case: (Default)
Case ([personal profile] case) wrote in [community profile] fandomsecrets2013-08-29 06:50 pm

[ SECRET POST #2431 ]


⌈ Secret Post #2431 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

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Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 015 secrets from Secret Submission Post #347.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 1 2 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ], [ 2 - sjw trolls ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
iggy: by me (Default)

[personal profile] iggy 2013-08-30 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Doesn't SnK take place in a Western European-ish setting? Then in that case it would uh, make perfect sense to have some racial diversity. And a lot of those minorities would be similar to the ones found in the US, so wtf at 'US-centric'.

Not that I agree with the professions that if you DON'T MAKE SO AND SO A POC you're wrong (that's stupid), but if it takes place in GD Western Europe, it's completely logical that some of the cast could be interpreted as POC, Japanese source or not.

I'm tired of people crying 'US-CENTRIC!11!' any time they don't like something. Western Europe is gaining more racial diversity from the year, so that shit don't fly.
Edited 2013-08-30 01:57 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
Quoting from another anon above:

Different places have different large minorities that are underrepresented - for example diversifying in a German setting usually doesn't mean black people (because the media is actually heavily over-representing black people compared to the actual population, thanks to US-American media making its way over and the black minority being only about 1%), it means adding Asian, Turkish, Greek, Italian or Slavic people.

Applying the diversity of a US setting to a foreign setting is kind of offensive, yeah.

/quote

Also adding a black person =/= diversity. See how the other anon included Italian and Slavic in the list of underrepresented minorities? In the US those don't count because they are seen as "white". In most of Western/Northern Europe they are an under-represented minority with a specific history of discrimination.

'American-centric' means that you don't care about all of that and a black character on screen represents diversity while a slavic one is just "more white people".
iggy: by me (Default)

[personal profile] iggy 2013-08-30 06:52 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry you're offended by black people being added to a European setting. Okay I'm not. That's ridiculous. I know that for example Asian minorities are more common in a lot of Europe, but in SnK in particular I thought that Mikasa was the last Asian or something? Unless they're referring to East Asia only, wouldn't that mean that Western Asian characters are out? You still have Turkish and Middle Eastern, but I've, at the very least seen Middle Eastern characters brought in at many points.

I get the complaint about people not viewing Slavic, Greek, and Italian as an ethnic minority when they are considered as such in your country, and I agree that sticking one black character in doesn't make your cast racially diverse. But... everything else kind of stinks here. You're actually complaining about people adding black people to a cast. Also I think that complaint is MORE SJW than 'US-centric'. Hardcore SJW are... extremely picky about who gets to join the ethnic minority club. If they can physically pass as white, then they don't count no matter what you tell them.

And I think saying that black people are 'over-represented' is frankly kind of cringeworthy, regardless of how little of the population they make up. The fact that other minorities are under-represented doesn't mean that black people are over-represented. It just means we need to cast more of the under-represented minorities. The only race that's really 'over-represented' in media in the Western world is white people, let's be real.
Edited 2013-08-30 07:05 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 12:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, because including black people, but leaving out slavic people and people of mediterranean descent reeks of replacing undesirable minorities (especially Turks) with more desirable minorities (over here Asians and Black people have less negative stereotypes associated with them than minorities that actually make up a noteworthy percentage of the population, i. e. mainly people of Turkish, Russian and Polish descent).


I'm not saying that black characters shouldn't be included. But in a European setting, especially a German setting, you should include slavic characters before you include Black characters.

Otherwise what you get is the equivalent of an US show including a few Asian charaters for diversity's sake, but avoiding even mentioning those dirty, job stealing mexicans.

That's fucking offensive to the minorities actually living in those European countries who have to struggle with positive representation.

It is also weird because most Germans or other people living barely on the fringes of or in Eastern Europe won't even know more than a single black person personally. Not because they actively avoid them, but because there will only be one or two of them living in their entire city.

So insisting on every work set in those places including black people for diversity's sake, while more important (in terms of size of the population & workforce, politacl representation, etc) minorities are still being ignored, will confuse or upset people. And rightly so.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 12:34 pm (UTC)(link)
And now I completely forgot the point of this entry:

When people add PoC for these settings, like it is apparently happening with this show, these people apparently only care about diversity for diversity's sake, they care jackshit about the minorities they accidentally erase, by only including their favourite oppressed minority (in the secret OP talked about white people doing this).

