DnD addresses racism.

Hawki

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You'd have to ask the people who want to make that argument.

Like I said, I think you can influenced by what you are trying to do - essentially, a cognitive bias such as confirmation bias. If someone does research on Tolkein and starts with the hypothesis "Tolkein was racist", what they will likely do is assess everything they can find that seems supportive of that notion and flag them, then bundle them up and make the argument. However, had they not started with that hypothesis, it's likely many of those same things would have passed without notice.
I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here, but I don't need to go searching for evidence for Tolkien having prejudice to see that he had prejudice. At the very least, the whole orcs being akin to "least lovely Mongol types" and the troll-men being black skinned and red lipped, and on the enemy's side, and that the "good" human groups are all based on Europeans, and the "bad" human groups are based on Asians, Arabs, and Africans? Yeah.

The flipside of that is that if one boils down LotR to "white humans good, brown/black humans bad," then that's really a surface-level reading of the text.

I can really apply this to any media. A lot of stuff that's accused of being racist/sexist, I have to ask, "really?" Of course, the flipside of that is that if you don't resemble the group being portrayed in a certain manner, you're less likely to pick up on it. Like, I recall an article by a Muslim explaining why the depiction of the Calormenes in Chronicles of Narnia made him feel iffy, so I don't doubt the feeling is genuine. On the other hand, if one's authority to speak is bound to their identity, then literary analysis got a lot more convoluted.
 

Saint of M

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I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here, but I don't need to go searching for evidence for Tolkien having prejudice to see that he had prejudice. At the very least, the whole orcs being akin to "least lovely Mongol types" and the troll-men being black skinned and red lipped, and on the enemy's side, and that the "good" human groups are all based on Europeans, and the "bad" human groups are based on Asians, Arabs, and Africans? Yeah.

The flipside of that is that if one boils down LotR to "white humans good, brown/black humans bad," then that's really a surface-level reading of the text.

I can really apply this to any media. A lot of stuff that's accused of being racist/sexist, I have to ask, "really?" Of course, the flipside of that is that if you don't resemble the group being portrayed in a certain manner, you're less likely to pick up on it. Like, I recall an article by a Muslim explaining why the depiction of the Calormenes in Chronicles of Narnia made him feel iffy, so I don't doubt the feeling is genuine. On the other hand, if one's authority to speak is bound to their identity, then literary analysis got a lot more convoluted.
Part of that might also what would have been common of his day and age. Like it or not, most people are creatures of their erra, and even those that are ahead of the times still have some issues, see JK Rowling.

Yes, saying it was just how things were was a cop out, by the time the story was set that's how things were for people of that time. It took how long for women to get into some colleges in the United States? It took how long for us to get a Black President? It took us how long to have the L the G and the B in children's cartoons?

I think the best course is to take the best aspects of a thing, figure out why it worked, and shave off the problematic areas and create something of our own to fill in the gaps.

After all," Its always been that way," is amongst the saddest of all phrases.
 
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Hawki

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Part of that might also what would have been common of his day and age. Like it or not, most people are creatures of their erra, and even those that are ahead of the times still have some issues, see JK Rowling.
I'm not exactly disagreeing, but taking off my DA cap, there's elements of this post that hint at stuff I'm uneasy about.

Starting with J.K., the reappraisal of the Harry Potter series strikes me as absolutely bizzare. This isn't about Rowling's trans comments, this is about the work itself. Here's a list of sins I can name off the top of my head:

-The series is anti-semitic (because of the goblins)

-The series promotes chattel slavery (because of the house elves), though also promotes white savourism, because Hermione tries to help the house elves, yet is still promoting chattel slavery because the house elves aren't freed.

-Harry goes to work for the Ministry, but does nothing to change the "systems of oppression." Also, he's an auror, which is a wizard cop.

-The series promotes erasure (the Death Eaters are analogous to Nazis, but while Mudbloods are analogous to Jews, there's no actual Jews, so therefore the series is fine with Jews being removed from the world)

-The series promotes blood purity and elitism (all these wizards and wizards go to this one school, then send their children to the same school, ergo, the series is supporting the British upper classes and the Muggles are the lower classes who are in their appropriate place). The fact that the books reject the concept of "blood purity" doesn't matter, the series is still promoting blood purity regardless as to whether Rowling knows it or not.

