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Kaladin is not racist

95 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Vissy said:

You can't be racist against the dominant class of people. That's not what racism is. 

This is false on so many levels. Simply because someone isn't part of the "dominant class" doesn't mean that they are relieved of all responsibility for there racist actions towards others. Here's the actual definition of racist.

Adjective: showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another.

Now, on Roshar this can be applied both to light and dark eyed people. For one, you see everyone see themselves as superior to the parshmen. There are also plenty of examples of light-eyes looking down on the dark-eyes. What we don't often acknowledge is the racism from the dark-eyes towards the light eyes. We see this most in Moash, but other Bridge 4 members show it too. We see Kaladin think things about how spoiled Shallan is simply because she's a light-eyes. At one point we even see Moash use the excuse that the King is a light-eyes so it's not as bad to kill him. All of these things, from light eyes and dark eyes, are racist. Now we can have an argument over if some of it is justified, but just saying you can't be racist towards the dominant class is ridiculous.

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17 minutes ago, Nellac said:

This is false on so many levels. Simply because someone isn't part of the "dominant class" doesn't mean that they are relieved of all responsibility for there racist actions towards others. Here's the actual definition of racist.

Adjective: showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another.

Now, on Roshar this can be applied both to light and dark eyed people. For one, you see everyone see themselves as superior to the parshmen. There are also plenty of examples of light-eyes looking down on the dark-eyes. What we don't often acknowledge is the racism from the dark-eyes towards the light eyes. We see this most in Moash, but other Bridge 4 members show it too. We see Kaladin think things about how spoiled Shallan is simply because she's a light-eyes. At one point we even see Moash use the excuse that the King is a light-eyes so it's not as bad to kill him. All of these things, from light eyes and dark eyes, are racist. Now we can have an argument over if some of it is justified, but just saying you can't be racist towards the dominant class is ridiculous.

I agree. To add, just because someone may then be educated on their racism, and change their ways, does not erase the racism they once upon a time perpetrated. Can they be forgiven, and move on? Totally. But it does not change that at that time their actions were racist. 

Regarding the superior portion of the definition, Kaladin has made numerous comments that all lighteyes are corrupt to the core. That they will always take the worse action they can. By proxy darkeyes are different and have to stick together. That is denoting an ethical/moral superiority to the lighteyes. 

Further, just because individuals have in the past validated such a world view, does not mean the worldview is ok and not racist. It just means the individuals Kaladin has been exposed to, have validated that world view. It is only after being exposed to individuals that run contrary to that world view that Kaladin begins to change his worldview. Which is commendable, but at the same time does not change that the original worldview was damaging and harmful. And it doesn't change the racist tones of that worldview. 

In addition, by noting such comments and treatment as racist towards a privileged class does not belittle, or erase the horrendous treatment being done to the marginalized group. But by realizing it falls to the same pitfalls, and that all are people, equal in their rights, that understanding can be brought together on all sides. 

Finally, regarding classism versus racism. Economically a darkeyes can raise their nahn, and travel, true. However, only darkeyes can be made slaves. Further no matter how much money a darkeyes attains, even if they are richer than a lighteyes of the tenth dahn, they are still viewed socially as lesser than the lighteyes of the tenth dahn. And when I say lesser, I don't just mean in the economic eyes. Mentally and emotionally lighteyes are seen as superior by the society when compared to the darkeyes. Spiritually they are seen as superior. So for myself, when it does not matter how much money you accrue, by law, culture, and religion, based on the color of your eyes you are still treated as inferior? That is racism, not classism (to me). 

Now having said that, racism is a supremely individualistic experience. What one person experiences as being part of a marginalized group can be similar but at the same time incredibly different. There is also positive racism. Positive not in that it is beneficial or good, but positive as in the generalizations made are sounding favorable (i.e. all members of this group tend to be very good at math), but are still very very damaging. So racism can mean many very different things for different people, which I believe is what led to whole range of dialogue on this topic. 

