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Delivering Justice on Heaven's Behalf

A Diasporado making Cultural Reconstruction

Steampunk Racism: The RPG edition
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Just because there seems to be a roll of these, I guess it's time to point them out.

Into the Far West attempts to take the Wild West and add wuxia. But they decided they didn't want to include any Indians at all, because they were "afraid they couldn't do them justice". But apparently they can do Chinese folks justice, or something. Oh, and add white people doing kung fu with steampunk stuff.

Um. Ok. It makes me think of the all too repeated argument against showing black folks as thugs, pimps and hookers on tv- "But then we wouldn't be able to put ANY black folks on tv at all!". Oh, I see.

Steampunk Musha: Victoriental Adventures

Well, if the name wasn't enough, by the description alone, apparently Japanese and Chinese are interchangable languages and so are the cultures.

I mean, oh god asking Steampunk, where people will research how clothing was dyed and stiches were done by hand, to have to look up the fact that China and Japan are... like... not the same.

And of course, Wolsung's art can speak for itself:

So, anyway. It's one thing to want to have an idealized alternate history of your culture where you're not, like, a major cause of suffering that lasts centuries and has effects to people to this day. But it IS a whole other thing when your idealized fantasy history also means that POC are non-existent or fulfill the EXACT SAME RACIST STEREOTYPES of the 1800s. See, that's where you go from escapism fantasy to racism.

But hey, the your imagination is the only limit!

And what does it say about your imagination that it's stuck in the centuries old tropes?

Dog Eat Dog - a game to grab
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Dog Eat Dog is a teaching game about colonialism, and how it creates internalized isms in the process. I've played it a few years ago and I consider it an excellent teaching game.

The kickstarter ends in 47 hours, and for $5 you can get a PDF, or shell out for a full book. The game designer is also looking to donate 25 copies to schools and orgs if he can hit the stretch goal before things end.

Check it out:

2012 or 1812?
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Election year. Trayvon Martin. Rekia Boyd. Shaima Alawadi.Ramarley Graham.  OK shooter killing black folks.  Howard Morgan. Deanna Johnson running over black children.

Look America.  Your white supremacy issues?  Your hatred for black folks?  Your Islamophobia?  It's killing people.  You talk about "don't worry, the old generation will die off soon" but these ain't old people doing the violence.  And waiting for time to take them out while they're actively killing people? 

Instead of, you know, putting these people to trial?  Instead of, getting these people off the streets so they STOP MURDERING PEOPLE?   Instead of putting everyone who covers for them up for accessory to murder?

I'm not even going to address all the various slurs and hate phrases thrown in the last few years, but as a side note, it's not new that hateful language is usually a flag that violence is soon to follow.  And here it is, and we see you trying to do anything EXCEPT ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AS WRONG AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

It's not the old generation, it's lynching for a new generation.

ETA: 29 killed since Jan. , 18 unarmed:

Hunger Games: A thought about performative roles (Spoilery)
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It's been a week since I saw the movie, and I've been thinking more about it, as other folks have been talking about it, plus all the stuff in the media going on in general. Especially around race, gender, etc.

So, the thing I really liked about the movie was the way in which the Capital's society clearly devalues life outside of it's happy, privileged existence, and the entitled expectation that people should be happy, even grateful to die for the sake of entertaining their betters. The uncomfortable false romance at end was really a perfect note to highlight the ways people have to make survival choices - you live, but you don't get to keep your truth or identity, and that's a luxury you can't afford. (Also reflected with Cinna and Haymitch's roles in the Capital...).

Anyway, the things I didn't like about the movie was Rue's role as the Magical Negro, and how Thresh basically fulfills the Scary Black Brute role in the matter of 10 seconds.

And it's really just occurred to me - what it says that a story that dissects how privilege eats lives and identities, demands people fulfill unrealistic roles just to be allowed to live (or perhaps, die differently) and at the same time, the movie itself is playing out JUST those roles.

Mainstream America can see it's wrong for Katniss to be forced into false roles for the entertainment of the privileged, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME the only reason Rue, Thresh, or Cinna get to be in characters in this film is the fact that they help the white girl - in a meta sense, the very thing that is crushing to the white protagonist is unremarked, even normalized as required narrative, for the black characters.

Even then, we see backlash from white fandom, as even those roles were too much blackness even then, too many seconds of precious film, too many heartbeats of empathy given, to a characters who ultimately only exist in a narrative sense (as far as the film is concerned) to be aids to the white girl.

I still enjoyed the movie, but it really makes it an interesting thing to consider when you pull back and think about it.

Dog Eat Dog
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Dog Eat Dog is a game about imperialism - how it changes cultures and people, and how we make survival choices in the face of it. I think it's an awesome teaching game and really recommend folks to go support!

Tweets on Magical Negroes and POC and white media
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A bunch of tweets about magical POC stereotypes from Twitter:

Magical Negro characters (and Magical POC in general) not only help the white protagonist, they put their needs above their own.

