In what ways is Lord of the Rings racist? There's a bunch probably, if you really want to dig into the subtext, but it's pretty obvious in some places. The most significant pieces, at least that have always struck me when reading the series, are the descriptions of the 'Southrons' and 'Eastlings' given in Return of the King. They are clearly non-white humans and they are portrayed both as evil (serving Sauron), weak-minded (manipulated by Sauron), and weak physically (by being worth 'less' in battle than a Gondorian or Rohirrim). Likewise, there's a very clear hierarchy among the types of mortals, with humans being less than elves, and the elves having their own complex setup of sub-groups - with oddly the most powerful ones being the least ethical, but whatever. The dwarves are deliberately shunted off to the side - being created by a different god of all things. The demonizing of the Eastlings and Southrons and the contrasting glorification of the lifestyles of Gondor, Rohan, and the extinct Arnor, clearly has a influence on real-world culture, since those cultures proxy actual historical cultures. Tolkein was a professor of British literature, and as might be expected he glorified that heritage, but in doing so he exalted a lifestyle and a certain amalgamation of Northern European ethnicities as being flat out better than pretty much anything else. There's demonization of these non-white groups of men is, if I recall correctly (my Silmarillion recollection is rusty), justified by their service to Morgoth in an earlier age - so their weakness, and possibly even their appearance, if a result of this curse. Thus, to be non-white is to be cursed, and by an action undertaken by one's ancestors that you had no control over. Here's a difference with Star Wars on that front actually: while one species could, in-universe, claim some other species was cursed to be weak and hideous, they would be wrong, and there would be some other evolution-based explanation for why they actually appeared the way they did. In LOTR, if Tolkein writes that men were cursed by Iluvatar to be dark of skin with red tongues they're actually, you know, cursed. I think that makes a difference because, when reading, if we see speciesm in Star Wars, there can be other voices within the setting that reveal how deluded and outright wrong that speciesm is, using evidence. In LOTR, if you're cursed, you're cursed, and they are right to hate you - the setting structure itself justifies the racism. I think perhaps, another way of looking at what I meant is that sword & sorcery fantasy settings are highly prone to treat Species = Morality ie. 'All Orcs are Evil!' That is a viewpoint that is blatantly racist pretty much any way you slice it. Space operas are generally unlikely to embrace that viewpoint. There may be species that simply do not play nice with others or species that are highly socialized towards malevolent viewpoints, but being 'born bad' is far less common.