White America wants me out.

Mad as I can get today…

38% of America’s white population believe non-whites are less-evolved. Make no mistake, last night in the USA was a whitelash. White Power is back in vogue in the USA. Yes both Candidates were white – but this was a rebuke of Obama as much as Clinton, and it was an embracing of a Racial Supremacist as President.

It is white America telling the rest of us they’d rather we were dead. That’s not why everyone voted the way they did – but it is why those who voted for Trump did it. It is all over his message. You either embraced that hate, or you cared so little for people of color that that hate didn’t matter to you – which is the same thing.

These racist crackers don’t want the rest of us around. I’m just about fed up with them.

Their racism was so strong, that a majority of white women voted for a man who’s proud of his history of sexual assault, just to send a message to us. They sold us out.

This issue, whether you’re Black, Asian, Native American, LatinX, or a Mulatto mix of all of these like me; has put a target on all of us.

30769149952_7d5653b61d_o

This BTW, is set to take a copy. copy/no-mod/trans

Racism, misogyny and religious intolerance have now been given a green light, and you need to understand that you will be under attack. You will be under attack from government policy. You will be under attack from the courts. You will be under attack from the police. You will be under attack on high school and college campuses. You will be under attack everywhere. Make no mistake: Donald Trump is as close to a strong-man fascist president as we’ve seen in our lifetime. And strong men don’t look for the middle; they demand everything they want.” – The Root

Solidarity is the key, if we’re ever going to stop them. It will take hard work even just to slow them down.

But don’t you dare try to tell me everything will work out and be OK, because it won’t;

“The upsetting part about last night wasn’t that democracy “died.” It’s that democracy worked. And the results showed that an overwhelming part of America does not want minorities here. This isn’t just another cyclical political party swing. It’s a loud and resounding message from white people telling minorities that we shouldn’t get too comfortable here. So yeah, we’re scared. And if you’re white, you don’t have to be. But please stop telling us that everything is going to be okay, because all signs point to “not okay.”

 

Must Read article: “I, Racist”

My post today has nothing to do with Second Life, except that everything in the article is even more strongly re-enforced in SL’s absurdly over-white presence than in ‘real life’.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-metta/i-racist_b_7770652.html
True for brown as well as black – we think in terms of we because we are not allowed to think in terms of ‘I’.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.”

[whites are] unable to differentiate [their] participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that [they], individually, [are] a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

. . .

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or- playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

As a Mulato with an African avatar, I’ve seen this dynamic all my life, and recreated inside of SL – where I get ‘grouped’ one way if I note that I am Mulato, and yet another if people just see the black avatar; but neither as an individual. And as the article notes, it is impossible to talk about race with whites because they are conditioned into denial.

I should be offended – but I’m (mostly) not. Amazon ‘adult content’ sim in SL

I’ve been sitting on this post for a few months now… because it might really annoy some people who don’t get what I’m trying to say…
Amazon River Sim

As some know, while my avatar in Second Life is African, I am actually part Amazonian Indian. I describe myself as Asian-Mulatto these days, but for most of my life I presumed one half of my heritage was Andes Mountain Amazonian and Native North American. DNA has recently shown my North American heritage is actually North and West African (from roughly where the Kaje or Berom people are) – quite a shock that raises some questions about family stories.

But as to the Amazonian heritage…

One of the first things I did when I first came to second life was search for terms like Amazon and Inca (yes, quite a bit of Peru is in the Amazon, and Inca are a cousin ethnicity). This is how I discovered SL was somewhat obsessed with Gor and misogynistic styles of eroticism (as opposed to a more balanced approach). If you look for those terms in SL, you will go down a strange journey of explicit venues that have all of nothing to do with either Amazonian people, Inca, or even the Amazon legends of ancient Greece. Well, it often does blend in small bits of the first and third, and then casts it into a Gorean angle of a world where women are highly exploited, explored as if this was a virtue.

So…

I’m always getting ready to cringe when I look up such places.

Here’s the latest one I’ve found, and then I’ll note why it doesn’t bother me so much. Though in some ways – it really should.
Amazon River Sim
Amazon River – Eight regions – one river!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Glint/214/26/22

“volcano experience keys seamless quest puzzle game challenge conquer adventure tribe primal partner couple sex naked nude bare clothing optional capture roleplay”

(etc. It appears in SL Search in a couple of languages:
“ilha selva tropical tribo floresta indígena inca asteca da chuva paraíso atol Mama Allpa Praia de nudismo nadar divertimento armadilhas RLV raider mar carpa perdeu caça ao tesouro busca naturista fauna costa rica costa cachoeira de praia roupas nuas ”
– Google says that’s Portuguese. But Google also thinks it has something to do with Aztecs and March so… OK. I feel like I want to point out to somebody that Aztecs and the Amazon is like Vikings in Jerusalem. Sure its the same “so called race”, but the ethnicity/culture is VERY different).
Amazon River Sim in Fog
So if you explore this place you’ll find a beautifully made river region with a few connected sims. It seems to be growing as time goes on. There are a medium number of people there everytime I look at it on the map, spread around the sims.
Amazon River Sim
The venue is actually quite beautifully made. And nearly all mesh of a style that is very forgiving on my graphics card (experts know Mesh regions are either very easy on graphics, or very horrid. Some places just crash my machine on rezzing in, others make me feel like somebody put butter on my bandwidth to make it smoother. This place… has the butter. Or did when I went. The roleplayers there are tasked with filling it, so things can change, but I have an alt in their groups and the admins seem active and trying to keep it going well according to their goals).

