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TruthSeeker
04-05-2012, 04:05 PM
Plain and simple.

There are no black heroes in the series at all. The only time black people even appear are as villains (especially evil villains at that): Semirhage, Toun (haha, nice try whity, making a black woman a slave owner?), etc.

Look at the Aiel. What a convenient way to replace native american/middle eastern cultures with more white people.

The "best" country is white-only: Andor.

The only non-white cultures, Tear, Illian, Ebou Dar, are portrayed as weird, ignorant, and silly. Also they are conquered by a whiteman, of course.

There are almost no black channellers, except Semirhage and every single one of the powerful channellers are all white....

SauceyBlueConfetti
04-05-2012, 04:15 PM
Uh....have you heard of the Sea Folk?. Try a re-read before posting in such an inflammatory manner.

Your assumption that the Seanchan are all seen as villains indicates you don't understand the depth of many of the characters.

Edited to add:

Cairheins = olive skin
Taeiriens = dark skinned
Domains= coppery
Seanchan = skin tones of light to dark

Dragon Thief
04-05-2012, 04:37 PM
Whatever. I mean, c'mon, it's got someone named the Dark One in there.

Seth Baker
04-05-2012, 04:53 PM
Uh....have you heard of the Sea Folk?. Try a re-read before posting in such an inflammatory manner.

Your assumption that the Seanchan are all seen as villains indicates you don't understand the depth of many of the characters.

Edited to add:

Cairheins = olive skin
Taeiriens = dark skinned
Domains= coppery
Seanchan = skin tones of light to dark

You're completely right, despite the fact that "Seanchan" and "Sea Folk" are the only nationality that you spelled correctly. :D

Cairhienens, Tairens, Domani.

The Sea Folk and some of the Seanchan are dark-skinned like RW Africans. The Domani are based largely on Egyptians, the Cairhienen are also based on southern Europeans/Middle Easterners/south Asians, etc.

Zombie Sammael
04-05-2012, 04:57 PM
I love that line about how the Aiel are just "more white people". Because oppression, bullying, and ridicule are not things people with red hair experience at all...

eht slat meit
04-05-2012, 05:02 PM
I love that line about how the Aiel are just "more white people". Because oppression, bullying, and ridicule are not things people with red hair experience at all...

Oh c'mon, how many people do you think are really gonna sit there and tell an Aielman or a Maiden that "Gingers have no souls"?

Zombie Sammael
04-05-2012, 05:03 PM
Oh c'mon, how many people do you think are really gonna sit there and tell an Aielman or a Maiden that "Gingers have no souls"?

That's the point. The Aiel are empowering to real world ginger readers.

Khoram
04-05-2012, 05:09 PM
There's a reason why I hated the Hungry Hungry Hippos commercial...

The Unreasoner
04-05-2012, 05:39 PM
You're ignoring the (sexist) elephant in the room to go after the (racist) poodle?

Regional considerations aside, there are races other than black and white in this fiction and irl.

Totally share your hatred of Andor though.

Terez
04-05-2012, 05:49 PM
You're completely right, despite the fact that "Seanchan" and "Sea Folk" are the only nationality that you spelled correctly. :D

Cairhienens, Tairens, Domani.
Cairhienin. Also plural Cairhienin.

Random Man
04-05-2012, 08:10 PM
This one made me laugh: emphasis mine

The only non-white cultures, Tear, Illian, Ebou Dar, are portrayed as weird, ignorant, and silly. Also they are conquered by a whiteman, of course.

Didn't know Tuon was a "whiteman." Someone should tell Mat :D

SauceyBlueConfetti
04-05-2012, 08:54 PM
You're completely right, despite the fact that "Seanchan" and "Sea Folk" are the only nationality that you spelled correctly. :D

Cairhienens, Tairens, Domani.

The Sea Folk and some of the Seanchan are dark-skinned like RW Africans. The Domani are based largely on Egyptians, the Cairhienen are also based on southern Europeans/Middle Easterners/south Asians, etc.

Whatever Seth. I am typing on an iPad, FORGIVE ME as my post is obviously the most disturbing part of this, right?

Khoram
04-05-2012, 09:50 PM
Whatever Seth. I am typing on an iPad, FORGIVE ME as my post is obviously the most disturbing part of this, right?

Duh. You should be able to spell impeccably, no matter what piece of technology you are using to communicate. ;) Everybody knows that. :rolleyes:

TruthSeeker
04-06-2012, 12:37 AM
Uh....have you heard of the Sea Folk?. Try a re-read before posting in such an inflammatory manner.

Your assumption that the Seanchan are all seen as villains indicates you don't understand the depth of many of the characters.

Edited to add:

Cairheins = olive skin
Taeiriens = dark skinned
Domains= coppery
Seanchan = skin tones of light to dark

The Sea Folk are never portrayed in a positive light and they aren't very useful at all.

Didn't know Tuon was a "whiteman." Someone should tell Mat

They were conquered by Rand, the ultimate whiteman

Verin Mathwin
04-06-2012, 01:02 AM
...absurd

Nazbaque
04-06-2012, 02:21 AM
I'm a bit confused here. What exactly do you mean by "racist" and which WoT country is guilty of it?

GonzoTheGreat
04-06-2012, 04:15 AM
I'm a bit confused here. What exactly do you mean by "racist" and which WoT country is guilty of it?
All of them. Not a single one gives equal rights to Trollocs.

-Trollocs are not allowed to walk around in most towns after dark.
-Trollocs may not attend the same schools humans do.
-If a Trolloc pays too much attention to a 'decent' woman, he is likely to get lynched.
-Trollocs aren't allowed to serve in the same military units as humans do.

Terez
04-06-2012, 04:59 AM
Didn't know Tuon was a "whiteman." Someone should tell Mat
They were conquered by Rand, the ultimate whiteman
Did I miss something?

WinespringBrother
04-06-2012, 07:53 AM
All of them. Not a single one gives equal rights to Trollocs.

-Trollocs are not allowed to walk around in most towns after dark.
-Trollocs may not attend the same schools humans do.
-If a Trolloc pays too much attention to a 'decent' woman, he is likely to get lynched.
-Trollocs aren't allowed to serve in the same military units as humans do.

tried to rep you, for derailing this absurd thread (bonus since you didn't instigate it in the first place :D)

Sei'taer
04-06-2012, 08:15 AM
Wait a minute? Semirhage is black? That makes me hate her even more!

If only Egwene was black...


AbbeyRoad is going to be very disappointed.

Davian93
04-06-2012, 08:47 AM
This is the dumbest thread I've ever read in over 8 years on Theoryland. So, you (OP) should be commended for that I guess.

