Sunday, July 4, 2010

Drama Mamas, or "My Favorite Column"

I love the Drama Mamas. They handle interpersonal issues, and I like the process of thinking through a tough situation and finding a suitable course of action.

Two days ago, they had an article featuring a player who encountered in-game racists, and some of the language quoted made me feel sick. I've moved a lot in my life, lived in both the north and the south, but I'm undeniably a Southern girl. My parents are born and raised Southerners, and I spent my teenage years in the south.

This means I take great offense to the "southern style" comment. I'm a red-headed descendant of Scottish immigrants; both of my parents came from families who worked hard and honestly. My dad is from a Tennessee farming family with 5 children -- they were so poor, he'd never had ice cream until he was a teenager. My mom's mother was from a Georgia family of 11 kids and worked her hands to the bone from age 14 to age 75.

Yet with all this Southern heritage, I've only heard one racist comment that wasn't in a movie or online, and that wasn't even from someone I knew very well. And he made everyone else (all of us Southerners) feel very awkward.

Is there still tension in the South? Sure. One or two towns you hear of still have rampant racism (i.e. public and newsworthy), and in any particular town I'm sure you'll find a smattering of people who'd fall under the racist umbrella.

In my high school, the white kids and the black kids tended to stick to friends within their own race. I perceived it to be a comfort thing rather than overt tension. I asked my friend Dee if she'd ever encountered racism and she said no, but I think a mutual friend of ours had. She had a tense anger about her sometimes that worried me.

In New Jersey, one of the things I liked best was the racial integration. There was none of the wariness you get sometimes in the South. It wasn't just black and white, either, you had all types of races and backgrounds. It was just lovely. Aesthetic, even.

Now I'm in Minnesota, filled with Viking descendants and Native Americans. My sister-in-law's father was either 6 or 10 before he ever saw anyone who wasn't white. In fact, the racism up here reportedly extends between two sects of white people. Nordics Norwegians and Swedes.

(The human color scheme here is a bit boring compared to New Jersey, but the weather is nice and there's hardly any traffic, so. :/ )

All this to say: different colors are pretty. Racism is dumb. Read that article so you can help report dumb racist people in WoW because I cannot emphasize enough how badly they need to be reported.

9 comments:

  1. Hi! I read your blog a lot (I love the posts with cool outfits), but this is my first comment.

    I agree that some of the anti-Southern sentiment in that column was uncalled for. My Dad is from East TN (or as other people would say, "hillbilly country"), and he and I are both sensitive to Southern stereotyping. It seems to me that it's one of the few kinds of prejudice (along with anti-gay and anti-Muslim, that I can think of) that isn't universally condemned. Even among my otherwise intelligent and thoughtful friends, who would never think of making a joke about black people or using "gay" or "retarded" in a derogatory way, they'll make anti-Southern comments without even thinking about them, and when I say "can you please not say stuff like that," they'll say "what did I say?" It doesn't even seem like prejudice to them.

    Anyway, I got a bit off point, because that sort of thing really bothers me. I appreciated that Drama Mamas column because I encountered one of my first brushes with in-game hate speech today. My fiancé (DPS) and I (heals) were PUGging a random that started out a little shaky. One of the PUGged DPS proceeded to call the tank a f*g (even more ridiculous because the wipe was actually that DPS's fault). I'm usually very shy and with people I don't know well in game, but after having just read that Drama Mamas I thought I ought to say something (I say stuff in real life all the time, but apparently WoW brings out my social anxiety). I told him that there was no call for that sort of language, and he stopped ranting without further argument. I was proud of myself for speaking up in spite of my nervousness, and hopefully (although I'm not holding my breath), he'll think about what the words he's saying really mean in the future.

    I'm sorry, this was sort of rambling and slightly tangential to your post, but, I don't know, I was glad to know that someone else is taking this Drama Mama's post to heart. <3

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  2. *nod nod nod*

    Great thoughts. ^_^ I think it's cool that you spoke up and the guy backed off.

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  3. I have a bit of a question. Me and my partner can't understand what you mean with "Nordics and Swedes".
    We're both Swedish and if your Swedish, you're Nordic as well... So, please explain?

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  4. I did that part from memory, so I might have gotten the exact designations wrong, but it's a minuscule variation of what most outsiders would consider so insignificant as to be the same thing.

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  5. Yeah, I'm confused about that designation as well but humans tend to create labels, groups, and designations that they then cling to. It's quite possible that two groups refer to themselves as Nordics and Swedes and consider the two to be vastly different things.

    I actually didn't read that Drama Mama post (I'm also a big fan, so I don't know how that one passed me by). The language that submitter has experienced shocks me to no end. I've had a few people use racial slurs for the shock value - akin to that first story she relayed - but nothing like that second person... I guess I've been lucky. :|

    I do liberally populate my ignore lists. Perhaps that has spared me from continued exposure to the biggest asshats?

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  6. This may be a bit off topic, but I really enjoy reading your blog as a fellow female WoW player...but I just noticed you live in Minnesota as well :)

    What a small world ^_^

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  7. Happeee! I enjoy Minnesota. It's been all hot lately, tho. >.< It would be nice if homes had air conditioning in this area.

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  8. The tension is probably between Norwegians and Swedes in Minnesota. My great grandma came over from Sweden and settled in southern Utah where it was between Swedes and Danes. At least, until they began to intermarry. I imagine it's similar in Minnesota . . . there was at some point in the past such tensions, but it's just part of the state's past now.

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