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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Yeah, not to belabor the point, but all I see in there is Spray Tan Blond Guy and Strawberry Blond Lady.
     
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  2. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    I believe the New Mandalorians are actually supposed to be the offspring of survivors of some sort of massive catastrophe, which is why they developed a populist bent in the first place. That sort of event, a population bottleneck, it the surest and fastest way to produce homogenization in a society (and it's what drives a lot of speciation events). Coupled with rapid post-crisis growth and strict limits on interbreeding and immigration - something the expansion-incapable cube cities we see might produce - there is a solid in-universe justification for why this population has a high level of homogeneity.

    There is no such justification for why this homogenous society ended up with the precise traits they did.

    Out-of-universe the likely explanation is that they designed Satine first, and made her a pale blond - not exactly original and fitting princess tropes but it's one character so whatever, and then the rest of the 'Mandalorian crowd' as it were was copied off of her. A lot of bad demographic decisions in Star Wars seem to follow from this sort of copying.
     
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  3. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Which is exactly what happened to the Lost Tribe on Kesh. Though it would only really make sense to me for the New Mandalorians if it was on Kalevala instead of Mandalore. Then it could be said that Kalevala was largely isolated from the galaxy, even the rest of the Mandalore system, after the so-called "Mandalorian Excision" occurred, since Mandalore has already been established to not have been isolated from the rest of the galaxy, when isolation is really only way to believable explain away this Aryan society they have concocted for the New Mandalorians.
     
  4. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Actually, I think the most likely explanation for the homogeneity is that they were deliberately trying to evoke a look for their pacifist new-society utopia, and went with the whole peacenik internationalist democratic-socialist Scandinavian paradise thing. I don't think they really thought about the fact that creating an entire planet of nothing but super-stereotypical Space Swedes (guys they have other hair and eye colors where Vikings used to live, really) comes off pretty racist.
     
  5. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    They are not token, we see several none blonde and pale as toast TCW Mandos, or next thing we have to start saying Mace is just the token Black Guy in the Jedi Order, or Lando the only Black Man in the Rebellion, even though we see others as well.
     
  6. Skaddix

    Skaddix Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2012
    To be fair Mace hardly looks like a token because the PT Council is pretty diverse bunch. Luke's NJO on the other hand then Mace would be a token.
     
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  7. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Yea! We are also hay head, fair-haired, dark blond, strawberry blonde, blond going to brow, honey blond, ash blond and bleach blond :p

    On a more serious note I actually think that the comparison of Mandolor and Sweden is a good one. After all Sweden used to be this warmongering regional superpower that plundered and concurred every wear its army went. You can find that even today Poland has sayings referring to Sweden as barbarians and bad people and Russia has psalms cursing us


    Edit: also the pale skinned look could be explained by them having spent all their lives under the protective walls of arcologies so it is a question of never needing to have darker, more protective skin. The hair on the other hand I can not really justify [face_dunno]
     
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  8. Skaddix

    Skaddix Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Always enjoyable to see people jump through hoops to explain this **** really helps the creative thinking.
     
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  9. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I am not jumping through hoops, I ultimately hate the idea, but its clear that its not going to go away and TEA really did try to explain it all away. I just chose to ignore the existence of the New Mandalorians and would only consider accepting them if they are moved to Kalevala like I have suggested, but LFL apparently wants them to be on Mandalore and they don't seem like they are going to change their mind any time soon.
     
  10. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    [face_plain]

    :eek:

    [face_plain]

    =D=
     
  11. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2010
    You two really need to just get a room already.
     
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  12. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Coop, I still completely reject TCW and TFU, and the post-NJO too, and will probably never end up accepting them, because LFL refuses to undo the damage they caused. I have more important things to worry about than diversity, like the quality of the story, which is exactly what most of the white characters were in my opinion, quality stories, until things got screwed over by Lucas' meddling and Denning's insane direction. Of course, when LFL managed to come up with something so stupid from a diversity standpoint, the New Mandalorians, I am going to be up in arms over it too, but I have so many other reasons to not take them seriously, the diversity problems are almost an afterthought to me.
     
  13. themetresgained

    themetresgained Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Just out of interest, Zeta - are you male and white?
     
  14. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
  15. themetresgained

    themetresgained Jedi Knight star 4

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Stab in the dark, this being a Star Wars forum and all :p
     
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  16. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2010
    No reason the two need to be considered mutually exclusive. While a racially diverse set of cardboard cut outs will never be anything more than cardboard cutouts, I find that writers who gravitate towards including diversity in their stories tend to be better writers, as it shows that they take some amount of time to consider deeper implications in their stories. I'm not saying that's always the case, of course, and there are certainly reasons why not every story demands a diverse cast (a story set in a small, homogenous town, for instance), but considering the melting pot nature of the GFFA, it really shouldn't be having this problem.
     
