They all just happen to be White and Male most of the time
Cass was Asian but I wonder how the model minority trope sits on top of her being one of the “best” assistants he’s ever had
And how she so willingly stepped aside and into the background?
By rights, if Batman is actually helping Gotham, protecting the less fortunate, cleaning the streets
He’d be trying to help PoC
But I mean
What are you gonna do?
I like Batman, but I don’t like Batman.
When I like Batman
I have to stop thinking about Batman.
I like comics, but I don’t like comics.
To like comics, I have to stop thinking about them.
I really do.
Because let me tell you, I’m sick of it.
I’m just sick of it.
Even the few that are there, you’ve got to basically always be creating fan content and headcanons about them, because there’s not enough content for those characters or content to their character.
Nearly every PoC that appears in the hands of the big two is generally a White washed PoC or what they believe or how they believe PoC are or act
What can you do?
Take shit or have nothing at all is generally what it boils down to
“Create your own”
So you can either have success at the price of a soul, because you don’t really get there without it
Or you can crash and burn or let them kill it
Sometimes, small is best, but sometimes when you’re small you can’t reach everyone who needs it
I always feel good about boosting and linking and word of mouth
But sometimes when you get it all together you look and it’s like
“Is this all there is.”
And sometimes because it’s such a small universe the same things go round and round
Like we can only have those things as they are proven and something new is too much of a risk
What can you do
Someone was posting the other day that they’re starting to get to that opinion that no PoC character should ever be in the hands of Whites because it’s about to be a bad time
On one side, you have the idea that, “Well how are these characters going to get introduced then, especially if that person has a platform?”
Because honestly you’ve got to “normalize” PoC to that wider audience and sometimes, especially due to conditioning, self-hate, and a lack of representation, to PoC themselves
But on the otherside it’s like, what do you do when people will only accept certain types of PoC and or PoC only in the hands of a White writer due to the bullshit bizzaro “authenticity” clauses where people do not believe in PoC to tell their own stories, whatever the medium, but will believe and patronize Whites
This got longer than I wanted it to be, but it comes back to the questions of
“What do we do?”
Maybe not even that
“What can I do?”
I’ve had to normalize it to myself, honestly.
When I tell you all part of my story, how I used to be on that shit
I’m serious about that.
Too many times, even still, do I have to honestly force myself to represent myself or people who like me in my writing. I have to normalize it.
When I was 8 I wondered if Black people even wrote books, if we even wrote stories? “Do black people write fantasy?”
I had no idea. At all.
“Do people even write about black people in books?”
What’s real, what’s possible, I still question those things.
Even how to go about it.
Even if I take a “universalist” type approach and be like, even if unnamed, the person is black, i write from my perspective, a reader will make them White.
Sometimes, due to conditioning, I’m guilty of making them White.
Due to conditioning, sometimes, your mind goes right to that place.
How can I even dare to begin to make a change when I still have to work on changing myself?
I live it and yet sometimes I still feel like an observer, a learner, someone looking in and I feel as wicked and false as those so called allies, following and peeping in on our lives
Even if I explicitly state someone is Black
Someone will read and still make them White
How do you do that?
Everyone in an imagined world is white because all that person lives is in a White world
Even if we grow up in a world with nothing but Black faces, the world around us is still nothing but a White world, in tv in toys in books in magazines and in games
So what do I do about that? I keep working on myself.
But still in a larger context, what do I do about that? Keep working on it, a willful, active work on it, not just for broader representation but for myself
I have a lot of questions, I still need a lot of answers…
I know all these feels
I know them so bad
Being a comic book fan of color requires you to turn off your brain to the problematic aspects of it all
I was going to make a post about the new Ultimate Comics: Ultimates issue that came out this week
basically what happens is Captain America defies authority to save American lives, like a real patriot. And these Americans, they’re being killed by automated robots, in a “foreign land” (this is a comic where California has seceded, and the scene takes place on the Cali/AZ border). So my brain goes right to the drone strikes that have been happening, right? And all the kinds of bullshit thoughts people have that basically help promote and allow the drone strikes and invasion of brown countries.
And ofc, all the people Captain America saves are white. There’s even a panel where he’s standing over a blonde woman and her beautiful blonde babies, using his shield to protect them from the blasts.
How can you NOT immediately think about how nobody cares about how brown people are killed, and see this scene, where the author is trying to make me feel sympathy for these white characters who are going through things that are not too dissimilar than one real people face? Captain America does the “right thing” and defies presidential orders to save “Americans,” and what’s being done for the people in Pakistan? In Yemen? In Libya?
people suggest nuking the whole region for being barbaric, and no one points out the irony in that sentiment :|
I know all these feels. I remember reading one of the notes on the blog post “De-centering Whiteness in Storytelling” in which Neo-Prodigy argues for Cassandra Cain being Batman during his death/absence/time-skip-thingy instead of Dick Grayson and … every single point she made was so valid, so real that it just blew me out of the water. And I felt guilty. Because not only were her points valid they were painfully obvious, even to someone who only checks in on the comics every three months or so, so I know what’s going on. I should have been behind team Cass and for me as a woman of color who is also a Batman fan not to see how obviously my fictional sister-in-solidarity was being utterly shafted? I knew I had been turning my brain off to enjoy my media too often and too long.. And I know that to some extent that’s necesary as POC, if we want to have *anything* to enjoy at all, but this time I just felt icky and sad.
Of course I’ve questioned why it’s only white boys with black hair and blue eyes that Batman seems to puck up and stick with, and the justification is always “Well, they remind him of himself,” and yeah I can see that, that’s cool and all… But what does it mean to be Batman and be a “hero” and to look at the pain, the intelligence, the strength, and the resourcefulness of children of color— and not see yourself?
One of my most recurring plot bunnies (and believe me I’m exploding with them) has always been to drop a Black woman all up close and personal in the JL and in the Batfam and just… see what happens. Part of the reason that I’ve never written it is because I just don’t see it going well. Even for all my knowledge and love of Batman, let’s be real. He and his proteges are a bunch of privileged white males who—as far as I can see—rarely have to interact with anyone darker than Talia and when they do, most of the time those people are villains or thugs. Some of it is self-insertion, granted. But honestly? That’s the point. I can’t see me or someone who looks like me doing well in the comic book world. Especially if that character is not some shuckin’ an’ jivin’ white-identifying token and points out the BS “colorblind” racism that goes on around her. SMH.