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Black Lives Matter Support
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Joebiwan ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Lives absolutely matter. That statement should come easy to the group that represents the Rebellion, the fight against tyranny and inequality. If you can't agree to that, you're NOT one of the good guys.

The REBEL LEGION in the movies and books were freedom fighters. BLM is about the lack of freedom and equality our brothers and sisters of color suffer through daily. I am absolutely a Rebel and if you aren't, why be in this group
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Naglium (Gordon Gravelese)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We do not often like to get deeply involved in world issues because our club is an escape from the real world for a lot of members. This is something that is affecting our members directly though and we want them to know we are here for them. We support change in the world, we are fully against racism of any kind and we will always strive to keep it out of our community.


This club is a place where we all come to play plastic spaceman. To learn to make things, and to socialize with like-minded individuals around a fandom that touches the core of my being at least, to say nothing about others.

Simply adding BLM to the statement won't change it's intent or purpose. There's more to battling racism than just BLM, and I'm assuming the point was to target racism as a whole, and not just specifically to one ethnicity. No death is acceptable, regardless of race, gender, or occupation.

While you may not agree with other's opinions, I would hope you would agree to disagree on this issue. We all know that the feeling and spirit of the statement was in the right direction. If the wording needs revising, that's fine. I think the point of the statement makes the stance of the Legion very clear.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you RL staff for making that FB post. It is a much stronger show of support, and is much less vague.

There are going to be people who are upset with that decision, but it is the right decision. Those upset about it need to look within. Systemic racism is a very real problem to this day. The 501st and Rebel Legion can either acknowledge the situation and work to be part of the solution, or we can be left behind on the wrong side of history.

While the 501st and Rebel Legion are extremely diverse organizations, to my understanding in the United States the majority of members are still white. As individual white people, we have a lot of work to do. That means as a group, we also have work to do.

Black Lives Matter
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naglium wrote:
Quote:
We do not often like to get deeply involved in world issues because our club is an escape from the real world for a lot of members. This is something that is affecting our members directly though and we want them to know we are here for them. We support change in the world, we are fully against racism of any kind and we will always strive to keep it out of our community.


This club is a place where we all come to play plastic spaceman. To learn to make things, and to socialize with like-minded individuals around a fandom that touches the core of my being at least, to say nothing about others.

Simply adding BLM to the statement won't change it's intent or purpose. There's more to battling racism than just BLM, and I'm assuming the point was to target racism as a whole, and not just specifically to one ethnicity. No death is acceptable, regardless of race, gender, or occupation.

While you may not agree with other's opinions, I would hope you would agree to disagree on this issue. We all know that the feeling and spirit of the statement was in the right direction. If the wording needs revising, that's fine. I think the point of the statement makes the stance of the Legion very clear.


I didn't just come here to play dress up. I came here to be part of an organization that brought joy to people. A club that sought to drive the spirit of charity and make a difference in their community. The fact that this was all accomplished through the power of Star Wars was icing on the cake.

Adding BLM to the statement shows that the Legion is aware of what it is supporting. There is much more to battling racism than just BLM but, right now, BLM is where racism is rearing its ugly and unwelcome head. BLM is where the direct support is needed right now.

I will not agree to disagree about racism. A person is racist or they are not. I do not believe that everyone knew that the feeling and spirit of the statement was in the right direction, or we would not be having this forum thread at all. Lastly, the point of the statement does make the Legion stance clear. The Legion comes across as afraid of speaking up beyond just "thoughts and prayers".

Don't be afraid Rebel Legion. To quote Yoda "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger......" You all know the rest.
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spacepuffin ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly is neutral about police brutality and racial injustice? How can you take a neutral stance on a situation where black people are being murdered by a historically prejudiced system? This isn't a political topic. It's human rights. And the comment about having people of color " cure" racists? It isn't the duty of people of color to educate racists on racial issues. I've never heard of a racist wanting to listen to a person of color. 99% of the time they just dig their heels in further. It's not my job as an lgbt woman to educate people who are homophobic and or sexist. So why should people of color be forced to educate those who see them as less?



