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Racism in the Awakened World Exclusive

Steven Kipling

The Way It Is

For the majority of people, race—or more accurately, metatype—doesn’t figure too much into their view of the world. After all, it’s been close to fifty years since UGE occurred and people started changing into orks and trolls, and almost sixty since elves and dwarfs arrived on the scene. The average citizen sees other metatypes every day: we work with them, run into them at the Stuffer Shack, and party with them at bars and clubs. Our kids attend school with them every day.


For the most part, the five basic metatypes have gotten used to being around each other and problems are far less prevalent than they used to be. That’s not to say that many people don’t still prefer the company of their own kind (witness meta-heavy nations like Tir Tairngire or the Black Forest Troll Kingdom for extreme examples), but this is based as much on shared experience as it is on any overt racism. Still, it would be na´ve to say that racism doesn’t exist. If you don’t believe it, try being a troll and applying for a job as a corporate management trainee. Many workplaces still discriminate (particularly against orks and trolls) and other business establishments maintain subtle or not-so-subtle biases for or against particular metatypes. It doesn’t just benefit humans, either—a human or elf walking alone into the Big Rhino (a notorious ork restaurant in Seattle) will find this out in a hurry.


Pro -Meta Activist Groups

In the face of such discrimination, it’s only natural that metahumans would band together and form organizations to try to gain advantages for their group—whether they be political power, more resources or jobs, or simply the chance for their voices to be heard in government policymaking. Some of these organizations, like the Mothers of Metahumans (MOM), number all metatypes (even humans) among their membership, and their efforts aim to benefit everyone’s needs regardless of type. Others, like the Ork Rights Committee (ORC), the Ghoul Liberation League and the dwarven Stonecutters’ Guild, focus their efforts more tightly and seek to advance the cause of their own particular people. In any case, these organizations employ many tactics to get their points across: for example, ORC and MOM focus more on street-level grassroots activism (along with a healthy dose of civil disobedience) in addition to political lobbying, while the Stonecutters use their greater economic clout to advance the agendas of dwarfs. Regardless of the methods they use, there’s no arguing that the meta-rights groups have made—and are continuing to make—great strides toward leveling the playing field for metahumans.


Racist Organizations

Of course, in any society there are always people who aren’t content to just live and let live—they’re convinced that metatypes other than their own are somehow less than people, that they’re stealing the jobs and benefits that rightfully belong to their people, that they’re destroying the moral fiber of society, and so forth. Some of these people have such big problems with metatypes other than their own that they band together with like-minded individuals and form their own organizations—sort of the dark side of the generally nonviolent meta-activist coalitions.


Groups like the sheet-clad Humanis Policlub and the pro-troll and –ork, anti-everybody-else Sons of Sauron range in aim from glorified political action committees to terrorist organizations bent on nothing short of the destruction (or at least the subjugation) of anybody who doesn’t share their metatype. Sometimes, as is the case with Humanis, the same organization can operate at both ends of the spectrum, presenting itself as a benign pro-human social club while working behind the scenes for more nefarious purposes. The depressing thing about these organizations is that while their memberships aren’t as strong as they used to be, they’re still quite adept at manipulating the emotions of the young, the down-and-out, and the failures of society. Since none of these types is in short supply, the racist policlubs are guaranteed a steady stream of new members.

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