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The lazy, white supremacist trope in fantasy writing where nonhuman races represent nonwhite humans has a name now: Tolkien Minorities.

That is all.

@leila So Gandalf was basically a magical negro? 🤯

@lafnlab I mean, I think the trope is applied most vigorously in "monstrous" and especially dark-skinned fantasy races, while Gandalf was put forward as kind of an idealized white man, in sort of an equal and opposite way to how orcs were supposed to epitomize "savage" dark-skinned people threatening white Europe.

Elves were idealized whites, too, so clearly there's some complexity to deal with here.


@leila @lafnlab I read Tolkien's orcs and goblins as the urban working class, hobbits as Middle England, and his elves as a "natural aristocracy" myself... but the dwarves owe something to the antsemitic stereotypes of the nibelungen and there's the "blood of Numenor" growing thin, so I'm not disagreeing with your basic point.

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@leila (And there's no shortage of racists among his admirers and imitators, either, of course.)

@ghost_bird Totally, racism wasn't Tolkien's only representational fault, and he also loved creating backstory for his the races so much that even the ones clearly informed by prejudices about human racial and social groups also have a lot of other things going on.

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