Oh, the Irony

 While I'd love to discuss the finer points of Trickinology and analyze the way govt teams up with real estate to shuffle and scatter low-income people of color, there are more pressing matters. That being that I was duped. See, the article Unequal Universes tips its hat to speculative fiction as being ever-critical of neolibralism [the culprit of all that is problematic in "Trickinology"]. I read the title and thought I'd get to read a think piece surrounding othering and the lack of diversity in speculative/science/fantasy fiction. One might say it's my fault, having made the assumption after reading the title and mention of Game of Thrones in the first paragraph. I would disagree. 

Before I got full Negative Nelson on the I will concede that speculative fiction does indeed do well at paralleling/critiquing power the power imbalances that allow neolibralism to such a problematic thing. I'll also admit that, were it to cover more than that specific topic, the article may have been too long. That being said, what about race and representation. Let's look at Game of Thrones first. 

 

1. Why is everyone white?  (except the slaves that Kelesi saves and then makes her army [which technically keeps them as slaves] and the rest of the people from their region) 

2. Why do they all have British accents?

3. Where are the non white people at? 

4. Why is it when they show up they're trouble? 

5. Why do they also have British Accents? 

This a question I've asked time and time again with every fantasy based game/film thing I've consumed since and before the first time I've watched Game of Thrones. The tales always cover uprisings and the down-trodden triumphing over the powerful elite but it never touches racism. If it does it takes the route of others vs. humans. 

Warcraft 3 is a good example. 
I've played through the story a few times, finishing once and have always felt bad for the orcs. 
I looked at them as the people of color in that experience because they were the only alternative to milk-skinned, straight haired folk. Beyond that, they felt like the most abused and downtrodden of the races. Hated by all and enslaved by grand evil to which many of them were helpless to fight against. There were even those that relished in the Demons' seductive magicks. 

Like our Gul'dan boy here. 

 

There parallels are clear. You have the "evil demons behind the scenes making working through the orcs; They promise them power and better lives if they give in to the will of Demon kind. 

That is the socio-economic forces that perpetuate the idea that people of color from low-income should relinquish themselves to the idea that they are lesser. Pushed through the media and by peers, the idea that trying to be anything but "hood" is lame is a very real thing. Anything that deviates from that status quo makes you a target. 
You're trying to do well in school? You doing something that's "for white people"? You become a target; berated by peers, bullies and even your families. 

What happens then is you get those like Gul'dan who give in to it and looks to corrupt as many others as he can. This leads to division among the people, splitting them up and causing war between them, keeping them weak; this allows the demons (Actual demons in Warcraft, figurative in real life) to keep pushing their influence. Beyond that, it make the effected to be seen as a dangerous blight that must be seperated and dealt with. 

Enter the whites...er...elves/humans. Last year's World of Warcraft movie did a clearer job of highlighting the racial prejudice. It shows first contact with orcs and humans. The humans (all anglo/white people) happen upon the orcs (the only peoples that don't fall into that category) and decide they need to be eradicated. Yes there are nuances and fights and each side thinks they're right, etc. etc. but forget all that.

People of color are not represented well in fantasy media. 
And while it's worth talking about the only issues that are dealt with in fantasy media over is the struggle between the elite and regular folk. It rarely or barely ever touches race. Maybe that's because then they'll have to admit to themselves that making all the humans anglo british white folk and everything that isn't that a literal monster is a tad bit racist. 

That was I wild ride, I know. 
Thanks for taking it with me

Signing off till next time.