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Other relevant threads:

 

I should note that dissecting the word 'racism' is not nitpicky at all, the word has history behind it.

It can be heartening to see people forgetting the original coinage of the word too, in a way. In a way it means that a lot of the worst of it has been fought away

But remember again that the word has weight, remember to be considerate and remember, people, to not put your foot in your mouth

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@Toaster Retribution
And I consider a definition outside of systemic racism too broad, insultingly so, so I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on that. It puts the anger of the oppressed on the same level as the oppressors, treating both as equally bad, and that seems both incorrect and condescending in my view.

Keeping it more in world of Roshar than real life, no one has been able to claim that Kaladin has anything more than a personal dislike. When he dislikes lighteyes and says something about it, people get mad and hurt, but the worst that happens to the lighteyes is they go, jeez, that darkeyes was such a jerk! And feel whatever hurt or angry feelings they want to feel. And that's the end of the impact.

When a lighteyes dislikes Kaladin, the worst that could happen is... well, what actually happened to him. The Vorin church teaches the lighteyes are on top and they should be trusted; his society doesn't treat everyone equally, and many are treated worse, ie. the darkeyes. Kaladin's prejudice stems from repeated personal experience. It is impossible for Kaladin to be racist against lighteyes. What I find deeply interesting is how angry or condescending people get about Kaladin being this angry, as if anyone else wouldn't think what he thinks given his experiences.


@Vissy

I completely agree, especially about Shallan. Her thoughts and actions towards anyone of a lower rank than her are deeply classist/racist, and I find I do not enjoy reading her for this reason.
 

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2 hours ago, Greywatch said:

@Toaster Retribution
And I consider a definition outside of systemic racism too broad, insultingly so, so I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on that. It puts the anger of the oppressed on the same level as the oppressors, treating both as equally bad, and that seems both incorrect and condescending in my view.

Keeping it more in world of Roshar than real life, no one has been able to claim that Kaladin has anything more than a personal dislike. When he dislikes lighteyes and says something about it, people get mad and hurt, but the worst that happens to the lighteyes is they go, jeez, that darkeyes was such a jerk! And feel whatever hurt or angry feelings they want to feel. And that's the end of the impact.

When a lighteyes dislikes Kaladin, the worst that could happen is... well, what actually happened to him. The Vorin church teaches the lighteyes are on top and they should be trusted; his society doesn't treat everyone equally, and many are treated worse, ie. the darkeyes. Kaladin's prejudice stems from repeated personal experience. It is impossible for Kaladin to be racist against lighteyes. What I find deeply interesting is how angry or condescending people get about Kaladin being this angry, as if anyone else wouldn't think what he thinks given his experiences.

Yeah, we’ll agree to disagree. Lets just say that I dont think using racism broadly puts the oppressed on the level of the oppressors. Compare it to the word murder. Amaram murdered Kaladins men, and Adolin murdered Sadeas. Both are defenitely murders, but what Adolin did was less bad than what Amaram did. Ina similar way, the systematic racism is much worse than Kaladins prejudices, but both would qualify as racism. 

Edited by Toaster Retribution
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Hmm, I think you're trying to apply too modern a perspective on this.

Kaladin's situation is not like today's political climate at all. He genuinely had far less Human Rights simply because of the colour of his eyes. He remained open to Dalinar throughout the Amaram debacle and was genuinely heartbroken by his promotion and later his own jailing. He's open with Shallan despite the callousness she displayed on their first meeting and many other sprinkled instances. He extended the same courtesy of trust towards Adolin and maintained it despite a lot of comments on Adolin's part. He became just as protective of Shen/Rlain and Renarin as any other of his men. He reflects on his attitudes towards others when prompted. He's by far the most progressive character in Stormlight

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I think it's a real stretch to apply the term "racist" to the clash between Lighteyes and Darkeyes.  Classist fits much better.  Just like real world nobility was hereditary, so is being a lighteyes.  Because nobility was hereditary and in most western European societies was passed from father to son for hundreds of years with marriages mostly only between nobility, there were probably enough genetic differences between the nobility and the regular people that you could probably even say that the nobility was a different race, or a different subset of a race.  But no one does, because the relevant distinction is the power and wealth held by the nobles.  The interaction between lighteyes and darkeyes is more like an interaction between the nobility and the commoners than between two racial groups.  It's explicitly set up as a caste system, which could be (depending on your views) two 10-rank caste systems, or one 20-rank caste system.

