Larry Correia cites Pathfinder for diversity in gaming.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
thejeff wrote:

In fairness, in the tor.com article it wasn't racism just because the convention hall staff were minorities, but because of the contrast between the majority minority facilities staff and what he perceived as the overwhelmingly white attendees.

Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

But that's a distinction that Correia slid right over.

Mind you if anything, it's not racism on Gencon's part or even on the convention center's part, but just a reflection of the racism in society that traps some in situations where such jobs are the best they can get.

Its perfectly fine to see the a bunch of minorities working as janitors/food servers/security guards etc and a bunch of white people with enough disposable cash to fly to indianapolis for 4 days to indulge their hobbies and see a reflection of a biased and racially unfair society.

Its fine to comment on that fact.

Its not ok to say that those people at that convention and the community they are involved in are themselves racist because of it.

If the article had framed it the way you did, it wouldnt have gotten th reaction. He assigned societie's racial bias specifically to gencon, when gencons lack of diversity is more a symptom of the greater ill then anything else. And in the process, he insulted alot of people, including Correia.

Is it a bad thing that many minorities cant do better then minimum wage jobs despite genuine effort to make their and their families lives better? Yes, it is. Does that make someone racist for picking up a burger at McDonalds? No.

Agreed, but my point was that Correia ignored that contrast, split it into two separate parts and went off on how stupid it was to be surprised that the staff was mostly minority.

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:


Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

Correia's argument, that the overwhelming white majority is a result of momentum from the early days of the game's existence, is a pretty strong answer for that. I doubt that anyone will prevent anyone from joining the stuff because of their ethnicity, and I doubt that most people of ethnicity fell they wouldn't be welcome because of their skin color.

Just for comparison, imagine a man arriving to, I don't know, a knitting convention or something, and discovering that the place is predominantly populated by women. Would be pretty funny of him to accuse those women of hidden sexism, I think. There's nothing about knitting that makes it into a hobby males should be excluded from except for social norms - exactly like roleplaying games and ethnic people.

If his issue is that the social norm is for white people to play roleplaying games, then he is complaining to the wrong crowed. If he somehow blames roleplayers for not being inclusive enough, I think he is being unfair and irrational. Either way, it's hard to take him very seriously.


Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

Correia's argument, that the overwhelming white majority is a result of momentum from the early days of the game's existence, is a pretty strong answer for that. I doubt that anyone will prevent anyone from joining the stuff because of their ethnicity, and I doubt that most people of ethnicity fell they wouldn't be welcome because of their skin color.

Just for comparison, imagine a man arriving to, I don't know, a knitting convention or something, and discovering that the place is predominantly populated by women. Would be pretty funny of him to accuse those women of hidden sexism, I think. There's nothing about knitting that makes it into a hobby males should be excluded from except for social norms - exactly like roleplaying games and ethnic people.

If his issue is that the social norm is for white people to play roleplaying games, then he is complaining to the wrong crowed. If he somehow blames roleplayers for not being inclusive enough, I think he is being unfair and irrational. Either way, it's hard to take him very seriously.

As I said I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions. There are a number of reasons that can be imagined for the racial demographics of TTRPGs in general and GenCon in particular and not all of them require active racism on the part of anyone involved.

That said, it's still got be disturbing to be at an event where everyone who resembles you is picking up the garbage. As I said, I've noticed that in some places and been bothered by it and I am white.

I also don't read the A.A. George post as accusatorily as Corriera did. But then I tend to see racism as common, pervasive and a matter of degree rather than as "You are EVIL!!!"

The Exchange

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Quote:
Agreed, but my point was that Correia ignored that contrast, split it into two separate parts and went off on how stupid it was to be surprised that the staff was mostly minority.

He actually did touch on that later in his article, though:

Correia wrote:


The designers of now were mostly the people who grew up reading and playing the stuff from that first group. And when they grew up, gaming was an unpopular dorky activity that wasn’t’ seen as cool. You know that whole stereotype of playing in the garage. Yep. Who could get away with being “uncool” in the 80s? Suburban white kids mostly, that’s who. “Uncool” in poor, rough areas was a good way to collect an ass beating. Where I lived in the 1980s I didn’t exactly brag that I liked to roll dice so my imaginary elf could sword fight an imaginary dragon. Hell, reading books was considered sissy behavior...It isn’t a race thing, it is a poverty and accessibility thing. Sadly poverty and accessibility go hand in hand with race in this country. George is taking a big, complex bundle of problems made up of economics, education, and social issues and dumping in the lap of people who have nothing to do with it.

You could argue about his decision to touch on this on a later point rather than right away, but that's truly immaterial I'd say (like me saying I don't like the snappish tones - maybe true but does not change the correctness of the argument).

All in all, if you strip down the snarkiness and insults, you get a well structured and reasoned response to an essay that tried to pass of as rational when it was actually emotional.

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

Correia's argument, that the overwhelming white majority is a result of momentum from the early days of the game's existence, is a pretty strong answer for that. I doubt that anyone will prevent anyone from joining the stuff because of their ethnicity, and I doubt that most people of ethnicity fell they wouldn't be welcome because of their skin color.

Just for comparison, imagine a man arriving to, I don't know, a knitting convention or something, and discovering that the place is predominantly populated by women. Would be pretty funny of him to accuse those women of hidden sexism, I think. There's nothing about knitting that makes it into a hobby males should be excluded from except for social norms - exactly like roleplaying games and ethnic people.

If his issue is that the social norm is for white people to play roleplaying games, then he is complaining to the wrong crowed. If he somehow blames roleplayers for not being inclusive enough, I think he is being unfair and irrational. Either way, it's hard to take him very seriously.

As I said I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions. There are a number of reasons that can be imagined for the racial demographics of TTRPGs in general and GenCon in particular and not all of them require active racism on the part of anyone involved.

That said, it's still got be disturbing to be at an event where everyone who resembles you is picking up the garbage. As I said, I've noticed that in some places and been bothered by it and I am white.

I also don't read the A.A. George post as accusatorily as Corriera did. But...

The important part is that while he may have cause to be distressed (the guy Corriea was responding to), the response was emotional. Had he stopped with what you did - "it felt bad to look like the people serving the food, rather than those being serves and it annoys me that such distinctions exist" - he tried to build some sort of argument where we (not whites, the roleplaying community) are not doing enough to get people of all ethnicities to play. Which is a bit like blaming universities for not accepting more students of color even though it's obvious that the problem is bigger, that less people of color are even in a position to attempt to join a university. He didn't bring *any* actual evidence that the hobby isn't inclusive by nature (except for some unclear muttering about how the art tends to portray more white people, which could be explained by the origins of roleplaying games and is probably also not really a reason for someone with a different skin color not to play), he just stated that currently there's a white majority and that it is somehow our fault as gamers.


