I also want to add something else to all this.
Racism is not just an American problem. I live in Britain and even though we all claim to be holier than though and perfect people, we are just as bad as the U.S.
Racism is practically in our blood. Our Prime Minister (yes the man who runs our country!) has compared women who wear burkas to letterboxes! His party is no better than a bunch of rich jeering old white men who drown out the voices of anyone they disagree with to make sure they get the most money.
Many police forces (such as Greater Manchester Police and London Metropolitan Police to name a few) have been described as institutionally racist by the head of the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Force! Yet still few changes are being made to combat this.
The Labour Party has been proven to be both Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic. Though at least there have been some inquiries into this what good is a bunch of old white dudes really gonna do?
In Britain we seem to believe that because we were on the right side of one war (and even then we still made some horrific decisions) that all of our past is excusable. The Colonialism, The Slave Trade etc will never be okay yet are brushed under the rug. It’s barely ever taught in schools and many people know very little about it. In History lessons we are always portrayed as the ‘heroes’ sweeping in to help those in need.
We have done some truly terrible things that we need to be held accountable for.
The Slave Trade - the profit we made off tearing actual, living breathing people from their homes and their families and selling them to work for commodities that we were too lazy to farm ourselves - built most of our cities (Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol) It started most of our banks (Lloyd’s and Barclays are the two examples springing to mind) . Hell, even Tate and Lyle the ever popular sugar franchise began from the Slave Trade.
I have been horrified by some of the things my family and their friends have said and when I correct (by either by telling them that you can’t say that anymore because it’s offensive and not PC or by explaining in detail why they’re wrong) I get called a ‘snowflake’ and ‘overly-sensitive’ and told to ‘lighten up’ as well as ‘you’ll never make any friends with an attitude like that’.
I have heard people say that we should restart the Empire and invade any country who disagrees with us. Say that immigrants don’t deserve health care or education or jobs. Or that there was no point learning other languages when travelling simply speak louder because English is the superior language.
These are only a few examples.
the narrative that has formed around the european colonization of america is so fucking infuriating. it’s the biggest, and perhaps most horrific genocide in human history, but europeans and modern americans have somehow convinced themselves that the natives simply died because europeans ‘accidentally’ introduced new diseases which they were vulnerable to.
which yeah, the native population lacked immunity, but the rate of which the new diseases spread was a direct consequence of the horrific mistreatment they faced from the europeans colonizers.
just to help you all visualize how many native americans died, here’s an excerpt from david e. stannard’s american holocaust (which, ideally, every american and european should be forced to read):
To put this in a contemporary context, the ratio of native survivorship in the Americas following European contact was less than half of what the human survivorship ratio would be in the United States today if every single white person and every single black person died. The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world. That is why, as one historian aptly has said, far from the heroic and romantic heraldry that customarily is used to symbolize the European settlement of the Americas, the emblem most congruent with reality would be a pyramid of skulls.
my official political stance is that we, as a species, have let the english get away with far too much bullshit
I’m so tired of being Black in America. To be Black in america is to be exhausted at all times, to wait and fight and pray for change, but know that its not coming. To see people who look like you dying in the streets and in their beds because of a system that does not care and which actively hates you. To be Black in America is to be haunted and hunted. This shit is tiring, its draining, it is never ending. So each and every day that we wake up and go about our lives is a victory. Anytime we stand up and say “Enough” it’s a battle cry. When we march together in the streets we do it with the ghost of those who fought before us, the ones who died still fighting. We do it so that hopefully one day, we can just live.
British cartoon criticizing Mussolini’s Ethiopian war, 1935.
It’s amazing to me that Reylo and Catradora happened within the same year, while irl we are living under the Trump regime and our warlords (Trump, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc.) continue waging meaningless wars for the sake of making money even during a fucking pandemic.
Just imagine if Trump fell in love with Angela Davis and people shipped it. THE WORLD WOULD NOT BE SAVED.