In my opinion, Kaladin is classist, but not racist.  He is prejudiced against people based on their power and wealth, but not based on their race.  If he had a prejudice against (for example) the Shin, that would make him a racist.

Another point that we need to remember when considering the world of a fantasy novel - the Parshmen of tWoK are not a different race, they are a different species.  Unlike the differences in various races of humans, between different species there are actual significant and measurable scientific differences in biological capability.  Especially in terms of the "Parshmen" who were caused by magic to be mentally disabled for more than a thousand years.  The Alethi of "modern" times did not know or understand that this was because of human magic.  Based on real, unbiased scientific observation they held a reasonable conclusion at the time that the Parshmen were not an intelligent species.  Every "Parshman" had the intelligence of a well trained animal and they were treated as such.  They did not have the capability of becoming a fully sentient/sapient being from training or education.  There is no equivalent situation to this in the real world.  It wouldn't be accurate to call a bias against the Parshmen or Parshendi as "racism" because the Parsh/Singers/Listeners are not a race of humans.  The best word for that kind of bias is xenophobia as I understand it.

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1 hour ago, Greywatch said:


And I consider a definition outside of systemic racism too broad, insultingly so, so I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on that. It puts the anger of the oppressed on the same level as the oppressors, treating both as equally bad, and that seems both incorrect and condescending in my view.

Here's the problem. If you justify anger against a certain race, for any reason, then you just keep adding to the problem. Let's say the dark eyes manage to pull off a massive coup. They create a worldwide coaltition and completely overthrow the light eyes. Let's also imagine they took your approach and hated the light eyes and justified it by how they had been treated. Now they are in power, do you think that animosity will fade? It won't if anything it'll just get stronger and stronger. THey will likely treat the light eyes worse then even they were treated in retribution. Within like three generations Roshar would be in the same social situation, just with dark eyes on top and light eyes underneath. This would cary on until light eyes threw a coup and so on and so forth forever. The only way out of this loop is to disavow racism at every level. Even those who have been oppressed and treated unfairly need to realize that unless they can set that aside for a greater future, the world will be stuck in this spiral. As Kaladin said to Moash, "We need to be better then them", or something similar. Without some group putting aside their hatred and anger and finally living up to the ideal of treating everyone equally, nothing will change but the color of eyes of those in charge. THis is the problem with justifying racism simply because you've been treated badly.

P.S. There is a point in one of the books where bridge 4 actuallty has a discussion about this. I can't remember if it's in WoR or tWoK, and I only have audio so if someone else knows where that is and could quote it that would be nice.

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It just struck me how brilliant it is to write a story with racism as a main theme and have an embodiment of hate as the major villain. Brandon is truly awesome.

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1 hour ago, agrabes said:

I think it's a real stretch to apply the term "racist" to the clash between Lighteyes and Darkeyes.  Classist fits much better.  Just like real world nobility was hereditary, so is being a lighteyes.  Because nobility was hereditary and in most western European societies was passed from father to son for hundreds of years with marriages mostly only between nobility, there were probably enough genetic differences between the nobility and the regular people that you could probably even say that the nobility was a different race, or a different subset of a race.  But no one does, because the relevant distinction is the power and wealth held by the nobles.  The interaction between lighteyes and darkeyes is more like an interaction between the nobility and the commoners than between two racial groups.  It's explicitly set up as a caste system, which could be (depending on your views) two 10-rank caste systems, or one 20-rank caste system.