This is what upsets people when they talk about "Us centric" diversity. Not the idea that, god foribid, a black person might live in their country. :/
iggy: by me (Default)

[personal profile] iggy 2013-08-30 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, because including black people, but leaving out slavic people and people of mediterranean descent reeks of replacing undesirable minorities (especially Turks) with more desirable minorities (over here Asians and Black people have less negative stereotypes associated with them than minorities that actually make up a noteworthy percentage of the population, i. e. mainly people of Turkish, Russian and Polish descent).

If they're American (or Canadian) authors that's not what they're doing though?? Russian and Polish people are just White-European here, so for them when they're casting they fall under the 'white people' umbrella and so it's not really diversifying the cast. Whereas black people are not in that situation of course. They're not using a more desirable minority. They're using something that is actually considered an ethnic minority to them.

An American or Canadian fan might consider a character to have an Eastern European or Slavic background, but they're not probably going to mention it unless it's relevant because they don't-know-it's-a-thing in parts of Europe and to them they're just 'white'. The US has white minorities that were discriminated against in the past, but it's not so much a thing now so although there's a lot of pride in ethnicity even from white people (so it's not as if everyone is just lumped together) it's not something we feel the need to diversify as much because it hasn't been a major thing in a long time. So you can get on their case for being inaccurate, ignorant, and just not knowing their stuff, but racist? No.

ALSO you said that blacks are 'over-represented' in Germany because of all the US media you get, but considering that most of the media takes place in the US isn't it a bit silly to say that?

In any case, BACK TO WHAT I SAID-

The fact that other minorities are under-represented doesn't mean that black people are over-represented. It just means we need to cast more of the under-represented minorities.

So basically stop complaining about black people being up in media (especially if it's US media?) or fandom and start going "they really should fucking get some Slavic, Turkish, etc." people up in this shit. MORE ethnic minorities should be the answer, not taking out ones that are already there. Imo.

(Also I've hardly seen a bunch of US films or tv shows that show a bunch of black people when they're in Germany, and even in the case of SnK fandom isn't it just one character who is commonly made black by fandom? And I'm not defending SJW who get on people's case for not portraying her that way, because it's not even like she looks black in the actual show, so chill out SJW, but yeah.)
Edited 2013-08-30 12:52 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I should have said I'm not the anon you replied to before. I never talked about over-representation in shows that set in the US. :) I tried to explain why assuming people who complain about "Us-centrist diversity" to be racist on that basis alone is wrong, and why it is seen as a warranted complaint by some Europeans.

Especially if they're part of the minority that feels like it's being replaced in favour of the "cooler", or worse "more exotic" ethnicities.



If they're American (or Canadian) authors that's not what they're doing though?? Russian and Polish people are just White-European here, so for them when they're casting they fall under the 'white people' umbrella and so it's not really diversifying the cast.

Which is one of the points I was trying to make and apparently failed to do.

These Americans and Canadians care about diversity, but they don't actually care about the setting at all. They don't inform themselves, and thus accidentally offend or hurt minorities whose daily problems they never even heard of before.

I am not saying that black people should not also be included. It's not like they don't live in Europe at all. But would it really hurt fanfic writers to think and do 10 minutes of research just to inform themselves what kinds of ethnicities actually live in a region that their canon is based on?

The fact that people of slavic descent have been included into the homogenous mass of white people in the US should not be an excuse. It's understandable, because writers can only write about what they know, but that's what research is there for. If you (general "you" here, as in you = writers, etc) want to include any number of PoC characters, always falling back on what's apparently the default image in your country is understandable, but it makes you come accross as small minded. Include Black characters too, please, but don't pretend diversity is the same in Europe as it is in the US.

And yes, I'm saying you should do a modicum of research even for a one-off drabble. It's only polite.


(I'm not in the fandom. All I know about SnK I know either from FS or Wikipedia, but that's the way I understood it too)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 03:56 pm (UTC)(link)
da

What anon is trying to say is that it's an equivalent of a situation where an American show only ever portrays WASP characters, everyone complains about lack of diversity and a bunch of European fic writers decide to fix it by making some of the characters Slavic and Mediterranean and then pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 04:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I apologize for the choice of word - "over-represented" has associations that I wasn't aware of when using it. I should have looked it up first. I'm not sure if a neutral word that says "much more present in media than in the population" exists, but I should have taken the time to type it out like that.

ALSO you said that blacks are 'over-represented' in Germany because of all the US media you get, but considering that most of the media takes place in the US isn't it a bit silly to say that?

That's not actually how it happens though - black people are also highly present as models, in advertising, as musicians, cast in German media as token minorities, and so on and so forth. This has to do with the association with America and the degree of import in American media, which in turn gains coolness points because of the association with American media which is generally very different in tone from local productions.