-The series is racist because there aren't enough POC (despite the fact that the books are set in the years 1990-1998, and was written from 1997 to 2007; someone actually did the maths, cross-referencing it with Britain's demographics at the time, POC characters are actually over-represented by the maths).

-The series is sexist, because we only see things from Harry's perspective, and don't see the girls doing their own thing. Also, Harry's relationship with Cho is a dogwhistle for fetishizing Asians, because Harry has a relationship with Cho and rejects her, ending up with Ginny, who's white, and therefore, the series is supporting the idea that Harry should stay with his own "kind."

-The series is homophobic, because originally, lycanthropy wasn't a metaphor for AIDS, which was therefore appropriating the gay experience by not making Lupin gay. After it was confirmed that lycanthropy WAS a metaphor for AIDS, the series remained homophobic, because Fenrir Greyback tries to spread his lycanthropy, and that's a reference to the gay scare. Also, Grindlewald is apparently gay, but because he's a villain, the series hates gay people.

(I'll actually grant anyone their frustration with Rowling trying to claim Dumbledore is gay without ever being shown it)

-Crimes of Grindlewald is expressing support for the alt-right, because Grindlewald's followers use the tactic of not invoking confrontation, but daring their opponents to do so. This happens, ergo, alt-right support (I thought that scene was a criticism of Grindlewald's tactics, but little did I know that the work is actually expressing support for the alt-right)

-The films are promoting Brexit, because the epilogue takes place in 2017, and shows the mostly white cast at the end where everything's happy, which is a dogwhistle that Britain will be a much better place with only white people.

I seriously can't make this up. Ten, even five years ago, I'd have sworn that such comments were either parody, or from people who hadn't read the books, but no, apparently there's people who genuinely believe this. Funnily enough, not the children the books are actually aimed at, but of course, they're just ignorant. Or something. It's why I roll my eyes when I've read articles stating, and I quote, parents choosing Percy Jackson for their children over Harry Potter because it's a "progressive alternative." Parents of course have the right to choose what material their children read, but what I want to know is what happens when Percy Jackson becomes a pariah in certain circles. Because everything I've written above, I can just as easily make PJ seem like a cesspit of bigotry as well using the same logic.

Or, I dunno, tell me how I'm wrong or something.

I think the best course is to take the best aspects of a thing, figure out why it worked, and shave off the problematic areas and create something of our own to fill in the gaps.
Again, on the surface, there's nothing wrong with this statement, but it hints at another iffy idea I've seen.

When Rowling made her comments, I saw, without hyperbole, people saying that "we should take the series (back) from her." The idea that HP no longer belongs to Rowling, but belongs to the fans.

Now to be clear, I've seen these sentiments echoed elsewhere. The idea that creators "owe" their fans, and that the fans have joint ownership over an IP. We saw this with Star Wars for instance, and that line of thinking is part of why we got drek like Rise of Skywalker. Now, the post-Deathly Hallows works have managed to be lacklustre on their own (Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts, etc.)

In practice, this thing has always gone on, and it doesn't have to be through the lens of some "ism." The Jackson films removed lots of stuff from the books, but is that because Tom Bombadil is problematic, or because the story grinds to a halt when he's encountered in the books? Want more LGBT stuff? HarryxDraco is a popular ship on ff.net. Want more POC? Well, OCs are a thing, or if you're into Deviantart, you can alter the ethnicity of the characters (black!Hermione was a thing before Cursed Child in fandom). None of this is an issue. I've done stuff along similar lines. But I wouldn't think for a moment that I 'own' the IP.
 

Buyetyen

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Or, I dunno, tell me how I'm wrong or something.
You're not wrong. Some of the criticisms are indeed a reach and were probably thought up by someone with a habitual axe to grind. That said, Harry Potter is informed by British sensibilities. Which is fine. In a vacuum. I get how for some people Britain carries cultural baggage for one reason or another. Any implicit biases that Rowling may personally have could easily make it onto the page without her consciously thinking of it and most of us just kind of take it for granted. I do it too, it's why I have lots of different people read what I write before I work on the next draft. And let's be honest, the series' mythology is a goddamn mess. It's jumbled, slapdash and at times incoherent. The more Rowling tinkers with it, the more the flaws show. Kind of like George Lucas with the original Star Wars trilogy, come to think it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the books as a kid and in high school, but... Rowling's actions have cast a shadow over the series. For a lot of people, that's a deal breaker For a lot of other people, that's not a deal breaker. And you know what? Mazel tav! Unironically enjoy the thing you like. Me personally? My interest in the series waned over the years to the point where I don't feel like spending the mental effort to think of any of its qualities that elevate it above the author. I've just... kinda moved on, you know?

