Horror films are a wonderful source of escapism, where we can feel the thrill of terror in the relative safety of our living rooms or a crowded movie theatre. One of the all-time classics within the horror genre is the zombie movie: hordes of shuffling, shambling atrocities hell-bent on devouring the flesh of the still-living. One of the iconic images of any good zombie movie is the panic-stricken victim of a zombie bite who is slowly turning from human into monster, as all morality and reason drains from their body while their comrades feverishly debate whether or not to put their erstwhile friend out of hir ‘misery’ courtesy of a well-timed shotgun blast to the face.
One of the things that has always struck me about the thrill and threat of the zombie subgenre is the idea that someone can walk around ‘infected’ without showing any outward signs of distress, but at that pivotal moment they ‘turn’ and lash out. Having watched enough zombie movies in my life, I know enough that I would be far more cautious about that ‘little scrape’ on my friend’s upper arm after a fight with a horde of the undead. I’ve seen enough movies to know that that ‘little scrape’ might mean the difference between life and un-death. I suspect that, if you’ve watched these movies too, you know as well as I do what the warning signs are – the eerie music, the mysterious noise, the unexplained ‘headache’.
Much like a zombie movie afficionado does, members of visible minority communities have spent years learning to read the warning signs of racial antipathy, even from those who don’t recognize that they’re ‘infected’ with the subtle biases that affect us all. They (we) have learned to spot the danger from a long way off, ensuring that we can take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves.
In the following presentation, given in January of 2013 in Kelowna, BC, I explore the parallels between zombie movies and anti-racism, with examples drawn from classic horror scenes. I discuss how we can learn to understand racism in a contemporary context, and understand the role our subconscious plays in our interactions, and how we can use this knowledge to avoid and combat racism in the same way we use it to avoid and combat zombies. I discuss how to have more productive conversations when you, as a member of the majority group, enter a minority space. Finally, I emphasize how anti-racism is a crucial and useful part of a skeptical toolchest, and how we can use this knowledge to grow the movement.
I hope you enjoy the talk, and please feel free to share it, as a whole or in part, wherever you like:
Part 1: Don’t Go In There!
Part 2: Fighting Racism, Zombie Style
Part 3: How Not to Get Your Head Blown Off
Part 4: Anti-Racism and the Skeptical Movement
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Reblogged this on HaifischGeweint.
You’re a total joke. The West is the White homeland. The OOA theory has been debunked, the races split pre-human tard. And you are NOT just as white as you are black. You’re black, Social Marxism is a construct race is biological fact, fatty. =D
You sure showed me, Alex.
What Alex DOESN’T seem to realize is that this is not a platform for him to peddle his pseudoscientific historic revisionist racism. – C
Reblogged this on Skeptical Cubefarm and commented:
Ian’s a good friend of mine, and his thoughts on race, racism, social justice, and skepticism are always worth reading or, in this case, listening to. If you’ve got a bit of free time and an interest in the intersection of skepticism, atheism, and social justice, I’d encourage you to give this presentation a listen.
My first experiences with racism didn’t occur until high school. I was really luck in that the super conservative, very small, christian school that I went to, that was one thing (read “only thing”) they got right. In 5th or 6th grade we had probably 12-15 kids in the entire school. Two of them were black and it was their first year there. They instantly became the cool kids. They had been *gasp* OUTSIDE. None of us had ever been to another school before. Isaac’s mom let him mow the yard WITHOUT SUPERVISION, ON A RIDING MOWER! They were awesome. Whenever I feel bad about the racism that I see today, I’m always very grateful for the first few years of innocence that I got to experience. I can only hope that they felt about the rest of the school the way we felt about them. I want my future children to experience race the way I did, as a non-thought. Isaac and Jacob had dark skin, Thomas was fat, Cheree had really pretty eyes, Jonathan ate too many cheetos, and we were all friends.
Say, you mentioned, when showing your list of warning signs, that somewhere there was a list of the 28 surefire comments that will come up in a blog or a conversation whenever someone behaving in a racist manner chooses to defend themselves (in advance of saying/doing it, or post hoc). Did I miss something in the vids, where it listed more than your three or four examples. More to the point, might you point me toward them via a link of some sort? Thanks!