1. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    Blacksploitation and Last Airbender....

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Smoke Z, Jul 2, 2014.

    The rough outline is that an 18-year old and 12-year old were orphaned, allowed to live their lives similar to Lilo and Stitch's Lilo and Nani. A few years later, one of the younger-child's classmates affixes a cursed envelope to the door, and the older sister opens it. (Ages can be adjusted for realism.)

    The older sister gets sucked into the last media she touched, which happened to be a DVD she borrowed from the library again since her sister loved it so much.


    I'm thinking about making them black, since I'm already in the mindset of making the self-insert being a total not-me. I am a racist, but would it be insensitive of me to make the hero distinctly not-white? Would it be a problem if I have her parents acting white and she doesn't encounter personality-shaping conflicts with whites?

    Would black people like the Avatar cartoon? Do they have bullying problems? Do they have problems with pagan classmates?

    I would try to find a suitable beta for this before publishing, but I'm wondering if I should bother with the idea of making her not my race.
     
  2. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    There's nothing inherently insensitive about having black characters in your story and having them "act white" (whatever that means), although given the fact that you're racist, I'm not sure how you could portray them in non-insulting ways, or why you would even want to in the first place.
    It depends on the black person.
     
  3. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I'm ashamed of being racist, and all the racist things I say, and all the things I refrain from doing in either direction. (Even though I'm no longer part of the work force, I have opinions on affirmative action.)

    Basically, the only things that would identify them as black is "clipping instead of getting corn-rows to save money" and comments from Iroh about being "dark as someone from the southern water tribe."

    I'm not sure that it's culturally aware to have the sister teased at school for being poor and loving an old cartoon instead of for not following the whims of the latest rapper.

    I'm willing to say "Nursing Home Cafeteria Worker" is a poverty job for a white high-school student, but what about a black orphan with her diploma and a dependant? What other support would she have? What difference does it makes if she's a WASP?
     
  4. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Is this post serious? This is a legit question because this is sounding like subtle trolling to me.
     
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  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think if you continue to choose being a racist, and identifying yourself as such, in this day and age where nobody has any excuse to hold such inhumane and incorrect opinions, I think you making your characters black will amplify the presence of racism and nasty in your work. If owners of 'Mein Kampf' are your intended audience, it could work really well. But seriously, stop being a racist, it's not that hard, all it takes is getting over yourself a bit.
     
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  6. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    That's a little bit like "I'm sure you would start finding girls more attractive than boys if you just tried."

    Really, the only difference it would make to the story is a few lines of description. The main reason to have her be black is because all the characters I see in this type of story are white. Then again, most of them are Mary Sues or at least have Sue-qualities.

    Then again, considering that her younger sister is bullied to the point where they attack her with witchcraft at home... that's where the wrong idea might come in. I'll go ahead and make her white.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I honestly have no idea what to say about this thread. At first I thought it was a legit plot question until you got to the 'what race should I make them?' Skin color means nothing. What matters is the personality of the characters. Would they like Avatar: The Last Airbender? Depends on the person's personal tastes.

    Also, if you're so ashamed of being racist, why are you continuing to do so? It'll likely be long and difficult, but you can get rid of that bigotry if you so choose. Think of it as more building a better you than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  8. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    Because the world treats me no different if I try to be a good person or just acknowledge that I'm evil. I've given up on making an effort.

    Acknowledging that I have an invisible R floating over my head makes it not hurt so much when I'm minding my own business and they sneer at me.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know it's none of my business, but you did speak of it on a public forum so I feel compelled to react. This attitude of yours reminds me of a drug addict justifying their addiction, and even blaming the world either for the addiction itself, or for 'not helping them enough' to break out of it. It's a strangely self-defeatist yet selfish and small-minded attitude that ultimately hurts them most of all.

