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Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion

Kotaku has a running summary of an discussion taking place over twitter over whether the Tiny Tina character in Borderlands 2 is racist, based on the white character's use of clichéd African-American slang. Some have expressed the opinion that this is "verbal blackface," and after originally resisting, lead writer Anthony Burch moved on to try to expand the discussion to see if he needed to re-work the character's dialog in future releases. Randy Pitchford's take on this is that it's not racist as long as it was not written by a racist: "@reverendanthony tina is not racist because you are not racist. You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion." Thanks nin.

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40. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:15 Cutter
 
Spektr wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 15:23:
No, that existed long before the phrase political correctness was coined. And sorry but that definition seems fairly incomplete as under that definition, an American black street kid calling another "nigger" in a tv series like the wire would be being political correct.

It seems that political correctness is used nowadays to address a situation some people are getting paternalistic and overprotective nay hypocritical using euphemism with some issues. For instance calling blind people visually challenged. Black people coloured people. As such it's a bad thing because on grounds on being nice and respectful ( it starts as being the opposite of using disparaging words ) it puts on the same example having a handicap ( which is a bad thing in itself ) and belonging to a minority. ( which isn't )

That's why I always loved George Carlin on this topic....

"And some of this stuff is just silly; we all know that; like on the airlines, they say they want to pre-board. Well, what the hell is pre-board? What does that mean? To get on before you get on? They say they’re going to pre-board those passengers in need of special assistance.

Cripples! Simple, honest, direct language!

There’s no shame attached to the word “cripple” that I can find in any dictionary. No shame attached to it. In fact, it’s a word used in Bible translations: Jesus healed the cripples. Doesn’t take seven words to describe that condition.

But we don’t have any cripples in this country any more; we have the physically challenged. Is that a grotesque enough evasion for you? How about differently abled? I’ve heard them called that: differently abled. You can’t even call these people handicapped any more. They’ll say, “Were not handicapped; we’re handi-capable.” These poor people have been bullshitted by the system into believing that if you change the name of the condition, somehow you’ll change the condition. Well, hey, cousin, doesn’t happen. Doesn’t happen.

We have no more deaf people in this country; hearing-impaired. No one’s blind any more; partially sighted or visually impaired. We have no more stupid people; everybody has a learning disorder. Or he’s minimally exceptional. How would you like to be told that about your child? “He’s minimally exceptional.” “Oh, thank God for that.”

Psychologists actually have started calling ugly people those with severe appearance deficits. It’s getting so bad that any day now I expect to hear a rape victim referred to as an unwilling sperm recipient."
 
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39. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:11 Quboid
 
Spektr wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 15:23:
Quboid wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:52:
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:09:
Political correctness is a disease. Pure and simple.
Political correctness is the ideal of considering others' feeling and not being an asshole.
No, that existed long before the phrase political correctness was coined. And sorry but that definition seems fairly incomplete as under that definition, an American black street kid calling another "nigger" in a tv series like the wire would be being political correct.

It seems that political correctness is used nowadays to address a situation some people are getting paternalistic and overprotective nay hypocritical using euphemism with some issues. For instance calling blind people visually challenged. Black people coloured people. As such it's a bad thing because on grounds on being nice and respectful ( it starts as being the opposite of using disparaging words ) it puts on the same example having a handicap ( which is a bad thing in itself ) and belonging to a minority. ( which isn't )

The phrase is new way to describe an old concept. Your examples are political correctness gone wrong, and are what the phrase "political correctness gone mad" should refer to, were it not the bigots' code that I mentioned before - at least in the UK.

It can go wrong and be ham-fisted at best, but this is at least people trying. It might take a generation or three, but it's an improvement. Anyone who describes me as handicapable is liable to get a kick in the nuts for being a patronizing dick but I suppose it's marginally better than being called a spastic or something like that (which I'm not by any definition but I hope you see my point). "Vertically challenged" was briefly the PC way to refer to little people which I always thought was horrible as it implies they've somehow failed.