MrTexas wrote:

Every single thing we do is scrutinized. For that, we try to generally stay as neutral as possible on as much as we can. I am pretty decent at these statements as I write most of them myself. I always have others look over them before posting them and get approval from others but its usually a general contentness from both "sides".

As to why we went with this statement, we felt it was not neutral but a statement that everyone could get behind no matter what. We really did not anticipate so many people being upset that we stood against racism but didnt include a hashtag.

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Fresh Frippery ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate that the Legion and its leadership have made an attempt to make some statements about BLM, albeit the initial post was a bit lukewarm. I'm not accusing anyone of ill intent, but just pointing out that many corporations and organizations are being called out if they are not taking a firm stance by clearly saying "Black Lives Matter." I've seen many companies make vague "let's get along" posts in order to avoid alienating racist customers, and the Legion should not be afraid of "several members that would feel attacked." The newest statement is a step in the right direction.

I agree with larirenshadow's suggestion that there be an advisory group to RL leadership. As some have pointed out much of the CS consists of white men. This is not a criticism but an observation, and if CS wants to genuinely effect change and reassure its POC members and prospective POC members, I think showing that it listens to voices from marginalized groups (POC, women, LGBTQIA) would help a lot. Also, some of the groups brought up (Ladies of the Legions, Galaxy of Color) may discuss problems in their groups but have no official standing to bring them up to CS. Having an advisory group position would facilitate that. 

I believe that this advisory group should consist of volunteers instead of being elected positions for a few reasons: Elections chosen by popular vote can't guarantee a particular outcome or makeup of the group. Being in CS is a lot of work and can be really intimidating to some, and a position with less pressure and visibility would encourage more volunteers. A non-elected position would make it easier to rotate volunteers to avoid burnout, and to make sure as many voices are heard as possible. 
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Bouri-Plwel (Rick Bouwhuis)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

longshot7014 wrote:
Legionnaires,

Inclusion and acceptance of the diverse culture of the Star Wars fandom is an integral part of who we are. Our members are right to question what we are going to do to improve it. In fact, Council has been discussing this topic as events have unfolded. This is a discussion that needs to continue and will continue and will include talking with people from our community that represent the true diversity that is the Rebel Legion.

This is going to take some time, to ensure that we get it right... so I do ask for some patience while we work through this!
The Rebel Legion stands with Lucasfilm and supports the movement of Black Lives Matter.

As always, I am open to suggestions you can email me at LCO@rebellegion.com or Rick Bouwhuis at LXO@rebellegion.com or if you wish you can email the entire LAC at council@rebellegion.com

—Bill


I would like to endorse this post that our Legion Commander has made here and cross posted to our Facebook page and Instagram. Black lives DO matter…. ALL lives victimized by any form of racism, brutality, oppression etc. should be defended to the best of our ability. We care about ALL our Rebel Legion members where this is concerned.

In an international costuming and social club such as ours that is so culturally diverse, it is not easy at all as a command and council to always know how far to go with actions or statements where subjects like these are concerned that are potentially political and ethical. What may be black and white as right or wrong in one society or culture may not necessarily be the same in another part of the world….especially in places that may not have not been affected by racism, segregation, slavery etc. like the US, or other nations may have been. The command and council heavily discussed in length in the initial statement released if Black Lives Matter should have been included or not. We care and consider the viewpoints of all our members and we received feedback from members and command both for and against including it initially……those that opposed did so not because they don’t care or are racist…..Black Lives Matter, based on feedback would likely just mean something different to one culture and be taken differently then what was intended. So, we tried a more neutral general approach to show support and acknowledgement without mentioning a specific race to try and cater to all. We were not afraid to say Black Lives Matter…. we were simply trying to be sympathetic to as many points of view as possible while still making a public statement on the matter.

We are human and we make mistakes. There is no perfect statement that satisfies everyone in our membership, but we do the best we can. Sometimes we hit the nail on the head and sometimes we fall a little short. When we do, we try to amend for our shortcomings in the best interests of the legion and its members to the best of our abilities. We have a diverse command and council this year consisting of both male and female, white and nonwhite, US and non-US as well as Pride members. We realize responses take some time for us to get out as we are scattered through multiple time zones around the world and it takes time to discuss and coordinate actions for our members. We appreciate your patience as we work through these issues.