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thejeff wrote:

As I said I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions. There are a number of reasons that can be imagined for the racial demographics of TTRPGs in general and GenCon in particular and not all of them require active racism on the part of anyone involved.

That said, it's still got be disturbing to be at an event where everyone who resembles you is picking up the garbage. As I said, I've noticed that in some places and been bothered by it and I am white.

I also don't read the A.A. George post as accusatorily as Corriera did. But then I tend to see racism as common, pervasive and a matter of degree rather than as "You are EVIL!!!"

I can understand being uncomfortable in that situation. I can also understand being uncomfortable amongst a crowd of people that are racially different then you.

But the author of the torg article went on to equate that with the gaming community being deliberately exclusionary and racist. And that is why Correia responded the way he did. If the author had been rational and discussed the issue in a broader context, it wouldnt have been as imflammatory as it was.

Correia even goes on to agree that the gaming community should do more to reach out to minorities and encourage them to game and applauded the diversity offered by paizo's iconics as an example of changing trends. If the torg article was 'I want to see more minorities in gaming, at gaming conventions and pictured in gaming products and stories' it wouldnt have been insulting, and I doubt Correia would have responded the same way.

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Correia's assessment of why PoC don't play more TTRPGs in one of his paragraphs:
-"It isn't a race thing, it is a poverty and accessibility thing"
But then he immediately says:
-"Sadly poverty and accessibility go hand in hand with race in this country"
-"George is taking a big, complex bundle of problems made up of economics, education, and social issues and dumping in the lap of people who have nothing to do with it."

So he immediately contradicts himself and dismisses George by saying "welp, this has nothing to do with all the white people at GenCon."

This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction. Paizo is committed to diversity in gaming, and I love that--it's probably the main reason I'm still interested in Pathfinder. But their drive to increase their inclusivity is an acknowledgement of the inequality that women and PoC encounter in gaming spaces and representation. So they've done some good, but they could take it further. And I'm not saying that they haven't done enough, but obviously there are still people who feel uncomfortable at large gaming conventions because of the lack of people who look like them--a lack that's based on racism and sexism as social/economic/etc structures. And Correia seems more interested in attacking than discussing this, let alone trying to address any sort of change that could be had.

And on a final note, y'all need to stop with this whole "rational arguments are good and the opposite of emotion, which is bad" nonsense. It's just b$~*%+#@.


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Hitdice wrote:
Given how many times he said Tor.com, I feel like Correia has issues with that website/publisher, or possibly the author of the article he's responding to. I think the established RPG companies (yes, I mean most of the GenCon exhibitors) are more inclusionary than exclusionary, and beyond that, I don't know what to tell you.

I think the issue here comes from the fact that Tor has published a number of similar articles in recent months. I only browse Larry's blog once a month or so, because my intake capacity for his particular acerbic wit (however much I do enjoy it in small doses) is limited, but I feel certain I've seen him dismantling other pieces from Tor.

As for racism vs. social injustice / inequality, I think in many way's Larry's argument cuts right to the core of my own feelings on it.

I don't think anyone can argue in good conscience that there isn't a social divide between many minority groups (especially African Americans) and the white majority. There is very obvious social inequality, and one can observe it without ascribing specific reasons for it. I also think you could make a pretty good argument that there is a bit of an inherent bias built into some laws and regulations that adversely affects those communities. Sentencing guidelines for crack vs. cocaine are a pretty good example.

That said, racism is not an appropriate way of describing much of this social inequality, for a whole host of reasons. Most obviously, it produces in many people a strong backlash, because historically racism has had rather firm definitions that focus on intentional ethnic repression or inherent judgment of others based on nothing but immutable physical traits. That is something abhorrent to all but the most despicable individuals, and when you see it in practice for the vast majority (of Americans) it produces unvarnished contempt. See the response to Sterling's comments as an example.

When you use the word racism to describe social inequality in the US, which is the product of a huge variety of factors, you are vastly broadening the definition of the word in such a way that renders it almost meaningless, while also immediately raising the hackles of those who find racism abhorrent. You immediately alienate a large portion of your audience, because rather than drawing attention to social woes you are ascribing malice to them.

Frankly, i think many agitator would be better served dropping the use of the word from their vocabularies if they are otherwise going to continue to use it as they have. They are both diminishing the impact of the accusation of racism (which was, for a time, taken extremely seriously in this country), and undermining their own cause.


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mechaPoet wrote:

This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction. Paizo is committed to diversity in gaming, and I love that--it's probably the main reason I'm still interested in Pathfinder. But their drive to increase their inclusivity is an acknowledgement of the inequality that women and PoC encounter in gaming spaces and representation. So they've done some good, but they could take it further. And I'm not saying that they haven't done enough, but obviously there are still people who feel uncomfortable at large gaming conventions because of the lack of people who look like them--a lack that's based on racism and sexism as social/economic/etc structures. And Correia seems more interested in attacking than discussing this, let alone trying to address any sort of change that could be had.

Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

You instantly alienate the very people who you need to convince to act, and thus undermine your entire cause.

mechaPoet wrote:
And on a final note, y'all need to stop with this whole "rational arguments are good and the opposite of emotion, which is bad" nonsense. It's just b@&!+!~%.

Then you further undermined yourself by arguing that emotionally charged arguments are somehow as valid as logical and rational arguments. Frankly, that's demonstrably untrue. They may be better at motivating those already inclined to support your position to near-term actions, but in every other way they are demonstrably inferior to a logical and rational argument, and antithetical to the basis of western civilization as a whole.


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mechaPoet wrote:

Correia's assessment of why PoC don't play more TTRPGs in one of his paragraphs:

-"It isn't a race thing, it is a poverty and accessibility thing"
But then he immediately says:
-"Sadly poverty and accessibility go hand in hand with race in this country"
-"George is taking a big, complex bundle of problems made up of economics, education, and social issues and dumping in the lap of people who have nothing to do with it."

So he immediately contradicts himself and dismisses George by saying "welp, this has nothing to do with all the white people at GenCon."

He says this because it isnt those SPECIFIC white people at gen con that are causing this problem. And thats sort of the point here. The torg author isnt saying this is a symptom of the larger societal ills. He is saying these people, here(gencon), at this place are racist. And he offers literally nothing to support that claim other then the absense of minorities among the gamers.