Perhaps you have a point, perhaps language has evolved so "politically correct" now means the ill-considered attempts at understanding. The concept is a good thing, but maybe we need a new phrase.

Edit: speaking of political correctness and language evolving, I noticed Quinn used the word "retard" which to me is an example of language changing. Like most, probably all here, I use that word to just mean stupid, nonsensical, moronic and don't give it a second thought but I know it still upsets some people, and I'd hate to hear it actually used to describe a mentally handicapped person. I think the word moron used to be the same, many years ago.

This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2013, 16:16.
 
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38. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:10 siapnar
 
007Bistromath wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:58:
Having been poor and around poor people pretty much forever, I can say with certainty that this isn't at all racist. Tiny Tina doesn't talk like a black girl, she talks like a poor girl. The underlying problem is the overlap between those in the real world.
Well said
 
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I have projectile dysfunction.
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37. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:09 Wallshadows
 
This game is more racist towards white people for using so many white people cliches throughout the game such as how white, middle-aged men make the perfect psychos.

I demand an end to this verbal whiteface.
 
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36. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:08 Flatline
 
So the Kotaku link has pretty much most of Tiny Tina's dialog in the game in it. On reflection, and hearing it all at once, it sounds more like college "bro" slang than anything else.

No story here, just some white guilt. Move along.
 
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35. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:08 KAG
 
I always thought she was voiced by Jar Jar Binks.  
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34. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:03 Quinn
 
My goodness do I have a innate hate for this kinda garbage nonsense.

It's so easy to shout "RACIST!", people freaking love it and there are more than enough misguided moral knights out there gladly hooting and cheering in support of the name-caller. It's pathetic. It's disgusting. And the retarded noise should be ignored entirely.

And yes. Yes indeed. The time has come where the tables have turned and now it's most of all the white people that are being discriminated. At least in western societies. It's laughable.
 
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33. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 3, 2013, 15:45 Flatline
 
The Half Elf wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:49:
But if Tina was black it would be ok, just like it would be ok for me to call other gays faggots? (which I don't unless they are flaming faggots, in which case I just beat them with their own purses and stab them in the eyes with their overpriced shoes they bought after watching a episode of Sex in the City, but that's another story)...

*goes off to watch Louis CK describing a Cinnabon as a fat faggot treat and isn't offended in the least bit*

I still don't understand why you might call a gay guy a bundle of sticks. I guess I can see why you might call him a cigarette, I mean, you have to suck on a cigarette to make the tip turn red.
 
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32. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 15:23 theyarecomingforyou
 
Quboid wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:52:
No, no it isn't. Political correctness is why you can't make hiring or firing decisions based on race or gender. Political correctness is why one one of the UK's big 3 political parties no longer uses the slogan "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour" (them being the other 2 big parties at the time). Political correctness is the ideal of considering others' feeling and not being an asshole. When someone (usually a newspaper columnist who considers that political party to be a bit 'soft') uses the phrase "it's political correctness gone mad", that's code for "now when I'm a bigoted asshole, people call me out on it". This is nothing but a very good thing.

This garbage isn't political correctness. This is stupidity, with a large hint of repressed racism.
+1
 
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31. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 15:23 Spektr
 
Quboid wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:52:
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:09:
Political correctness is a disease. Pure and simple.
Political correctness is the ideal of considering others' feeling and not being an asshole.
No, that existed long before the phrase political correctness was coined. And sorry but that definition seems fairly incomplete as under that definition, an American black street kid calling another "nigger" in a tv series like the wire would be being political correct.

It seems that political correctness is used nowadays to address a situation some people are getting paternalistic and overprotective nay hypocritical using euphemism with some issues. For instance calling blind people visually challenged. Black people coloured people. As such it's a bad thing because on grounds on being nice and respectful ( it starts as being the opposite of using disparaging words ) it puts on the same example having a handicap ( which is a bad thing in itself ) and belonging to a minority. ( which isn't )
 
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30. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 15:20 Rattlehead
 
Of course Kotaku would publish something like that. What a joke of a site. Seriously, don't click the link. Don' give them the hits they want.