I do like the presence of foreign media, including American - I'm attached at the hip to the channel that shows all kinds of foreign movies with subtitles, I think it's pretty awesome that we get so many amazing American shows, and I think it's cool that at least one minority is managing to get their share of representation and then some in German TV (because it sure as fuck is only that one).

So basically stop complaining about black people being up in media (especially if it's US media?) or fandom and start going "they really should fucking get some Slavic, Turkish, etc." people up in this shit. MORE ethnic minorities should be the answer, not taking out ones that are already there. Imo.

Just assuming that people who are a minority in your country are also a minority everywhere else is ignorant at best and really, really quickly veers into racist territory. Assuming that just because an ethnic group wound up discriminated in one place they must also be discriminated everywhere else is pinning the racism on the target, rather than on the people exercising it. Yes, Germans are racist dicks*, but they are racist dicks in a way that is very different from the way Americans are. They are, of course, also racist dicks to actual Africans, and some even to African-Americans (although that's more rare).

I do however agree that the answer isn't dialing back the presence of black people but rather diversifying more, and with more sensitivity to the actual setting of your story.

* I can elaborate on why this makes me rage so much, but I think a long discussion of Germany's particular ugly racism that refuses to see itself is kind of off topic for this unless the explanation is needed to understand the point.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 04:09 pm (UTC)(link)
PS: Oddly enough, I actually think our mainstream fashion catalogs might feature more black people than US-American ones, and I'm not sure whether that should make me laugh or cry my eyes out.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
PPS: A setting-centric diversification might very well include black characters in Europe - for example Algerian or Ivorian people in France (I realize that not all ethnic Algerians are black - this is why I dislike trying to use the American system to describe racial tensions in Europe!).

The European Union has really convenient statistics about what kind of minorities you can find in which European countries and what kind of discrimination they experience.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
cast in German media as token minorities, and so on and so forth. This has to do with the association with America and the degree of import in American media, which in turn gains coolness points because of the association with American media which is generally very different in tone from local productions.

This!


American tv standards have begun to take over in foreign production companies, including beliefs of what the audience expects as cast diversity.


This doesn't only go for Germany. I think there have been a few articles about NewWho mainly employing Black actors for PoC characters. Yet, Indians and Pakistani are much, much more present in the UK as a minority, but they hardly show up on the show. The UK also has had large waves of immigration from Poland over the last decade, but I have yet to see a single Pole on the show.

The answer is not employing less black actors, but what anon said: diversifying more with sensitivity to the setting. If you represent British minorities in a British show, for a first and foremost British audience, it's problematic to ignore a group of people that makes up a significant number of the population.

Representation of television in a setting they recocknize as their home, does a lot to make people feel a bit more welcome.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 06:55 pm (UTC)(link)
*recognize. Sorry. Everything is full of cocks today.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-30 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I get what you're saying, but really, racism is a problem in just about every single country of the world (including those where POC is the default/majority).

(Anonymous) 2013-09-01 08:43 am (UTC)(link)
True, and nobody denies this. That's why it's important to observe the racism in your setting if you want to make a point by racially diversifying.

I'm speaking about Germany because I live there, so that's what I have a grasp on. Heck, I wouldn't even want to speak about East Germany, because they have their very own special flavor of racism that varies from what is going on in the west/north/south.
iggy: by me (Default)

[personal profile] iggy 2013-08-31 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
Just assuming that people who are a minority in your country are also a minority everywhere else is ignorant at best and really, really quickly veers into racist territory.

If they're only one percent of the population they're an ethnic minority. That's just objective math? I wasn't talking about their level of discrimination now. That being said I think we both know that black people have been discriminated against in the past in Germany, even if not as much as other races/ethnicities.

(I'll reply to the rest later.)

(Anonymous) 2013-08-31 07:22 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, they have been - they still are, especially if they're not English speaking or have a heavy accent that makes people think African (regardless of where it's actually from). Nobody is denying that.

I could have probably added the qualifier "discriminated" minority - for example, Russian people are clearly a discriminated minority in Estonia (and what a fucking complicated mess that is, considering they were the oppressive minority like 20 years ago). That doesn't mean that Russians in the US are also a discriminated minority. But then, when we talk about minorities, that's usually a qualifier that's implicit - I sure as hell haven't heard anyone call white people in South Africa a minority.

[personal profile] fs_lurker 2013-08-31 02:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I APPROVE of this thread.