Gentle reminder to creators of worlds that white supremacy, while it is currently dominant in our world and seems all-encompassing, is neither inevitable nor "natural." It isn't even all that old. It arose under extremely specific historical circumstances, and can go away when circumstances change. To posit white supremacy as some kind of inevitable default without those specific circumstances is to give white supremacy more power than it has by unquestioningly imposing our current assumptions on worlds where the background conditions don't exist. It's incoherent worldbuilding and comes close to saying that white people are naturally "superior." I understand that authors want to explore real-world issues in their works, but it's ineffective if the integrity of the work is compromised.

race & racism in the Broken Earth trilogy 

An excellent example of exploring racism without going straight to white supremacy is the #BrokenEarth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, where race supremacy exists but the "master race" is not white in Earth terms. The people considered genetically superior, the Sanzed, are bronze-skinned and tall, and phrenology has entered people's thoughts with characters judging people based on how much Sanzed blood they have. Even the protagonist is casually racist at times (toward a character who'd read as white in Earth terms lol), showing the all-encompassing power of these systems.

Of course, it's very clear that the blood quantum stuff is bullshit and this race's so-called superiority is based on their being the denizens of a powerful genocidal empire, not any natural advantage.

So yes, it's completely possible to explore racism without making white supremacy the default or centering white characters. Choosing to do either is a choice, not an inevitable mandate.


race & racism in the Broken Earth trilogy 

@ljwrites that sounds like a very interesting read, thank you for the recommendation :D

race & racism in the Broken Earth trilogy 

@secretlySamantha it's an amazing series, I hope you enjoy! 👍

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