SauceyBlueConfetti
04-06-2012, 09:11 AM
Yes, this thread sure appeared to be trolling (esp. prior the the title change, thank you to whoever thought of that!)...but the topic, in a more mature way, was actually addressed by Brandon in a twitter conversation with Luckers & others a while back which at the time I found pretty fascinating. (Captured in Terez's Interview Database). Here is part of it:

Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)
Yes, Delta has free twitter again on this flight. I will try my best to get work done. Why is it so much more tempting while flying?
LUCKERS
Wanna have a detailed conversation about something? We already did sexuality in the Wheel.
LUCKERS
Seriously, its 4am here, I'm feeling loopy and sad not to be at JordanCon... I'm go for anything.
LUCKERS
Reverse the normal vibe. Ask me questions. :P
JENNIFER LIANG
Bad Luckers. Go to sleep, let him work.
LUCKERS
Hush.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Well, we could get into how timid a lot of us fantasy writers are about writing black viewpoint protagonists.
BRANDON SANDERSON
It is noticeable to me. I don't think it's intentional bias, and if it is, it's worry about doing something wrong.
BRANDON SANDERSON
But you see a lot of black side characters (in film too) but few black leading men.
LUCKERS
Interesting point actually... a form of reverse-racism. The fear that you are going to step wrong.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Yes. You can read up on something called "Racefail" in the sff community from a few years back, if you want.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Google it. You'll find some interesting points along these lines.
LUCKERS
I did so, and yeah I see what you mean.
BRANDON SANDERSON
I do wonder if it also has to do with not having racially integrated kingdoms (as makes sense) in fantasy.
BRANDON SANDERSON
So, if you want to tell a story about one kingdom, it naturally follows that you end up with a lot of people of the same race.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Then, you add someone else to be racially diverse—but that person you add becomes, by nature, the outsider.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Which, of course, only reinforces the bias, despite attempts at being diverse. It's a tough nut to crack.
LUCKERS
That does make sense—though I like RJ's futuristic blending of races. Sharan, Tairen, Seanchan—the blend has no meaning.
FOOTNOTE—TEREZ
I'm not so sure this is completely true; it's probably quite significant that the Empress of Seanchan, an empire despised mostly because of slavery, is a black woman (not because it's significant in the WoT world, but because it isn't). It might also be significant that the only other known slavery of the WoT world is in Shara, which parallels Africa in many ways, including the dark-skinned natives. The dark-skinned Tairens are unique in Randland proper for their feudalistic serfdom.

Terez
04-06-2012, 09:18 AM
Yeah, I was just thinking about posting that actually. That conversation was difficult to thread, I remember that much. So much talking past each other on Twitter.

Ann Kalagon
04-06-2012, 11:41 AM
Frankly, as a Native American who always reads with a critical eye, I completely disagree.

RJ's world is full of the widest range of peoples and cultures. There is no such thing here as portraying one color or national identity of people as lesser than or evil. In fact, both forces of good and evil contain the diverse ranges of peoples. Yes, the Forsaken are mostly white, but with exceptions.

The passages where one or another culture is perceived as odd, i.e. as in Aiel perceptions of everyone else, are all from POVs of characters in context.

Furthermore, it is premature to judge Fortuona's ultimate role.
Also, the slavery of Seandar is all based on channeling women; you as the reader are supposed to dislike it! But 1) it is not racial, and
2) it's a strong indication that Jordan, a Southerner, is Anti-racist himself.

Seeker
04-06-2012, 11:52 AM
Plain and simple.

There are no black heroes in the series at all. The only time black people even appear are as villains (especially evil villains at that): Semirhage, Toun (haha, nice try whity, making a black woman a slave owner?), etc.

Look at the Aiel. What a convenient way to replace native american/middle eastern cultures with more white people.

The "best" country is white-only: Andor.

The only non-white cultures, Tear, Illian, Ebou Dar, are portrayed as weird, ignorant, and silly. Also they are conquered by a whiteman, of course.

There are almost no black channellers, except Semirhage and every single one of the powerful channellers are all white....

No, no and DEAR GOD No!

There are some gender issues that occasionally make me raise eyebrows (Spanking for instance) but nothing, absolutely NOTHING that suggests any kind of racist undertones.

Leane has copper skin.

Myrelle has olive skin.

Bashere is "Asian" (I hate using that term because it's so generic but I can harldy say Korean/Japanese/Phillipino etc) and so is Faile.

For some reason, I always pictured Logain with darker skin. To me, he has mediterrainean colouring. All of these people are heroes and that's just off the top of my head.

If you're argument is that the series is racist based solely on the fact that the five main characters (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve) are white... well, they're all from the Two Rivers. (Except Rand, I guess). Of course they're going to look the same.

TruthSeeker
04-06-2012, 12:24 PM
No, no and DEAR GOD No!

There are some gender issues that occasionally make me raise eyebrows (Spanking for instance) but nothing, absolutely NOTHING that suggests any kind of racist undertones.

Leane has copper skin.

Myrelle has olive skin.

Bashere is "Asian" (I hate using that term because it's so generic but I can harldy say Korean/Japanese/Phillipino etc) and so is Faile.

For some reason, I always pictured Logain with darker skin. To me, he has mediterrainean colouring. All of these people are heroes and that's just off the top of my head.

If you're argument is that the series is racist based solely on the fact that the five main characters (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve) are white... well, they're all from the Two Rivers. (Except Rand, I guess). Of course they're going to look the same.

Hence the racism, the 5 best and most important people, the ones you get the POVs of are white. Everyone else is of secondary importance and is only there to enhance the main, WHITE, characters.

Davian93
04-06-2012, 12:52 PM
Hence the racism, the 5 best and most important people, the ones you get the POVs of are white. Everyone else is of secondary importance and is only there to enhance the main, WHITE, characters.

I assume people tell you this often but I'll just reiterate them: You're an idiot.

Carry on.

Tamyrlin
04-06-2012, 01:07 PM
I assume people tell you this often but I'll just reiterate them: You're an idiot.

Carry on.

That new members can be of the very young age of 11 or 12 these days considering the kind of parenting that goes on around me, so let's not be so quick to scare off every seemingly immature or different voice simply because they take a stance that is difficult, if impossible, to substantiate. I've taken crazy stances before simply for the joy of trying to defend it, although I'm guessing most people were thinking, "you're an idiot" at the time.

Furthermore, it's obvious that Jordan was saying, once you go black...

Crispin's Crispian
04-06-2012, 01:21 PM
That new members can be of the very young age of 11 or 12 these days considering the kind of parenting that goes on around me, so let's not be so quick to scare off every seemingly immature or different voice simply because they take a stance that is difficult, if impossible, to substantiate. I've taken crazy stances before simply for the joy of trying to defend it, although I'm guessing most people were thinking, "you're an idiot" at the time.