I also agree that there is a toxic element of entitlement among fandom right now. There are fans out there now who think that the creator owes them for their patronage, which is deranged. If someone sees art that egotistically and transactionally, there are some deeper issues at work here. That said, a lot of it basically amounts to a toddler having a tantrum and that Disney caved to this on Rise of the Skywalker so pathetically is just baffling. They're Disney! They have the money to outlast some pissed off nerds by a lifetime. I get that online harassment campaigns have created some truly horrible results, especially for the non-rich employees who can't fight back. Whatever the solution to it is, Rise of the Skywalker ain't it. The end result left more people unsatisfied than prom night sex.

So what do we do about that? Getting social media to more thoroughly enforce codes of conduct and terms of service on their sites would be a nice start.
 

Hawki

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Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the books as a kid and in high school, but... Rowling's actions have cast a shadow over the series. For a lot of people, that's a deal breaker For a lot of other people, that's not a deal breaker. And you know what? Mazel tav! Unironically enjoy the thing you like. Me personally? My interest in the series waned over the years to the point where I don't feel like spending the mental effort to think of any of its qualities that elevate it above the author. I've just... kinda moved on, you know?
I'm in a similar boat. I grew up with the HP books, and really liked them, but they weren't the be all and end all of my reading experience, nor were they the only JF/YA series that people were massively invested in at the time. And as an adult, I certainly look on HP fondly, but there's plenty of IPs that I value more. And if someone says that they don't want to read the series based on Rowling's views, that's fine. She's not the first author to not be squeaky clean, and won't be the last either. But on the other hand...

Why this series? Why did HP become so popular, and why did perceptions shift on it so fast? When it came out, it experienced its own branch of Satanic panic, and people laughed. Nowadays though? Well, look at the list of complaints I dredged up. Rowling's brought some of this on herself mind you, trying to claim that the books were more woke than they were. Dumbledore is gay, even if we never see it. Lycanthropy IS a metaphor for AIDS. A black Hermione is no issue, I never wrote her to be anything (Prisoner of Azkaban might disagree). But on the other hand, a lot of questions I've seen seem to be bereft of context, or criticisms. Like, again, Cho Chang. One specific criticism I've received is that she's the only East Asian character in the novels. What I want to know is that considering that the Chinese population of Britain was, and still is, less than 1% of the population, exactly how many Chinese characters are you expecting? You want to criticize Cho Chang's naming? Fine. Think she's a bad character? Fine. But on the other hand, well, you can cite the complaint I made up above. And, look, I'm really not fond of HarryxGinny either, but is anyone seriously suggesting that Harry ending up with Ginny rather than Cho is an anti-miscegenation dogwhistle?

Apparently, in some circles, the answer is yes. :(

I get that online harassment campaigns have created some truly horrible results, especially for the non-rich employees who can't fight back. Whatever the solution to it is, Rise of the Skywalker ain't it. The end result left more people unsatisfied than prom night sex.
Yeah, there's that.

Rose Tico comes to mind especially. On one hand, I didn't like her character in Last Jedi. On the other, the treatment of Kelly Marie Tran was disgusting. I was actually kind of hoping that Rose would have a significant role in Rise, because anything else might feel like backing down to the mob. Now, Rise has far bigger problems than Rose's presence (or lack of it), but it's a really uncomfortable presence. Screech loud enough, abuse whoever you want, and you'll be rewarded. And by "rewarded," I mean a mediocre film that even people who detested Last Jedi don't seem to like much.