A lot of them are nude, Well… most of them are nude. There is a good dose of ‘poseball furnishings’. And there is a general “Amazonians are naked tree hugger hippies and / or primitives” thing going on.

So it is the kind of place that will make militantly conservative rednecks freak out and start spewing racism about how Native People are all cannibals that exist to kill white people… (which is the reaction I got the first time I combined mentioning my Amazonian ancestry with a post about “my idea of an ideal civilization” – before I could even get to the details… the redneck was in there on the attack about how evil my DNA was. And from there it descended into arguments that made me look irrational because well… when you get your very right to exist attacked, you get irrational… and I guess that was the goal of my attacker anyway: to get something they could forever cart out over the years to show their notion of me as a “crazy colored freak”.
– Such people tend to feel that any mentions of other ethnicities have to come with a full list of caveats stating all bad things people of that ethnicity have ever done… as if it could not just be obvious that all human beings are human and have both good and bad people among them… and as if it was not obvious that a comment about one’s heritage was not an attack on theirs…)
– I’m using the term ‘redneck’ here as a shorthand for a certain worldview. And yes… I know people of the worldview I’m referring to always feel a need to attack when you try to use any term to describe them that isn’t 101 pages long and uses no nouns…

I suppose it doesn’t help that I actually AM a tree-hugger left wing feminist ‘social justice warrior’…
Amazon River Sim
Anyway… back to the sim Amazon – There’s a whole flickr for it (has nudity):

https://www.flickr.com/groups/amazon-river-in-sl/

So yeah. It is patronizing. And that is where one would normally think my reaction ought to be to take offense. And I will get back to why in a moment.

But…

Lets take a look at the real Amazon Rainforest today, or more precisely what is going on there.

The governments around our forest are selling it off to international corporations, who have been clear cutting the place. For labor, they use the very people who once lived there, after those people have first been forced into poverty and desperation in shanty towns set up in places like Lima Peru or the many slums of Brazil.

People are often forced to work, victims of human trafficking. Those who don’t end up in these labor camps, risk being sterilized by ‘patronizing governments’ such as Peru’s that seek to ‘contain the number of savages’… Much like how American conservatives argue that they solution to poverty is to sterilize poor inner-city Blacks and Latinas, reservation Native Americans and trailer-park White women (so-called welfare moms – which is why I have phrased with “inner-city” and “trailer-park”, the terms that help them “sell” these ideas)…

(Those same Conservatives work very hard to keep up the race-wars between those lower class whites and the other groups, to keep everyone from noticing the money trail…)

This is what life is like in today’s Amazon:

trois-images-prises-par-satellite-de-la-foret-amazonienne-acquises-respectivement-en-1986-1998-et-2005-la-serie-illustre-limportance-de-la-deforestation-c2a9-cnes-distribution-sp

2000, 2005, 2010 – the same location.

slavery-learn

– A real life slave laborer in charcoal ‘factory’.

1278972760-amazon-deforestation_22213

– I don’t have details on this image. It appears to be charcoal ovens in the background.

Burnt river bed in height of forest fires, Amazon, Brazil

– Not at all just a human tragedy.

So things are not going well at all for my distant real life kin. In a world where our forest is being destroyed for profit and life is being wasted in exploitation…

Anything that shines a positive light on the value of preserving such a world is something I will accept. The people who make fantasies of an idyllic life among the rivers and trees. A fantasy where you can be nude, joyous, and live in simple harmony with nature…

… Well that is not far from how people in the Amazon seek to live. Yes we all know reality is not perfect, and I know full well every time a person of color describes anything about their people, their culture, or their history in anything but a negative light, an army of white people will line up to remind them how horrible various aspects of their heritage are or to claim they are attacking white culture by not slandering their own culture

Sadly in the wake of politicians like Trump, and pretty much the entire GOP – white racism is on the rise and has become acceptable again in mainstream America.

And places like this, which let’s face it, are white fantasies… they can be a mixed bag.

I have commented many times on the blaxploitation sims and ‘inter-racial’ sims in SL… that do negative portrayals of people of the African diaspora. I’ve been writing about that for years before I knew I had ancestry from that region, and from before I found SL because that issue is not unique to SL. And, as noted above… my first searches in SL led me to places with exploitation angles on my Amazonian heritage.

So my gut reaction to a sim like this is to flinch. But its not bothering me this time… because there is no attempt in here at all to paint it as some sort of ‘savages and the strapping western hero’ angle (you can roleplay CARP here, as that ‘western hero’… but its not the angle they go for. They just allow it).