In my opinion, Kaladin is classist, but not racist.  He is prejudiced against people based on their power and wealth, but not based on their race.  If he had a prejudice against (for example) the Shin, that would make him a racist.

The issue I keep coming back to regarding racism versus classism is the nahns and dahns. As the system as it stands, there will never be a darkeyed of any dahn (I confused the two last time lol. darkeyes normally are of nahn, and lighteyes of dahn). The only way someone can move from the darkeyes nahn, to a light eyes nahn is changing their eye color via winning a shardblade. Marriage does not work as we know via in book and WoB, that it would only affect the children. The darkeyes would remain darkeyes, and remain within the nahn. If the child ended up being born with lighteyes, they would then be of the dahn, and outrank one of their parents. If the child was born with darkeyes, they would be of the nahn and the parents would keep trying till they got a lighteyed child to inherit. So the reason I feel it is a "race" issue (I used quotes since we are speaking of eye color), is because there is a very real ceiling to how high a darkeyes can climb. A darkeyes will never be a ruler. Period. Not through monetary means nor marriage. It is literally stratified based on the color of your eyes. It divides the "haves" from the "have nots". Theoretically in medieval times a commoner could marry a noble, and attain such a rank. A individual who distinguished themselves could earn a knighthood, and even be gifted land. Not so with darkeyes. 

I think a good illustration of classism is the movie "Parasite". The lower class characters have no definable difference than the upper class other than their bank accounts. They are able to literally hide in plain sight without issue. The "smell" becomes the only physical characteristic indicating any difference between the "haves" and have nots". The income disparity is massive, and the likelihood of the lower class shown in the film ever attaining such a height is beyond unlikely, but there is still not a physical trait being used to exclude them. That is why personally I still think the issue is a "race" or eye color sourced than class. 

1 hour ago, agrabes said:

Another point that we need to remember when considering the world of a fantasy novel - the Parshmen of tWoK are not a different race, they are a different species.  Unlike the differences in various races of humans, between different species there are actual significant and measurable scientific differences in biological capability.  Especially in terms of the "Parshmen" who were caused by magic to be mentally disabled for more than a thousand years.  The Alethi of "modern" times did not know or understand that this was because of human magic.  Based on real, unbiased scientific observation they held a reasonable conclusion at the time that the Parshmen were not an intelligent species.  Every "Parshman" had the intelligence of a well trained animal and they were treated as such.  They did not have the capability of becoming a fully sentient/sapient being from training or education.  There is no equivalent situation to this in the real world.  It wouldn't be accurate to call a bias against the Parshmen or Parshendi as "racism" because the Parsh/Singers/Listeners are not a race of humans.  The best word for that kind of bias is xenophobia as I understand it.

The one thing I would add here though is the parshendi are met. The term literally means "the parsh that can think". The Alethi have met a thinking and reasoning version of the parsh. They realize this enough that they are actually concerned about having the parsh near the battlefield. That whatever got the parshendi thinking, could spread like a cold, or that the parsh seeing their "cousins", they would rise up. Kaladin holds back from allowing Shen a spear for a long time for that reason. All the other bridgemen are convinced Shen will try to kill them in their sleep, and he should be put at the front of the bridge so he will die quickly. Kaladin refuses that. 

23 minutes ago, Nellac said:

Here's the problem. If you justify anger against a certain race, for any reason, then you just keep adding to the problem. Let's say the dark eyes manage to pull off a massive coup. They create a worldwide coaltition and completely overthrow the light eyes. Let's also imagine they took your approach and hated the light eyes and justified it by how they had been treated. Now they are in power, do you think that animosity will fade? It won't if anything it'll just get stronger and stronger. THey will likely treat the light eyes worse then even they were treated in retribution. Within like three generations Roshar would be in the same social situation, just with dark eyes on top and light eyes underneath. This would cary on until light eyes threw a coup and so on and so forth forever. The only way out of this loop is to disavow racism at every level. Even those who have been oppressed and treated unfairly need to realize that unless they can set that aside for a greater future, the world will be stuck in this spiral. As Kaladin said to Moash, "We need to be better then them", or something similar. Without some group putting aside their hatred and anger and finally living up to the ideal of treating everyone equally, nothing will change but the color of eyes of those in charge. THis is the problem with justifying racism simply because you've been treated badly.