  17. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Who had a tan?

    Edit: I tock a second look and I think saw him, so ignor stupid question
     
  18. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I don't think anyone's really trying to normalize it, because a planet of nothing but blonde, blue-eyed white people is anything but normal and just does not occur naturally. It's demographically unreasonable, genetically unfeasible, and racially insensitive, plain and simple. But with subsequent retcons minimizing the Aryan Mandos as a single, smaller New Mandalorian faction within the larger, multiracial and multispecies Mandalorian culture, and their holdings relegated to the bombed out desert regions of Mandalore...now the question arises as to just how the hell the New Mandalorians became that homogenous sect. Exile, immigration, and population control? Eugenics? There needs to be some manner of explanation for the utter lack of diversity in their society, and why they differ so strongly from the other clans.
     
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  19. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 16, 2008
    That's what I love about these wicked awesome pacifist Mandos- there's so much subtext behind how their society came to be and is run it's not even funny. As high and noble as Satine is, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if she had a sithload (pun intended [face_devil] ) of skeletons in her closet.
     
  20. Skaddix

    Skaddix Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Well Sabine could be nice and pure and all the dirty crap done centuries ago.
     
  21. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Oh come one guys and gals at this point it is the equivalent of us taking this picture

    [​IMG]

    and saying all people in South Africa are black. [face_sigh]
     
  22. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    The difference being that South Africa is a real place populated by real people, and its level of diversity is the sum of thousands of years of human migration, colonization, and other aspects of life. Sundari and the surrounding desert areas that make up the New Mandalorian state on Mandalore, however, are not real. Everything about it, including the racial breakdown, is determined by out-of-universe factors and subject to no such natural variety should the creator's hand direct the fictional world in a non-diverse direction.

    There has been nothing presented in TCW to suggest that there is anything even resembling genuine diversity within New Mandalorian society. We've seen all sorts of Mandalorians from the clans who are Black, White, Pacific Islander, Togorian, Mandallian, and Bothan. That diversity exists due to purpose, intentionally placed in the narrative as a representation of the larger culture these small, glimpsed samples are part of. Of the New Mandalorians, we're shown absolutely no aliens, absolutely no humans who are not white, and the vast majority of those white humans are blonde-haired and blue-eyed, with even such superficial variations in differences as hair and eye color being rendered almost non-existent beyond less than a handful of characters. During the sum of their appearances, not one person of color, not one alien. Could there be Black or Asian or Latino New Mandalorians? Could there be aliens? Sure, absolutely; no canon precludes them from existing. But unlike the sampling of varied characters from the clans that's indicative of the culture's widespread level of inclusiveness, there's nothing presented to us in canon that also even suggests that non-white New Mandalorians exist, and as far as legitimate representation in a fictional setting goes, "maybe they're just offscreen," or "maybe they're just not in this one crowd shot" is nowhere near good enough.
     
  23. Skaddix

    Skaddix Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Well I was going to respond but its hard to top that so slow clap for Mia Mesharad.
     
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  24. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Yep and we are easily able to get more then 4-5 quick glimpses at the society of South Africa and as mentioned before it really is not like all people on TCW Mandalore are blond and white, but no let us just ignore that and pretend they do not exist at all. o_O Sure a more diverse mix would be much better, but there definitely is no malice behind it, this is not Birth of a Nation we are talking about after all, or for that matter the much more brow raising worthy Ming Po.

    Yep and we have seen colored people, blonde, brunette and redheads among the New Mandalorians and even the "Mandalorian Clans" are heavily dominated by humans.

    And nothing that tells us they would not be welcome to be part of it. Again to take the pic of those 50 or so South Africans, if we ably the same logic there we would have to say there are no other ethnicity in South Africa.

    Nep you just want to happen to ignore them as it seems.

    Were the blond hair could easily actually be a fashion thing and we also see ones with different eye colors.

    As almost non existent as let us say Alien Mandalorian Warriors, because there are very few as well after the Taung are gone.

    Those guys and gals with dark skin in the group shoots might have something to say about that.

    Exactly

    Actually one has to wonder if there are any Humans that are meant to be "Asian" in TCW, the design style would make it insanely difficult.

    Except the ones right there on screen.
     
  25. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    We've all seen the picture; we don't know who you're talking about. All I see are tan white people in that picture. And only one or two of those.
     
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