Indeed, let's address the point head on. Is it racist that the original heroes and main characters of the story are all white, and that as yet no darker-skinned character has risen to such a prominent role?

Tuon is really the only possible exception, but in terms of the writing she is still a minor character.

Ann Kalagon
04-06-2012, 01:33 PM
Hence the racism, the 5 best and most important people, the ones you get the POVs of are white. Everyone else is of secondary importance and is only there to enhance the main, WHITE, characters.

That is not proof of racism.
Where do you see the Two Rivers people oppressing others based on color or national origin? Doesn't happen. Two of them marry non-white women.

suttree
04-06-2012, 01:33 PM
Hence the racism, the 5 best and most important people, the ones you get the POVs of are white. Everyone else is of secondary importance and is only there to enhance the main, WHITE, characters.

Pretty feeble attempt at trolling. Can't believe this has even made two pages.

Terez
04-06-2012, 01:36 PM
Pretty feeble attempt at trolling. Can't believe this has even made two pages.
It hasn't, if you have proper settings.

Nazbaque
04-06-2012, 01:44 PM
Still confused as to what you actually mean by "racism" and who is supposed to be guilty of it.

AbbeyRoad
04-06-2012, 02:14 PM
Racism does not exist in WoT. None of the characters make any assumptions about anyone else based solely on race, ever. Hair color, eye color (excepting Perrin), and skin color are all taken as a matter of course. RJ has eliminated racism in his fantasy world; a much more significant achievement considering the scope of cultures than including a black lead would have been.

Also, black and white races are not the only two in existence. Shienar is based on Japan; I didn't know they were "white men." Ebou Dar was conquered by a black woman, not a "whiteman." Talaan is a Sea Folk channeler who is at least as powerful as Nynaeve, and the Aes Sedai are of a wide spectrum of ethnicity.

All in all, you sound like a "black racism apologist" white person who declares loudly that racism is everywhere when it isn't to appear 'culturally aware.' We don't appreciate it. You just reinforce racism. Take a tip from Jordan; racism is gone not when no one notices skin color, but when no one cares.

You remind me of a recent discussion (sparked by the TV show The Office) about many malls and stores putting in black Santa Claus sculptures everywhere instead of white ones, presumably to mollify black people and make them appreciate Christmas more fully. This is ridiculous. I know Santa is white; he's based on Sinterklaas, who originated in the Netherlands. Just because Santa Claus is white doesn't mean I can't identify with the idea; it's insulting that someone thinks I need to see a black Santa Claus to feel comfortable accepting Christmas. It wouldn't even cross my mind that Santa is "white" until I start seeing black Santa's everywhere. It doesn't reverse racism, it reinforces it by calling attention to racism where it doesn't exist.

Sei'taer
04-06-2012, 03:51 PM
Racism does not exist in WoT. None of the characters make any assumptions about anyone else based solely on race, ever. Hair color, eye color (excepting Perrin), and skin color are all taken as a matter of course. RJ has eliminated racism in his fantasy world; a much more significant achievement considering the scope of cultures than including a black lead would have been.

Also, black and white races are not the only two in existence. Shienar is based on Japan; I didn't know they were "white men." Ebou Dar was conquered by a black woman, not a "whiteman." Talaan is a Sea Folk channeler who is at least as powerful as Nynaeve, and the Aes Sedai are of a wide spectrum of ethnicity.

All in all, you sound like a "black racism apologist" white person who declares loudly that racism is everywhere when it isn't to appear 'culturally aware.' We don't appreciate it. You just reinforce racism. Take a tip from Jordan; racism is gone not when no one notices skin color, but when no one cares.

You remind me of a recent discussion (sparked by the TV show The Office) about many malls and stores putting in black Santa Claus sculptures everywhere instead of white ones, presumably to mollify black people and make them appreciate Christmas more fully. This is ridiculous. I know Santa is white; he's based on Sinterklaas, who originated in the Netherlands. Just because Santa Claus is white doesn't mean I can't identify with the idea; it's insulting that someone thinks I need to see a black Santa Claus to feel comfortable accepting Christmas. It wouldn't even cross my mind that Santa is "white" until I start seeing black Santa's everywhere. It doesn't reverse racism, it reinforces it by calling attention to racism where it doesn't exist.


Well done.

Frenzy
04-06-2012, 05:42 PM
it's insulting that someone thinks I need to see a black Santa Claus to feel comfortable accepting Christmas.
Well how do you explain The Wiz? :p




Easy. It was 1978. Did you see the size of the pants people wore back then? ~shudders~

Res_Ipsa
04-06-2012, 07:37 PM
Well how do you explain The Wiz? :p




Easy. It was 1978. Did you see the size of the pants people wore back then? ~shudders~

And all that big hair too, and big cars.

AbbeyRoad
04-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Well how do you explain The Wiz?
Ugh. Please don't remind me.

Lupusdeusest
04-07-2012, 12:30 AM
Abbey, I tried to rep, but you're too awesome for the rep machine to let me give you any more.

77jester
04-07-2012, 03:16 AM
Racism does not exist in WoT. None of the characters make any assumptions about anyone else based solely on race, ever. Hair color, eye color (excepting Perrin), and skin color are all taken as a matter of course. RJ has eliminated racism in his fantasy world; a much more significant achievement considering the scope of cultures than including a black lead would have been.

I'm sorry but this statement is absolutely false. It may not be racist in the sense of skin color, but Illianers and Tairens despise one another, Aiel view the world in two groups, Aiel and enemies. Then there's the even further detesting of Cairhienen. Whitecloaks hate Aes Sedai. Racism isn't non-existent in Randland, rather RJ is gradually trying to eliminate the bias and prejudices by means of his main characters and plot devices. If it didn't exist Rand would have no need to get the north, south east and west to be as one. Petty nationalistic pride, or theological differences are just as divisive as racism over skin color. ie; Rwanda Hutu and Tutsi, WWII Hitler and Nazis, the Middle East, etc...

AbbeyRoad
04-07-2012, 05:03 AM
I'm sorry but this statement is absolutely false. It may not be racist in the sense of skin color, but Illianers and Tairens despise one another, Aiel view the world in two groups, Aiel and enemies. Then there's the even further detesting of Cairhienen. Whitecloaks hate Aes Sedai. Racism isn't non-existent in Randland, rather RJ is gradually trying to eliminate the bias and prejudices by means of his main characters and plot devices. If it didn't exist Rand would have no need to get the north, south east and west to be as one. Petty nationalistic pride, or theological differences are just as divisive as racism over skin color. ie; Rwanda Hutu and Tutsi, WWII Hitler and Nazis, the Middle East, etc...
Tear and Illian are not races, they are countries. People from that country are described as having a nationality, not necessarily a race. Nor is everyone in a given nation of the same race; as an example, Rand has traits of Aiel but he considers himself Andoran. Many nations, especially in the cities, are a mix of races. That would be like saying Englishmen who dislike Americans because of perceived piggishness are 'racist' when Americans and Englishmen are, for the most part, the same race. "Aes Sedai" is not a race; it is an institution composed of women of many different races. Nor is a "whitecloak" a race, but a political organization. There is a difference between a race and a nation or political group. I think you are confused on the terminology here. There is certainly discrimination in Randland, but not all discrimination is racial discrimination.