Quote:

This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction. Paizo is committed to diversity in gaming, and I love that--it's probably the main reason I'm still interested in Pathfinder. But their drive to increase their inclusivity is an acknowledgement of the inequality that women and PoC encounter in gaming spaces and representation. So they've done some good, but they could take it further. And I'm not saying that they haven't done enough, but obviously there are still people who feel uncomfortable at large gaming conventions because of the lack of people who look like them--a lack that's based on racism and sexism as social/economic/etc structures. And Correia seems more interested in attacking than discussing this, let alone trying to address any sort of change that could be had.

Again, if the discussion was in that context, it would have been a different story. Everything you say I agree with. I am a white male. I have the privaledge of not worrying about cops shooting me as I walk the streets of New York City. I have the privaledge of not facing that bias in my day to day life. I am lucky. That doesnt make me racist. If I or any other gamer refused to listen to a panel by an African American rpg author because he wasn't white, or refused to play a paladin because the pathfinder iconic doesnt look like me. Thats racist. If I gave weird looks to a person who doesnt look like me at a convention that would be racist. But that didnt happen here.

Is there a serious social ill in this country? Certainly. Does it need to be discussed, worked on, fought over? Absolutely. But you dont start the conversation by insulting people. You start with the actual problem, and then try to find ways to solve it.

Quote:

And on a final note, y'all need to stop with this whole "rational arguments are good and the opposite of emotion, which is bad" nonsense. It's just b#!*&!$#.

How exactly is it bs? Emotion doesnt solve problems. It creates them. Rational thinking solves problems. Emotional results can be part of rational arguments. I was uncomfortable BECAUSE x. Ok, lets look at what caused x. I was frightened because y. Lets look at y. We then have a problem to address. Emotions matter. But you cant just declare them and call it done. Then nothing is solved.

If the only thing you discuss is your feelings without looking at the root cause, you are contributing nothing to the conversation, and certainly not to the solution.

People in fergueson are upset, enraged, heartbroken, frightened, indignent. If we leave it at that...well what do we do? If we say the reasoning behind that emotion, we get to a problem of system abuse by police officers and statistics on arrests and traffic stops that are impossible to explain away.

A black man in fergueson is indignant because he is very likely to be harassed, arrested, or physically harmed by police officers for behavior that would be ignored in a white man. His emotion is important, but the logical chain of events that lead to it is what allows a problem to be identified and dealt with.


Peter Stewart wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction. Paizo is committed to diversity in gaming, and I love that--it's probably the main reason I'm still interested in Pathfinder. But their drive to increase their inclusivity is an acknowledgement of the inequality that women and PoC encounter in gaming spaces and representation. So they've done some good, but they could take it further. And I'm not saying that they haven't done enough, but obviously there are still people who feel uncomfortable at large gaming conventions because of the lack of people who look like them--a lack that's based on racism and sexism as social/economic/etc structures. And Correia seems more interested in attacking than discussing this, let alone trying to address any sort of change that could be had.

Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

You instantly alienate the very...

Well then, is there a way to talk about these things that won't alienate you? Because these things are real and they remain a serious problem in this country. They need to be talked about. I'd be perfectly willing to drop the term privilege and maybe even racism, but I suspect that it's actually the concepts that bother people and whatever terms are used to replace them will quickly become equally problematic.

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If I specifically say that privilege and structural racism exist, and specifically say that privilege is not having to deal with oppression, and you take that to mean that I'm "accusing" you of something, then I think you're not really listening.

Racism is a structural inequality. I don't care what your dictionary says, I care what the people who experience racism say, and they have pointed this out time and time again.

But yeah, you're right, we should stop slinging around the word racism so much. We wouldn't want to hurt white people's feelings when we talk about PoC being denied access to social spaces, jobs, housing, privacy, freedom, their lives, and their right to be treated like people.


Peter Stewart wrote:


Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

You instantly alienate the very people who you need to convince to act, and thus undermine your entire cause.

mechaPoet wrote:


And on a final note, y'all need to stop with this whole "rational arguments are good and the opposite of emotion, which is bad" nonsense. It's just b@&!+!~%.
Then you further undermined yourself by arguing that emotionally charged arguments are somehow as valid as logical and rational arguments. Frankly, that's demonstrably untrue. They may be better at motivating those already inclined to support your position to near-term actions, but in every other way they are demonstrably inferior to a logical and rational argument, and antithetical to the basis of western civilization as a whole.

And by the way, isn't your instant alienation an emotional response to his choice of words, rather than a logical and rational consideration of his argument?

Liberty's Edge

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But we're talking about people not being allowed to purchase a GenCon badge or volunteer at the convention because they're not white.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

So how is GenCon racist again?

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Maybe I'm angry for rational reasons, which I then articulate. They're both mentally produced, and not mutually exclusive to an argument. Stop pretending like their opposite magnetic poles. I have never seen that dichotomy used except as a way to dismiss other people's arguments. It's always: "That's not logical! Therefore I'm right." If your argument is solid, or you take issue with how someone emotionally responds to something, then address that specifically instead of putting other people down.


Krensky wrote:

But we're talking about people not being allowed to purchase a GenCon badge or volunteer at the convention because they're not white.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

So how is GenCon racist again?

That's your definition? Anything less than that is OK? Or is maybe some other kind of bad, but not racism?


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mechaPoet wrote:

If I specifically say that privilege and structural racism exist, and specifically say that privilege is not having to deal with oppression, and you take that to mean that I'm "accusing" you of something, then I think you're not really listening.

Racism is a structural inequality. I don't care what your dictionary says, I care what the people who experience racism say, and they have pointed this out time and time again.

But yeah, you're right, we should stop slinging around the word racism so much. We wouldn't want to hurt white people's feelings when we talk about PoC being denied access to social spaces, jobs, housing, privacy, freedom, their lives, and their right to be treated like people.

You can not care what the dictionary says, but then you have to be really careful about your words. Both connotation and denotation matter when talking to someone.

The people you talk to have to understand what you are trying to communicate. If someone doesnt inherently know what you mean when you say 'white privaledge', then you have failed to initiate that conversation. If you want to talk about the shades of grey racism that is ingrained in our culture to someone who has never experienced it, just saying racism wont get your point across.

What those words mean to the people you are talking to matters as much as what they mean to the people you are talking about and what they mean to you.

We dont all share the life experience that explains what that privaledge and systemic racism means. The image those words conjure in the minds of the people that dont understand is completely different then the one you are trying to discuss. And yes, it is likely they will take offense, or simply not understand. So you have failed to start the conversation you want.

By all means I want to have the conversation. I would go as far as to say most Americans, and even most white americans want racism to be a thing of the past, and would be willing to talk about and work on how to make that happen. But they wont respond well to that conversation starting with them being blamed for what (at least in their minds) they didnt cause.

Sovereign Court

Maybe you are, and you are right, but your response leaves a lot to be desired, and I have zero interest in talking to people who start the conversation by accusing me of something I don't do.

