friend has bad race

anonymous asked:

Hi, I was wondering what advice you had on writing other races in a fantasy setting? The country it's set in is loosely based on Slavic countries and the nation is xenophobic but I want to have a diverse cast. If it's an entirely fictional world, how do I navigate race?

Thank you for your question, love! That’s a challenging one, though. I think it’s something that varies between each different world — each story and its history. Some writers make the mistake of having their universe completely
mimic ours; some make the alternate mistake of making all racial and cultural relations completely, almost unrealistically smooth. So how do you decide what makes sense for your story?

Get a basic idea of what you’re after. In general, you should know what kind of relations your different peoples have. If you’re looking at tension, prepare reasons for that tension. If there’s an allyship between two countries/races, trace that back to logic, too.

Take examples from real history. Look at the famous alliances and hostilities between large and small countries — look at the primary causes of different wars. Don’t limit your references to what you’ve been taught about your own country. Especially try to find history about nations that are similar (environmentally, economically, and politically) to your fictional nations.

Develop history for your world. Leave nothing inexplicable. Sure, you don’t have to share all this worldbuilding information with your readers — but having it and reasoning it out helps you remain consistent and realistic.

Remember that everyone has friends and enemies. There is no “bad” country/race that is the enemy to every other country/race. There is no perfect one, either. Even if every ruler in every country were perfect, the different governmental and economic constructs of each nation will butt heads. Religion and science will challenge each other. Different catastrophes, illnesses, and enemies will challenge countries, and some allies will interfere, and some will stand aside. This determines whether or not your character will be a friend or an enemy, wherever they travel.

Remember that not everyone is a strict patriot. Just because Country X hates Country Y does not mean Character X hates Character Y. Behind all national relationships, there are people and activist groups attempting to heal relations. There are people who don’t hold grudges — who advance past prejudice or traditional beliefs. Behind them are people who do hold onto those things, but aren’t aggressive toward others — they judge quietly but don’t act out. Don’t make your writing unrealistic by having everyone act violent and hateful. Those people exist, but they’re not the only ones.

Every nation changes… constantly. Think of how different America is now, since the last election season. Politics shifted, and everyone reacted. People of certain beliefs were brought to the spotlight — the relationships between races and religions changed. Other nations watched and reacted. Their opinions of America changed one way or another. Some relations were damaged. Others (cough Russia cough) were improved. Every action has a reaction, and that reaction changes nations. Quickly.

Racism and animosity creates an effect on those involved. If Race Z is put under constant discrimination and pressure, they will evolve as a culture. Self-defense structures will develop. Cultural and psychological walls will be put up — the same way that Races A, B, and C, who discriminate against Z, will put up walls to keep out Z’s requests, complains, and outreach — their culture, ideology, and anything that would make them sympathetic figures. Peoples will demonize their enemies; they will defend against their enemies. And this mindset changes the way children are raised — and deep-seated discrimination is born.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I hope this helps you in some way! If you have any more specific questions, be sure to send them in and I’ll answer within the week. Good luck :)

If you need advice on writing, fanfiction, or NaNoWriMo, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with racist but mentally ill white people without being ableist? I have this white friend who has anxiety so bad they can't talk about race issues with me because they take anything short of overt praise as personal attacks. I've to be patient with them over it but honestly seeing them be silent to me about race while white supremacists are killing people is making me want to just yell at them they're an irredeemable self-centered racist bigot.

I honestly do not put up with neurodivergent whites who use their neurodivergency as an excuse not to even marginally engage with allyship! Mental illness is not an excuse to be racist or complacent in the face of racism. 

People of color have amplified versions of mental illnesses and neurodivergencies because of systemic racial biases. People of color can be under-diagnosed when it comes to certain illnesses or neurodivergencies. Many don’t have access to being diagnosed in the first place, or getting proper mental health care and therapy. And racism itself inflicts psychological violence which can manifest in physical symptoms too, be it intergenerational trauma or mental and emotional weathering which leads to the higher infant mortality rates we see among women of color compared to white women. 

And racism is not caused by any neurochemical or genetic factor. Race and white supremacy are both social constructs, and every single white person, regardless of their specific neurological and psychological makeups, are socialized to be racist & and benefit from/participate in white supremacy (to varying degrees). 

This white friend doesn’t realize that there are people of color who suffer from debilitating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses for a whole host of reasons (abuse, racism, environmental factors, genetic factors etc). This white friend doesn’t realize that we suffer from mental illness more than white people do. This white person doesn’t realize that despite the existence of racialized ableism, white people have far more access to quality mental health care, medication, and counseling, whereas many people of color are systemically barred from gaining help (because of financial or linguistic barriers). 

This white friend is so selfish and entitled that she forgets or ignores that despite our trauma and our anxieties, people of color don’t have any choice but to continue living under a politicized identity. All of the people of color who are out there fighting in some way or the other probably have at least a minor form of anxiety or trauma, and yet they persist. They still take the time to educate white people, to protest, to fight, to resist. Even dealing with daily microaggressions is tiresome, and it’s worse if a person of color has to deal with poverty, overt violence, and environmental racism. Yet they live and fight on, and they don’t use their anxiety as a shield or as an excuse. 

Your friend cannot use her anxiety as justification for remaining silent. She’s doing so because of white fragility (which is one facet of whiteness & white supremacy), but rest assured that she’s being deliberately manipulative and misleading. Sure, anxiety can make it difficult for us to engage with triggering or draining topics, and it can lead us to have panic attacks. But as I said, people of color suffer from it far more, and have more reasons to be anxious, yet they don’t have any choice but to deal with all of those problems AND racism, and they continue resisting and fighting and educating people anyway. 

I honestly suggest that you stop being friends with this person. White people like this are especially toxic, and when the going gets rough they won’t be any help. Her friendship offers nothing wholesome or productive, especially if she’s hurting you in such a way!