Terez
04-07-2012, 06:15 AM
If anyone was wondering what I was getting at in my footnote, I do think that RJ's choice as a black woman to be the Empress of the slavery culture was deliberate. His choice of the Sharans for the other slave culture was likely deliberate as well, and possibly also his choice of the Tairens as the feudal lords. If he had done it in a world where race was an issue, then it would have been difficult to read for most of us, I think. He was only able to pull it off because he made race relatively unimportant. It's part of the white Southern mindset, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously; I think we all grow up with apologist arguments to some extent, and one of them is that slavery was practiced in Africa long before the trans-Atlantic slave trade. RJ's treatment of it is another way of saying 'It could have been the other way around.' The difficulty of it is that the African element seems to be much the same, considering that Shara is such a heavy parallel; Seanchan has a more Oriental form of slavery, and their racial component seems comparable to the US, without the racial tension (not counting whatever prejudice there might be against tribal types like Ajimbura). A smorgasbord that is majority white-ish.

Terez
04-07-2012, 11:02 AM
You are forgiven. Even though you could have deduced what I was getting at in the last sentence...

77jester
04-07-2012, 11:14 AM
Tear and Illian are not races, they are countries. People from that country are described as having a nationality, not necessarily a race. Nor is everyone in a given nation of the same race; as an example, Rand has traits of Aiel but he considers himself Andoran. Many nations, especially in the cities, are a mix of races. That would be like saying Englishmen who dislike Americans because of perceived piggishness are 'racist' when Americans and Englishmen are, for the most part, the same race. "Aes Sedai" is not a race; it is an institution composed of women of many different races. Nor is a "whitecloak" a race, but a political organization. There is a difference between a race and a nation or political group. I think you are confused on the terminology here. There is certainly discrimination in Randland, but not all discrimination is racial discrimination.

Well let's try this then. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/race?s=t

race2    [reys] Show IPA
noun
1.
a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.
2.
a population so related.
3.
Anthropology .
a.
any of the traditional divisions of humankind, the commonest being the caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negro, characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics: no longer in technical use.
b.
an arbitrary classification of modern humans, sometimes, especially formerly, based on any or a combination of various physical characteristics, as skin color, facial form, or eye shape, and now frequently based on such genetic markers as blood groups.
c.
a human population partially isolated reproductively from other populations, whose members share a greater degree of physical and genetic similarity with one another than with other humans.
4.
a group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic stock: the Slavic race.
5.
any people united by common history, language, cultural traits, etc.: the Dutch race.

Science Dictionary
race (rās) Pronunciation Key
An interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms differing from other populations of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits. A race that has been given formal taxonomic recognition is known as a subspecies.

A breed or strain, as of domestic animals.

Any of several extensive human populations associated with broadly defined regions of the world and distinguished from one another on the basis of inheritable physical characteristics, traditionally conceived as including such traits as pigmentation, hair texture, and facial features. Because the number of genes responsible for such physical variations is tiny in comparison to the size of the human genome and because genetic variation among members of a traditionally recognized racial group is generally as great as between two such groups, most scientists now consider race to be primarily a social rather than a scientific concept.


Race is is divided by far more ways than black, white, and brown. That's just the most common.
Randland is about 4500-5000 miles across, so larger than North America, or larger than Europe.
Then there are the words of RJ himself.
INTERVIEW: 1993
Waldenbooks Sci-fi Newsletter Interview (Verbatim)
HAILING FREQUENCY
There's an enormous geographical and historical sweep in this book. How much of this was defined when you began? What kinds of things are you finding in those obscure places on the map that the characters are getting to for the first time?
ROBERT JORDAN
Well, the cultures, the people they meet in different countries, were only very sketchy in the beginning. They're really no more divergent than the United States, France, and Germany were before you had television and movies. So there are well-defined national distinctions of dress and behavior and on top of that, national reputations in other countries. You know Americans are so and so, Germans are like this, [fill in the blank]. As far as the rest of it goes, there is perhaps more of a difference in the cultures than is explained by the size of the continent. In an earlier book, one of the characters talks about humanity falling back and shrinking, that nations were not there any more. National borders don't always run straight up to one another, and there are sometimes very large unclaimed spaces between countries. That sort of thing makes for more isolation, and of course, isolation makes for cultures being more different.

So no, I am not misunderstanding the term "racist" when applying it to Tear and Illian, or Tear and Mayene, or Borderlanders and Southlanders, or Aiel and everyone else. The separate countries/nations, and hatred/mistrust of the other, isn't going to foster interbreeding. Thus each nation has unique characteristics that others can spot on sight, or when someone opens their mouth with a different accent. To say otherwise would be to deny the racism between England and Ireland, U.S. and Canada, Germany and Poland, New Yorkers and New Jersey.
Now granted I threw the CoTL and the Aes Sedai in among the group to expand racism to include discrimination. I didn't intend to imply that those two groups weren't ethnically diverse, just theologically opposed. But those two groups are unique in Randland. Other than the few fluke cases where someone travels and mixes with another nation. Tam coming back with Kari and Rand was a rare occasion, not the norm.

Res_Ipsa
04-07-2012, 11:15 AM
You are forgiven. Even though you could have deduced what I was getting at in the last sentence...

I try not to deduce, or think outside of school as much as possible.

/opens the joke floodgates

77jester
04-07-2012, 12:34 PM
And just to clarify, I'm not saying I agree with the original post. "TruthSeeker" seems to imply that RJ was racist because of the way wrote the story and chose the hero's.

Plain and simple.

There are no black heroes in the series at all. The only time black people even appear are as villains (especially evil villains at that): Semirhage, Toun (haha, nice try whity, making a black woman a slave owner?), etc.

Look at the Aiel. What a convenient way to replace native american/middle eastern cultures with more white people.

The "best" country is white-only: Andor.

The only non-white cultures, Tear, Illian, Ebou Dar, are portrayed as weird, ignorant, and silly. Also they are conquered by a whiteman, of course.

There are almost no black channellers, except Semirhage and every single one of the powerful channellers are all white....