Frankly, a lot of media criticism seems like a poisoned well. Anyone who says they dislike Ghostbusters 2016 will have to, at some point, specify that they're not sexist for instance (unless they are sexist, and let's face it, some of the criticism WAS sexist). I'm not sure how or why this started, but it hasn't done media appraisal much good for anyone. :(
 
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Saint of M

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With Ghostbusters, alot of the flack had to do with the fact they were women, which takes away from some legit criticisms of the film while not accounting for the fact all the main actors were working their butts off to show off what they can do. Criticism such fact the big bad does what he does because he was a nerd that was bullied and now gets to have his revenge on the world because people were mean to him.

Or the fact that this whole SNAFU brought up a very important fact about pop culture: What mattered to me and you, and was a life changing part of your history when it comes to entertainment isn't the same for everyone. The film got remade because the people that thought remaking it was a good idea didn't know its cultural worth.

Not that this is a bad thing, as we got several good films this way. How many of us knew Al Pacino's version of Scarface was a Remake of a more traditional Gangster film?

But the concept if they were going to remake it needed to be more versatile if it was to work.


Here's a couple of example of that:

In 1913, a Western Novel called the Three Godfathers was published. It was about three wild west outlaws that find a woman about to give birth and die in the process in the middle of nowhere and so do the right thing and try to raise it until they can get the child to the baby's family. The concept worked and was made into a John Wayne movie in 1948.

However the core idea of three unlikely individuals to act as parental figures to a baby would be seen later in films as different from each other as can be like Ice Age, Three Men and A Baby, and Tokyo Godfathers.

Seven Samurai, a tale of 7 down on their luck ronin hired to protect a village besieged by bandits, saw three different remakes. One as a classic of the Western Genre called the Magnificent Seven. A Remake of that that added more diversity in personality and appearance to the cast of heroes and villains. And between the two cowboy films a scifi anime series that had science fantasy, steampunk, and cyber punk all rolled into one.
 

Agema

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Or the fact that this whole SNAFU brought up a very important fact about pop culture: What mattered to me and you, and was a life changing part of your history when it comes to entertainment isn't the same for everyone. The film got remade because the people that thought remaking it was a good idea didn't know its cultural worth.
Hollywood has remade more sacred cows than we can stop to list. I don't think Ghostbusters is actually that much more a cultural gem than Cape Fear, True Grit, Dawn Of The Dead, etc. All these movies involve a certain number of doomsayers glum in the knowledge that the result is almost guaranteed to be worse than the original classic: it doesn't and never has stopped them being made. I think you're dead wrong that they don't know the cultural worth of these movies. The cultural worth of these movies is precisely why they are remade. Partly by soulless corporations with no interest other than the bottom line, but often also with people who love and esteem the original, but who are motivated by having some of that magic for themselves rather than leaving something forever preserved in aspic.
 

Hawki

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Hollywood has remade more sacred cows than we can stop to list. I don't think Ghostbusters is actually that much more a cultural gem than Cape Fear, True Grit, Dawn Of The Dead, etc. All these movies involve a certain number of doomsayers glum in the knowledge that the result is almost guaranteed to be worse than the original classic: it doesn't and never has stopped them being made. I think you're dead wrong that they don't know the cultural worth of these movies. The cultural worth of these movies is precisely why they are remade. Partly by soulless corporations with no interest other than the bottom line, but often also with people who love and esteem the original, but who are motivated by having some of that magic for themselves rather than leaving something forever preserved in aspic.
This might be beside the point, but of all those IPs, I'm pretty sure that Ghostbusters is a 'shinier gem' then the other IPs you listed. All of them arguably entered the zeitgeist to some extent, but Ghostbusters is the one that developed an actual fandom around it (like, games, books, comics, cartoons, etc.) Dawn of the Dead arguably has some of that, but not nearly to the same extent, and if anything, has been overtaken by The Walking Dead. Ghostbusters though? I'm not sure what other franchise does what Ghostbusters did, and when other franchises tried to (e.g. Evolution), failed.
 

Schadrach

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Then they released the actual game and it was immediately noticed that in dice rolling example, one of the example results was 1488.
Always hated the whole "use of certain numbers is a dogwhistle" thing, in no small part because 1 and 11 together, 12, 13, 14, 18, 23, 21 and 2 and 12 together, 23 and 16 together, 28, 311, 318, 33 (especially if combined with 6), 38, 43, 511, 737, 83, 88, 1423, 1488, 9% and 100% are all recognized as hate symbols by the ADL.

