Fighting Racism

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
Angela Davis

What is racism?


People often think of racism as conscious or deliberate acts of hate, such as using racist slurs. But racism is much bigger than that.

Here’s an explanation by poet Scott Woods:

“Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know / like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another.”

We all must play our part in challenging and dismantling racism.

Is this racism?


Read the posts below. Are they racist? Expand them to see our response.


I don’t fancy [insert race], that’s just my preference

Nobody is saying you must sleep with somebody you don’t find attractive, but ask yourself this:

  • Why are you discounting an entire race of people, most of whom you have never met, based on skin colour and physical characteristics?
  • What specific characteristics do you find unappealing?
  • What taught you to dislike those characteristics?

As explained by writer Phillip Henry, some people have a preference for short guys, or hairy guys, or guys with green eyes. But men of every race can be short, hairy, or have green eyes. Only black people can be discriminated against for being black people.

“When you say that it’s ‘just a preference’ that you don’t date people of colour, what is the answer to the question: ‘What do you prefer?’ Seriously, try to be more specific and answer that question to yourself out loud.”

Read more:

Why did they have to make the new Little Mermaid black?

Mermaids do not exist, and so they can have any skin and hair colour we imagine.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Why might somebody oppose a black actor playing the role of a mermaid?
  • What might make somebody feel like a white actor would be a ‘better fit’ for the role? Could societal racism and stereotypes play a part?
  • Does a remake of the Little Mermaid starring a black actor change the original 1989 film, or stop it existing?

There is no harm in changing and evolving fairytales to present something new. In fact the original story was changed significantly when Disney made its 1989 film of the Little Mermaid, to remove the part of the story where Ariel kills herself.

Read more:

#AllLivesMatter

All lives can not matter, until black lives matter. If you really believe that all lives are equally important, then you should have no problem saying “black lives matter”.

Nobody is saying only black lives matter, or that black lives matter more. The black lives matter movement is a specific response to a specific situation.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • If all lives matter, why are you unwilling to listen to black people who are highlighting systemic racism?
  • Why do you feel hurt or excluded by the phrase ‘black lives matter’?
  • Why do you feel the urge to dilute the message of an international movement against anti-black racism? Is this about you, or about something bigger?

Watch:

“Diving into the world of anti-racism for the first time can be confronting. It may feel challenging to understand your place and where to begin with educating yourself. Luckily, there are endless resources online to help you learn about anti-racism work, dismantle the unconscious biases that exist within yourself, and take action to create a more just society.” – Anti-racism for beginners

Stories from our members


Racism still exists in the UK. Below are real stories, from real members of our community, who have generously taken the time to write about their experiences. These are real experiences, written by our friends, our peers, our fellow geeks and gamers. It is everybody’s duty to challenge and dismantle racism in all its forms.


AJ

AJ
‘This time it really got to me’


“One time at XXL club, I was waiting at the bar I noticed that I was the only person of colour at the bar at the time. I patiently watched a white bartender serve everyone beside me and even behind me. When it came to my turn, he then asked my white boyfriend what he wanted.

“It had been a while since I had experienced such flat-out overt racism. So I just told the bartender he’s pressed, because he’s been pulling pints for five years and still doesn’t pull boys.

“I never usually respond to racism with this type of energy, but this time it really got to me.”



Elijah

Elijah
‘Why did he think we were lying?’


“I was about 12. A friend and I were cycling back from the shops. The main road was rammed with cars so we went on to the empty pavement to turn on to the side road. Suddenly two police officers jumped out of their car to stop us.

‘How old are you?’
12

‘Do you know you’re not supposed to be on the pavement?’
Yeah, the Broadway was busy so we came on to get off it.

‘Right… Have you been stopped before?’
No.

‘Are you sure?’
Yes.

‘OK, what are your names and addresses?’
Why?

‘We need to check if you have any priors because there have been some problems in the area.’

After what felt like an eternity waiting for him to check, even though we both knew we had nothing for them to check, they finally let us go. Even with nothing to hide, my heart was racing the entire time. I was thinking: why did he choose us? Why did he think we were lying?

After telling my mum about it, she explained everything. People like us will be stopped, pestered, questioned, searched, and even arrested for looking the way we do and the only thing you should do is comply with their instructions even if you know they’re wrong.

That experience on top many others has stuck with me and pains me that if I were to have kids, I’d have to explain the same thing to them.”



Peter

Peter

‘She described me as intimidating’


“I used to work in a customer service job and we regularly had mystery shoppers. It was always pretty obvious who they were because of the questions they asked. I particularly remember one white woman who I correctly guessed was a mystery shopper, so I made sure I treated her very well.

“In her report she described me as ‘a 6’2″, intimidating heavy-set black guy’. I am 5’9″ and I was sitting behind a desk. It made realise that as black men we are always seen as taller, bigger and more imposing than we are.”


‘They didn’t explain or apologise’


“I was first stopped and searched when I was 12 years old. I was waiting at a bus stop going home after visiting my sister. Two white police officers approached me and said someone had lost a set of house keys and asked if I had seen anything.

“They questioned why I was out so early, where I had come from and where I was going. I answered all their questions but they insisted I emptied my pockets. At this point I was searched and my own house keys were taken from me. They looked through my keys and decided that they did not match the set they were looking for.

“They gave them back and just walked off. They didn’t explain, apologise or say anything to me. It was a very dehumanising experience.”


What can I do?


Learn.

Educate yourself about black history in the UK. Learn how racism continues to affect every part of our lives, whatever our skin colour.

Listen.

Hear what people of colour have to say about racism.

Confront racism.

If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, take action. Speak up. Silence perpetuates racism.

Books we recommend


It is everybody’s responsibility to take the time to learn about black history in the UK. A good starting point is the book Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. The Guardian newspaper has published an extract from the book as an article, free for everybody to read. After that, we encourage you to read the full book.



Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race
by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge was frustrated with the way that discussions of race and racism are so often led by those blind to it, by those willfully ignorant of its legacy. Her response, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has transformed the conversation both in Britain and around the world.


How To Argue With A Racist
by Dr Adam Rutherford

A vital manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the misuse of science to justify bigotry.

resources


  • Anti-racism for beginners – a continually updated guide that goes into great detail about systemic racism, white privilege and how to tackle it
  • Resources to aid anti-racism – a collection of UK-focused resources including television programmes, books and podcasts that tackle the topic of racism

Our policies


What are your rules?

Our policy is published in our Community Standards. Anybody breaching our rules on racism at events or on our Facebook page is immediately and permanently banned. Our rules were shaped by our members as part of an open consultation, and we always welcome feedback to help improve them.

In 2019, following feedback from the community, we added a new rule describing “exclusionary speech”. We recognise that ignorant posts on the subject of race are a manifestation of racism, but many of our members told us that they wanted such posts to be turned into a “learning moment”, so that the poster could see the harm caused by their words and learn more about racism.

Where appropriate, we intervene on these posts from our official Gaymers INC. account to make it clear that we stand against racism. We have compiled this resource as part of that initiative.

How can I report a concern or incident?

We have added an anonymous reporting tool to our website, so that anybody can share their concerns or report an incident in confidence. If you choose to share an email address, you can ask for a response to your report.

How can I report a racist post?

If you see something racist posted on our Facebook group, you can report it directly to our admins and moderators. Tap or click the three-dots icon at the top right of the post to report it. We respond to comments and posts as described in our Community Standards.