Okay because now people are trying to defend Hussie:
There is no “other interpretation” that isn’t awful and rude.
“Oh but maybe it’s like being Grimdark and they are actually Non-White!”
So you just whitewashed them? Great.
“But they are aracial!”
Nope. There are references as being white in the comic and I’m not going to go with the whole ~word of god~ thing when they weren’t written that way. It was a nice thought, but it ended up backfiring.
“But it’s his comic and he doesn’t have to include POC people if he doesn’t want to.”
You’re right! He has no obligation to do so. What is not okay however is when he says, “Yeah don’t worry, they don’t have a race” and then he basically makes fun of everyone who became skeptical after Jane’s initial Trickster form and thought, ”great, so basically there is little to no chance the characters aren’t white then”. Awesome.
“It’s actually a parody/satire about how under-represented poc people are”
What? I don’t think that is a thing.
The BIGGEST thing is that he obviously sees fandom reactions and instead of going “Wow! I better try to gracefully diffuse the situation” he takes a gigantic shit on everyone and goes “Haha, what if I put a really questionable panel here that adds absolutely nothing at all to the story and will make people angry?”
Point is, there WAS no point to that. I don’t care about whatever justifications there were, there was no need for that panel, unless the intent was to ~~~troll~~~ people which is a pretty not okay thing to do.
So my question is this; why are people still defending him? He has been less than great about stuff, and him blatantly insulting people in a comic that started as reader-driven (and it still is! Even if it isn’t as explicit as when it began) is a warning sign. Again, while he has no obligation to please his fans, I mostly find it shocking that people are trying to defend him as opposed to going “That was really not okay but I will continue to see this work as being problematic while enjoying other elements.” So much of the fandom will blindly defend him and because of that, he knows he can get away with this stuff.
I’m not telling you to stop reading it or that you’re bad for liking it! But please recognize that you can separate the work from the author and you don’t have to defend someone if they’re being inexcusably awful. Think about Homestuck -and every piece of media- critically.
We need to talk about race in Homestuck.
Turn off your knee-jerk reactions, stop rolling your eyes at the people who are “over-reacting” and listen for just a moment.
I love Homestuck because it’s a safe space for me. As a queer reader, I’m surrounded in my day-to-day life by people who are homophobic, people who might make me feel unwelcome, people who might hurt me. It’s really, really nice to escape into a fantasy world where a whole bevy of queer characters explore themselves and grow and learn completely unhindered by homophobia. I appreciate Homestuck’s queer characters and storylines. I need them. I’m honestly tearing up right now, and I didn’t think I would get so emotional about this; having access to a story where teenage characters are free to explore relationships with one another without being condemned for who they are has been so, so important to me.
Andrew Hussie has explicitly said, both in correspondence with fans and in the text of his comic, that all the trolls are pansexual. Gender is no object for them when it comes to romance. When John explains heterosexuality to Karkat, he wonders “how it can even be a thing.”
And time and time again, throughout the comic, the message has been reiterated: it’s okay to be a girl with a girlfriend or a boy with a boyfriend. People in queer relationships have the same problems as people in straight relationships, and their stories get equal weight within the story.
Like I said before, I need Homestuck’s queer storylines. I think all of media needs to get on this level of queer representation. I think Hussie has done a good job in this area, with the exception of a few homophobic slurs dropped carelessly here and there throughout the text of the comic.
Now, let’s look at another area where Hussie hasn’t done such a good job: race representation.
The characters in Homestuck are “canonically aracial” - except they’re not. When Kanaya sees Rose for the first time, she remarks that her skin is “white as snow.” Bro Strider is described by John as “a lame white rapper.” John and Jane’s supposed great-grandfather - the one they think they are biologically descended from - is described as a racist Southern plantation owner. The trolls consistently describe the skin colour of the kids as “pink.”
And yet, despite all this, despite the text of the comic confirming that, yes, these characters are white, despite the total lack of any markers that would point to any of the characters being non-white, Hussie continued to insist that the characters had no race.
And then he said that anybody who said otherwise was a racist bigot.
Let’s get back to queer representation for just a moment. What if Hussie had said, “Yeah, all the trolls are pansexual,” but every romantic relationship that he wrote was about a boy and a girl? What if Karkat made some comment about how, say, in Alternian culture, “the bride and the groom” do x, y, z at troll weddings? What if Nepeta said, “Oh, I just wish a boy would notice me?”
As a queer reader, I might start to pick up on this. I’d say, “Hey, Hussie, I thought all the trolls were pansexual - it would sure be nice to see some queer relationships!”
