Sorry to bother you guys, this is a bit of a weird one, but if I’m writing something and part of it features a group of Native American (specifically Navajo) superheroes, are there powers I should avoid for cliché/stereotyping reasons, or that would feel disrespectful? For example, I can’t help but feel geokinesis would be too much of a literal manifestation of the “closer to earth” stereotype. I unfortunately don’t know any Navajo, but I did find an online community I plan to ask as well
Animal. Powers. If I see one more Native shapeshifter and/or animal speaker, I feel like I’m going to scream. Trackers, too. Plant manipulators. Spiritual mediums. Archers with superhuman aim.
Basically, look up Magical Native American and if it shows up on that list, avoid unless you manage to justify it in-universe with something other than “Natives have x”.
Geokenisis sounds fun! The thing I like about it is it sounds modern. A lot of the icky part about Natives with powers is people assuming that the powers are “ancient” and therefore detached from modern society. They rely more than they would like to admit on Noble Savage, so if you break that with either modern sounding powers and/or non-nature based things, you’re good.
The main thing about Native powers I’ve found is they rely on sixth sense/otherworldly connection, instead of having anything that’s a pseudoscientific explanation. So if you had “felt the earth’s natural heat rising and falling”, that would be one thing, but if you had “telepathic abilities focusing on dense objects such as stone or metal”, that’s another. The former is flirting with Magical Native, the latter sounds like a superhero power.
Give it the same BS explanation that non-Native superheroes get. If you’re just going for “oh, they’re more ~*in tune*~” then I would have problems, but if you’re going with something that is at least trying to sound scientific, you’re much safer. Even something just like “genetic mutation allows for x” is cool. The problems with tropes like Magical Native American or even Magical Nergo is the principle tends to stop at “because they are this ethnicity, they have these powers.” Meanwhile, if the reasoning is built into the character— ie- Black Panther has powers because he is king of Wakanda, and therefore has access to a plant that enhances ability to the point of a supersoldier— then you’re avoiding the heart of the trope which is that some skin colours just inherently have magic.
So, make it pseudoscientific, and try to avoid “spiritual” based stuff. Then, you’re good.
Of course schools should be required to teach evolution as the underpinning of biology, the same way geology wouldn’t be taught without learning about tectonic plates; or chemistry without the periodic table of elements. The only reason this remains such an issue of debate in America is because ‘religious freedom’ has become the ‘anything goes’ scapegoat to cry oppression or persecution; and simultaneously, those in positions of influence on school boards have pushed through legislation implementing negatively disruptive ideology (see: Creationism, Intelligent Design) into the curriculum for upcoming generations. And with the advent of the internet, those who would otherwise be perched on soap boxes to preach their chosen gospel have access to a viral megaphone for the world to hear; injecting pseudoscience and unscientific theology into the digital stream of human consciousness without impunity. When personal computers were introduced into schools, computing classes involved the teaching of elementary programs and basic computer language, rather than how to properly, safely, navigate the internet. The American education system failed the public generations over by excluding curriculum solely focused on critical thinking and healthy skepticism. Thus, scientific literacy became a niche, chess-club-elective only reserved for those with whom it came “naturally” without illuminating its purpose to all as a method and tool for everyday survival. Now, we have rampant religious extremism masquerading as political lenience; casual racism and sexism passed off as “straight talk”; runaway corruption as “business as usual”; bully pulpit “news” forums posing as intellectual discourse; voracious and unwavering science denial regarding meticulous research, accessible evidence, and an overwhelming consensus; and yes, harmful religious ideology determined to place a distracting wedge of doubt into a scientific subject for all the wrong reasons, and without an iota of research to support it.
today was a beautiful day ☼
i’ve been reading and drawing and writing and playing more than i ever have in my whole life and to be honest, it feels like creative freedom is all i’ve ever needed.
Einstein’s space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh’s sky. The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist’s discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is based on the observer’s frame of reference, which differs from period to period as a Rembrandt nude differs from a nude by Manet.
On this day in 1803, in the case Marbury v. Madison the
US Supreme Court established the principle of judicial review and gave
the Court the power to declare laws ‘unconstitutional’. The principle
was outlined in the majority opinion by Chief Justice John Marshall, the
words of which are inscribed on the wall of the Supreme Court building.
The case arose when Justice of the Peace for District of Columbia
William Marbury was not delivered his commission documents which
officially granted his title. The Court would not force the then
Secretary of State James Madison to deliver them, but held that the
provision of the 1789 Judiciary Act allowing Marbury to bring his claim
to the Court was itself unconstitutional as it extended the Court’s
constitutional jurisdiction. On February 24th, the Court ruled
unanimously to this effect. The decision gave the Supreme Court the
power to interpret the constitution and strike down laws as
‘unconstitutional’. Since then, the Court have made many high-profile
rulings branding things unconstitutional, including school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), school prayer in Engel v. Vitale (1962) and teaching creationism in science lessons in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987).
Summary: You’re a medical intern, always a perfectionist and used to being the best at everything you do. Jackson Wang is the male nurse beloved by everyone and constantly on your nerves. When you two are brought together, it could be the best or the worst thing that’s ever happened.