white peers who perform similar acts.

The history of African Americans and safety nets are sometimes harrowing as well. When government housing was created to assist the impoverished, rules such as "no adult males" were instituted. This did two things: It often separated families and it resulted in tenants not trusting the government. Also, if a family member living there was charged with a drug crime the whole family could be evicted. Imagine putting a whole family out on the street because a kid allegedly sold some pot. Also, some people can't take advantage of public assistance if they've been convicted of a crime.

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.

This is the part where I think proponents of privilege theory have done a bad job when explaining what they mean. A few years I read John Scalzi write that being white was basically living in easy mode. And while I get where he was coming from, it's pretty goddamn galling to anyone going through a hard time to have someone tell them they're living in easy mode. Having privilege doesn't necessarily mean your life is easy. But in 1880 I could hang out in Georgia and the sheriff wasn't going to ask me if I had at least $2.00 in my pocket and lock me up because I didn't. If I were a black guy, that might not have been the case.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The GI Bill was created in 1944 to provide returning servicemen with access to low interest home loans, unemployment benefits, and tuition assistance for vocational, high school, or college. While this was a federal program, it was administered at the state level and with Jim Crow in full effect it meant that many African American veterans were denied the benefits of the GI Bill. I understand you might think "That was 75 years ago, you got something better?" Yes, but I just thought I'd add this here for historical context.

See also the 2010 Pigford settlement: the FDA admitted decades of systemic discrimination against black farmers, including, but not limited to giving blacks farm loans at higher rates than whites with comparable assets, delaying the approval of loans, or denying them outright. The settlement was over $1.2b, most of which went to a single family that kept meticulous records. The hundreds of other families in the class action could only prove a fraction of their damages, meaning the actual harm to black farmers is unknown. We’re not just talking loss of income: people lost their farms. Family businesses built up over generations were bankrupted. And of course, there were all those social ripples you’d expect to see when people lose literally everything.

Note: none of the higher ranking FDA officials involved in the discrimination were fired or demoted. The family that got the biggest recovery under the settlement actually had to deal with the official who did them dirty to get their farmland back.

As far as education goes, in many areas of the United States the funding for public schools is largely determined by property taxes. So you run into situations where the wealthier whites have fled the area leaving poorer African Americans behind. A school in a mostly white suburban area might be very nice and provide their students with plenty of educational opportunities while a school in a district a few miles down the road can barely meet their budgetary requirements and ends up providing the students with much fewer opportunities. White flight from some areas has resulted in de facto segregation in many American schools. Black children are also more likely to receive harsh punishments at school including expulsion, than their white peers who perform similar acts.

My grandfather was the first black principal of a white school in New Orleans, a position he earned practically by sheer force of will. (He’s infamous in NOLA’s educational circles.) As he told it, it was even worse- whatever shortfalls the white schools somehow shared with black schools were covered by infusions of cash from wealthy parents.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, this fact allowed those in charge of funding to deliberately underfund the system as a whole, knowing only black students would suffer.

The history of African Americans and safety nets are sometimes harrowing as well. When government housing was created to assist the impoverished, rules such as "no adult males" were instituted. This did two things: It often separated families and it resulted in tenants not trusting the government. Also, if a family member living there was charged with a drug crime the whole family could be evicted. Imagine putting a whole family out on the street because a kid allegedly sold some pot. Also, some people can't take advantage of public assistance if they've been convicted of a crime.

Yup.

This is the part where I think proponents of privilege theory have done a bad job when explaining what they mean. A few years I read John Scalzi write that being white was basically living in easy mode. And while I get where he was coming from, it's pretty goddamn galling to anyone going through a hard time to have someone tell them they're living in easy mode. Having privilege doesn't necessarily mean your life is easy. But in 1880 I could hang out in Georgia and the sheriff wasn't going to ask me if I had at least $2.00 in my pocket and lock me up because I didn't. If I were a black guy, that might not have been the case.

I’ve seen Scalzi’s original posts on this and his subsequent defenses of his assertion. Pretty well expressed, but a lot of people still conflated “easy mode” with “can’t lose”/“God mode”.

And just to be clear, it’s not just a Black & White thing. Every minority in the USA has their own stories of oppression.
 
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