(srancpost) opinions on racism

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« on: June 11, 2018, 05:44:45 pm »
It sounds weird to say, I know, I enjoy the racism in the second apocalypse. It adds an extra level of realism to his world. I like how the second apocalypse leans heavily on an old-style racism. Examples like "so and so's norsirai heritage made him more outspoken that was seemly." How the Galeoth and Thuns tend to be thought of as fools or uncultured. This is because they are a different race then the Ketyai, who rule the south.
I know this draws parallels to history the Roman empire looked down on the many tribes surrounding the empire. We still use the anti-Semitic term they  called them. "Barbarian, they thought their language sounded like "bar-bar.""
Although there are slaves of all colors in the books but the instances where it's noted that the slaves were norsirai. This always stuck out to me and gave the series a gravity and tone where I would think, "no way this will ever be on TV. The internet would have a field day."
But back to my point this is maybe the only fantasy book I know of where traditional "white people" are not the majority or race on top. As an African-American this isn't a notion familiar with. Usually if something doesn't start a white protagonist that is the first thing you're informed about. In a 2018 political climate blah blah that's worth an award or something for the cover of the books right? I want more positive press and promotion for bakker, his books flip your modern notion of race and causes you to think.

Hope this makes sense I don't want to come off as being racist or mean. What are some examples you can think of

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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 06:31:56 pm »
The matter of racism and xenophobia in the series is definitely interesting worldbuilding from Bakker's part. I do agree that it seems that most Norsirai cultures (at least in the "modern era" of TSA) tend to be seen as the "uncivilized" ones. Having only read the series properly once, it's becoming much more noticeable in the (forum) reread. Conphas' comments in chapter 8 of TDTCB about the Tydonni and Thunyeri that had recently arrived at Momemn come to mind, with him thinking that at least the Ainoni, being fellow Ketyai, were civilized.
Then you have Zeüm, an apparently very advanced society that looks down on absolutely everyone in the Three Seas as "barbarians". While our opinion on Zeüm might be a bit biased by the fact that most characters we meet in the story were part of the Satakhan's court, and we have no idea how the average Zeümi citizen lives, it's definitely a welcome change to the usual fantasy standards (and hopefully we'll see much more of Zeüm in the near future). Zsoronga and Sorweel's friendship, I think, exemplifies the point you're making quite well - in another series, you might expect the white teenager to be the more sophisticated and knowledgeable one, and here you have Sorweel completely out of his depth compared to Zsoronga (well, both of them are actually out of their depth due to the whole situation they're in, but again, I think you get what I mean).
The only exception here is probably the case of the Dûnyain (who look Norsirai, but honestly should be considered as a separate ethnic group altogether), but they are just above everything and everyone in so many levels, it's like they don't even "count" as part of humanity anymore in some aspects...
After TUC, we're actually left with the majority of the main cast as people of colour. You have Achamian, Esmenet and Mimara as the main characters that are still alive. Kayûtas and Serwa (not actually confirmed as having survived) do look Norsirai, but I think technically they'd still count, as their mother is Ketyai? (though the ridiculously dominant Dûnyain genetics don't help much here) Not to mention that the main antagonists are now four Dûnyain/Norsirai.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get to here - I definitely agree with you on the points you've made. It didn't come across as racist, mean or anything of the sort, don't worry. ;) As a white person, it might not really be my place to address some of these issues in more detail (one is always wary of that), but I really appreciate what Bakker has done in the series so far, and hopefully this trend will carry on to the next series.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 07:12:47 pm »
I would note that considering the series borrows much from the era of the Crusades, the fact that white people are seen as barbarians is appropriate. At that point in real history, Eastern cultures were more sophisticated and advanced.


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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 11:23:57 pm »
I get what you're saying and I agree that it's really nice to have ethnic and cultural diversities in the books (along with all the clashes and prejudices that come with them), but I think incorporating identity politics into the marketing of the books would be (one of) the last things Bakker would ever want, haha.


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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 06:02:53 pm »
Hope this makes sense I don't want to come off as being racist or mean.

As the token far rightist here, let me set your mind at ease:

Racism is

1) Hatred
2) Motivated by the racial membership of the hated person(s)

and nothing else.

It is not noticing that races exist, that people belong to them, that they acquire typical behaviors through group socialization, or that some of those behaviors may be crude, stupid, or even evil. You've done nothing wrong.
What is reason, but the blindness of the soul?


if Kellhus was thinking all of this, he's going to freak out when he get's back and Kelmomas is all "i lieks to eatum peeples da"

the whole thing is orchestrated by Kellhus who is wearing a Bashrag as if it were a suit


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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 08:03:51 pm »
At some early point development (and perhaps Madness can clarify), I'm pretty sure that like Earwan women, persons-of-color were lesser in the eyes of Gods.  This was an extension of the underlying premise to present a world that objectively was as our ancient Earthen ancestors subjectively believed it to be. 

Bakker ultimately decided this would be too controversial (even the man has his limits) and struck this from the mythology.  Yet it's imprint might still be evident in the fact that the presumed heroes of TNG will almost certainly consist entirely of women (Mimara, Serwa, Esme) and people-of-color (Akka, Meppa, Moenghus Jr. and TBD Zeumi).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 08:06:32 pm by profgrape »