I cannot wait for historians to look back on this time like “Disney made a Nazi redemption arc and Dreamworks ended their colonialism kids show without a war crimes tribunal because dictators CAN fall in love!” Fantasy is a fucking trip.
(Power to people who have problematic faves, just PLEASE GAWD get that shit off my dashboard)
IF YOU GUYS ARE UP FOR ANOTHER ESSAY ON SHE RA, I have some THINGS to say about how it portrays imperialism!!!!!
To begin with, imperialism is at its foundations an economic system. An economic system that exploits countries and establishes long standing tyranny that is culturally destructive - but it relies primarily on using the resources of a new area for the benefit of the nation that discovers the area. I know “discovers” is a weird word to use for conquering, but the problem is that conquering connotes war and armies, whereas something a lot more insidious happens in the traditional, English-French-and-European flavours of imperialism. It’s a mix of genocide, biological warfare, and cultural domination.
Unfortunately, we don’t actually see the Horde using the latter two. We see plenty of genocide, but not a lot of disease based warfare and no cultural domination - because there doesn’t seem to be a clear understanding of what the culture of the Horde is - besides all the technology and grey food, we don’t know what kind of music they have, what kind of writing or literature is produced inside the Horde, what kind of festivals they celebrate. Hordak’s - and, by extension, Horde Prime’s - techniques rely largely on armed suppression. I’ve actually thought about this a lot - because like I said, imperialism relies a lot on economy. Plunder India for wealth, plunder China for trade, that sort of thing. How does Horde Prime sustain his power? Hordak over takes large swathes of territory in Etheria, but I’d argue he’s not a very effective general - he doesn’t seem to be doing much for the Horde to expand. Shadow Weaver - and later Catra - are the ones who expand and conquer. A lot of Hordak’s focus is on technology and building more weapons. You can see where this comes from when we meet Horde Prime - the implications of his space empire are horrifying. He eradicates cultures and planets. All of it depends on two things: a) the fact that their dependable leader cannot die, and b) tech, weapons, and an army. Technology at Horde Prime’s scale requires a lot of labour and economic resources. Since he shows little interest in colonising planets as much as destroying them - we have to logically assume that the labour is that of the unlimited numbers of brainwashed clones, and the economic resources are from the planets on which he commits wholesale genocide. The slow parasitic behaviour of empires like England isn’t always his style (I say always because we do see rebel groups formed by the star siblings, so I’m not entirely sure what he does when he’s not committing full scale genocide on a planet) - which is why he has no qualms about using a weapon that would destroy the universe. It’s a kind of unsustainable empire, economically speaking - and it’s sort of inevitable that it would end in a broad destruction of the known universe.
As portrayals go, this is sort of… bland. We’ve seen it before in different media, and it’s a kind of unsubtle. I’m not saying it’s not horrifying - and although Horde Prime is only there for a season, he manages to become a pretty terrible villain (largely because of the Catra brainwash, that got all of us weeping). There’s more interesting stuff going on in the imagery around Horde Prime and Hordak, particularly religiously speaking, but that’s not the focus of this post. I wanted to talk about the very subtle portrayal of the First Ones. It’s sort of easy to forget how the First Ones are portrayed through five seasons of careful and deliberate build up. Since the focus of the last season is so much more on Horde Prime, it’s easy to forget that spop has built a lot of critique of the first ones; its just more subtly done.
When we encounter the First Ones, we are told they were an ancient civilisation, one that has been gone for nearly a 1000 years. Despite this, they are very… revered. It’s clear that the most important thing that can happen is encountering some of this old civilisation’s tech (Entrapta), reading their language (Bow’s dads), or training with them (Light Hope). But there’s telling indicators of just what kind of a civilisation the First Ones are.