Robert Jordan is trying to take a racist fantasy world, that mirrors ours in many ways, and show how they can unite under one leader, thus overcoming racism and discrimination and working together for one common purpose.

greatwolf
04-07-2012, 12:35 PM
Plain and simple.

Why? I don't recall anyone mentioning the color of skin as being the basis for anything in all the books. I think its obvious that RJ tried to avoid confronting the issue directly in his books. If it is RJ himself that you think is racist, do you have a basis for that? Or just a gut feeling?


There are no black heroes in the series at all. The only time black people even appear are as villains (especially evil villains at that): Semirhage, Toun (haha, nice try whity, making a black woman a slave owner?), etc.



No? I guess it depends on how you interpret the books. Tuon IMO, is about the most important character now save Rand. And I don't want heroes that are heroes because they are black.

What exactly is your definition of racism? And how do you apply it to fantasy? To some racism is an ideology but to governments and leaders, racism is often merely a means to an end and I think RJ captured that beautifully.

RJ introduced the slavery concept via damane but it originally began as a means of gaining power over others. The seanchan keep slaves for a purpose. They introduced the caste system to maintain that purpose (IMO).

Its probably the same reasons the nazis introduced thier own brand of racism - to subjugate other nations and peoples in order to give them a better chance of winning the war. Racism is just a convenient tool that they used to make their programs acceptable to their audience.

And RJ showed us in scene after scene how much people instinctively reject the notion of slavery. The reaction to the adam is instinctual in most channelers. Non channelers are usually shocked and most consider it not right, but they usually also realize that might is right and toe the line.Except Mat who set the damane and slaves free.

Read it how you please, but that's my analysis of what RJ wrote. I doubt anyone who went to all the trouble to write that has any racism left in his blood. And FWIW, RJ did two tours in 'nam iirc.

I think there's something about living with people who are making life out of the toughest possible situation(war, poverty constant illness and starvation) that helps you realize that deep down, humans are more alike than we care to admit.

suttree
04-07-2012, 01:49 PM
To say otherwise would be to deny the racism between...New Yorkers and New Jersey.


Errmm what?

Verin Mathwin
04-07-2012, 05:05 PM
It's not racism to hate people from New Jersey... I mean they live in New Jersey. It's like they are asking for it.

frenchie
04-07-2012, 06:09 PM
I think both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malik El Shabazz are both turning over in their graves due to what people think racist means today.

AbbeyRoad
04-07-2012, 06:52 PM
Thus each nation has unique characteristics that others can spot on sight, or when someone opens their mouth with a different accent. To say otherwise would be to deny the racism between England and Ireland, U.S. and Canada, Germany and Poland, New Yorkers and New Jersey.
*shakes head*

So everyone living in New York is the same race?

Tam coming back with Kari and Rand was a rare occasion, not the norm.
Not all of the Seanchan are described as dark skinned. Some have fair skin. Just like any country, people living in a nation can have different races. "Illian" is not a single race of people; it is a country. You could not say that "American" is a race, as Americans can be of African descent, Asian descent, European descent, etc. That is why when you fill out your paperwork upon starting a new job, they sometimes ask you to note your race, and give you, say, 6 options to fill in. Race is dependent on your descent, which is primarily reflected in your complexion, hair color and texture, eye color, etc. It has nothing to do with your ideologies.

Race is is divided by far more ways than black, white, and brown. That's just the most common.
Sorry, but those are colors, not races.

So no, I am not misunderstanding the term "racist" when applying it to Tear and Illian, or Tear and Mayene, or Borderlanders and Southlanders, or Aiel and everyone else.
Yes you are. You are defining racism as any form of discrimination whatsoever. Say someone was born in Shienar, then moved to Tear. He adopted Tairen fashions and prejudices about Illian, and wants to go to war with Illian. Does that mean he is of a Tairen 'race'? Is he being 'racially discriminatory' by disliking Illianers when he wasn't even born of Tairen descent? Ideological opposition is not the same as racial discrimination.

Cortar
04-07-2012, 07:54 PM
The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as "race" when talking about humans. There are people with different skin colors, but this is not enough to tell the difference between people genetically.

Cloudrunner
04-07-2012, 09:26 PM
AAARRRGGGHHH! Good googley moogley! Why can't anyone get this right?! :confused:

*Racism is the belief that your RACE is inherently SUPERIOR to another race based solely upon your racial identity.

*Racial bias is a preference for one's own race over other races.

*Racial Prejudice is the prejudging of another human being's actions or motivations based upon their race alone.

Racist is the most over used term of all time. There are huge differences between these terms.

If I am one race and you are another and you assume I am looking down upon you because I am of another race that is racial PREJUDICE on YOUR part.

If you choose to predominately associate with people of your own race that is racial BIAS.

If I think I am superior to you and by that measure should have dominance over you because of my race that is RACISM.

By throwing it around blithely the term has lost it's meaning.:eek: Racism is BULLSHIT. No human being is inherently superior to another for any reason.

Please don't throw that word around and dilute the real evil of what it actually means.

Sawee... it hit a nerve. :o

frenchie
04-07-2012, 10:06 PM
AAARRRGGGHHH! Good googley moogley! Why can't anyone get this right?! :confused:

*Racism is the belief that your RACE is inherently SUPERIOR to another race based solely upon your racial identity.

*Racial bias is a preference for one's own race over other races.

*Racial Prejudice is the prejudging of another human being's actions or motivations based upon their race alone.

Racist is the most over used term of all time. There are huge differences between these terms.

If I am one race and you are another and you assume I am looking down upon you because I am of another race that is racial PREJUDICE on YOUR part.

If you choose to predominately associate with people of your own race that is racial BIAS.

If I think I am superior to you and by that measure should have dominance over you because of my race that is RACISM.

By throwing it around blithely the term has lost it's meaning.:eek: Racism is BULLSHIT. No human being is inherently superior to another for any reason.

Please don't throw that word around and dilute the real evil of what it actually means.

Sawee... it hit a nerve. :o

Thank you for making my point for me, and in a way better manner then I could ever hope to.

Cloudrunner
04-07-2012, 10:22 PM
:D

LawnchairSoda
04-08-2012, 12:17 AM
You are DEAD WRONG if you think Wheel of Time is racist, at all

Terez
04-08-2012, 07:57 AM
Thank you for that illuminating contribution to the conversation.

Zombie Sammael
04-08-2012, 08:32 AM
The Aiel dividing the world into "Aiel and enemies" is clearly a comment about how "everyone hates gingers".

....I am only half-joking with this. As a ginger man, the kind of prejudice I have experienced is overlooked, even by many "enlightened" liberals. Of course, I'm not suggesting that prejudice is anywhere near as important as racial and sexual prejudice, but it does exist. It's actually quite pleasing to find a series with a prominent redheaded lead.

kivo
04-08-2012, 08:48 AM
The Aiel dividing the world into "Aiel and enemies" is clearly a comment about how "everyone hates gingers".

