Well, friends. Here we are.
This website does not exist to make political statements, or to discuss the human condition. But there comes a point when you can’t just ignore what’s going on in the world. Voices must be raised and shared, because things aren’t right.
I’ve written and re-written this post a half-dozen times, turning over in my head what to say. After all, what I have to say is hardly significant in all of this.
But I care about what’s going on in the world, and much of what’s going on isn’t right. I care about people, in my own strange, introverted, geeky way. I care enough to say: Black lives matter.
It’s strange that we live in a time when that statement could possibly be considered controversial, and yet I know some feel angry at the sight of that phrase.
And certainly, people on both sides have not behaved perfectly. But whatever minor rights and wrongs, whatever the specifics, it is clear that the black community is crying out in pain. It’s clear that we white people need to seriously confront our issues with racism; and most importantly, to listen to the voices crying out, to try and understand. It’s the least we can do. And, obviously, it’s not just the Black community, but all people of color in this country who have various reasons for hurting, for anger, for fear.
For my part, I am doing my best to listen. I have been doing so for years, since the first cry of Black lives matter. I’m not outspoken or vocal about much, but I have been reading black voices, listening to arguments and discussions, and doing my best to learn and grow. I would encourage anyone like me to do the same. Don’t settle for what you already know; look, listen, learn. Try to understand. Don’t be afraid of questions; if what you know is right, there will be answers. If not, don’t you want to know the truth?
And, let’s face it. The board game community hasn’t avoided these issues. In some cases, parts of our community have become truly nasty and cruel. I have seen rage in reaction to simple things like… trying to include more diversity in board game art, whether it’s female characters or people of color. I’ve seen people become defensive and angry when challenged to portray non-european cultures with more respect and accuracy, and by including actual people from those cultures in the design process. I’ve seen indignation in regards to people challenging the colonialism (and often implied slavery or genocide) inherent in many board game themes.
The simple truth is, we don’t need to be angry about these things. We don’t need to be on the defensive. We should listen, and strive to do better. Listening to someone doesn’t necessarily entail doing exactly what they say at all times; it does mean, making sure you are acknowledging problems and trying to do better.
iSlaytheDragon will continue. We’re still focused on board games, on the fun and joy we can have with our families and friends over a table filled with cardboard. But we will also be looking for ways to support the community, to help it improve, and make it a better place for everyone. Board games are about coming together, not dividing.
So. Here we are.