P.S. There is a point in one of the books where bridge 4 actuallty has a discussion about this. I can't remember if it's in WoR or tWoK, and I only have audio so if someone else knows where that is and could quote it that would be nice.

It is a lot to type out, and I could have sworn there was a portion where Kaladin says he wants the lighteyes to keep it so they can be poisoned/destroyed by it, but I will need some more time to find that part. Otherwise here is the page number (I will try to type of the quote later when I have time):

 

Way of Kings Page 651

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I like the term "systematic racism", because it is clear what it is talking about. Kaladin is very much against systematic racism. He has experienced the injustice of it, he doesn't want to just reverse the tables and lord it over lighteyes, he would very much like it if justice and honor were actually true, fair things for everybody. His experiences have made him prejudiced against lighteyes. Other characters either embrace or passively accept systematic racism, and they are prejudiced against darkeyes, though their prejudice is less about hating darkeyes for things done to them, and more about discomfort at darkeyes being out of there place, fear, or seeing darkeyes as throwaways. Neither prejudice against lighteyes or darkeyes is good. Kaladin shows his ability to grow beyond his prejudice, and start to see the lighteyes he meets as just people. 

One thing that drives me up the wall about all the "Kaladin is racist" threads I've seen is that Dalanar, Adolin, ans Shallan are also "racist", along with bmany others. It kind of makes me crazy that this is seen as a problem just for Kaladin, that he needs to get over and then the world will just be hunky-dor, but no one else needs to tackle their own prejudices.

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Here's the accepted definition of classism: Class discrimination, also known as classism, is prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class. It includes individual attitudes, behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper class at the expense of the lower class.

Also does not apply to Kaladin. Also what exactly are you trying to say here? A poor person disliking rich people is classism?

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6 minutes ago, CosmicSieve said:

I like the term "systematic racism", because it is clear what it is talking about. Kaladin is very much against systematic racism. He has experienced the injustice of it, he doesn't want to just reverse the tables and lord it over lighteyes, he would very much like it if justice and honor were actually true, fair things for everybody. His experiences have made him prejudiced against lighteyes. Other characters either embrace or passively accept systematic racism, and they are prejudiced against darkeyes, though their prejudice is less about hating darkeyes for things done to them, and more about discomfort at darkeyes being out of there place, fear, or seeing darkeyes as throwaways. Neither prejudice against lighteyes or darkeyes is good. Kaladin shows his ability to grow beyond his prejudice, and start to see the lighteyes he meets as just people. 

Thank you. I feel this is what I was trying to say. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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@Nellac

 A "what if it turns around" theoretical doesn't make the current situation any less what it is. It hasn't happened, and it's not on the table. If that were to happen and all institutional power flows away from the lighteyes and to the darkeyes, then the darkeyes would be enforcing the class system and I would be saying that lighteyes can't be racist against darkeyes. Hypotheticals don't change the logic.

The experiences darkeyes have is not the same as lighteyes. Calling something racist is something many people find quite a serious accusation. By using the same word for Kaladin's anger and for the actions of people who did all of that to Kaladin, is calling Kaladin's anger immoral and illegitimate. Kaladin's anger is justified and righteous, even as he is letting go of his hatred. Calling him racist poisons the water; it implies by every definition brought up in this thread that Kaladin is wrong to be angry, because we all know being a racist is bad. He is not wrong to be angry and his suspicion and distrust of lighteyes is earned.

 

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15 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

@Nellac

 A "what if it turns around" theoretical doesn't make the current situation any less what it is. It hasn't happened, and it's not on the table. If that were to happen and all institutional power flows away from the lighteyes and to the darkeyes, then the darkeyes would be enforcing the class system and I would be saying that lighteyes can't be racist against darkeyes. Hypotheticals don't change the logic.

