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Talk:Racism in Tolkien's Works

Revision as of 09:35, 17 April 2008 by Dr Death (Talk | contribs)

This page simply can't remain as it is - it is based largely on opinion and is often just plain incorrect (such as references to allegory and orcs being dark-skinned). What should be done? Should there be a deletion, or should the evidence for both sides be presented in a less opinionated manner? --Narfil Palùrfalas 20:49, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

Agree This is load of crap that Tolkien himself addressed racism in his letters, and said that he wasn't and that the idea was ludicrous. DELETE IT! --Dwarf Lord 21:30, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
I say: don't delete it. We could improve it as a refutation (rename as "Perceived Racism in Tolkien's Works" or something); it is clear that Hippy never read the letters. There are, on various spots on the net, refutations (this one for example, or this could be used to "harvest" stuff for the article). As we are an Encyclopedia that covers more than just the text-internal elements, ignoring perceived racism would be bad form. The problem with books is, kinda like feminist book reports (nothing personal), that if you want a book to have a certain bias, you will obviously "find" "clear evidence" through cherry picking of that bias, blatantly ignoring anything that does not match your already fixed conclusion. It's called confirmation bias, the bane of reason. -- Ederchil 03:27, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
PS Speaking of feminism, should we have a "perceived anti-feminism in Tolkien's works" too?
Edit: This has some useful sources on extreme right use!
I dont think this page should be deleted because it brings up some interesting issues and to ignore them would be to cover up a potentially less desirable angle on Tolkien's works. To ignore it would be to foist modern political trend onto a work that is, from a certain angle fundamentally racist. I agree with Ederchil that it should however be presented as a balanced argument with no real conclusion one way or another. Dr Death 05:35, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
You obviously haven't read the letters Death. I believe having a balanced page with no real conclusion is, no offense, a ridiculous idea. There is a final answer to this and that is Tolkien based the Evil Men on Africans, Arabs, and possibly Asians. So what! This would be a non-issue if we were talking about Black Numenoreans, and the Fallen Numenoreans of the Second Age. --Dwarf Lord 18:13, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
Let me start off my reply by stating, as I think we all agree, the current content on the article definitely needs to be rewritten entirely, and should obviously include the several quotations by Tolkien on this matter. tolkien and racism brings up over 100,000 results on Google; this subject is something which has been discussed frequently and I think an article on racist elements in Tolkien's works (as well as the un-racist reasonings) is more than welcome on the wiki. I do agree with Ederchil that a more neural title may be necessary but for now it is probably fine. Dwarf Lord, I don't think anyone here is arguing that Tolkien is a racist, there's a lot of information out there on this subject so why not gather it all together so fans can read all the facts. Simply deleting a controversial article is only going to leave more people uninformed. --Hyarion 21:15, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
Not so obviously Dwarflord as i have in fact read them. While you may think that one line in a book is enough to base an argument on i assure you it is not and i think as Hyarion says the issue does need to be addressed since there is so much said and written about it. I myself would not call Tolkien a racist by the standards of the time, however to modern readers his views may be considered that way and so as a reliable and open source of Tolkien knowledge we should be willing to face those accusations and provide the facts of the issue allowing the readers to make up their own minds. No need to be rude and confrontational about it and cast aspersions on my (i think you'll agree)excellent knowledge of the subject. Dr Death 05:34, 17 April 2008 (EDT)