Say the fandom responded to my criticism with, “Get over it, you’re overreacting, you’re a social justice warrior with too much time on your hands.”
Say Hussie responded to my criticism with, “You’re a bigot - pansexual people have straight relationships, too, and I’m representing pansexuality accurately.”
And then, a few months down the road, Jane goes trickster, corners Jake, and says, “I feel so heterosexual!”
Wouldn’t that feel like a punch in the stomach? How would you feel if you were promised queer representation and repeatedly denied it and then mocked in the text of the comic, mocked by the fandom - all because you wanted a character to identify with?
Essentially, Hussie created eight white characters in a row, described them as white, and then, when his readers demanded race representation, said that his characters had no race.
And then he went ahead and made Jane white anyway.
You have to understand that the people who are upset about this aren’t social justice warriors looking to fill a quota so that their favourite webcomic will be as politically correct as possible. These are your fellow readers, your friends, who just wanted to be able to think that maybe their favourite character’s skin was the same colour as theirs.
I just googled movie times in my city and pulled up a list of films playing at the theatre closest to me. Gangster Squad - four white people on the poster. Les Miserables - all-white cast. Zero Dark Thirty - white people torturing brown people. This is 40 - white. The Hobbit - white. Silver Linings Playbook - white. Skyfall - white. Django Unchained and Lincoln - movies where representation of people of colour is tied to stories of slavery.
Do you get it? People of colour don’t get to see themselves on the big screen except as slaves and terrorists. That’s a huge, huge problem.
Homestuck was supposed to be a solution to that problem.
Hussie promised aracial characters.
He promised safe space and something like representation for people who hardly ever get to see themselves represented in media the way white people are.
He promised that anyone, anywhere, could look at Jane and say, “Cool, my favourite character can be black/Hispanic/Asian/Native American/East Indian/Middle Eastern/biracial, just like me.”
And, after making that promise, he turned Jane’s skin white.
imo what hussie did is more respectable than some people are giving him credit for bc it takes a lot to realise you fucked up and genuinely affected someone and be the bigger man to step back and fix your mistakes
I thought this was very well-written and informative.
I’m always saying “I’m sorry for what white people have done to you/continue to do to you” but I don’t always follow that with a solution to the problem at hand.
Time to change that.
Omg, I want to print this out and throw them everywhere, especially at school, so many people do these things and don’t understand that racism is at lot more subversive than someone just spewing racial slurs
This is a really great read. I recognize a lot of attitudes from this post in my subconscious self, and I need to work that.
for my white followers
when people try to use the dictionary definition of “racism” in a race argument
we’ve been over it again & again why the dictionary definition of “racism” is flawed, there’s numerous posts explaining it, yet idiots still continues to use it
HOMESTUCK CHARACTERS ARE ARACIAL
TRICKSTERS CAN CHANGE THEIR SKINTONE TO WHATEVER THEY PARTICULARLY FEEL LIKE
JANE CURRENTLY “FEELS CAUCASIAN”
OMG YES THIS PLEASE?
I NOW NEED A PANEL OF JANE SKIPPING ACROSS THE PLANET WHILE RAPIDLY OSCILLATING SKIN COLORS
YOU THINK THIS IS A MOTHERFUCKING GAME
This is actually pretty fucking awesome, I would like this. Except, that would mean being “black” is associated with the opposite of “happy”, aka “sad” or “mad”? I don’t like the thought of that :/ People with dark skin have to deal with not being seen as pretty, being cast as “evil” & not being represented in media (or the only representation of them are gang member, drug dealers, criminals, etc.), they don’t need a comic they love to establish their skin being a synonym with “sad” or “mad”… But of course, Hussie might do something different. I’m really interested in this omggggggg
Let’s lay the groundwork real quick for what racism means. Put the dictionary down. Now. From racism-education:
Racism is when intolerance in government laws, attitudes and ideals of a society are ingrained in a culture to the point where patterns of discrimination towards a certain race are institutionalized as normal. […] There is another saying: “Racism (or sexism) = prejudice + power.
Now that the bare fucking basics are dealt with, let’s go down the rabbit hole, point by point:
i’m trying to remember my kids race/ethnicity headcanons…hm
John: White boy with black hair.