....I am only half-joking with this. As a ginger man, the kind of prejudice I have experienced is overlooked, even by many "enlightened" liberals. Of course, I'm not suggesting that prejudice is anywhere near as important as racial and sexual prejudice, but it does exist. It's actually quite pleasing to find a series with a prominent redheaded lead.

Says the man whose location is "too close to Wales" ...

Kidding.

I assume this thread is only getting this much action because there's not a lot WoT-wise to entertain us during this long wait for AMoL. Perhaps Tor should instigate more Great Hunts or something.

Zombie Sammael
04-08-2012, 08:52 AM
Says the man whose location is "too close to Wales" ...

Kidding.

I assume this thread is only getting this much action because there's not a lot WoT-wise to entertain us during this long wait for AMoL. Perhaps Tor should instigate more Great Hunts or something.

There's only two groups of people I can't stand: those who are intolerant of other people's cultures AND THE DAMN WELSH.

Anyway, it's the physical location of Wales I don't like, not the people from there. I have no problem with the Welsh, but I detest Wales as a place. It's all hills and lakes and castles. Disgusting.

...nothing I have said in this post is actually true.

greatwolf
04-08-2012, 03:24 PM
Oh, I noticed something else about Tuon. Turak was never said to be dark skinned. It isn't proof he isn't but might not be dark. Of course meaning that ~cough~ the empress used different men to get different children. And she choose dark skinned Tuon to rule after her.

Anyway Luthair likely wasn't dark skinned but somewhere along the line, there's been quite a bit of mixing and blending.

And its very likely they were of different fathers. Turak was old enough to see Rand as a kid, and the youngest of Radhannan's children is just six or so. (or 12?). If Turak is in his early thirties, that means a gap of 25+ years between youngest and oldest. So If Radhannan had her first at 18, she'll still be having babies at 43!

Wow!

Just kidding. Turak may have simply been adopted. But you cant have twelve kids in less than 20 years or so. That's got to be tough.

frenchie
04-08-2012, 03:28 PM
Turak was of a different House. He was in the line of succession, but not Tuon's brother.

Terez
04-08-2012, 03:41 PM
He was High Blood, not Imperial Family. Big difference.

Frenzy
04-08-2012, 05:40 PM
i have an old theory, and dammit i can't find it on the main site. Anyway, the theory is that Luthair's mother was of the Sea Folk.

Aha, found it! link from 9/21/04 (http://theoryland.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/3016#.T4ISgPvXGHg)

We all know that Tuon is a rather unique-looking individual. And we've seen that Seanchan run the gamut of skin & hair coloring. Which makes sense, considering how big the "continent" is. But I'd suspect that the royal bloodline has probably stayed relatively pure, especially considering how rabid their aristocracy is about breeding and blood. So why then would Tuon look so different from any group in the wetlands?

A clue jumped up at me while writing last week's quiz. Artur Hawkwing's first wife was the Lady Amaline Togara. And we've seen that surname elsewhere: with Harine din Togara Two Winds and her sister Shalon din Togara Morning Tide. Now, granted, Luthair's mother was Tamika, not Amaline. But if Artur Hawkwing married one Atha'an Miere, he could've married another.

GonzoTheGreat
04-09-2012, 04:17 AM
We all know that Tuon is a rather unique-looking individual. And we've seen that Seanchan run the gamut of skin & hair coloring. Which makes sense, considering how big the "continent" is. But I'd suspect that the royal bloodline has probably stayed relatively pure, especially considering how rabid their aristocracy is about breeding and blood. So why then would Tuon look so different from any group in the wetlands?

A clue jumped up at me while writing last week's quiz. Artur Hawkwing's first wife was the Lady Amaline Togara. And we've seen that surname elsewhere: with Harine din Togara Two Winds and her sister Shalon din Togara Morning Tide. Now, granted, Luthair's mother was Tamika, not Amaline. But if Artur Hawkwing married one Atha'an Miere, he could've married another.
It may have been the other way around. We know that following Hawkwing's death, his family either killed each other, was killed by others, or went into hiding. So it may be that the Togara name did not originate with the Sea Folk, but entered that group only during the War of the Hundred Years. Maybe Harine and Shalon could also claim the Seanchan imperial throne.

Tamyrlin
04-11-2012, 08:52 AM
Conversation may continue, let's try to stay somewhat on topic.

Tamyrlin
04-11-2012, 08:56 AM
I sent you a PM; please read and respond. Or let me know if you did not receive it.

Boli
04-11-2012, 10:00 AM
*phew* its opened again... I had a really good point as well and was annoyed it was locked. :)

Elaida had put down her knitting, Rand realized, and was studying him. She rose from her stool and slowly came down from the dais to stand before him. "From the Two Rivers?" she said. She reached a hand toward his head; he pulled away from her touch, and she let her hand drop. "With that red in his hair, and gray eyes? Two Rivers people are dark of hair and eye, and they seldom have such height." Her hand darted out to push back his coat sleeve, exposing lighter skin the sun had not reached so often. "Or such skin."


Rand has a slightly different skin tone to that of the Two Rivers; so the 5 main Two Rivers Characters are not all "white".

There are a few characters who have been defined as having pale skin. Elayne and Lanfear are the ones I can think of off-hand. Obviously this is not a "massive" difference otherwise it would be at least remarked in the description; but at the same time the difference is enough to differenciate betwene Aiel and say Andorans. Aside from being slightly taller than average there have bene no obvious facial features which show how an Aielman is different from others. Saldaean's for instance are often described with tilted eyes.

Since light hair - especially red hair tends towards lighter skin tones I would have to assume that Rand in effect would have the same pale skin as do all Aiel as they are more likely to have the lighter hair colours. Obviously this will be darkened to a darker shade in the heat of the sun. BUT Rand was identified as an Aielman even before he went to the waste and he had the same amount of sun as Mat and Perrin.


So there are two conclusions we can draw from that

1. Rand and the Aiel are slightly paler than standard Andorians. This also fits in with the pale skin of Elayne and the Royal Line "have Aiel colouring in hair and eyes".

2. Rand and the Aiel have darker shade of skin colouring; this does not fit in "our" natural order of things (light hair with light skin, dark with dark) but the Aiel have been interbreeding for at least 3,000 years and more besides (they were already a spearate culture in the Age of Legends) so it is entirely possible.


Of the two conclusions I would tend towards #1; a juxtaposition of concepts such as the intentional small dark skinned girl leading the greatest slave empire in history it is far more likely to be "Jordan-esk" having the almost tribal nation being the "white" nation.