Stupid gawker bullshit. Fuck Kotaku.
 
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29. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:52 Quboid
 
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:09:
Political correctness is a disease. Pure and simple.

No, no it isn't. Political correctness is why you can't make hiring or firing decisions based on race or gender. Political correctness is why one one of the UK's big 3 political parties no longer uses the slogan "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour" (them being the other 2 big parties at the time). Political correctness is the ideal of considering others' feeling and not being an asshole. When someone (usually a newspaper columnist who considers that political party to be a bit 'soft') uses the phrase "it's political correctness gone mad", that's code for "now when I'm a bigoted asshole, people call me out on it". This is nothing but a very good thing.

This garbage isn't political correctness. This is stupidity, with a large hint of repressed racism.
 
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28. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:46 Beelzebud
 
Jones wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 14:41:
The fact that this has even come up at all shows how lost we are as a society.

A bit melodramatic, don't you think? What I think it shows is how a slow news day can make sites mine twitter feeds for "controversy".

This is 2 people on twitter, not some movement.
 
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27. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:41 Jones
 
The fact that this has even come up at all shows how lost we are as a society.  
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26. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:34 Beelzebud
 
If this were an episode of South Park, all the main characters would be saying something like "I'm not going anywhere near this one.", and I'd be right there with them.  
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25. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:32 SirKnight
 
Definitely not racist. Annoying and weird? Oh hell yeah.

It's amazing what some people consider racist these days. Today's society has become very odd.
 
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24. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:27 Phasenoise
 
I feel very offended by Tiny Tina talking a certain way.

No, wait, that was just gas. This is stupid after all.
 
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23. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:09 RollinThundr
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:50:
You know what I think is racist? Suggesting there's such a thing as "cliched African-American slang" (not accusing Blue, just the people making the argument). If they'd stop assuming that's how black people talk, then maybe they stop being so damn offended when non-black people talk like that.

Fuck, if they are going to be this idiotic, why not go after Eminem? Damn white guy stealing black people's music! Here's a tip you idiotic "I see racist people!" motherfuckers... Just because a certain portion of one type of people do something doesn't make it racist if a non-"type" person does it too. Stop trying to be fucking offended by everything!

Political correctness is a disease. Pure and simple.
 
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22. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:08 Quboid
 
fightinfilipino wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:50:
MajorD wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:43:
Please!! Does 'Tiny Tina' offend midgets too…….or should I say 'Height Challenged' people?

While on the subject; I never understood, and still don't, why it is considered derogatory to call somebody from the ‘Orient’ an ‘Oriental’. ‘Asian’ encompasses people from Afghanistan to Yemen. From what I’ve been told and understand, it is only in North America that calling some an ‘Oriental’ is considered derogatory. //shakes head

In fifty years we’ll all have vaginas!!!

the term "oriental" has traditionally been used in only two ways: 1) to refer to objects, not sentient people, and 2) in a historically-derogatory manner (implying in the old colonial sense some kind of superiority over Asian people)

as for your "vaginas" comment, erm, what?

I think this is the case, but only in North America were they were shipped over to build railroads. Here in the UK and Ireland, it still has a certain exotic flavour to it. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a compliment, but to describe someone as Oriental is to conjure up images of exciting new cultures.
 
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21. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 14:08 Parallax Abstraction
 
Yeah, I don't see the racist connection at all, though I will admit stereotypes are often a significant part of many games. Don't get me wrong, I can talk for hours on how Burch is a lousy writer (pointing at references and asking people to laugh a la Family Guy isn't writing, it's referencing) and how Tiny Tina's one of the most annoying characters in years but I really don't see the racist overtones in it.  
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