    In any case, you are right, nobody has the right to force you into not being a racist. It is, after all, your personal choice to remain one, even though in all likelihood you had no control over type of upbringing that made you into one. But racism isn't genetically determined, ie. it isn't 'natural', rather, it's a product of the teachings from our environment so in many ways, it's imposed on us. Unlike sexual orientation, which is genetically determined and upbringing of any type and style can equally have no effect on the person's inborn inclinations. Also, being gay doesn't hurt anyone, while the same can't be said of racism, so the two cannot be equated. I am only saying this in hope of helping, because I take your shame over the issue as a sign you would feel better if you can give up the prejudice.
     
  10. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    Ummm... okay. So are your characters black people who are ashamed of being black (hence the 'acting white' thing?) Because I can kind of understand that, even if I'm not sure what 'acting white' would encompass. What I mean to say is, is race an important issue in this story? And if it is and you self-identify as being racist, it would seem difficult (perhaps not impossible, I don't know) for you to explore this issue without inserting prejudicial ideas.

    And asking if black people would like Avatar and if they would get bullied is just mind-boggling to me. I'm not black but I'm pretty sure--as a human being--that people of all races and backgrounds like all sorts of things. And bullying, uh yeah, I'm pretty sure bullying is a 'know no race' but be a #&!@ kind of thing. I doubt there's a single person anywhere who hadn't been bullied (or bullied) in some form at some point.

    I don't want to make any assumptions but the fact that you say you're ashamed of your racism indicated to me that you understand and feel a moral conflict with being racist so perhaps that's something you do need to self-explore further--maybe writing is a way to do that???
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I can see your point. If the world wants you to be evil, why not just go ahead and be that way? We even have a TV Tropes page for that for heaven's sake! So clearly you're not alone in the whole 'I want to change, but everyone sees me as evil so I'm gonna just give up and continue being what they want me to be' department.

    But here's my thinking. If you want to change, that's more than enough. It doesn't matter if half of your town believes you to be some racist Confederate flag-waving, neo-Nazi hick. If you believe you're better than this, and you want to change, then that's all the prompt you need. Just know this: For everyone who believes that a bigot cannot redeem themselves, there is always someone who believes that anyone can change if they allow themselves to change. With that said, though, it'll take a while, and not everyone will be willing to stop thinking you as evil. Doesn't matter. You seem to really want to change, and that's a very good step. :) Don't stop trying to better yourself.
     
  12. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    The only effect my racism has is to effect blood pressure in susceptible individuals, the same as being gay around someone who has a problem with it. I'm not telling them what they can or can't do, except they can't sleep with me because their pheremones are a turn-off. The only interaction I had since moving here is noticing them sneering at me on the street, and that's how I realized I was racist.

    I suppose that I could just "forget" that there is a such thing as difference. Last time someone made a huge deal was when I acknowledged the difference between how Mexicans speak and how people in Spain speak.


    When I say "acting white" I'm talking about not fitting in with stereotypes at all. I won't really know who she is until I start writing her, but I don't think she's ashamed or really thinks about it. I'm thinking that she might have grown up isolated from the black community, or that her parents didn't pass on certain aspects of the culture before they died.

    I'm thinking part of her character was informed by Tom Dobois and Huey Freeman in how they contrast with the rest of the characters on The Boondocks cartoon.

    And that I ask questions just proves my ignorance.

    It might actually be funny to have her be white with blonde hair. Since it looks like no one in that world is blonde, she'd have to cope with looking out-of-place.
     
  13. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^This would have to be one of the most bizarre things I read in a long time. :eek: :unsure: My number one policy is that you can't help those who don't want it, so I won't waste my time. I hope things work out for you, tc.
     
  14. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    I feel like we're running with different definitions of racism.
     
  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm going to have to agree with Jazzabel, Smoke Z. The only person who can truly change you is yourself. While I'd hope you'd find the courage and strength to change yourself for the better, you must decide how badly you want it; if you're willing to do it even if the world thinks you're a racist pile of crap. We can't make you change.
     

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