Nerd culture and Black people--not an oxymoron

It ain't where you from, it's where you at.
--The God

So in the other D&D thread there's a lot of convo about black folks and their resistance to D&D. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but if you're here in New York, I suggest you stop by a gaming/comic book store some time soon. I went to Neutral Ground on 37th Street yesterday to grab some dice and miniatures. In the back were a bunch of kids gaming--cards, not p&p. They were all black and Latino, with a couple Asians sprinkled in. The guy at the register was Latino. He was in his late thirties. We reminisced on gaming in the 80s for a bit.

It's true that gaming culture is predominantly white. But so is golf. And so is tennis. And so are most debate teams. And so is Harvard. The point I'm trying to make here is twofold: 1.) I think the world has changed since 1987, when the only people I basically played D&D with were a couple of my brothers and cousins. (Have you seen all the black skateboarders recently?)  2.) Even if it hasn't, it's worth pushing for change. But a bad way to make that push is to presume to know how people are going to react. The very act of anticipating prejudice is a prejudice in and of itself.

It's like this: I'd never teach my son to expect white people to be racist. Likewise, I do my best not to assume that the hood is necessarily close-minded. I worked at a publication (which shall remain nameless) for a couple years, where the staff was 90 percent white and probably two-thirds Ivy League. Some folks were more close-minded than any hardrock I ran into during all my time coming up. Alright, so maybe not any hardrock--but you get the picture. The close-mindedness, the ignorance and prejudices of the privileged are always overlooked; meanwhile, such qualities among the poor are always moral failings.

Hmm, I took it a little far there. What I'm saying is, as much as I think it's counterproductive to assume the worst of the world (which is why I would never repeat the "twice as good" mantra to my son--we set the standard, not someone else), it's probably more counterproductive to assume the worst of ourselves.