It's not just the problem. It's how this problem is presented that matters.

See, I'm a tech guy, if someone called me on the phone and started screaming at me for whatever reason, I would calmly hang up and ignore further calls.

If, however, someone calls me and tells me that I did this wrong, or that I overcharged them or something like that. I would assess the problem, decide that the person was right, or explain why I did what I did and we would part ways amicably.

Nobody benefits from emotional reactions used in arguments. Because they produce more emotional reactions and that's a very nice slope.


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mechaPoet wrote:
Maybe I'm angry for rational reasons, which I then articulate. They're both mentally produced, and not mutually exclusive to an argument. Stop pretending like their opposite magnetic poles. I have never seen that dichotomy used except as a way to dismiss other people's arguments. It's always: "That's not logical! Therefore I'm right." If your argument is solid, or you take issue with how someone emotionally responds to something, then address that specifically instead of putting other people down.

If you give me the articulation, I have no issue. We never got that in the torg article. If you say I am angry because of x, y and z, thats perfectly logical (assuming x, y and z are sensible reasons to be angry). But x, y and z should be related to what we are talking about.

If we are discussing the healthcare system. And you come in telling me you are angry because you cant get coverage for your childrens perscriptions, rational argument. If you tell me you are angry because you once had a doctor who was a jerk, well ok, but how does that have anything to do with healthcare other then the actions of one specific doctor? And if you just tell me you are angry...well i cant really respond can I?

Liberty's Edge

My definition is that if GenCon is discriminating on the basis of race or sex it's being racist or sexist.

If its not then the convention isn't.

The hobby is not a perfect reflection of racial or sexual demographics for lots of reasons, a decent number of which involve structural racism and sexism.

That does not make the convention or the attendees racists or sexists.

I mean, what exactly is GenCon supposed to do? Last I heard there were a few panels and seminars on increasing inclusivity both in the hobby and the industry. What else? Discounted prices for people of color? Reserves tickets for minorities? Dragooning people of the streets and making them play D&D Next?

It's fairly simple. If a person or organization is not engaging in racist behavior no amount of privilege, structural, or institutional racism makes that person a racist.

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Kolokotroni wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

If I specifically say that privilege and structural racism exist, and specifically say that privilege is not having to deal with oppression, and you take that to mean that I'm "accusing" you of something, then I think you're not really listening.

Racism is a structural inequality. I don't care what your dictionary says, I care what the people who experience racism say, and they have pointed this out time and time again.

But yeah, you're right, we should stop slinging around the word racism so much. We wouldn't want to hurt white people's feelings when we talk about PoC being denied access to social spaces, jobs, housing, privacy, freedom, their lives, and their right to be treated like people.

You can not care what the dictionary says, but then you have to be really careful about your words. Both connotation and denotation matter when talking to someone.

The people you talk to have to understand what you are trying to communicate. If someone doesnt inherently know what you mean when you say 'white privaledge', then you have failed to initiate that conversation. If you want to talk about the shades of grey racism that is ingrained in our culture to someone who has never experienced it, just saying racism wont get your point across.

What those words mean to the people you are talking to matters as much as what they mean to the people you are talking about and what they mean to you.

We dont all share the life experience that explains what that privaledge and systemic racism means. The image those words conjure in the minds of the people that dont understand is completely different then the one you are trying to discuss. And yes, it is likely they will take offense, or simply not understand. So you have failed to start the conversation you want.

By all means I want to have the conversation. I would go as far as to say most Americans, and even most white americans want racism to be a thing of the past, and would be willing to talk about and work on how to make that happen. But they wont respond well to that conversation starting with them being blamed for what (at least in their minds) they didnt cause.

Well, I did try to specifically lay out what privilege meant, but the responses I got seemed like people felt accused of something.

So let me put it this way: all right, sure, I'll "accuse" people of being privileged. Here's what I'm accusing you of: not experiencing a certain kind of oppression. Not being racist, just not being oppressed in a certain way. There are lots of different kinds of privilege, and you can be privileged in some ways and not in others.

As for the rest of your post...yeah, that's fair. I'll be back with some links that I think could benefit the conversation.


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thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:

But we're talking about people not being allowed to purchase a GenCon badge or volunteer at the convention because they're not white.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

So how is GenCon racist again?

That's your definition? Anything less than that is OK? Or is maybe some other kind of bad, but not racism?

For many this is their understanding of what racism is. Racist means the dudes in the white hoods blowing up black churches. Racist means a guy with a swastika tatoed on his forhead wanting to kill Jews.

Thats not to say they are right. But that is their Connotation. We only have connotation, and denotation. Everyone has the dictionary definition of words. Connotation varies by experience, culture and numerous other factors.

And the truth is, those white males are pretty defensive about this sort of thing. Very few white males in this country fit in the church burning antisemite category. They want all people, men, women, black, white, asian, latino, to get a fair shake in life. They certainly dont feel like they have done anything to prevent that. Often, in conversations like this one, they are confused. When they hear something like white privaledge, they think of a bunch or rich men in the country club plotting to exploit the common people. And when they are told they are part of it, they think thats bs, im not in the country club, I'm a working stiff like everyone else.

Without the explanation, without the details, and without the logic, we cant communicate about something as complicated and deeply ingrained in our society as the problems we have with race and gender in this nation.

Liberty's Edge

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Kolokotroni wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:

But we're talking about people not being allowed to purchase a GenCon badge or volunteer at the convention because they're not white.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

So how is GenCon racist again?

That's your definition? Anything less than that is OK? Or is maybe some other kind of bad, but not racism?

For many this is their understanding of what racism is. Racist means the dudes in the white hoods blowing up black churches. Racist means a guy with a swastika tatoed on his forhead wanting to kill Jews.

Thats not to say they are right. But that is their Connotation. We only have connotation, and denotation. Everyone has the dictionary definition of words. Connotation varies by experience, culture and numerous other factors.

And the truth is, those white males are pretty defensive about this sort of thing. Very few white males in this country fit in the church burning antisemite category. They want all people, men, women, black, white, asian, latino, to get a fair shake in life. They certainly dont feel like they have done anything to prevent that. Often, in conversations like this one, they are confused. When they hear something like white privaledge, they think of a bunch or rich men in the country club plotting to exploit the common people. And when they are told they are part of it, they think thats bs, im not in the country club, I'm a working stiff like everyone else.

Without the explanation, without the details, and without the logic, we cant communicate about something as complicated and deeply ingrained in our society as the problems we have with race and gender in this nation.

Read my response before commenting on my understanding. Thank you.