If you consider the Aiel to have the "Celtic/Scandinvian" skin/eye/hair colouring and the rest of the continant having a more Mediterranean cross section the book makes slighlty more "sense".



An interesting quote from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_race
These differentiations occurred following long-standing claims about the alleged differences between the Nordic and the Mediterranean people. Such debates arose from responses to ancient writers who had commented on differences between northern and southern Europeans. For the Greeks and Romans, Germanic and Celtic peoples were often stereotyped as wild red haired barbarians. Pseudo-Aristotle argued that the Greeks were an ideal race because they possessed a medium skin-tone, in contrast to pale northerners and dark southerners.


With that in mind lets return to the "rasism" question. I would say that yes there is racial predjudice in Jordan's books almost certainly afterall many in the books judge the Aiel for "being Aiel" purely on how they look. Judging Rand as an Aielman by his skin colouring alone. But at the same time there is city/fashion divides; which appears to be more related to trade/regional power than any racial differences; in fact the prejudicies tend to be political in nature.

In researching this it is surprising how little references there are to the colour of someone's skin in the books as a whole and there-in lies the answer. When skin colour merely becomes a description and rarely mentioned unless someone has paler skin than average or darker.


So in conclusion... all the main characters are *NOT* all of any sort of master race, and there is written proof Rand has a different skin tone to the rest of his Two Rivers buddies to start with.

apologises for rambling.

Davian93
04-11-2012, 10:40 AM
The Aiel have celtic coloring while the Two Rivers probably look more like continental Europeans(brown hair, brown eyes, "average" white coloring...ie, they tan better.


Also, before the Moors invaded Sicily and southern Italy, Italians in general had much fairer complexions and blonde hair was not unusual. The same with Spain & Portugal for that matter.

McCaber
04-11-2012, 11:33 AM
No, the WoT isn't racist. Nothing I've read by or about RJ leads me to believe that at all.

I do think he was acting from privilege being a white straight male, and for the first few books he definitely seemed to have a hard time writing from other points of view than that. But as the books went on he tried to write his women more believably, and it showed. His biases were definitely based more on it not occurring to him rather than by any racism he might have had.

Grig
04-11-2012, 11:57 AM
His biases were definitely based more on it not occurring to him

Without chipping in on the actual topic, this point doesn't make something "not racism". Really, quite the opposite. The vast majority of racism (and pretty much any other -ism) is rooted in unexamined biases. Only pointing it out since that sort of thing gets mentioned all the time when people are defending a beloved author against notes that their work plays straight (perhaps unthinkingly) racist/sexist tropes. Trying to identify or openly discuss racism or sexism in a work doesn't mean one doesn't like the author, or thinks they are a bad person, or whatever.

Of course, this thread is just a straight troll, so none of this applies to the OP. The sad part is posts like the OP are usually made by the sort who derides recognition of the use of racist tropes (I'm colorblind, why can't you be too), and is trying to make people who treat it as a valid topic of inquiry seem terribly unreasonable and themselves bigoted and unwilling to actually engage in a subject matter, instead throwing out inaccurate strawmen.

GonzoTheGreat
04-11-2012, 12:03 PM
No one (including me) has so far mentioned the ones that are indeed victims of racist prejudice in Randland: the Tinkers.

The Aiel can take care of themselves, and being overly scathing about Tuon doesn't seem to be a good idea either, but the ones who actually suffer from racism get ignored by all sides in the debate.
Funny, that.

Grig
04-11-2012, 12:15 PM
Is it really racism when the Tinkers have been stealing cookware and children for generations?

GonzoTheGreat
04-11-2012, 12:18 PM
Is it really racism when the Tinkers have been stealing cookware and children for generations?
Good point. If you have a strong enough accusation, then that automatically justifies your behavior.

Grig
04-11-2012, 12:33 PM
I didn't recheck the thread once it re-opened, so I was looking at it more as trolls trolling trolls. I may have misread the tone of your message.

As a more serious response, racism doesn't really seem like the right term for the Tinker bias. It's probably closer to religious persecution. They aren't hated due to any sins of their ancestors or any phenotypical characteristics, the main problem seems to stem from the whole Way of the Leaf thing. Sometimes people like that philosophy, and embrace drifting on the wind. Sometimes those people are children, and the Tinkers maybe don't handle that situation as well as they could (accepting runaway youth that they "convinced" to run away).

But then, out of universe it seems like Jordan was playing off of issues with Roma or similar groups, which is more of a racist parallel.

The Tinkers likely don't get mention in these discussions since we don't really see things through their eyes. It's similar to the Tremalking suicides, which were supposed to be taken so hugely and terribly by the fanbase, but instead warranted a big "meh" from most people. While we did see the Tinkers a bit more than the Amayar, that was 20 years ago for the most part. There were a couple short appearances, but for the most part the only Tinker we had was Aram, and he didn't experience any of that anti-Tinker bigotry in the time he was their representative to the reader post-TSR.

Davian93
04-11-2012, 12:39 PM
Well to be honest, its not like there were any Amayar characters in the book or even any main characters ever interacting with them...so it was like "Oh, they all died? Who cares..."

I mean, its like saying all the trees in a forest you'll never see were cut down...not exactly personal.

Cortar
04-11-2012, 01:33 PM
Good point. If you have a strong enough accusation, then that automatically justifies your behavior.

To an extent it does.

All frat members don't drug and rape girls but a woman isn't stupid or biased if she doesn't drink everything random people give her at frat parties.

Boli
04-11-2012, 01:38 PM
The Aiel have celtic coloring while the Two Rivers probably look more like continental Europeans(brown hair, brown eyes, "average" white coloring...ie, they tan better.


Also, before the Moors invaded Sicily and southern Italy, Italians in general had much fairer complexions and blonde hair was not unusual. The same with Spain & Portugal for that matter.

I'm not denying that, but as far as I can see there is only ONE line which gives the difference between Aiel and the rest of the Western Realm; which is Rand's skin is a differnt colour. I believe there is an alusion later towards it with "Aiel Colouring" but it is ambiguous if it is skin colouring or hair/eyes.

What always got me is it was obvious they were Aiel at a distance even dressed in "wetlander" clothes. I mean what is so different about Aviendia? There are many examples of fair hair/eyes outside of the waste. Elayne with red-gold hair and blue eyes has never been mistaken for Aiel even when in a dress next to Aviendia.

So are they darker or lighter... its never been specified. I prefer more the Lighter (and tanned) Aiel vs the Olive skinned Wetlanders; but it could easily be taken the other way and Aiel are more Arabian in colouring.

Either way I always found it amusing.