I could easily turn reasonable sample rolls from basically any tabletop game into racist dogwhistles trivially as a consequence.

Hell, I'd bet I can argue that a percentile table from an RPG is full of racist dog whistling if I tried, so long as it's a table for some kind of event or random magical effect or something else more narratively involved than "list of common melee weapons". Hell, I might try exactly that with the 5e Sorcerer wild magic table later, just as an exercise (I'm trying to roll a 5e character and trying to decide between Warlock and Sorcerer, so I've been looking at that part of that book anyways).

This coupled with how clan Brujah had "Neo-Nazi" as a character archetype drew criticism for both dog whistling and open racism. It didn't really help that a lot of the artwork was actual photos of people and the Brujah section was full of PoCs in tribal tattooes, nose rings and generally felt like a poor attempt at showing indigenous people... in the clan that's all about short temper, violent uprising and being a pain in the ass.
It's been a long while since I've played VtM. Aren't the Brujah the "rebels who occasionally have a cause" clan? Seems like "Neo-Nazi" would actually be a fitting archetype for them. Not all monsters are really nice cuddly progressives underneath all the blood drinking, black magic and political intrigue.

Of course, nowadays they'd have to write the Malkavians out of the game entirely. There was also a sourcebook on Gypsies and rules for playing them and their mystical powers, similar to the books for Vampires, Mages, etc published back in the 90s. Have to just burn that one.

The final nail in the coffin was the release of the Camarilla sourcebook, in which they pushed the story that the current Chechen persecution (which includes midnight raids and concentration camps) of GLBTQ+ persons is in fact a smoke screen created by the powerful Vampires that run Chechnya as a way to hide the fact that they are creating blood farms by abducting people.
Major historical events as secret coverups for things Vampires are doing is a long running trope in Vampire. The mistake here is that they picked something too recent, and something that harmed GLBTQ+ persons which it is verboten to use as that kind of pawn.
 

Thaluikhain

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Major historical events as secret coverups for things Vampires are doing is a long running trope in Vampire. The mistake here is that they picked something too recent, and something that harmed GLBTQ+ persons which it is verboten to use as that kind of pawn.
Didn't at some point they say "but not the Holocaust, don't play with that" or something? Which, setting the bar low, is more than a lot of that sort of fantasy manages.
 

Gethsemani

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Always hated the whole "use of certain numbers is a dogwhistle" thing, in no small part because 1 and 11 together, 12, 13, 14, 18, 23, 21 and 2 and 12 together, 23 and 16 together, 28, 311, 318, 33 (especially if combined with 6), 38, 43, 511, 737, 83, 88, 1423, 1488, 9% and 100% are all recognized as hate symbols by the ADL.

I could easily turn reasonable sample rolls from basically any tabletop game into racist dogwhistles trivially as a consequence.

Hell, I'd bet I can argue that a percentile table from an RPG is full of racist dog whistling if I tried, so long as it's a table for some kind of event or random magical effect or something else more narratively involved than "list of common melee weapons". Hell, I might try exactly that with the 5e Sorcerer wild magic table later, just as an exercise (I'm trying to roll a 5e character and trying to decide between Warlock and Sorcerer, so I've been looking at that part of that book anyways).
Yeah, I felt the whole thing was pretty weak too. Especially since 1's increases the risk of botching (critical failures) and any die >8 is a success. To illustrate that particular example you need multiple successes, a 1 and one die of any other number, so there aren't a lot of combinations. That being said, someone should have caught that the example was 1488 and switched out either the 4 or an 8. It was either sloppy and unintended or entirely intended and part of the ultra-edge that occasionally makes VtM 5th ed almost embarrassing, not as a legit dog whistle.

It's been a long while since I've played VtM. Aren't the Brujah the "rebels who occasionally have a cause" clan? Seems like "Neo-Nazi" would actually be a fitting archetype for them. Not all monsters are really nice cuddly progressives underneath all the blood drinking, black magic and political intrigue.
Brujahs are weird in that I don't think WW's writers ever really saw eye to eye on what they were. Either they were these ultra-progressive radicals that had some kind of plan for vampire equality (and maybe open vampire/human relations) or they were rebels that would fight anything as long as they stuck it to the man or they were just violent jerks looking for an excuse to pick a fight. The only consistent portrayal of Brujahs is that they are all very individualistic and often independent. Of all the ways the Brujah have been portrayed though, only the latter really works for a neo-nazi Brujah and only then as a Brujah who cares little for the politics and only wants an excuse to beat someone to a pulp. For most VtM fans, the idea of a goose stepping Brujah feels really weird, if not downright stupid, because the accepted idea is that Brujahs might embrace any weird ideology if it means getting to fight, but their desire for personal freedom means that they are unlikely to embrace any ideology that forces them to submit to the masses or conform to fit in. This desire for personal freedom was always their chief problem with the Camarilla, after all.