The experiences darkeyes have is not the same as lighteyes. Calling something racist is something many people find quite a serious accusation. By using the same word for Kaladin's anger and for the actions of people who did all of that to Kaladin, is calling Kaladin's anger immoral and illegitimate. Kaladin's anger is justified and righteous, even as he is letting go of his hatred. Calling him racist poisons the water; it implies by every definition brought up in this thread that Kaladin is wrong to be angry, because we all know being a racist is bad. He is not wrong to be angry and his suspicion and distrust of lighteyes is earned.

 

Doing my best to write this adequately. For myself I am not saying Kaladin is wrong to be angry. Nor am I saying Kaladin is wrong to fight injustice. What has been done to dark eyes, and is continued to be done to dark eyes is horrendous and should end. It should be discussed and rallied against. That the lighteyes tend to be the source of these horrors mete upon the dark eyes should also be realized and rallied against. But at the same token, at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s march on the white house, there was people of all colors and creed welcome and urged to join. People of all colors and creed did march together on that day. Kaladin joking with Sigzil that if Sigzil was a murderer he would be in good company, and if the person Sigzil killed was a lighteyes, Kaladin would buy him a drink, however is problematic. That does not mean Kaladin is wrong to rally against the systemic racism mete out by the lighteyes. But toasting the death of a lighteyes just because he or she is a lighteyes also has issues. Hopefully I wrote that well. 

 

edit: for reference

Way of Kings Page 577

"I like to know the men I lead"

"And if some of us are murderers? Sigzil asked quietly

"Then I'm in good company" Kaladin said "If it was a lighteyes you killed, then I might buy you a drink."

Edited by Pathfinder
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7 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

@Nellac

 A "what if it turns around" theoretical doesn't make the current situation any less what it is. It hasn't happened, and it's not on the table. If that were to happen and all institutional power flows away from the lighteyes and to the darkeyes, then the darkeyes would be enforcing the class system and I would be saying that lighteyes can't be racist against darkeyes. Hypotheticals don't change the logic.

The experiences darkeyes have is not the same as lighteyes. Calling something racist is something many people find quite a serious accusation. By using the same word for Kaladin's anger and for the actions of people who did all of that to Kaladin, is calling Kaladin's anger immoral and illegitimate. Kaladin's anger is justified and righteous, even as he is letting go of his hatred. Calling him racist poisons the water; it implies by every definition brought up in this thread that Kaladin is wrong to be angry, because we all know being a racist is bad. He is not wrong to be angry and his suspicion and distrust of lighteyes is earned.

 

I disagree very strongly here. Kaladin had very bad and unjust things happen to him and those make his attitude later very understandable, but they don't make that attitude right. Storms, a key point in his character development is letting go of his anger like we see in the Thaylen fields when he chooses to protect Dalinar over killing Amaram. 

No suspicion or mistrust towards what I assume is a huge part of the population is ever earned.

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By equating Kaladin's words to the harm he's been paid out, it diminishes the impact of what is so bad about racism. His suspicion is completely earned; based on what he'd been through, he was given multiple reasons to find lighteyes untrustworthy. The impact to the lighteyes Kaladin dislikes is negligible, it's essentially nothing. Hurt feelings is the extent of it, as I've said. I've called him prejudiced in this thread, which covers all the things you mentioned in your posts, but racism is reserved for institutional, systemic power.

 

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11 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

By equating Kaladin's words to the harm he's been paid out, it diminishes the impact of what is so bad about racism. His suspicion is completely earned; based on what he'd been through, he was given multiple reasons to find lighteyes untrustworthy. The impact to the lighteyes Kaladin dislikes is negligible, it's essentially nothing. Hurt feelings is the extent of it, as I've said. I've called him prejudiced in this thread, which covers all the things you mentioned in your posts, but racism is reserved for institutional, systemic power.