Your Command and council love and support ALL of you for your countless dedicated hours of service and commitment you give to the Rebel Legion as well as your concern for the wellbeing of our membership and society as a whole. I encourage you to consider these words and what they go through and try not to judge too harshly.
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Erika A La Mode ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m glad that RL has decided to make a more explicit statement in support of Black Lives Matter. There is no middle ground on human rights matters—if we stay silent in the face of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressors, and we become complicit in the systemic violence against the black community.

I do think, however, that the hesitance to do so, and the ensuing debate about the comfort of those who oppose Black Lives Matter, reveals a problematic undertone of implicit racial bias and indicates the need for more people of color in positions of power throughout the clubs. We cannot be more concerned about the comfort of white feelings than the safety of black lives.

Standing against racism, fully and openly, should not be a matter of debate; it should be an inherent act of equality and respect for the basic dignity afforded to every human person.

The entire Star Wars saga is based on rebellion, on fighting against corruption and tyranny, and on standing up for what’s right even when the odds are not in our favor. When we fail to make that stand for our members of color, we neglect the entire lesson underlying the stories we love so much.

I’d like to echo Larirenshadow and Fresh Frippery in calling for an advisory board regarding racial equality in the club. CS is composed mostly of white men, and even if they have the best intentions, they may not always be equipped or aware of the most appropriate way to handle situations of racial injustice. I do not say this to excuse bias, but to leave room for them to learn and grow because I hope and believe that they have the best interest of all the club’s members at heart. No matter how much empathy and compassion we have for the struggles that people of color endure, we cannot fully understand them or the impact of the racism they face without undergoing it ourselves.

The Star Wars costume clubs do not have the best reputation of racial equality. The only way we can change that is by instituting structural changes to support diversity at all levels. We need policies that support diversity, accountability when discrimination occurs, and diversity and inclusion training for leadership to ensure that people in power are making choices in the best interest of all the clubs members. Instituting these changes requires that people of color are placed in positions where they can make decisions that represent themselves and their fellow members of color. It is only by placing people of color in positions to create a more inclusive environment that we can move beyond our discriminatory practices, build a more welcoming club, and foster a healthier reputation for the Star Wars fandom.

We are a charity costuming group. Our ultimate goal as a costuming club is to make the world a brighter place through creativity and a common love of Star Wars. We cannot do that if we are not willing to stand with all of our members and defend their right to live.
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scot-gcar709 (Graeme Carmichael)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sort of feel like not including black lives matter originally was effectively as reductive of the important message as those who try and change it to all lives matter. Glad steps have been taken to rectify this.

However I also feel that this highlights the challenges involved in a PR role and how language can take on different meanings depending on the audience reading it. This is why a representative group should be involved in the creation of such messages in the future even if this might cause delays in releasing them.
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naberrie ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything that Erika and Graeme said above me.

Worrying about every viewpoint dangerously reflects how reductive ‘all lives matter’ is. We know that, we know in theory all our membership matters to us and all situations of injustice. However all of our membership isn’t needing support on a major social issue right now. If other minorities within our membership had an important movement which was furthering their progress right now, that would be the time to speak out for them. But it was our black members that needed to hear we supported them specifically in this instance. And by claiming that all prejudice is what we were fighting against at that moment, it can be dismissive of what black people are experiencing right now in the world. I don’t believe anyone meant for that to be the outcome, but even accidentally, it could have invalidated peoples fight. Black lives matter, black futures matter.

By tiptoeing around the issue at hand the statement came across to many as nondescript and without heart. If we had been upfront or even just simply ‘we agree with Lucasfilms statement, we as an organisation believe black lives matter.’ that might have been received better. Rather than seemingly ignoring, or even worse deliberately avoiding, an important issue facing our black members in life. This isn’t just to rag on CS either, but with genuine hope that everything said in this thread hits home and we make active changes and put mechanisms in place to do better. From the sounds of things, we’re beginning to get that and I hope the momentum stays going forward.

