Homestuck is kind of a unique thing in the world of comics and fandoms, since there is a lot of things about the characters left to the imagination. We know some things (hair style, clothes) but it’s the stuff left up in the air that causes trouble, namely, race.
It’s been starting to bother me lately, the attitude I’ve been seeing towards race in homestuck, which has become very clear especially after the tarot deck came out on the kickstarter. There’s this idea that if you don’t make at least one of the characters non-white in your mind, then you are racist. And I really couldn’t disagree more.
First of all, let’s remember that people are allowed to have their own headcanons! They don’t have to stop beforehand and plan out the cast so they end up with a politically correct demographic. It’s just the feel you get from a particular character. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their views on a certain race.
Let’s ignore the trolls for moment, since in canon they don’t fall into any racial category, being aliens. Let’s focus on the kids. And thinking about it a bit more, really we only need to focus on the alpha kids. After all, the beta kids are created from the DNA of the alpha kids, so any racial headcanon for the beta kids would be relying on the racial identity of the DNA donors. So none of the beta kids can be a minority unless the alphas are (we’ll assume the alphas don’t carry any submissive traits since they are clones of themselves and not born from two parents). So let’s look at the alpha kids. Of the four kids, you’d have to imagine one of them as non-white to have any minority headcanons.
There are also reasons why you might imagine those kids as white, besides just being a racist. For example, Jane is thought to be related to betty crocker, and Dirk and Roxy both have light hair, which is obviously more common among caucasians.These things don’t rule out a non-white headcanon, of course, but they might be reasons people choose to see the characters that way, that has NOTHING to do with their ideas about race.
The other problem I have with this idea that people need to put more minorities in their headcanon is the hypocrisy of it, the fact that if the situation was reversed, we wouldn’t be having this problem. If someone had a headcanon where every character was non-white, and someone got angry and said that they didn’t enjoy it because the characters were all minorities, people would call the person complaining a racist. But if you have an all white headcanon, people have no problem with saying that they can’t enjoy it because of the race of the characters. Somehow this is different?
Racism is making judgments about a person’s worth or treating them differently based on their skin color. If you are saying that people’s visions of a character are somehow less valid because they don’t have a certain skin tone, that is racist.
You know what doesn’t fall under the definition of racism? Thinking of a certain character as white.
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