Hmm. This may be a matter of environment. I only visit certain tags sporadically, and on the tags I visit, and the people I follow, I have seen more people attacking white Cecil fans/white Nightvale fans/fans who have avoided speaking about this issue, than defending them. And I have seen many people defending POCecil and POC fans.
I frequent the main tags daily, rather than following a lot of blogs. So I see a lot of people who might not even post much about WTNV, and whose understanding of the issues is very vague. They see a fight about racism, they rush to defend their head canons. It’s pretty discouraging.
I have not actually seen myself any posts attacking POC fans, or POCecil. Not that they are not there! But they are apparently not in the spaces I frequent. —I have seen the white supremacist trolling in the POCecil tag and have reported it, but I do not consider that fans attacking fans, but rather trolls being assholes.
I’ve seen posts saying “Yes, you can imagine Cecil as a POC, but if you really think about it, he must be white.” It doesn’t happen that often, but it does happen.
I also just reblogged/commented on a post that completely glossed over issues of representation and called POCecil “inconsequential”.
I have also seen a number of people in the fandom like yourself who are not attacking anyone, but are discussing the issues and trying to find some solution. And I have seen many people who are frustrated and saddened by the state of the fandom.
This is what I, too, see most of. What saddens me is when these people are fans of color, who have just given up all hope of white fans caring about them.
My instinct is not to defend headcanons but to criticize behavior — behavior of white people, more than POCs — that may harm more people, white and POC both. I am concerned about how certain types of interactions play out online/on Tumblr. I believe that hostility towards white Nightvale fans — often from other white fans, not POC — is detrimental not only to white fans but to POC fans as well.
I saw a post saying some fans of color have worried about this too.
I don’t know. As a white fan, I’m constantly worried I’m not doing enough, and it’s possible that I sometimes get too zealous because of that feeling.
I am also concerned that in the drive to support POC fans, some white fans are reacting with viciousness and anger that may rebound upon POCs, and then defending their own behavior in the name of the cause. I am very, very hesitant to say that it is acceptable for white fans to dismiss or belittle white fans en masse in the name of defending POC, however angry those defending white fans get. And I think it is all too easy to conflate the anger of POC with the co-oped anger of white people, and defend them both under the same banner instead of considering them separately.
That’s a good point, actually.
I also think that there is a difference between accepting and empathizing with understandable anger about oppression, and promoting that anger as the first, best response to oppression. But that is a very difficult line to draw and one I do not feel I have the right to speak to when it comes to racial oppression.
I feel the same way, like as a white fan who am I to say? I’ve told people of color in the past to not be so angry, and I feel bad about it now, because I realize it was racist.
It’s possible some people are reacting from a personal place - for instance, I’ve asked myself if being bullied my whole childhood affects my behavior. Do I attack bullies in the fandom, because I was powerless against bullies as a child? Am I trying to save others because I could not be saved? I dunno.
But that’s going into a very personal private place, and if we start questioning people’s behavior and suspecting childhood trauma, that’s also derailing from the issues. (Especially if the trauma comes from being oppressed.)
Really I do not feel I have much right to pass judgment on most of this; much of what I say is me working through my own feelings and opinions, to determine what I personally can do that will do the most good. This is why I attempt to limit my opinions to this, my own blog, and not employ tags such as POCecil, or reblog my commentary on posts by POC fans, where they might be taken as personal criticism rather than general thoughts.
I tend to reblog posts by people of color without commentary too. It’s not my place to say. If I feel their post is too angry, I might not reblog it, but I don’t tell them not to be angry, because really, that response might just come from privilege and personal discomfort.
Also I’m not the thought/behavior police here, although I often get the urge to respond to EVERYTHING and tell everyone what to think. I have to bite my tongue daily, especially when it comes to white fans.
I apologize if in reblogging your comments, I am making you uncomfortable, or feeling as if I am criticizing you. I appreciate your thoughts, and your patience in relating them, even if we do not agree on how to handle this.
No, I appreciate your thoughts too. I’m not very concerned about feeling uncomfortable. You made me think, but the sad thing is that there are no definite answers.
I cannot say for sure what people’s headcanons are. I have definitely seen POC fans draw and reblog fanart with light-skinned and fair-haired Cecils. Whether those versions are actually their headcanons, or whether the light-skinned versions are meant to be white or POC, I do not know.
Hmmm. That’s a complex issue, for sure.
I do think that in this current fandom environment, if any POC do have any white Cecil headcanons, they will be less likely to admit it, for fear of being criticized or shamed for it.
That’s an interesting point, actually. I don’t think white fans are being shamed for white head canons, but I can imagine that a fan of color might be, if others saw him/her as a traitor. For some, White Cecil has come to symbolize oppression and raicsm in the fandom. That might in fact create an environment where white head canons make you complicit.