Of course, nowadays they'd have to write the Malkavians out of the game entirely. There was also a sourcebook on Gypsies and rules for playing them and their mystical powers, similar to the books for Vampires, Mages, etc published back in the 90s. Have to just burn that one.
Malkavians are still in and only moderately less prejudiced in their portrayal of mental illness, only now putting way more emphasis on the 'strange insights' part. The thing is that pretty much every thing made in the late-80's and 90's has aged terribly in the last 30 years. VtM is no exception and that's fine. What's not fine is keeping weird racism, sexism, ableism and all that other baggage around because you can't or won't update your product for modern sensibilities.

Major historical events as secret coverups for things Vampires are doing is a long running trope in Vampire. The mistake here is that they picked something too recent, and something that harmed GLBTQ+ persons which it is verboten to use as that kind of pawn.
Sure, but this is probably the most offensive thing they've written, short of the Shoah book which is just terrible all around and deserves all the scorn it can get. It is not that you can't make real world events into suitable lore for Vampire, that's the life blood of the game after all. It is that you need a certain tact and finesse when doing so and WW displayed absolutely none of it when they wrote the Chechnya plot lines.
 

Schadrach

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Why does it matter though, I don't particularly care how other people play, and hey if someone doesn't want to read the lore to get into the game I don't see how that's wrong.
It doesn't, until someone decides that the game is racist *because* they ignored the lore and then demands it be changed in accordance with their preference. Then sparks up an outrage mob, who also don't especially care about the lore (and many of whom aren't even interested in the work at all), but only that it's the cause du jour and they have to make it clear that they are GOOD PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY AND DEFINITELY NOT WHATEVER KIND OF -IST OR -PHOBIC IT IS THIS TIME. See why Larian Studios got threatened with violence over an exposed midriff.

By this logic, any evil fantasy "monster" is inherently racist, regardless of intelligence, strength, or context.
Illithid Lives Matter!

I could never get behind the idea of purely evil races except things like illithids where a hive mind is involved.
They're organized around an elder brain, but clearly illithids are not controlled totally by a hive mind or else things like alhoons and illithiliches would not exist. Their existence is in defiance of the elder brain of their community. And then there are flayer-kin that are a result of illithid tadpoles being given hosts which they can't put through ceremorphosis quite properly, such as mind witnesses and brain stealer dragons (who sometimes rule illithid communities that lack an elder brain).
 

Schadrach

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and switched out either the 4 or an 8.
So long as the 4 was switched for a 5, 6, or 7. Because 12 and 13 are also hate symbols, according to the ADL. But 16 is only a hate symbol if paired with 23 (because it represents P for power, it needs the 23 for W to be a hate symbol).

Switching the 8 for a 9 might also be problematic, as 9 allegedly represents the percentage of the world that is white, so "1489" could theoretically be interpreted as the Fourteen Words, H (for Hitler), and 9% are white.

Either they were these ultra-progressive radicals ... rebels that would fight anything as long as they stuck it to the man ... just violent jerks looking for an excuse to pick a fight.
All facets of the same thing, depending on how you channel it.

only the latter really works for a neo-nazi Brujah and only then as a Brujah who cares little for the politics and only wants an excuse to beat someone to a pulp.
Disagree. So long as you live in a society in which Neo-Nazi ideals are fringe and extreme, going Neo-Nazi still fits within "sticking it to the man" (which I'd argue is really the "core" of Brujah), unless and until they actually got those goals accomplished.
 

