Category Archives: Racism

Conscious Discrimination in Gaming as in Life

Conscious Discrimination in Gaming as in Life

Now that I’m dabbling in gaming culture, I’m seeing a common complaint by some gamers that I used to see in politics, and, indeed, in society in general. “Why do you have to bring ___________* into it? I just want to enjoy ____________** without any of that icky identity crap that goes with it!” In case you can’t guess, the people saying this are usually white guys, probably straight, and they don’t understand why they have to deal with race, gender, sexuality when all they want to do is play a damn video game! They can’t understand why we minorities have to harp on these issues. Well, let me try to explain why it’s important to us who are not in the majority.

The default for video games is to have a white, straight male as a protagonist.. Even though gamers themselves are becoming more diverse, the protagonists have remained mostly a monolith. Blah blah blah developers creativity, but as I pointed out in a previous post, if every developer churns out the same product, it’s not really creative, is it? I will say that I started gaming in the heyday of its diversity with you having the ability to choose to customize your character to varying extents in more games than ever. However, if a game gives you one protagonist, you can bet that nine out of ten times*** said protagonist would be a white male. So, those of us tired of playing straight white males are going to point this out from time to time. Not all the time as some straight, white male (SWM) gamers claim. Probably not  even half the time or a quarter, but enough to make it uncomfortable to those who wish to remain oblivious of the issues. Any discussion of an issue that one would rather not face feels like too much attention given to said issue.

If you’re a SWM in gaming, you have the luxury of not having to think about race, gender, sexual identity, etc. All the games cater to you because you are the default norm. When minorities point out the rather obvious fact that they are missing from the equation, it seems like THEY are the ones who are bringing up race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., and injecting it into the conversation. The SWMs don’t see that race/gender/sexuality already play a big part because you don’t come up with that kind of uniformity by accident. No, I’m not saying it’s some kind of conspiracy – I’m saying it’s societal norm that is invisible because of its pervasiveness and acceptability.
Continue Reading

Keepin’ the (White) Man Down

supreme_court_us_2006I knew that President Obama taking the office would unleash all sorts of racism, covert and overt.  We’ve seen this happen with the teabaggers who held up signs that denigrated our president’s ethnicity.  That would be an overt sign of the lingering racism.  We’ve seen it with the “President Obama is not very smart” meme (teleprompter-enabled) that has been circulating through The Village (DC hacks) and through rightwingers’ propaganda machines in general (yeah, FOX, I’m looking at you).  This is a covert sign of the underlying racism that still persists in our country.  

I have read it in many blogs, and not just from Republican supporters.  The PUMAs out there bleat it as well.  President Obama is just not that smart.  He is an affirmative action candidate.  He wouldn’t be where he was if he weren’t black.  Yeah, thanks, Geraldine Ferraro for that early primer on how to be a racist when campaigning against Obama.  In fact, the virulent racism from the Clinton camp is what ultimately tipped me over to Obama’s side.  Yes, there was much sexism on the webs against Clinton, but I didn’t see Obama’s people engage as much in that kind of vile rhetoric.  Clinton’s posse, on the other hand, pushed the lucky black man crap as much as they dared.  Then, they got indignant when called on it and said Obama was playing the race card.

Continue Reading

Viva La Revolution du The! (With the Appropriate Accents)

tea bagOk.  I tried to be above the fray that is the teabaggin’ parties, but I cannot.  Why?  First of all, I want my tea back!  Tea is a wonderful beverage that warms you up on a cold, MN winter night (sniff, bye winter), and it is unfairly being usurped by the right to further their inchoate cause.  

I am Asian!  Give me back my tea, you scumbags!  Besides, the original BOSTON (not American) Tea Party was in protest of the British taxing the colonists when the colonists had no representation in the Parliament.  In other words, taxation without representation.  In the current invocation of Tea Parties, however, they Teabaggers are protesting, well, um, I’m not exactly sure what they are protesting.

President Obama’s higher tax rates!  Except, he cut taxes for 95% of Americans.  In addition, he did not raise taxes on the other 5%, he merely let the Bush taxcuts expire.  Now, that particular tax rate is the same as it was under Clinton.  In addition, it is 10% lower than it was under that great Communist leader, Ronald Reagan.  So, we can dismiss higher tax rates as a legitimate concern.

Continue Reading

Oppression Olympics

Because I am in a pissy mood today, here is a video from Margaret Cho.  It has nothing to do with anything, but it’s funny to me, so you get to see it.

If you are insulted by salty language and such, well then why the fuck are you reading me?  So consider yourself warned. 

Continue Reading

In Praise of Huey Freeman

Ed Note:  The Boondocks is no longer with us in the cartoon form, and I haven’t seen the series, so I can’t comment about that.

                                                                                                                                         6:31 p.m.   1/7/05

aaron_mcgruderWhat’s this I feel coming on? Is it a rant? No, it’s a rave! How novel. How unexpected! I actually have something good to say about something for a change. What is it, you may ask? What has me feeling inspired and hopeful? Why, only the best political commentator, bar none. Who would that be, you’re asking yourself. George Will? Please. Al Franken? Ah, a favorite to be sure, but no, not him. Michael Moore? No, the angry one is not the target of my love this time. What about the oh-so-sexy Jon Stewart? Hm. Let me pause and reflect on the magnificent Mr. Stewart for a minute before reluctantly admitting that it’s not him, either. It’s Huey Freeman, a young African American boy who speaks the truth as he sees it. True, he is paranoid, grumpy, outraged at the world and self-righteous, but hey, so am I, and I’m three times his age.

Who is Huey Freeman, you ask? The star of his very own comic, The Boondocks, written brilliantly by the very talented Aaron McGruder. With his sidekick, Michael Caesar-Brooklyn, fool!-who provides much needed hilarity and his little brother, Riley, who aspires to be the biggest, baddest thug in Woodcrest-not a difficult thing in a milquetoast suburb-Huey takes on political issues with the fearlessness of Jet Li taking down the baddies in a Hong Kong action flick. He is rocking the ‘fro as he tells the truth as he sees it, and he doesn’t back down from confrontation, no matter how ridiculous or inane. In a world of bland, inoffensive comics, Huey–along with his creator, Aaron–is a breath of much-needed fresh air.

Continue Reading