Characters of color being focused around the needs of white characters is like how Bechdel test points to women built on men's needs in film

It's always interesting how focused they are on making POC "give blessing" to the white characters. Like some white guilt assuaging spell.

NDNs tell the white man it's ok their "time is over", the asian admits the white guy is a better ninja, (cont)

...the black person must admit the white guy has (soul/magic power/dance skills/etc.), ESPECIALLY with their dying breath.

It fuels a double dose of white privilege: "White people are just better at everything" and "POC exist to acknowledge & serve that"

Then we see that shit play out when white folks roll up into spaces, act a fool, wonder why no one is singing Kumbayah and praising them.

Then white ppl, "But aren't you HAPPY you got to have a POC in a movie SERVING a white person?!? Isn't it your DREAM?"

And apparently these stereotypes are so accepted, ppl don't get why folks are not happy with The Help, Avatar, Dances with Wolves, etc.

It says a lot to where the expectation is that we should dream to have the honor of dying for white people as a power fantasy.

And coming out of media, we see these supposed activist groups that can't understand why POC would want to put POC needs before their own.

"Oh, no, your needs don't matter. WHY would you want to focus on something so small as your freedom when you could be working FOR us?!?" OH

Media isn't mind control, but it is influence. And when all these movies tell the same story, a lot of people start to believe it true.

Like: black males are dangerous once they can walk. And they need to be shot in the back unless they unless Blackness WMDs from their backs.

Or that NDNs secretly really want to find a white person to pass all their knowledge onto, so white people should get up in their business.

Or that the bloodstained land was given freely and with smiles and the slaves who worked it were happy to serve...

I read a book on advertising & they pointed out- when you think McD's do you think of the last time you were there, or a commercial?

Many people think of the commercial, not the run down, janky place they go to. The fiction overwrote the reality in their memory.

This same thing is the fictions we tell over and over in mass media. Bias is built up by culture, and media plays a big part.

Media & celebs claim to always be about being "edgy" and new, but if you're repeating racist shit from 100 years ago? #Um

And yes, I hold writers and Hollywood to that- you know your craft. Either you're deliberately shaping it, or you're failing your message.

The fact that the magical POC is so widespread means a lot of folks are choosing the stereotypes & othering for the sake of white privilege.

Like I said earlier about the #TrayvonMartin murder - white delusions will be defended as more important than black lives.
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Maslov's Hierarchy of Privilege
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I've been thinking a bit about privilege, oppression, and how it plays out.

There's the classic Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs- the basics, food/clothing/shelter, then up to things like freedom and entertainment, etc. From the most basic needs to survive to the things which are necessary to thrive.

The way privilege rolls, is that some people's wants matter more than other people's needs.

"My freedom of speech matters MORE than you not being shot."
"My right to religious practice matters MORE than you not dying of horrible, treatable, medical conditions."

We're not even talking about two things on the same level of needs - where we can start really exploring ethics- we're just talking about "My less life necessary thing is more important than your MORE life necessary thing because you don't fucking matter."

Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot, right now, because of Trayvon Martin. He's murdered. Not being shot is pretty much one of those basic needs to live. And the ways in which people are talking about this only highlight this issue.

For example- white people's "need" to have black people always appear non-threatening (mind you, non-threatening blackness is a series of ever-moving goalposts which cannot be met, short of not being black) MATTERS MORE than Travyon's need to have not been shot. White people's need to feel as if racism is over, and not have to deal with it, matters more than the fact there is a dead child.

That's on that, directly.

But shit like the Occupy folks jumping over the Million Hoodie protests? Again, white people's need to be the center of attention, over recognizing a horrible murder.

And that's what this is, and what we're going to see, throughout ALL Of this. They're going to claim reverse racism when anyone asks for anything resembling parity on Maslov's hierarchy of needs.

The backlash is going to be the fact that we, are caring TOO MUCH about a person of color.

The Arkh Project
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Folks are trying to put together a QPOC videogame.  I'd say if they need anything right now, it's a) anyone who can help them get some funding and investors, and b) some donations, and c) word out.

Bootstraps 101
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Expanding a thought from Twitter.

So, according to the media and tons of people giving advice to POC is that the only sure road to success is hard work.

But when you see successful POC, or, specifically, successful black people, then the refrain is that the only way they could have possibly succeeded is unfair affirmative action.

The only way both of these could be true is if you subscribe to the idea that in the entire world of POC, no one has ever worked hard, and only white people work hard.

Of course, if that is true, then there is no point in telling POC to work hard, because you are believing it to be biologically impossible for them to do so for that many people to have NEVER worked hard.

Matriarchy: 2/3rd's funded
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So part of the reason I've been looking forward to this game is that it's a game about women of color that a) isn't sexualizing/exotifying them, b) isn't on some bullshit "And now we go shopping!" gender hustle.

If you think there needs to be more videogames, more works of art with women of color, as legit characters, not as masturbation material, or bullshit, if you think histories of POC deserve to get in media, please drop $5 or $10 on this project.

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