Gethsemani

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Disagree. So long as you live in a society in which Neo-Nazi ideals are fringe and extreme, going Neo-Nazi still fits within "sticking it to the man" (which I'd argue is really the "core" of Brujah), unless and until they actually got those goals accomplished.
I mean, sort of. But it all comes back to the idea that Brujahs are also fiercely individualistic and don't seek out authoritarian organizations. It is not that I can't see a Brujah who's all into conspiracies about international Jewish bankers and such and decides to fight the international banking system. It is that I can't see a Brujah who willingly puts on a brown, black or white shirt and starts goose stepping with a tiki torch. Just as little as I can see a Brujah who would put on a red star or hammer and sickle and be all into Stalinism. Those things simply fly in the face of the idea that Brujahs are all individualists who won't take orders. If we are talking RP terms, I'd argue that a Brujah concept like that would be 'misguided commie revolutionary' or 'neo-nazi poser', to really reflect that they are just in it for the fight and not because they are convinced of an idea that goes against the core of their clan.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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The same can be said towards the people who want it changed. It is nothing more than a story building block. You can project your ideals upon anything and therefore nothing should be allowed?

These groups can find something offensive about a plain grey room. If you are wiling to bend the knee at every little provocation, then you fuel them to demand more and more things changed or ultimately REMOVED.
I mean, I've been hearing "always evil races are lazy and dumb"/"what are you, liberal?" since I started playing RPGs 20 years ago, from ye ol' grognards who occasionally sat at the same table as Gygax (or so they claim)
It should've been changed 20 years ago because "is it evil for a Paladin to shank an orc baby and would they lose their special Good Guy powers for doing so" is a stupid ass argument to see play out in real life.
 

Buyetyen

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I mean, I've been hearing "always evil races are lazy and dumb"/"what are you, liberal?" since I started playing RPGs 20 years ago, from ye ol' grognards who occasionally sat at the same table as Gygax (or so they claim)
It should've been changed 20 years ago because "is it evil for a Paladin to shank an orc baby and would they lose their special Good Guy powers for doing so" is a stupid ass argument to see play out in real life.
The alignment system really has shown its age. It can still be used to tell good stories, but the kind of good stories you can tell are a bit more limited. I've been at a couple tables experimenting with new takes on the alignment system and some of the stuff they've come up with is really interesting.

And on-topic regarding evil races, the more I learn about life in general the harder it becomes for me to suspend my disbelief that fantasy races are all monocultures. I've actually been tinkering with the idea of using the D&D races with a bit more variety. Nothing saying you can't have one elf nation be a traditionalist monarchy and the other be a democracy.
 

Satinavian

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I mean, I've been hearing "always evil races are lazy and dumb"/"what are you, liberal?" since I started playing RPGs 20 years ago, from ye ol' grognards who occasionally sat at the same table as Gygax (or so they claim)
It should've been changed 20 years ago because "is it evil for a Paladin to shank an orc baby and would they lose their special Good Guy powers for doing so" is a stupid ass argument to see play out in real life.
D&D was the first commercially successful RPG. But it got competitors soon enough, Some copied more, others less.

The one thing nearly no one copied were alignments and evil races. In a way it has changed more than 20 years ago because most roleplayers found this stupid or disturbing even then.
 
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Terminal Blue

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-The series is anti-semitic (because of the goblins)
I don't think anyone has actually argued that the series is intentionally anti-semitic. Rowling has made her position on anti-semitism very clear. However, the characterisation of goblins builds on a lot of traditional anti-semitic caricatures.

Generally, if you're going to depict a secretive cabal of greedy bankers who control the economy and only trust their own kind, you're probably referencing (consciously or otherwise) traditional anti-semitic ideas about Jews. That's why, if you need to do this for some reason, don't give them hooked noses.

The series promotes chattel slavery (because of the house elves), though also promotes white savourism, because Hermione tries to help the house elves, yet is still promoting chattel slavery because the house elves aren't freed.
Again, I don't think anyone has actually argued that the series actually promotes chattel slavery. However, it does depict a world in which slavery is, for the most part, a benevolent and functional institution, where the only issues stem from rare and individual incidents of mistreatment, where the enslaved races are fiercely loyal and naturally suited to slavery and where abolitionism is viewed as naive and silly.

Firstly, that's a bit weird. Secondly, it clearly draws (knowingly or otherwise) upon actual, real life anti-abolitionist arguments.

