Lately, more and more people seem to be bringing up Lovecraft’s racism. Well, these things are cyclical, I suppose.
Was H.P. Lovecraft a racist? It seems obvious that he was, and I’m not about to argue that point.
But so were a lot of other authors. For example, did you know that Dr. Seuss was a racist? Yep. So was Jack London. So was Rudyard Kipling. And, it seems, even J.R.R. Tolkien. And I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that the author of the Declaration of Independence was not only racist, he owned slaves.
And on and on and on.
We need to reach the point where we acknowledge that yes, Lovecraft was a racist and that it’s horrible… and move on.
Racism is a terrible, terrible thing, and I can’t understand why anyone would hold racist views.
At the same time, though, once we’ve acknowledged that Lovecraft was a racist, is it really necessary to bring up his racism every time his work is mentioned? Some people seem to think so.
Some even seem to think that because of his racism, no one should read his stories. But I highly doubt those same people are throwing away the Declaration of Independence, The Lord of the Rings, or The Call of the Wild. Or Dr. Seuss books.
So Saturday’s show is about yes, as far as The Lovecraft eZine is concerned, let’s get this out in the open, let’s discuss it… and then let’s move on.
If you’d like to be on the show to talk about this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or, you can simply watch the show LIVE, this coming Saturday night at midnight Eastern time (11pm Central, 9pm Pacific), at this link.
An addendum: I almost did not post about the HPL racism thing. But I feel that as someone running a major HPL website/magazine/video show, I have a responsibility to NOT duck the racism issue. So as much as I don’t like drama, this is the right thing to do.
I knew that some people would be upset at me, no matter what. Some are upset that I’m bringing up race “again” (not that I have been talking about it, but it’s been brought up a lot lately elsewhere). Others are upset because they think I’m minimizing it by saying “it doesn’t have to be part of *every* conversation about HPL and his work”.
No matter what, some people will be pissed. But this needs to be discussed. And here’s the thing: The key is BALANCE.
Balance. On one end of the spectrum, some would like HPL’s racism never brought up again, or at least, rarely. On the other end, some seem to feel that it needs to be mentioned almost every time HPL or his work is discussed.
The answer is, like most things in life, somewhere in the middle. And THAT, more than anything else, is what I am saying.
My hope, my wish, is that people could discuss things like this without emotions getting out of hand.
Last of all, if you know me, you know that I am a person who advocates treating others with kindness above ALL else. I think more highly of someone who is kind, than I do of someone who has enormous talent yet treats people like shit. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know me.