Dave: White boy with a light beach tan, dirty blonde hair
Rose: Either pale white girl with bleach blonde hair or Asian girl with black hair
Jade: Brown skinned south asian girl with darkish brown hair
Jane: Light skinned asian girl with black hair
Dirk: White boy with a medium beach tan, light blonde hair
Roxy: White girl with blonde hair
Jake: Half black & half white, dark brown skin & dark brown hair
Karkat: Middle Eastern or Indian, medium brown skin, short shaggy dark brown hair
Aradia: Indian, brown skin with long wavy hair
Tavros: Either half black & half white or native american, light brown skin & either straight or curly brown hair in his style
Sollux: White boy, pale skin & black (bed head?) hair with sideburns
Nepeta: White girl with brown hair
Kanaya: White girl with black hair
Terezi: Black girl with naturally brown curly hair pulled back into a ponytail (so it’s like a cute pom pom on her head) maybe a couple clips
Aradia: White girl with black hair
Equius: Maori, Samoan or Hawaiian (Polynesian), with lovely coarse dark black (blue tint?) wavy/curly hair (this is my fav headcanon omg)
Gamzee: Middle Eastern or Indian, brown skin, eyes like Aziz Ansari (deep eyelids that remind me of my own), shaggy dark brown shoulder length hair
Eridan: White boy with black hair & a purple streak
Feferi: South American, light brown skin with long wavy brown hair
I realize now that I have really diverse headcanons, oh & I didn’t force them upon myself…I just just thought of them like this randomly or after viewing really awesome fanart ^.^ If I could draw them all out I totally would…But alas, my drawing skills aren’t so great so far… Oh & I didn’t mention body types, maybe I’ll make another post about that later on.
Reblogged from Mixed Girl Tag @
1. What are you mixed with?
White, Black & Japanese
2. What ethnicity have you often been mistaken for?
3. Is your hair curly or straight?
Really really curly (black side haha)
4. Was coming from different backgrounds challenging growing up?
Definitely. I was raised in Hawai’i which had a lot of Asian culture, plus my mom & grandma raised me while dad was in the Navy. My grandma is a native Japanese woman from Shizuoka, Hamamatsu. So I learned a lot of cultural stuff from her & also like beginner/intermediate Japanese from her.
But then I moved to California around 6ish. I moved to a town which had a large population of hispanics & blacks. I wasn’t really accepted in the black community though… Although I looked (a bit) black, I didn’t act it because I wasn’t raised in that culture… So making friends was hard. Especially when there’s so many different types of ways of conversing depending on which culture you’re from…
5. Which backgrounds do you embrace the most?
Pretty much only Japanese… I’ve never met my white grandpa, & I was raised by full Japanese or half Japanese people haha. When my dad got of the Navy he started to help raise me though. But I definitely embrace my Japanese side most, although I’m only 1/4. But I’m trying to educate myself about my black side (with the help of Tumblr~)
6. Have you ever been teased for being different?
Not really? I mean, I was teased for having black people hair & not straightening it… But then I broke & started to. But other than that, I wasn’t teased. I never stood out enough. Ha…
7. Have you ever been ashamed of being multi-racial?
I think when I started realizing how much of a roll it played I began to dislike being multiracial. When I was a kid I didn’t really understand. But especially now that I have a tumblr & follow social justice blogs I realize how confused & ashamed I was. But now I’m trying to embrace it, but it’s still hard looking one race but feeling another. (Note: What I mean by feeling isn’t what those people call “trans”Asian or “trans”Black. I mean, I look mostly black, but was raised in a Japanese environment. I hope that makes sense…)
8. Do you feel that being mixed has its benefits?
Honestly no. So far it’s just caused problems for me… The hole not being accepted into a group because I look one way but act another… But one time last semester in my Japanese language class this girl asked what I was (Because in Hawai’i people tend to be mixed, she was mixed with Samoan herself) & when I told her what I was she said I was “cute”. I don’t know, but it made me feel really happy.
9. What makes being multiracial a beautiful thing?
I think it helps people to understand both sides of a culture, I think that’s pretty awesome.
10. Any advice to someone who struggles with their multiracial identity?
Honestly, I don’t know what advice to give since I’m struggling myself… But I guess, never give up! Try to understand all sides of your family! I think it’s actually pretty darn interesting when you get into it ^.^
When I’m curious about your race that does not make me racist.
I was watching a comedian on YouTube, & a couple people in the comments asked whether the comedian was Indian or Muslim. And the top comment made a reply saying “You guys are racist, it doesn’t matter what he is, he’s a good comedian & that’s all that matters!”
And I’m like ‘“Woah, woah there buddy. No one was saying he was less or more of a comedian because of his race. No one was being racist. Being curious about someone’s ethnicity doesn’t make that person racist.” And people thumbed up that comment! @.@ I seriously hope people don’t think that being curious about someone’s ethnicity is racist… it’s totally normal to be curious as long as you don’t discriminate.