Ask yourself this: what is the history of the other cultures of Etheria? Places like Salineas have their own cultures, music and literature. We can even think of traditions in places like the Crimson Waste. Glimmer’s kingdom has a lot of distinct architecture, a specific branch of education which is based on magic - all of that. Its not like the cultures of these places are missing, it’s just that a lot of their history is. If you go back far enough, their history is twined with the story of the First Ones - such as the way Mystacor was originally where the First Ones placed their failsafe. It’s been a 1000 years, and whatever history existed before the First Ones colonised Etheria is largely missing. We don’t know of the cultures of these places before they happened, we don’t know what kind of people existed when the First Ones colonised the planet. We know that they must have had a people - Madame Razz is one example of it. We also know of Mara’s squadron - Grayskull. We have to assume that it couldn’t just be filled with rebellious First Ones. All in all, there were people in Etheria before the First Ones, but we know nothing about them. We don’t even know whether they had their own sophisticated systems of governance and magic, what they felt about the First Ones. There is also so much more emphasis on studying magic through their legacy, of studying their history and languages, of studying where they came from.
Even after 1000 years of colonisation, these biases clearly still exist in the planet of Etheria. This is not unlike my own country - which still values American or British education. And the audience is supposed to somewhat unironically buy into this bias - we don’t have to think about the First Ones too critically in the first season, beyond the fact that Light Hope’s judgement of how Adora ought to operate is just not suited to her.
But these strands unravel slowly. The big moment is obviously in realising that the planet is the weapon that the First Ones were building, but if you think about it even a little more - all of their systems seem to be optimised for weaponry and extraction. In Krytis, Melog tells them that this planet was being “mined” for its magic by the First Ones. It’s said that magic stop existing in the rest of the universe for a long time, and Etheria got away mostly because it was in a shadow dimension somewhere. Obviously, this is supposed to be because of Horde Prime - but you have to wonder how much the First Ones contributed to the drain of resources. How many weapons did they make? How did they use magic to become more powerful? They weren’t even stopped by more just systems, just by Horde Prime. It’s a more particularly done portrayal, but it’s not like She Ra ever goes easy on the First Ones. Even Adora has her allegiances to Mara and her rebel group, not to the First Ones. We don’t come away thinking very benevolent thoughts towards them - they’ve just been gone for over 1000 years, so the legacy of their colonisation is less apparent.
It’s a subtle portrayal, and one that gets many many things right about colonisation. I’m just so happy this series exists, can y’all tell -? Gonna go weep and say thank you Noelle for the 100th time today.
Let’s count the years twist & logged
In the darkness of religion and ignorance
the genesis to the shades of oppression.
We bow our head in agitation for freedom
liquify the land with blood and toils,
The activism blew up in blue, and rained glory.
All images shot on iPhone 6
I feel like if we really want cottagecore to stop, we’ll have to tell them the tag was started a person who begged to be on the aphobe blocklist …
Just got reminded of the time my brothers (now ex) wife literally said she loved England so much she wished they’d recolonise and I was 13 and so dumbfounded that I couldn’t format a way to tell this almost 40 year old David Tennant stan the millions of reasons that was a terrible idea.
Fox News is trying to recruit more sinophobes and pro-U.S. nationalists towards a brutal and cold-blooded war against mainland China, which is being softly called “The Next Revolution”.
USA Today is blaming mainland China for starting a scold war that the U.S. actually started.
U.S. (along with Japan) has just approved space militarization in manic attempts to save her dying genocidal colonialist empire.
All while more brainwashed Americans are out partying with their star-spangled, striped, native genocide cloths and promoting isolationism and ““America First” mentalities.
Without masks, so the U.S. death toll of 100,000+ is still only the beginning.
idk man something tells me that the idea that “classical music is the only kind of music that transcends time” is secretly colonial bullshit
Liberate Puerto Rico now! Poster of the Young Lords Party, 1972.
“The concept of Protracted War best describes the history of the Puerto Rican people. For many centuries our people have been invaded by one nation or another. Two oppressors were successful, the spaniards in 1493, and the yankees in 1898”
‘Protracted War in Puerto Rico’ (1971)