 

Here is the problem with this view. You are equating the actions of a few with the actions of all. You are saying that simply because some light eyes have treated Kaladin unfairly he therefore has the right to be rude and distrustful of every other light eyes he ever meets. This is the problem with racism. Racism makes you judge someone not based on their individual actions and attributes, but as part of a group. Racism is not reserved for institutional or systemic power. I find no definitions of racism that say it has to be systemic. Systemic racism can, and on Roshar definitely does, exist. But that doesn't justify Kaladin's individual racism towards individuals that he knows nothing about, except their eye color. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest civil rights activists of his time said that each person should "not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." What you are saying is that it is okay to judge someone by the color of their skin, and I'll add in here eyes, if people of the same skin/eye color have mistreated you in the past. In reality, your approach leads to more racism, not less.

 

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34 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

By equating Kaladin's words to the harm he's been paid out, it diminishes the impact of what is so bad about racism. His suspicion is completely earned; based on what he'd been through, he was given multiple reasons to find lighteyes untrustworthy. The impact to the lighteyes Kaladin dislikes is negligible, it's essentially nothing. Hurt feelings is the extent of it, as I've said. I've called him prejudiced in this thread, which covers all the things you mentioned in your posts, but racism is reserved for institutional, systemic power.

 

I am sorry but I have no idea how you came to that conclusion from out what I or others here said :/ Racism is also explicitly not what you claim it is... 

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Nope, it doesn't. And as a personal request, let's not quote MLK so far from his cultural context; there are plenty of his quotes we can quote that are less nice and broad.

I find it telling that the anger of the darkeyes gets more of a "this is wrong!" reaction than Dalinar and Adolin and Shallan's thoughts and actions, as people in these privileged positions who thoughtlessly are classist in the books. But they have the privilege of being calm and reasonable about this subject, whereas Kaladin's anger is seen as hysterical and unreasonable.

I'll use an analogy to explain my reasoning. I and my boss are angry at each other. I tell him, "you're fired!" Nothing happens. He tells me, "you're fired!" and I am escorted from the building. Were our actions equal? Did we do each other the same harm? No. Absolutely not. I was not capable of firing my boss; the company would laugh if I'd tried. On the other hand, it was very easy for him to fire me. But our words were the same! We were both in the wrong!

And yet, if someone tried to claim that what I did was as bad as what he did to me, even just bad at all, that claim would be pretty insulting. Calling what I did "firing him" doesn't align with the reality.

 

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2 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Nope, it doesn't. And as a personal request, let's not quote MLK so far from his cultural context; there are plenty of his quotes we can quote that are less nice and broad.

I find it telling that the anger of the darkeyes gets more of a "this is wrong!" reaction than Dalinar and Adolin and Shallan's thoughts and actions, as people in these privileged positions who thoughtlessly are classist in the books. But they have the privilege of being calm and reasonable about this subject, whereas Kaladin's anger is seen as hysterical and unreasonable.

I'll use an analogy to explain my reasoning. I and my boss are angry at each other. I tell him, "you're fired!" Nothing happens. He tells me, "you're fired!" and I am escorted from the building. Were our actions equal? Did we do each other the same harm? No. Absolutely not. I was not capable of firing my boss; the company would laugh if I'd tried. On the other hand, it was very easy for him to fire me. But our words were the same! We were both in the wrong!

And yet, if someone tried to claim that what I did was as bad as what he did to me, even just bad at all, that claim would be pretty insulting. Calling what I did "firing him" doesn't align with the reality.

 

The three people you mentioned all get the same treatment from what I've seen people post, specially Shallan who gets loads of hate from her attitude (boots scene), but even the others get called out for being casually racist/classist. I'm pretty sure literally no one here called Kaladin unreasonable or hysterical and I explicitly said his anger was perfectly understandable, but that said understanding didn't make his anger a morally correct thing, which he himself ends up understanding. 

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His hatred is something he's working on to change; his anger is righteous and correct.

