Monday, 1 June 2009

Is Caledon Racist?

The Second Life Great Expedition: Search results for Caledon

Certainly Second Life racism is generally a subtle matter. For example it is very difficult to get dark skins for your avatars or African hair, but African American clothing, music, and other Cultural items are everywhere. A typical colonial pattern of making the other race marginal while consuming them, without overtly persecuting the other race. For example in America Black music is very popular, in the UK curry is very popular while both nations don't accept the Cultures that produce these commodities.

And then there is Caledon. Now I am not going to say that Caledon is full of racists or that everyone there is a racist. But I will make this statement: All overt (as opposed to normal lack of black skins) racism I have seen in Second Life is connected to Caledon and only Caledon.

This should probably not come as a surprise when you think that Caledon is both a imagined Victorian community and a mass suburbs. Unlike the urban New Babbage Caledon is the steam-punk verson of a gatted community.

The incidents I have observed over the past 2 years were these:

1. A resident in Caledon flying the Confederate National flag over a plantation style home.
2. Being ejected from a Caledon event with several others for no other reason than speaking about lack of Africans in Second Life (it was described as out of RP)
3. Being ejected from Deadwood by another active Caledon participant for wearing Lakotia Indian clothing an playing a mountain main looking for Gold. Deadwood was illegal community in Lakotia territories built around gold prospecting and my mountain man clothing was historically much more accurate than the female avatar who ejected me hanging out with men drinking at a funeral. Deadwood's female population in the 19th Century would not have been allowed to sit drinking with men and would have been all prostitutes.

The good news is that overtly this is all the hard core practiced racism I have seen. Over all Second Life may be subtly very racist, but no more than American society in general. They other good news is that they seem to be concentrated in certain SIMs. Which makes sense, birds of a feather. Again this is not to say everyone in Caledon is a racist, but for me three strikes and you are out.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
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