Davian93
04-11-2012, 02:06 PM
So are they darker or lighter... its never been specified. I prefer more the Lighter (and tanned) Aiel vs the Olive skinned Wetlanders; but it could easily be taken the other way and Aiel are more Arabian in colouring.



RJ mentioned it in an interview a couple times that he did the exact opposite trope and have the desert dwellers be pale light skinned/light haired instead of the traditional dark skin/dark hair.

There's also the height to consider when viewing them from a distance...if you see a bunch of pale taller than usual people, there's a good bet they're Aiel.

Ishara
04-11-2012, 02:49 PM
It was mentioned above, but I would suggest that the general attitude towards the Tinkers is mostly prejudice as opposed to racism. Most people know absolutely nothing about the Way of the Leaf and how it feeds who the Tinkers are and why they live the way that they do. The more open minded folks (who tend to be younger) who speak to themlong enough to find out are the ones who are more likely to run away with them. But the "common knowledge" of Tinkers stealing cookware and babies/ children is borne of exagerration at best and can be malicious at worst.

We've seen communities not eager to assit or engage the Tinkers, despite both parties benefiting from the arrangement. We've seen that they will flock to an area that is free from the prejudices they've commonly experieicned (much like medieval Jewish communities in England and Spain, they have moved in numbers to live under Seanchan rule).

I think it's a valid example of one universal example of prejudice across Randland, seperate and part from nationalism we've seen.

Davian93
04-11-2012, 02:52 PM
(much like medieval Jewish communities in England and Spain, they have moved in numbers to live under Seanchan rule).



Lets just hope for the Tinkers' sake, they dont take up banking and then lend the Empress, may she live forever, large sums of money that are difficult to pay back.

Ishara
04-11-2012, 02:54 PM
Or that the Emplress doesn't need a scapegoat to abuse to distract the masses...

Yeah, the example sort of falls apart if we play it too far into the future...

Rand al'Fain
04-11-2012, 07:00 PM
I'm not denying that, but as far as I can see there is only ONE line which gives the difference between Aiel and the rest of the Western Realm; which is Rand's skin is a differnt colour. I believe there is an alusion later towards it with "Aiel Colouring" but it is ambiguous if it is skin colouring or hair/eyes.

What always got me is it was obvious they were Aiel at a distance even dressed in "wetlander" clothes. I mean what is so different about Aviendia? There are many examples of fair hair/eyes outside of the waste. Elayne with red-gold hair and blue eyes has never been mistaken for Aiel even when in a dress next to Aviendia.

So are they darker or lighter... its never been specified. I prefer more the Lighter (and tanned) Aiel vs the Olive skinned Wetlanders; but it could easily be taken the other way and Aiel are more Arabian in colouring.

Either way I always found it amusing.

Yeah, the Aiel, aside from Rand, have the darker skin which is more of a tan than being the skin they're born with.

Kind of like moving the Norse to the desert and Arabs to the harsh and cold North (Borderlands).

Karak Norn Clansman
04-13-2012, 05:06 PM
Plain and simple.

There are no black heroes in the series at all. The only time black people even appear are as villains (especially evil villains at that): Semirhage, Toun (haha, nice try whity, making a black woman a slave owner?), etc.
And? There need not be.

Besides, I do not think of Tuon as a villain, especially not with her rule over the southeastern Randlands. You seem far off mark with the slave owner comment. If you are so fixated on historic slavery of blacks, then why not see Tuon as a kind of pay-back for centuries of primarily Arabian but also European slave trade with Africans? Also, slavery was very common in Sub-Saharan Africa, since humans once were more valuable than territory as a resource in much of Africa.

Besides, you do forget Tylee Khirgan, who is portrayed in a sympathetic way in KoD and TGS.

Look at the Aiel. What a convenient way to replace native american/middle eastern cultures with more white people.
Rather look at the Aiel as a nice way of pulling off the chaos of the Breaking of the World. People ended up scattered who-knows where, and as others have shown this is apparent throughout the Wetlands, not to speak of the huge Seanchan empire.

Is it racist of Jordan to have "primitive savages" (Aiel and some of the Seanchan hill tribes) as white? Would it have been if they had been a different colour? If so, why?

The "best" country is white-only: Andor.
And? I've seen others mark out Andor as the best country in WoT, but whilst quite likeable or at least mighty by Wetland standards, Andor pales in comparison with the Borderlands. In my eyes, of course, since it is a matter of taste. Perhaps it is instead racist against whites, what with Andoran midwifes tasting urine? :rolleyes:

Let creative people do what they please with imaginary worlds without being so rash as to stamp isms on them. What if a Fantasy writer wrote about a whole continent or world that is entirely African, European, Asian or Middle Eastern? Well, that's fine, just let them do so. No need to search anxiously for "subtle racism" or whatever.

The only non-white cultures, Tear, Illian, Ebou Dar, are portrayed as weird, ignorant, and silly. Also they are conquered by a whiteman, of course.
Entirely matter of taste, this. Weird, ignorant and silly? I don't think so, although some Altaran oddities made me laugh. Besides, Illian and Ebou Dar are pretty white as far as I remember, and Tear have some pale people. Murandy is white too, is it not? Well, that country is a mess, a little bit like the German Holy Roman Empire. What does it matter if they're conquered by a "whiteman"? Is there something inherently extra wrong about whites? And Ebou Dar, too? Someone better warn Mat!

There are almost no black channellers, except Semirhage and every single one of the powerful channellers are all white....

I think you've discovered anti-white racism here, with almost all of the evil Forsaken being white! See the flawed reasoning I pulled up there? Now, reread your own original post.

Besides, there are some dark-skinned Tairen Aes Sedai, not to speak of the Atha'an Miere. If people think the Sea Folk is annoying, then that's a subjective matter of taste, but they certainly doesn't appear as some kind of intentionally irritating people to me. Rather, they make sense a ship-living people with their strict hierarchies and discipline, and every people on Earth have surely had some odd custom that someone must find annoying.

To round off, I think this thread started as a troll attempt. Pull another one, why dontcha? Try "Is the Wheel of Time Communist?" :D

Charlz Guybon
05-12-2012, 10:23 AM
Also, black and white races are not the only two in existence. Shienar is based on Japan; I didn't know they were "white men."

The culture is Japanese, the weapons and architecture western European, but the ethnic features...I always pictured them and the Malkieri as a having a Nnative American look. Am I wrong?

Oneirist
05-13-2012, 04:58 PM
The Borderlanders, in general, always seemed to me to be mixed race, or at least diverse. I remember some Shienarans being described as dark, while others have blue eyes and pale hair. Same with Arafel.

And though Andor is predominately white, no one thought it odd that Gaebril was not only a fellow Andoran but a lord. I'm pretty sure Elayne described some of the early queens of Andor as being as dark as the Sea Folk, too.