 

EDIT: And to clarify, the three do not get the same reaction from the radon, except perhaps Shallan. There aren't threads and threads being made about the Kholins' classism, exclaiming how inappropriate they're being. The large portion of fan attention on this issue is focused on Kaladin.

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15 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Nope, it doesn't. And as a personal request, let's not quote MLK so far from his cultural context; there are plenty of his quotes we can quote that are less nice and broad.

I'll use an analogy to explain my reasoning. I and my boss are angry at each other. I tell him, "you're fired!" Nothing happens. He tells me, "you're fired!" and I am escorted from the building. Were our actions equal? Did we do each other the same harm? No. Absolutely not. I was not capable of firing my boss; the company would laugh if I'd tried. On the other hand, it was very easy for him to fire me. But our words were the same! We were both in the wrong!

And yet, if someone tried to claim that what I did was as bad as what he did to me, even just bad at all, that claim would be pretty insulting. Calling what I did "firing him" doesn't align with the reality.

 

I don't see the problem with quoting MLK. Either way, you haven't actually rebutted that point. It is evil to judge someone simply based on bad experiences you've had in the past with similar people. Let me give you a better analogy. Let's say I got mugged in a city on three separate occasions. Each time it was by people who I know are left-handed. Does that justify me hating all people who are left-handed. Is it "righteous and correct" as you later put it for me to be rude and antagonistic towards anyone who happens to be left-handed? This is what you are justifying Kaladin doing. You are saying that since some light-eyed people have been terrible to him he is justified in hating everyone else who happens to be light eyed.

Your analogy doesn't work. The problem is that getting a job is a choice that you make. You go to that business and you sign agreements to work for them and usually there is certain protocol you need to follow. That company can choose to fire you at any time because of their behavior. Perhaps they will have to pay you extra to make up for breaking an agreement, but it is their right as your boss to fire you if they want to. That's how jobs work.

 

Just now, Greywatch said:

His hatred is something he's working on to change; his anger is righteous and correct.

His hatred at Rashone, Amaram, Elokar, and Sadeus may be fair. His anger at all other light eyes is unfair because they haven't done anything wrong to Kaladin. Again, he is judging people by their eye color and not their actions.

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Anger is not morally incorrect, and when you run into situation after situation where lighteyes mistreated them, Kaladin and others traumatized like him are not obligated to perform their anger in a way that's palatable. They have a right to their anger, and to keep it without being considered morally reprehensible for it. What happened to him was evil, evil facilitated by his own society. Tack on "now don't forget not to hate ALL lighteyes, or you're just as bad!" to a guy who had to do something like bridge runs, and that encapsulates why I find the demand that Kaladin let go of all of his anger completely to be an unfair and indefensible position.

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12 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

His hatred is something he's working on to change; his anger is righteous and correct.

 

EDIT: And to clarify, the three do not get the same reaction from the radon, except perhaps Shallan. There aren't threads and threads being made about the Kholins' classism, exclaiming how inappropriate they're being. The large portion of fan attention on this issue is focused on Kaladin.

Okay, here's a couple of things to note. For one, just because people don't talk about it, doesn't mean they approve. I'd bet most people would agree that the Statement's made by Shallan, Adolin, and Dalinar are racist and bad. I will personally say that their derogatory statements are evil and shouldn't be said at all. Secondly, the reason Kaladin's racism is discussed so much is because it is a much more major part of his arc. Half of his problems as a character, especially in WoR, are because he is trying to overcome his racism and learn to trust light eyes. He is discussed more because he thinks about it more and changes more.

Also, it seems like your main defense is "Nobody is talking about the other people, the people in power, that are racist." Okay fine, we don't talk about that very much. Maybe that is because this whole thread is about Kaladin and whether he is racist. Just saying that he's not as bad as some of the light eyes doesn't mean what he does is right. To truly understand if what he is doing is moral we need to look specifically at his actions and experiences and whether they are justified. We don't put them on a scale against other people, we put it on the scale of right and wrong.

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