Quote Originally Posted by Amphiox View Post
You've got it backwards. It is real racism that causes Fantastic Racism. Fantastic Racism is an expression of pre-existing racist thought patterns and tendencies that permeate our culture.

Fantastic racism is wish fulfilment for our real racist tendencies, giving us a guilt-free, consequence-free target to indulge these impulses. And in so doing help to perpetuate them and hinder their excision from our thought patterns and habits.

The problem with fantastic racism is not that it "leads" to real racism, but that it interferes with the removal of real racism.
Yes. This. This is what I've been failing to express in this thread. If the goal is No Racism, then the existence of Always Evil Orcs is one of millions of obstacles on the road to that goal. It happens to be the only one I am in any position to make great strides against, so I do so. The alternative, to do nothing when I could speak out, is not acceptable to me.

Quote Originally Posted by Amphiox View Post
In the end we do rely on the horse's innate ability to feel thirsty, and we give the horse enough respect to assume that, once led to the water, if it gets thirsty, it has the power to choose to drink.

A small bit of faith in our fellow humans is a prerequisite. Otherwise we wouldn't bother wasting our time making these kinds of arguments.
Yes, exactly. If I believed that excising racism was neither possible nor desirable and that humans were doomed to stay racist because of brain physiology and that was As It Should Be, then I wouldn't write what I write. But obviously, I don't think that. I choose to believe that some horses will drink if led to water that may not have done so if left to their own devices. Or, to be more accurate, I choose to believe that even if not a single person changes their mind as a result of anything I ever write, it was still worth the effort to try.

I read something a while back that said something along the lines of, "I don't say these things in the hope of convincing those who disagree; I say these things to let those who already agree know that they're not alone."

I didn't spend the whole day in this thread for veti and Scow2 and Foikroder. I spent the whole day here for Amphiox and DaggerPen and Math_Mage, and perhaps more importantly, all the lurkers who read these words and aren't posting here. Everyone else who understands my point, but lives in a world that tells them that they're wrong, that sometimes you don't have a choice, that it's right and natural to fear and kill the Other. To those people, I say, **** THAT NOISE. We can do better. And the D&D table is as good a place to start as any.