Liberty's Edge

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mechaPoet wrote:
This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

Uh...did you perhaps miss that Larry Correia is, in fact, a 'person of color' (though he apparently hates that term)? He's Latino. So...this statement? This does not make as much sense as you think it does.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.
Uh...did you perhaps miss that Larry Correia is, in fact, a 'person of color' (though he apparently hates that term)? He's Latino. So...this statement? This does not make as much sense as you think it does.

Hell, one of Correia's complaints about the article was that it didn't include him as a PoC on the honored guest list.

Sovereign Court

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Most people do because he looks white. And than there is that worst kind of racism "You look white so you don't have problems other Latinos do".


Deadmanwalking wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.
Uh...did you perhaps miss that Larry Correia is, in fact, a 'person of color' (though he apparently hates that term)? He's Latino. So...this statement? This does not make as much sense as you think it does.

He's Latino, but he also mentions not being "easily identifiable" (apparently a reference to some offensive NPR program). That obviously doesn't mean he isn't Latino, but if people don't perceive him as Latino he may still pick up some of the white privilege or if you prefer, miss out on some of the discrimination aimed at minorities.

Edit: Apparently this post is the worst kind of racism (worse than lynchings?). Because obviously racists discriminating against Latinos check everyone's genetic heritage before deciding which individuals to harass.


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thejeff wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:

Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

Well then, is there a way to talk about these things that won't alienate you? Because these things are real and they remain a serious problem in this country. They need to be talked about. I'd be perfectly willing to drop the term privilege and maybe even racism, but I suspect that it's actually the concepts that bother people and whatever terms are used to replace them will quickly become equally problematic.

Sure. There's an art and science to building persuasive arguments, but at its core there are a few things you want to avoid (both for me personally, and as a observation about a large cross section of the population). First, your goal is to build a consensus, and at its core that involves not driving people away as a first step. Leading with something like:

Quote:
The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction.

Is inherently offensive to many people. You are telling people that they are (implied) actively engaged in the perpetuation of a system that makes judgments on people based on immutable traits and that they benefit from said system. The core of the offense given is tied up in a couple words, particularly racist and privilege. Generally speaking, those two words are non-starters, even for people inclined to agree with the larger point. Much more effective, especially early on this kind of discussion, is something along these lines.

"There is an inherent inequality to the current social order in the United States that permeates the lives of everyone everywhere. Some of this inequality is a result of specific positions or policies that, if not singling out minorities, are certainly slanted against them. Other parts of it are the natural extension of the current system of government that ascribes virtual total power to majorities (e.g. winner take all elections), concentrates political power in the hands of the wealthy (historically whites), and keeps wealth and opportunity concentrated in specific communities (e.g. property taxes funding education). Regardless of the reasons for it, the statistics make it difficult to argue that something is not very wrong. African Americans are disproportionately victims of violence within their communities, are disproportionately scrutinized by law enforcement, and are disproportionately represented in both low income communities, prison populations, and representative government."

Such a paragraph does not single out anyone, does not ascribe racial motivation towards inequality, but does observe that racial inequality exists. It makes an statistical assertion (which you should back up in future paragraphs) and observe several possible causes of problems.

If you want to discuss the issue of "privilege" it's much more effective to coax it in different language. Rather than painting as privilege vs. oppression, simply drop the privilege argument entirely. Not only does it remove the inherent accusation in the word, it better reflects the reality (or perceived reality) of your (white) audience. They don't think not being harassed by the cops is a privilege - they view that as the norm. The deviation in which African Americans are stopped far more is an observation in injustice.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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All right, I'm back with the links I promised.

However, before I list them, I want to make it clear that I found these on the first page of a Google search for "explaining white privilege." I'm providing these because Kolokotroni showed an interest in having this conversation. I'm happy to provide some general information on what I mean when use the word privilege, but also keep in mind that you all could have looked this up yourselves. This isn't an admonishment in any way, just a note that people aren't always obliged to educate you just because you ask them to. Like I said, a lot of people have written about this, and I trust that all of you know how (at least on a basic level) to do internet (and other kinds of!) research.

(These are all largely, if not entirely, American-centric, just fyi)
From Tolerance.org: On Racism and White Privilege
-a general overview of what white privilege is
From OccupyWallStreet.net: Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
From EverydayFeminism.com: How to Talk to Someone About Privilege Who Doesn't Know What That Is
-The two above talk about talking about privilege, and also explore the difference between various kinds of privilege
A comic about what white privilege is: Comic
-I've saved this one for last as it contains some mildly accusatory language, and if you can get through the first three and try to understand what (white) privilege is without feeling accused of anything, you can probably handle this one being 90% informative and 10% disappointed that people don't understand privilege

thejeff wrote:
Edit: Apparently this post is the worst kind of racism (worse than lynchings?). Because obviously racists discriminating against Latinos check everyone's genetic heritage before deciding which individuals to harass.

I think Hama meant to say "worse," and "worst" was just a typo. For more about white-passing privilege, see my comments below or note the use of the phrase "white skin privilege" in the first article I linked.

P.S.: With regards to Correia's race: I do realize that Correia identifies as Latino. However:
-I saw the picture of him on his website. He's more or less white-passing, which is another form of privilege (the first article I link to specifically uses the phrase "white skin privilege" at one point, and that seems relevant). Which isn't to say that his opinions as a non-white don't count or something, but I still think he's a huge [redacted].
-I'm a little confused about how being Portuguese makes you Latino, but it's not something I feel remotely qualified to talk about, so I'm gonna leave it alone. I got the impression from Correia's article that he was equating the two, but it's not like there aren't both Portuguese white people and Portuguese PoC, so, again, dropping it.


Unrelated to the current line of discussion, anybody else from a more recent military background confirm this from the article?

Quote:
I’m guessing this is why most of the black and Latino gamers I know around my age are the ones who grew up in the suburbs… Or after thinking on it for a minute, they were introduced to it in that bastion of all hatey-hate-mongery that Social Justice Warriors despise so much known as the US Military. The military is lousy with gamers, and the military is real diversity, not that namby-pamby college gender studies skin-deep diversity. Gaming is a fantastic Morale Activity when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, and even if it was dorky and uncool at home, playing with your buddies when you’re otherwise stuck and bored off your ass makes a great gateway drug.

I know that in the 80s and 90s gaming was a great way to make friends and pass the time when you're stuck on base—I'm curious to see if that's a still a thing in more recent years.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I ran my first campaign in Afghanistan.