This place could very easily have gone horribly wrong in a ‘native-xploitation’ kind of way because its right there on the ‘exotic sexy other people’ line…
Amazon River Sim
The sim makes no attempt to be true to Amazonian cultures. It wouldn’t be as ‘fun’ to roleplay in if it did because yes – reality is more complex than fantasy and the rules of various cultures would mire these people in endless amateur anthropologist debates that would probably result in something offensive

So what we then have here is the ‘naked jungle fantasy’ angle… with the exploitation / appropriation part scrubbed off… and left intact is the ‘patronizing view of rainforest people as nature freaks’…

– Which is a view that can be very helpful is getting people to sympathize with the value of the Amazon rainforest, and the real people that live within it.

So yes… I am going to use your patrionizing stereotype of my kin to their advantage. And yes, that is NOT playing fair. Don’t like it? Too bad.

As to how that could have gone wrong… Imagine if it instead went down the road of Cannibals and slavery. Like the movie an image from which was used to attack me in SL circles some years back (which was not originally credited as from a movie… so my reaction to seeing what looked like an image of a horribly murdered person was rightfully intense), or like Mel Gibson’s Aztec movie… Native Xploitation Flick genre…

But it you want to go pretend that Amazonians are a bunch of naked people running around in a giant orgy… there’s the sim for you. But when you do… please remember there is a real Amazon out there, its people want to just live their lives, and the place is dying because the visitors to it do NOT share in any idealistic fantasies about it, nor even any realistic ones… they just want to fill their coffers with green-gold ($$$)…

I do wonder how the Brazilian & Peruvian SL communities see a place like this. Are they from the wealthy ‘Spanish Identifying’ set, or do they represent the masses of Poor Spanish, Mulato, Mestizo, and Indigenous people that are on the frontlines of both sides of the Amazon conflict (and I have kin on both sides of this)?
Amazon River Sim - Sunset
I wonder if they are some of the very people roleplaying there. If so, I hope they take home the idea that all that green in their real life backyard is precious – even if it takes something silly like this to see it.

Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, takes open anti-gay stance in gay-bashing video at Blizzcon

EDIT: Updated news at end, CEO issues apology.

Long title.

This needs to reach beyond the Warcraft community into the larger media and in particular needs to be seen by the LGBT community.

Blizzard is the company behind the very successful online game, World of Warcraft. Second Life fans, that might not be your thing, but it -is- a leader in online virtual worlds.

Every year they have a convention where they invite their fans around the world to come by, meet up, hear about community news and upcoming products. At this years convention they ended with a closing ceremony that had the band ‘Foo Fighters’ play. The opening act for Foo Fighters was an in house ‘band’ made up of Blizzard employees, known as L90TE, or Level 90 Tauren Elite – a game reference as ‘Tauren’ is the ‘noble Minotaur’ race of WoW, and level 90 is 5 levels above the game’s current limit (the band changes its name every time a new expansion comes out to up the number).

L90TE, at one point in their act, aired a bleeped version of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_Lv0r-l4c
(original interview uncensored)

The concert version they aired:
http://youtu.be/pGsNsSX-iO0
(footage from concert)

This was also streamed on Blizzard’s ‘Virtual Ticket’ stream to fans around the world.

The video goes on a rant that is inspired by player rivalry between the two ‘sides’ in the game. Players either play on the ‘Alliance’ side of Humans, Elves and Dwarves, or the ‘Horde’ side of traditionally monsters but done more as tragic heroes: Trolls, Undead Zombies, Minotaurs, Orcs, Goblins, etc.

So the video is one player talking smack to the opposing side – a typical sort of ‘smackdown’ challenge speech, common in sports rivalries.

However in this case the video includes a series of anti-gay references by talking the other side down via accusing them of being gay (using less polite wording) or of certain ‘gay-like acts’ the repetition of which on WordPress might not be good for the health of my blog’s account access…

Important things to note here is that L90TE is composed of key ‘community figures’ among Blizzard employees; people the fans have long admired. For years they’ve been making music themed for game events and fandom ‘service’. The person in the video is -NOT- a Blizzard employee, but a regular player.

Like it or not, people are entitled to be hate-mongers. The transgression here then is not the video speaker, but that Blizzard aired his video, and in particular aired it in so public a way, as something put up by their community leaders in front of hundreds of thousands of fans; adults, children, straight, and LGBT. Fans all over the world.

There’s a petition to get some kind of on-point response:
http://www.change.org/petitions/blizzard-entertainment-apologize-for-homophobic-statements-made-at-blizzcon-2011

Since that started Blizzard has issued a sort of vague half-apology that admits no blame, no error in judgement, and holds no one accountable:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424906852

They need to be held to further task.

Media companies, and online gaming and virtual world companies in particular; have a responsibility over the messages they put out. And this kind of hate-speech has no place in those messages.

Spread the word.

Blizzard’s CEO, who was in the band in question, finally issued a more direct on point apology:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424798330
The post is by a Blizzard staffer, but is a letter ‘signed’ by the CEO.

Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year’s BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I’d like to respond to some of your feedback here.

As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.

It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.

The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We’re proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.

As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.

– Mike Morhaime
President, Blizzard Entertainment

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