BlackAfro

anonymous asked:

Can you just tell us what coding is? Google isnt being much help ;;

ugh god FINE but this is the last thing im talking about re: race in su and i mean it (maybe)

coding is hard to explain so this will be a very poor explanation (as well as possibly inaccurate) so if anyone who understands coding wants to jump in and explain it not poorly then please do

first of all, coding has to be definite and indisputable. it has to be ingrained into the character and be 100% INTENTIONAL from the writers. it’s not merely a fan interpretation, its something the writers are purposefully and EXPLICITLY portraying in the character that really CANT BE ARGUED

for example, you cant argue that garnet isnt coded as black. people who say “oh but shes an alien she doesnt have a race” just don’t know what coding is. like, you wouldn’t say jenny pizza is “coded” as black, you would say she IS black. garnet ISNT black, shes CODED as black. representational coding (there’s a lot of types of coding) is reserved for nonhuman characters, as it basically means youre ingraining real-world groups of people into the character

and it’s pretty clear why garnet is coded as black

afro, dark skin, physical features, voiced by a black woman, etcetc. if anyone looked at her who isnt familiar with steven universe, they would say she was a black woman, no doubt. she’s probably the most explicitly coded character in media that im familiar with

the point is, it has to be inarguable and extremely explicit and intentional by the creators. some people think pearl is coded as East Asian because of her fighting skills but that’s simply not definite enough. its an interpretation, and its arguable. you could argue that pearl is supposed to be a suburban white mom stereotype as well. pearl being east asian is just a headcanon. same with rose being latina. there’s not a lot of canon basis for that and it could be argued that she’s just white. even amethyst being latina can be argued, as she could also easily be interpreted as black by some people. the su fandom gets “coding” and “headcanons” really really confused.

if you want more examples of representational coding, i have some from other media…i cant believe im about to talk about knuckles the motherfucking echidna on my su blog but here we go

so im just gonna be straight up: knuckles is coded as black. his color scheme is intentionally supposed to be rastafarian, he has dreadlocks for that reason, and his main music genre from the earlier sonic games was rap/jazz/soul. he was originally supposed to have a jamaican accent but sega scrapped that idea. they basically wanted him to be an “island guy” as he was born on Angel Island. (he also has Mayan coding from his ancestry but thats just gonna make this complicated) HOW much he’s coded in different sonic games varies. the sonic adventure 2 game stressed this and even gave him a significantly darker snout color to emphasize it. it’s pretty much inarguable that in this game, knuckles is coded as black. it’s just extremely clear that this was the creator’s intentions…i remember everyone used to call him the “unofficial black sonic character”

there’s other characters who have clear racial coding from other media too…there’s a great post that ive seen floating around that talks about Eduardo and Wilt from foster’s home being coded as mexican and black, respectively. they also compared that coding to garnet’s coding in su. it was more geared towards those of you who think that “garnet is an ALIEN and there’s no instances of black in her” whereas this post im writing here is geared towards people who get “coding” and “interpretation” confused. id love to see that post again if anyone happens to find it

but yeah, coding has to be clearly intentional from the writers. if not, its just a headcanon/interpretation. garnet and knux are explicitly coded as black. pearl can be interpreted as east asian.

and whether representing poc through nonhuman characters is offensive or not is another story.

(anyone who actually truly knows about this stuff, feel free to correct me cuz maybe im just completely wrong. who the hell knows anymore)