My first time playing D&D was in Kuwait.


mechaPoet wrote:

P.S.: With regards to Correia's race: I do realize that Correia identifies as Latino. However:

-I saw the picture of him on his website. He's more or less white-passing, which is another form of privilege (the first article I link to specifically uses the phrase "white skin privilege" at one point, and that seems relevant). Which isn't to say that his opinions as a non-white don't count or something, but I still think he's a huge [redacted].
-I'm a little confused about how being Portuguese makes you Latino, but it's not something I feel remotely qualified to talk about, so I'm gonna leave it alone. I got the impression from Correia's article that he was equating the two, but it's not like there aren't both Portuguese white people and Portuguese PoC, so, again, dropping it.
From one of his other articles:
Quote:
I suppose this is what I get for being a Wise Latino. (a term stolen from Sonya Sotomeyor, since that was around the same time that I was filling out some EEOC worksheets at my Military Industrial Complex job and discovered that Portuguese was legally considered Latino by the Department of Labor).

I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.


thejeff wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

P.S.: With regards to Correia's race: I do realize that Correia identifies as Latino. However:

-I saw the picture of him on his website. He's more or less white-passing, which is another form of privilege (the first article I link to specifically uses the phrase "white skin privilege" at one point, and that seems relevant). Which isn't to say that his opinions as a non-white don't count or something, but I still think he's a huge [redacted].
-I'm a little confused about how being Portuguese makes you Latino, but it's not something I feel remotely qualified to talk about, so I'm gonna leave it alone. I got the impression from Correia's article that he was equating the two, but it's not like there aren't both Portuguese white people and Portuguese PoC, so, again, dropping it.
From one of his other articles:
Quote:
I suppose this is what I get for being a Wise Latino. (a term stolen from Sonya Sotomeyor, since that was around the same time that I was filling out some EEOC worksheets at my Military Industrial Complex job and discovered that Portuguese was legally considered Latino by the Department of Labor).
I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Or he knew he was Portuguese but did not know that it was legally considered Latino. Latino is usually used to refer to people of Latin American decent. I'm willing to bet a large portion of the population does not realize that people from the Iberian Peninsula are considered Latino, even people with ancestors within 1 or 2 generations from that region. I've even seen different discrimination against Portuguese people than other Latino groups in areas like Cape Cod, where Portuguese people have a significant enough presence to be a distinctly noticeable group.

Grand Lodge

thejeff wrote:
I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Ding, ding, ding.

Of course, he didn't discover he was Latino, anyway. I know that's your point, but I REALLY want this clarified, because this really cuts to the core of why this guy, and his article, are really terrible. He's as white as he ever was - but now he gets to use an obvious error by the DOL to glibly steal that term with no regard for how people who actually ARE Latino are treated.

And from what I've been reading, that seems about the level this guy is on. Reading over a few more of his articles it seems like he takes every suggestion that sci-fi writers and fans consider other races, genders, or sexualities as evil thought police insisting we're not allowed to write about straight, white males any more.

Convenient how he used that opportunity to mock it, but then uses it in this article, without so much as an allusion to the irregularity, to lend credence to his point. It just makes an already rubbish article that much worse.

And my God, how people are eager to defend him and attack the tor.com writer. The fact alone that so much more scrutiny has been heaped upon the minority person - and that they have so far been the only one to face any allegations of actual racism in this thread - is so very, very telling. Sad, but very telling.


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EntrerisShadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Ding, ding, ding.

Of course, he didn't discover he was Latino, anyway. I know that's your point, but I REALLY want this clarified, because this really cuts to the core of why this guy, and his article, are really terrible. He's as white as he ever was - but now he gets to use an obvious error by the DOL to glibly steal that term with no regard for how people who actually ARE Latino are treated.

And from what I've been reading, that seems about the level this guy is on. Reading over a few more of his articles it seems like he takes every suggestion that sci-fi writers and fans consider other races, genders, or sexualities as evil thought police insisting we're not allowed to write about straight, white males any more.

Convenient how he used that opportunity to mock it, but then uses it in this article, without so much as an allusion to the irregularity, to lend credence to his point. It just makes an already rubbish article that much worse.

And my God, how people are eager to defend him and attack the tor.com writer. The fact alone that so much more scrutiny has been heaped upon the minority person - and that they have so far been the only one to face any allegations of actual racism in this thread - is so very, very telling. Sad, but very telling.

Of course, the fact that the Tor article is a piece of s%+$, fails to back up any of its assertions, and uses poor reasoning to reach bad conclusions can't be a reason people don't like it. Nope, it has to be racism.

Grand Lodge

Caineach wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Ding, ding, ding.

Of course, he didn't discover he was Latino, anyway. I know that's your point, but I REALLY want this clarified, because this really cuts to the core of why this guy, and his article, are really terrible. He's as white as he ever was - but now he gets to use an obvious error by the DOL to glibly steal that term with no regard for how people who actually ARE Latino are treated.

And from what I've been reading, that seems about the level this guy is on. Reading over a few more of his articles it seems like he takes every suggestion that sci-fi writers and fans consider other races, genders, or sexualities as evil thought police insisting we're not allowed to write about straight, white males any more.

Convenient how he used that opportunity to mock it, but then uses it in this article, without so much as an allusion to the irregularity, to lend credence to his point. It just makes an already rubbish article that much worse.

And my God, how people are eager to defend him and attack the tor.com writer. The fact alone that so much more scrutiny has been heaped upon the minority person - and that they have so far been the only one to face any allegations of actual racism in this thread - is so very, very telling. Sad, but very telling.

Of course, the fact that the Tor article is a piece of s$$&, fails to back up any of its assertions, and uses poor reasoning to reach bad conclusions can't be a reason people don't like it. Nope, it has to be racism.

I'm not talking about whether people like it or not. I'm saying that the only time the issue of whether something in either article was racist was directed toward the tor.com writer.

I don't really agree with either article - like I said. But Correia's article is dismissive and hostile, and he's made quite a few posts that definitely trot the line of casual racism/sexism/homophobia. But the only time racism actually came up (until now) was when somebody accused the tor.com writer of saying something he found racist toward white people.

Maybe next time actually READ the post you're responding to.


Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Or he knew he was Portuguese but did not know that it was legally considered Latino. Latino is usually used to refer to people of Latin American decent. I'm willing to bet a large portion of the population does not realize that people from the Iberian Peninsula are considered Latino, even people with ancestors within 1 or 2 generations from that region. I've even seen different discrimination against Portuguese people than other Latino groups in areas like Cape Cod, where Portuguese people have a significant enough presence to be a distinctly noticeable group.

Oh, I'm sure he knew he was Portuguese, or rather Portuguese-American since he was born in California, but that doesn't mean his cultural experience wasn't basically white. And now he's using his legal* Latino status as a platform to bash other Latinos for noticing discrimination that he never had to deal with, implying that they're just being overly sensitive for having trouble with racism when he's a Latino too and never had any problems.

It's a real slimeball move and drags my opinion of him a lot farther down.