The series promotes blood purity and elitism (all these wizards and wizards go to this one school, then send their children to the same school, ergo, the series is supporting the British upper classes and the Muggles are the lower classes who are in their appropriate place). The fact that the books reject the concept of "blood purity" doesn't matter, the series is still promoting blood purity regardless as to whether Rowling knows it or not.
Firstly, the series does display a weird preoccupation/nostaliga with traditional British public school culture (public schools, confusingly, being elite private schools).

Secondly, the series doesn't really reject the concept of blood purity. It depicts a world where the capacity for magic is hereditary, where magical bloodlines exist and where marriage between wizards is very clearly the traditional norm. Everyone within this setting is aware of these facts. What is rejected within the books is overt mistreatment of others on the basis of blood purity.

The series is racist because there aren't enough POC (despite the fact that the books are set in the years 1990-1998, and was written from 1997 to 2007; someone actually did the maths, cross-referencing it with Britain's demographics at the time, POC characters are actually over-represented by the maths).
The issue is less the number of POC characters, and more the fact that the POC characters who do exist tend to be irrelevant and often represent obnoxious or reductive stereotypes. Cho Chang, for example, beyond having a name which sounds like a racist joke about Chinese names, is a character whose only function in the story is to date people, be a love interest and be a weak character so that the real love interest appears stronger by comparison. POC characters are generally treated like scenery, rather than being fully fleshed out characters.

The series is homophobic, because originally, lycanthropy wasn't a metaphor for AIDS, which was therefore appropriating the gay experience by not making Lupin gay.
People always knew it was about AIDS. It's not exactly subtle.

The problem is that we have two prominent werewolf characters. One is a sympathetic heterosexual who is unfairly persecuted, and the other is a monster who preys on children and tries to infect them and turn them against their parents.

You cannot claim to be exploring the issue of HIV prejudice while also having a character who represents the absolute worst excesses of HIV prejudice and anti-gay hysteria.

Also, beyond Dumbledore's retroactive gayness, reading him as gay is not hugely flattering. He's an eccentric old man whose only experience of romantic love was a tragic infatuation with a heterosexual who didn't return his affections. If Dumbledore was gay, then he never found a satisfying or loving relationship, or a community which accepted him for who he was, and he died lonely and celibate. The troubling implication of Rowling declaring that she always imagined Dumbledore as gay is that it suggests she views gay lives as inherently tragic and lonely.

I seriously can't make this up.
Some of these do seem pretty made up, or at least distorted far beyond the intent of the original point being made.
 

Schadrach

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It is that I can't see a Brujah who willingly puts on a brown, black or white shirt and starts goose stepping with a tiki torch.
Think more like Neo-Nazi biker and prison gangs and less something like the Traditionalist Worker Party. You know, like the Aryan Brotherhood or Aryan Circle, who to tie things back use the numbers 12 and 13 as symbols, respectively.

It should've been changed 20 years ago because "is it evil for a Paladin to shank an orc baby and would they lose their special Good Guy powers for doing so" is a stupid ass argument to see play out in real life.
I've always argued the answer to that is "Yes, because an orc baby poses no threat to anyone and hasn't actually committed any evil acts, except possibly to it's diapers." You don't get to pre-judge the likelihood it will do wrong in the future and harm it based on that, that's part of the "Lawful" side of the whole "Lawful Good" thing. Regardless of if the orc baby is redeemable, until it's actually done wrong or at least supported the wrongdoing you can't wreak holy judgement upon it.

You cannot claim to be exploring the issue of HIV prejudice while also having a character who represents the absolute worst excesses of HIV prejudice and anti-gay hysteria.
This is like saying you can't bring up Jessica Yaniv when talking about trans bathroom bills because she represents exactly what the people supporting those bills fear. One could argue in HP it's meant to be the equivalent of generationing and stealthing.
 

Terminal Blue

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This is like saying you can't bring up Jessica Yaniv when talking about trans bathroom bills because she represents exactly what the people supporting those bills fear. One could argue in HP it's meant to be the equivalent of generationing and stealthing.
I mean, they're similar in the sense that if anyone tells you they want to have a conversation about HIV stigma and starts talking about generationing or stealthing or pin pick attacks or other urban legends, that person isn't actually capable of having that conversation, and they probably need to go and examine deeply why they fixate on these stories.