I keep reading in various places around the web about people bashing fantasy and sci-fi writers for so often writing white characters. They always want to make it be about racism, rather than about what it really is, at least in my opinion.
If an African writes a story about Africa, or an Asian about Asia, these same people, more often than not, praise that person and even give them awards for their authentic cultural writing. Why exactly is it that a person of European extraction is supposed to be different? True, for authenticity's sake, when I write a contemporary or futuristic piece, I will include non-white main characters, because that is what life is like now. But, when I write fantasy, I take the viewpoint of the European Middle or Dark Ages.
Why shouldn't I? I love history, and I have both taken courses and read many books about non-European history. It is interesting, however it doesn't resonate with me the same way that European history does. When I read about the Romans, Charlemagne, or William the Conqueror I have an innate feeling that this is my own history that I am studying. I can wonder where exactly all of my ancestors were in relation to these events. I have a personal stake in it. So why exactly is it fine for anyone else to have such feelings, but not me just because I am white?
I am as against racism as anyone, but I am not against common sense. I see it as natural that any culture will more often wish to write about itself, and I don't find it fair to say this applies to everyone except those of European extraction.
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