I could be wrong of course.

*That's assuming that's even true. Everything I found says that Latino, at least in the American usage, is for people from Latin America, not from Europe. Hispanic includes those from Spain (and possibly Portugal) and is often used interchangeably with Latino since there's large overlap, but isn't quite the same. Both terms are broad, confusing and have varying usages.


thejeff wrote:
Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Or he knew he was Portuguese but did not know that it was legally considered Latino. Latino is usually used to refer to people of Latin American decent. I'm willing to bet a large portion of the population does not realize that people from the Iberian Peninsula are considered Latino, even people with ancestors within 1 or 2 generations from that region. I've even seen different discrimination against Portuguese people than other Latino groups in areas like Cape Cod, where Portuguese people have a significant enough presence to be a distinctly noticeable group.

Oh, I'm sure he knew he was Portuguese, or rather Portuguese-American since he was born in California, but that doesn't mean his cultural experience wasn't basically white. And now he's using his legal* Latino status as a platform to bash other Latinos for noticing discrimination that he never had to deal with, implying that they're just being overly sensitive for having trouble with racism when he's a Latino too and never had any problems.

It's a real slimeball move and drags my opinion of him a lot farther down.

I could be wrong of course.

Except that isn't what he is doing when he brings up his race (at least from what I can tell). In that case, he is pointing out that you cannot tell someone's cultural identity easily, and that in assuming you can, like the Tor author did, you can easily make mistakes.

Sovereign Court

I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?

Grand Lodge

Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?

There would be, if anybody actually called you racist.

To be absolutely sure of this, I went back through this whole post. The only person to ever outright be called racist was people saying the tor.com writer was racist. To be fair, thejeff did a couple of pages ago point out some of your arguments echoed right-wingers in the US, but nobody called you racist. Again, going back through, the only time I actually SAW the charge of racist leveled against someone, it was the tor.com writer.

Sovereign Court

Never said someone here called me racist. Just mentioning the problem. And it happened to me before.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?

There would be, if anybody actually called you racist.

To be absolutely sure of this, I went back through this whole post. The only person to ever outright be called racist was people saying the tor.com writer was racist. To be fair, thejeff did a couple of pages ago point out some of your arguments echoed right-wingers in the US, but nobody called you racist. Again, going back through, the only time I actually SAW the charge of racist leveled against someone, it was the tor.com writer.

I believe I actually said "echo US white racist rhetoric", but that was in service of the point that "commenting on another countries racial issues is a mine field".

Which I had hoped would make it clear enough that I wasn't calling him racist.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Hama wrote:
Never said someone here called me racist. Just mentioning the problem. And it happened to me before.

Just throwing out a non-sequitur then?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?

I'm very confused about who you think is being racist. Since your post is so short, I'd love for you to spell it out for us, and we can talk about it.

The Exchange

mechaPoet wrote:
Maybe I'm angry for rational reasons, which I then articulate. They're both mentally produced, and not mutually exclusive to an argument. Stop pretending like their opposite magnetic poles. I have never seen that dichotomy used except as a way to dismiss other people's arguments. It's always: "That's not logical! Therefore I'm right." If your argument is solid, or you take issue with how someone emotionally responds to something, then address that specifically instead of putting other people down.

The problem is not that emotional arguments are invalid or don't have a place in a discussion. It's that people will make the kind of argument or conclusion that could only be supported by a rational backing - like "gamers are not doing enough to be inclusive", which is the argument that the article Corriea was responding to seems to make. A claim like that needs to be backed up by some serious data if it is to amount to anything - you need a structured, reasoned way to show that this is the reality of things. However, the article is filled to the brim with nothing but the emotional experiences the writer had before and during the convention. Trying to use "there were not enough ethnic people in the staff" as an argument is a weak attempt to pick up one statistic, severe it from it's context and present it as an actual proof of your claim.

Had the article restrained itself to describing the difficulties of the writer to cope with the way things are, nothing would have been wrong with it. But when he goes on to explain that because he feels like people have an issue with his race that means they actually do... that's a dangerous mix of the emotional (the evidence) and the rational (the claim).

Sovereign Court

Nobody here is being racist. Everyone is having a nice, civil discussion about it, and that is rare. I'm enjoying it. I like to look at a problem from various points of view, especially those I am either unaware of, or find it hard to identify with.

@TOZ, yeah, just occurred to me. I have random, barely related thoughts on occasion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Hama wrote:
@TOZ, yeah, just occurred to me. I have random, barely related thoughts on occasion.

Word. Most of my thoughts are random. :)


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mechaPoet wrote:

All right, I'm back with the links I promised.

However, before I list them, I want to make it clear that I found these on the first page of a Google search for "explaining white privilege." I'm providing these because Kolokotroni showed an interest in having this conversation. I'm happy to provide some general information on what I mean when use the word privilege, but also keep in mind that you all could have looked this up yourselves. This isn't an admonishment in any way, just a note that people aren't always obliged to educate you just because you ask them to. Like I said, a lot of people have written about this, and I trust that all of you know how (at least on a basic level) to do internet (and other kinds of!) research.

(These are all largely, if not entirely, American-centric, just fyi)
From Tolerance.org: On Racism and White Privilege
-a general overview of what white privilege is
From OccupyWallStreet.net: Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
From EverydayFeminism.com: How to Talk to Someone About Privilege Who Doesn't Know What That Is
-The two above talk about talking about privilege, and also explore the difference between various kinds of privilege
A comic about what white privilege is: Comic
-I've saved this one for last as it contains some mildly accusatory language, and if you can get through the first three and try to understand what (white) privilege is without feeling accused of anything, you can probably handle this one being 90% informative and 10% disappointed that people don't understand privilege

Definately interesting reads. I particularly think the concept of intersection is an important consideration. There is privaledge associated with things like gender, class, sexual orientation, citizenship, and ableness.

In particular since the word intersectionality probably has no connotation in any culture, if you start the conversation with something that needs explanation, its alot easier to get a positive response.

Quote:


P.S.: With regards to Correia's race: I do realize that Correia identifies as Latino. However:
-I saw the picture of him on his website. He's more or less white-passing, which is another form of privilege (the first article I link to specifically uses the phrase "white skin privilege" at one point, and that seems relevant). Which isn't to say that his opinions as a non-white don't count or something, but I still think he's a huge [redacted].
-I'm a little confused about how being Portuguese makes you Latino, but it's not something I feel remotely qualified to talk about, so I'm gonna leave it alone. I got the impression from Correia's article that he was equating the two, but it's not like there aren't both Portuguese white people and Portuguese PoC, so, again, dropping it.