I totally understand how overwhelming or difficult it must be. I’m glad we came to the right decision to make a statement. I’m glad we finally vocally showed our support to rectify anything said before, and that our membership and aspiring members can see what we stand and fight for. More diversity and a wider range of viewpoints behind the CS would be a great step going forward to learn from this. From the wording, this is beginning to happen and I have hope we will continue to Walk the right path in regards to that. I just have faith we will learn from this, and we can do better next time. Love to you all and sending my best wishes in a traumatic and stressful time for us all globally.

Beth
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on LAC and I am not here to speak for them but for myself. I have fought for over 20 years for equal rights, being out as a gay man sense I was 19. I have seen a lot of ups and downs when it comes to fighting for rights and I get the conviction of passion that some of you are fighting as allies and as heavy contenders.

In my experience as a heavy contender for equal rights, I have seen support come from many angles from corporations and organizations. You can see supports as a college gymnast. You see the dismount and you see the landing and you agree it was a 9.6 and not a 10. So you keep watching hoping to see that 10 dismount and you hope that people hear your pain, anger, and conviction so maybe the next time around they hit that 10.

RL Command Staff made a decision and it wasn't a perfect 10 but it was something and when it comes to these matters, it happens. Like I said I have been fighting for over 20 years. Did the Command Staff hear your convictions and pain and anger, yes. So they went back and realized it wasn't enough and came out and said Black Lives Matter because they understood it was what needed to be said and it was the right thing to do. Is that a win? Yes. A perfect win? Maybe not but isn't that what humanity is? Learning and developing.

Change comes from speaking out and having patience. When I was in my 20s I never thought I would see the day LGBTQIA+ would have the right to marry in this country but with conviction and speaking out, it actually happened. Are there still a lot of battles for my community, yes there are. But we also need to celebrate the wins and take notice when we are heard.

I know there is a lot of emotion and passion when it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement, I truly get that. So take pride knowing you were heard and your convictions made a difference, so continue being the spark. Hopefully one day we will witness 10 dismounts everywhere we look.
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JediXXL (Gil Guemes)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Racism is a spectrum, with varying degrees of unconscious & learned behaviors reinforced by society every day.
It’s not: either you’re racist or you’re not. It’s to what degree are you prejudiced, against whom, and why?

Be The Change!
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wabbit89 ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a lot here. I've read it all, but I'm sure I'll forget to respond to something. But here goes, trying to bullet point:

1-the original statement reads super wishy-washy and not at all supportive. It's more about inclusion in the club than supporting anything. It doesn't even read like it's about the current events to me.

2-it's hard to come up with statements like that. I get it. So a mistake was made. OK. Let's move on and see if we can fix it.

3-if someone's feelings are hurt over "black lives matter", I don't want them here. And their feelings, frankly, don't matter. You can't worry about hurting feelings when lives are at stake. Black Lives Matter is about murder and systemic racism. Not feeling hunky-dory.

4-there aren't two sides to this issue. Not two valid sides. As has been said, there's racist and not. The end. And yes, racists need not apply. It is not the job of POC to educate them, as has been said.

5-the new statement is much better. Thank you. It works now. I like the part about time being needed to get it right. But frankly, why is the stuff about inclusion even there? Inclusion is great, and we need to work on it big time, but BLM is about the murder of black people by police. That's simplifying a bit, because there is a lot more going on with systemic racism, but at the end of the day - don't kill black people is the point. Working on our diversity? Yay! Go us! But, um, what about the murder part? That's the focus right now. If we need to make a statement right now (and we do), that's the one we need to make. The last sentence is all that is needed: "The Rebel Legion stands with Lucasfilm and supports the movement of Black Lives Matter." The end. We can work on our own stuff later. This isn't about us.

6-Rebel Legion is not real life. People got into this for many reasons. We don't need to behave like the characters we portray in all ways. However, we do need standards, and a statement supporting BLM is a pretty low bar for decency.

