Today I’m going to put on my nerd hat. I’m a tabletop roleplayer. I’ve been playing D&D and similar games since I was 12: 24 years. Over on Tor.com Mordicai Knode wrote a great editorial calling for a greater depiction of diversity in the human characters from the art directors of the upcoming new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Most commenters are in favorite of the idea. Some even pointed to a great Kickstarter project to hire artists to create a free library of art depicting diverse heroes for other creators to use. I applaud this project and encourage you to donate.
Some dudes are all bent out of shape. There were even charges that the original plea and the Kickstarter are “race baiting”. I want to focus on one comment from one commenter, though. You see there’s a totally-not-racist guy calling himself leame who has a hard time identifying with people of color and proposes a “Separate but Equal” approach to fantasy gaming art:
As we can see, leame is making a few important points:
- He’s totally not racist. He recognizes that you can’t blame brown people for liking weird things.
- Adding token non-white characters is kind of cool because how else will you get ninjas?
- He’s white and he hardly ever sees anyone who isn’t white so a game that represented the demographics of the United States would seem to dusky to him. If brown people want to be in his D&D they should move to his neighborhood in the Midwest because any fantasy realm that doesn’t resemble Iowa (I guess, maybe?) is weird and makes him uncomfortable.
- Asking a company to consider diversity is the same as forcing them to do something.
- Black people should make their own D&D and leave his alone.
Does anyone seriously not see the problem with all this? You can all see that this sort of thinking is actually racist, right? You understand that you don’t have to lynch anyone to be a racist. Good.