Well there is slightly more to it then that. Obviously growing up in a portugese neighborhood is not the same as growing up in an african american neighborhood, but it still differs from a 'white' neighborhood.

Not all 'white' people are the same, or have the same amount of privaledge. And its more or less tied to their cultural identity.

I am greek. I grew up with a very strong cultural identity. I am the child of Immigrants. My family, my people, while ostensibly white, look different then the typical 'white' person, their culture, behavior, values, differ from the 'norm'. In some of the most important aspects of privaledge I still benefit. But in others I dont.

Other then my big fat greek wedding, there isnt much I can think of off the top of my head where i can turn on a tv or open a magazine and see my people.

And while the history books celebrate my classical heritage, they dont have a whole lot to say about it in the last thousand years. That and the fact that the English word used, is Greek, its 'Greco Roman' history. Its not the word we identify ourselves with (Hellenic), and was effectively assigned to Greeks by the romans after it's conquest.

Another interesting case is my brother. He is as you might imagine also, Greek. But he has a darker complexion then I have. I have to tan pretty heavily to appear to the casual observer as non-white, though it has happened. My brother, generally gets pulled aside by airport security every time he flies, tan or not.

Just to be clear, I am not somehow exempt from privaledge. I just think the blanket statement of white privaledge is pretty ignorant. There is more to the story then that. And simply calling it white privaledge is more divisive then it needs to be.


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mechaPoet wrote:
Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?
I'm very confused about who you think is being racist. Since your post is so short, I'd love for you to spell it out for us, and we can talk about it.

It's not my place to speak for someone else, but quoting from this thread:

Hama: When I say that I don't see race, by that I mean that I honestly don't care what someone's skin color is, and I treat everyone equally well.

Emmit Svenson:Then you must be pleased to have been informed that saying, “I don’t see race” is actually dismissive and insulting to many people. Now you can, in fact, treat everyone equally well, rather than dismissing and insulting a substantial portion of the fine people you meet.

Paladin of Baha-who?:Saying you "don't see race" may very well make them feel like you consider that to be meaningless.

Hama:No, I'm just generally not very interested in that stuff. But I can respect it.

Hama:Also, I don't get pride in anything but your own accomplishments. Why should anyone be proud of something they had no influence over?

EntrerisShadow:The reason you don't "get it" is because you are not a member of a group that has historically been discriminated against or told that part of you makes you inferior to the dominant group.

EntrerisShadow:The context of his earlier posts would strongly imply that he is white.

Hama:I'm a Serb. Trust me I know something about discrimination. And yes, I'm white. Refusing to accept that you are inferior, or that you should be ashamed of a geographic accident or melanine content in your skin and a bit different skull structure is not pride. It's common sense.

thejeff:When an entire society has been structured for centuries to reinforce your inferiority, it's not common sense to refuse to accept it, it's a radical notion.

Hama:Well, I'm glad that people choose to.

Not trying to be accusatory, but basically the guy puts out a point (no matter how much you may or may not like it) and he's told several different ways that clearly he doesn't "get" it and that he's insulting (including implying that he must be white and therefore can't understand). When he clarifies that he happens to be of an ethnic minority and can understand what the point is, he gets a dismissive response. Did someone call him a racist, maybe not...but the tone of the statements were clearly that he must somehow be ignorant of racism. That's a pretty fine line between calling somebody one and implying it.

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Lord Snow wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
Maybe I'm angry for rational reasons, which I then articulate. They're both mentally produced, and not mutually exclusive to an argument. Stop pretending like their opposite magnetic poles. I have never seen that dichotomy used except as a way to dismiss other people's arguments. It's always: "That's not logical! Therefore I'm right." If your argument is solid, or you take issue with how someone emotionally responds to something, then address that specifically instead of putting other people down.
The problem is not that emotional arguments are invalid or don't have a place in a discussion. It's that people will make the kind of argument or conclusion that could only be supported by a rational backing - like "gamers are not doing enough to be inclusive", which is the argument that the article Corriea was responding to seems to make. A claim like that needs to be backed up by some serious data if it is to amount to anything - you need a structured, reasoned way to show that this is the reality of things. However, the article is filled to the brim with nothing but the emotional experiences the writer had before and during the convention. Trying to use "there were not enough ethnic people in the staff" as an argument is a weak attempt to pick up one statistic, severe it from it's context and present it as an actual proof of your claim.

People keep picking at this, and I think it's important to note that this observation is part of a brief preamble. The problem isn't in George's "argument," the problem is treating every bit of George's article with over-intense scrutiny. Here's what I read in that part: George goes to GenCon as a non-white person and sees two populations, the convention-goers and the convention staff. The racial make up of these two groups (and probably both are fairly large considering the popularity of the Con) is disproportionate, with a greater percentage of the people who have and act on their access to the Con being white and a greater percentage of the staff being non-white. All he says is that it makes him feel uncomfortable, and reminds him of "ye olde racist times." Feel free to (re?)visit the articles I posted about privilege, and consider how our racist past and present might contribute to this racial disparity.

Lord Snow wrote:
Had the article restrained itself to describing the difficulties of the writer to cope with the way things are, nothing would have been wrong with it. But when he goes on to explain that because he feels like people have an issue with his race that means they actually do... that's a dangerous mix of the emotional (the evidence) and the rational (the claim).

He cites several examples of other gamers dismissing his concerns about race representation, and points out that the leadership and decision makers of the Con (and the people they choose to honor with awards, recognition, etc) are sorely lacking in the PoC department. This isn't racist in the KKK way or anything, but it is a symptom of PoC systematically being denied opportunities and voices in gaming culture.

Literally nowhere does he say GenCon is racist. He says there is a "Race Problem," and describes some ways in which he feels excluded. The thing about the Nazi cosplayer is definitely a weak example of this, but the article he links to about it also notes a booth that sells sexy Nazi pin-up art (which has problems on multiple fronts [dammit did I just make a WWII pun ugh]), which is disallowed by GenCon rules but the complaints seemingly went unheard. I think he also writes about things a little too generally, but he still provides specific instances of various gamers and gaming communities being an uncomfortable place for him as a PoC.

But here's the real meat of the issue: it doesn't matter whether his article has "rational arguments" or is "too emotional." He identifies some things he didn't like and provides some suggestions of how to make GenCon more inclusive. He doesn't owe anyone a "logical" argument for inclusion. Part of white privilege is not seeing the discomfort of non-white groups who feel underrepresented in a given community. Having white privilege doesn't mean you're being evil and ignoring it, it means you literally don't see it. When George writes about feeling out of place at GenCon, the proper response shouldn't be, "Prove it!" There are a lot of people asking for more inclusion in the gaming community, and it's there if you look for it and listen to those voices. The burden of proof is not on George here.

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