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Oh, look! Racism!

Ok, so, the custom userheads thing that LJ is doing now is pretty cool, I admit - I adore the Magritte one - but...

why are they all (the ones that show human skin, anyway; the blue one doesn't count) of white people?

FAIL, Livejournal. Just... FAIL.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
In this, I blame Russia
With LJ now being a predominantly Russian company you're dealing with a company that has a worse understanding of Race issues than the US.

The only major race to live there besides the Russians were the Jews; the Pogroms were a fairly good indicator of how that worked out.

See: Ethnicity and Race by Countries

Russia: Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002)

US: White: 211,460,626 (75.1%); Black: 34,658,190 (12.3%); Asian: 10,242,998 (3.6%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 2,475,956 (0.9%); Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 398,835 (0.1%); other race: 15,359,073 (5.5%); Hispanic origin:1 35,305,818 (12.5%)

Edited at 2011-01-06 02:26 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Re: In this, I blame Russia
No, that makes perfect sense. Doesn't mean it shouldn't be called out, though.
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Re: In this, I blame Russia
I should also add that I don't think it's terribly unlikely that this still would have happened with a US company. This is an example of the white==default thinking which happens even with people who are relatively aware of race issues - they just don't see the people who are erased by such a representation. I wouldn't have seen it a couple of years ago.
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
They will probably argue that the custom userheads were designed off of the existing user heads, which are stark white with gray shading, not the color of white flesh. Won't make it right though.
Jan. 7th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
There's a brown one.
Jan. 7th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Really? I don't see any. There's one with a tv for a head, one with a paper bag over its head, one with a cat head....
Jan. 7th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Third row down, second from the left. Also shows up in the middle of the group of 9 blown up at the top. Not really sure why he has a green apple over his face though!
Jan. 7th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
That's not a person of color; that's a reference to this painting by Rene Magritte.
Jan. 7th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
It can be two things. Fact remains, they did it with dark skin.
Jan. 8th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Ok, seriously. It's the same skin tone as the painting, which is a self-portrait of Magritte, a white man. I just magnified it to check the color.

Why are you so determined to derail my point?
Jan. 8th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
If that icon is "white" why is it darker than every other human icon by like 4 shades? Sorry, not buying it. That is WAY darker than my skin will ever be, even if I spent all summer tanning.

Why are you so determined that your point can't be made unless there's an absolute? I didn't say your overall point was invalid. What, "there aren't enough POC userheads" can't be racist - it has to be "there are NO POC userheads" to be racist?

Edited at 2011-01-08 01:40 am (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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Heather Keith Freeman
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