Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 20 06:32:57 PDT 2006

Tom Russell wrote:

> Jochem is braver than I am, because not only does he use potentially
> offensive icons, but he doesn't present them "one step removed" the way
> I do.  And that's because he's dealing on an iconic level, and on that
> level, the ethnicity-- the specific ethnicity and background of his
> characters-- is extremely important.
> You may disagree, and I'm planning on it.  No topic in our civilization
> has been in recent years more controversial and discussed than that of
> race.
> I eagerly await your opinions, especially if they run counter to my
> own.  Those of you who have written characters of a different ethnicity
> than yourself, please speak up.  Those of you who have thoughts about
> race as it pertains to this genre in particular, please speak up.


The safest thing to do is base characters on people you've actually
met.  The Imelda character is not a stereotype of Filipinas: my wife
really does talk like that.  By extension, I could never be accused of
stereotyping any Asian character because I have so much to base my
characterisations on.  (The exception would be Asian Stereotype Man who
was a Japanese businessman by day and a martial artist at night.)

I'm willing to give Jochem the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he hangs
out with "black gangbangers" and he's just drawing from his own
experience.  If not then he's using a stereotype.


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