7-Rebel Legion is *not* diverse. At all. I've had several conversations about how this is the "whitest of white" clubs. I had a very hard time deciding on if I should do Willrow Hood as a costume after I made my pilot costume and was told it's somewhat of a thing to do after that. I went ahead and did it after a lot of angst and debate and talking to friends of all colors. Because Willrow is a background character (no one outside of very small groups even know he exists- heck, I didn't until I was asked about it) and he brings a lot of joy to the world, and I'm not culturally appropriating, say, Black Panther, I went ahead and did it, but another reason was because frankly there are so few POC to do it, so it was deemed ok by those I talked to. I still feel weird about it, though, and I will never wear that costume outside of a con. Probably literally only for the running of the Hoods at Celebration. I may have it removed from my Legion profile still. But that's not the point. The point is: where are the POC? Not here, that's for sure. Not in Texas, anyway. So, yes. We need a diversity officer. We need a diversity panel/group. And yes, we need diversity in our command staff - but in order to get that, we need diverse members first. Have we made it clear that anyone of any race can be any character? I don't think so? But again, not today's problem. If current events light a fire under us to do something we should, great! But a statement now should be about condemning the killing of black people by police. It's not a grey area. It's literally and metaphorically black and white.

OK. I think that's all. Like I said, I'm sure I forgot something. And like the command staff, I'm nervous to hit post on this, because, yes, putting yourself out there is hard, but for this? Silence is complicit. I won't be silent on this.

Black Lives Matter.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a lot of things here, and I don't think I've got anything to add right now, but I did want to address this issue:

Quote:
I've met members who were told because they're POC they can't costume "main" characters unless it matches their skin tone. That isn't right. We praise inclusivity (that is spelled wrong? I hate spelling) and then tell perspective members that?


As DXO of RLGS I just wanted to say that ANYONE can do ANY character they want, no matter what their skin color is, no matter what their gender is, no matter what their physical ability is!
Are most of the main characters white? Yes, they are. It doesn't matter. Do whatever character you want to do, not what others think you should do.
We absolutely want to see and welcome black, latina, first nation, heck, everyone to the legion and the detachment. Come join us. Be a black Leia or a crossplaying Padmé. It's all about the costume, not your skin color, hair color, your gender or sexual orientation. We promise we will welcome you in our detachment. Smile

Go out and ROCK whatever costume you want to! biker Dance Chewie rock pompom Guard


(P.s. The people saying you can't do a main character because of skin color are probably the same telling others not to do Jar Jar. To Byss with that! Do Jar Jar, too! Ahmed Best would approve).
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lora Skywalker wrote:
There's a lot of things here, and I don't think I've got anything to add right now, but I did want to address this issue:

Quote:
I've met members who were told because they're POC they can't costume "main" characters unless it matches their skin tone. That isn't right. We praise inclusivity (that is spelled wrong? I hate spelling) and then tell perspective members that?


As DXO of RLGS I just wanted to say that ANYONE can do ANY character they want, no matter what their skin color is, no matter what their gender is, no matter what their physical ability is!
Are most of the main characters white? Yes, they are. It doesn't matter. Do whatever character you want to do, not what others think you should do.
We absolutely want to see and welcome black, latina, first nation, heck, everyone to the legion and the detachment. Come join us. Be a black Leia or a crossplaying Padmé. It's all about the costume, not your skin color, hair color, your gender or sexual orientation. We promise we will welcome you in our detachment. Smile

Go out and ROCK whatever costume you want to! biker Dance Chewie rock pompom Guard


(P.s. The people saying you can't do a main character because of skin color are probably the same telling others not to do Jar Jar. To Byss with that! Do Jar Jar, too! Ahmed Best would approve).


Yaaaay to this! Thanks. I honestly didn't know the answer to this. Let's be fair, the canon isn't exactly diverse, so only bending allows for other races, etc. And I didn't know if it was OK or not. I'm glad to know it is.

Also, this post brings up an unrelated thing I've wondered about how to fix for a long time. See, I don't know what RLGS is. Or DXO, either. What do those stand for? There is a lot of alphabet soup here that is super intimidating to new members. I'm not a new member, and I still don't know what folks are talking about half the time. Not today's issue. At all. But seriously, the jargon (and the need to join a million groups) needs be streamlined or made to go away. If we want more and new and diverse members, let's make it easy for them to understand stuff. Just something to think on.

But I don't want to derail here.

Black Lives Matter.
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The Rebel Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred volunteer Rebel costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™ All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


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