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After finishing the last book and finally ending a journey of over a decade i want to say it was nice to

finally see black/afro-type male channelers and an African/Arabian nation included in the W.O.T. world. (Shara reads like Sahara or Sub-Sahara)

 

Too bad these Afro/Arabian male channelers walked on all fours like apes and couldn't even talk like humans but hey, they finally got their place in the story! Count on R.J. to save the best for last!

 

Also too bad this Afro/Arabian nation was the one and only nation to be totally on the side of Evil and fight amongst Trollocs, Myrddraal, Draghkar and Forsaken but hey, they got their place in the last battle.

 

I would have liked to read something explaining how/why a nation ended up choosing the side of Evil, but i read nothing about mass compulsion or anything. Did read about some likely prophesy-trick but that was debunked when Demandred confronts Shendla about fighting amongst Trollocs and seeing who's side they are REALLY fighting on. Of course she is likely blinded by love but she is one individual and not an entire nation/race/people. I guess they all just really really love Demandred.

(he is rather kind and endearing after all)

 

It was a nice allegoric touch, having the darkest skinned people of the saga finally playing a mayor part by fighting for the Dark One. (why didn't i think of that, how original!)

 

Did i mention it was cool the men moved like apes? Sure they went crazy, like some Asha'men went crazy but it was a nice touch having the Sharan channelers also walk like apes.

 

I loved how even after the male part of the One Power was cleansed a long while ago the Sharan channelers still were all depicted as men that can't even speak human words or walk like humans. Must be that the Sharan Army command only took these guys to the Battle. Probably for some good tactical or psy-warfare reason. Too bad the book doesn't explain, but hey it added to atmosphere of the saga!

 

I i think the author(s) mean us to understand the sane Sharan men would not so easily choose Evil.That must explain it. That's why there's no sane Sharan male channeler in the entire book that speaks and walks like a man. That must be it. Would have loved some chapters about a Sharan male channelers underground or resistance against Bao/Demandred but hey, i guess there was only limited time and paper in the series.

 

Too bad that we couldn't get a real proper look at all inside Shara in these 2 decades of W.O.T. Too bad we never got much of Demandred's POV. But hey, at  least R.J. made an effort here and there to trickle some information about the nature of Sharan people.

I recall in one of the books they are said to be very truthful and nice to trade with, pleasant people. (Correct me if that is not what RJ wrote about them)

 

 

It was all a very pleasant read, A Memory of Light was, the only moment i felt a bit uncomfortable was

when Mat or another hero remarked about a tactic or an event and said something like: If they are killing Sharans and Trollocs it's good! Or something like that sentiment. That was quite an awkward promotion/approval of slaughter.

 

Not like Dumai's Wells were our heroes express regret and revolt at the slaughter of the brave but misguided Shaido. Not one word of regret or sorrow for the Sharan soldiers in the entire book. Nothing like what Tolkien wrote and Faramir asked of the Haradrim/Easterlings he had to fight in Lord of The Rings. Those words Tolkien wrote were quite moving and true. But no such remarks of pity or even asking "why" for the Sharans in this book. (Even Lanfear got a few lines of pity)

 

Well....I guess them Sharans had it coming eh?

 

 

Thank you mister Sanderson,

 

The Pacifist Warder - The Netherlands

 

 

PS I've been a major fanboy since 2001 and read most of the saga thrice or twice. Also bought books for friends and colleagues to spread the saga. So far i haven't shared it with "certain" people as they were busy reading Feist, Martin and Herbert Junior and now i've read the end i guess i'll leave it this way. Something tells me it's better they don't connect me to this saga.

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actually the exact opposite of that was said of Sharan traders, that you had to check everything they sold to you to check for a cheat, and if you accused them the other traders would slit his throat and ask if that's good enough or some such.

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After finishing the last book and finally ending a journey of over a decade i want to say it was nice to

finally see black/afro-type male channelers and an African/Arabian nation included in the W.O.T. world. (Shara reads like Sahara or Sub-Sahara)

I don't think Shara is the only nation which includes black characters or elements of African/Arabian culture.  The Seafolk are all dark skinned, and many of the Seanchan are as well.  In terms of Arabic culture, there are elements of this in Tarabon and Arad Doman, and elements of African culture in the Aiel.  

 

 

 

I loved how even after the male part of the One Power was cleansed a long while ago the Sharan channelers still were all depicted as men that can't even speak human words or walk like humans.

Any channelers who are suffering from taint-induced madness still suffer from this after the cleansing.  The cleansing prevents any more channelers from going mad, but it doesn't automatically remove the madness from those already suffering.  There is the scene in ToM(?) where Nynaeve heals the madness.

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1. As mentioned, Shara isn't the only nation with dark skinned peoples. There are dark skinned Tearians (Julin Sandar) Sea Folk, Seanchan and more. Shara isn't a totally dark-skinned nation (although it certainly has many African parallel's. 

 

2. Shara is actually more advanced than the lands Rand dwells in. They were largely unaffected by the Trolloc Wars and Hawkwing's downfall. They speak in a "higher" tongue, closer to the old tongue used in the AoL. 

 

3. As mentioned, madness doesn't go away after cleansing. The madness that has acumulated stays,, it just doesn't get any worse. 

 

However, that's besides the point. The reason the Sharan males are little more than animals is because the Sharans did not kill their male channellers immediately. They used them as breeding stock, and killed them when they started to channel. They are kept in an isolated village and are not educated at all - since they are going to die anyway. They are cattle. Demandred stopped this practise and taught them channeling. However, it was only 2 years since he arrived in Shara. The men are mostly uneducated and little more than animals. 

This is purely because of the Taint madness, not because of any perceived racism. Male channelers all around the globe are persecuted. In Seanchan they are killed and their names stricken from the records forever. Most people don't know about the cleansing either. The Sharan males wouldn't have the ability to articulate it anyway - and they would likely not believe them. Hardly anyone believes Rand as it is - only those that have had first hand proof. 

 

4. Only a faction of the Sharan continent joined Demandred. In fact, only a relatively small portion. 

 

5. RJ had relatively little to do with the culture of Shara in the end. Brandon has said he had to expand it himself. 

I'd call the notion absurd and offensive if it was RJ. 

 

For Brandon - there is no way. Any perceived insult is just that. It was done unknowingly. 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 22nd, 2013

 
TEREZ

Because all this stuff is in the notes, right?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

What's that? Oh, some of it is, not all of it.

 

TEREZ

Oh, well yeah, because I know you said you had to kind of....you know, extrapolate a little bit...

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

I had to extrapolate a lot of the Sharan culture and things, which is where "River of Souls" came from. At the end of the day, because I was extrapolating these things, that's what made them distracting from the main plotline, if that makes sense.

 

 

There are far more factors involved than what you are suggesting. I would suggest having a close look at some of the interviews here: http://www.theoryland.com/wheel-of-time-interview-search.php which shed some light on influences and parallels. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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And of course there come the semantic, side-stepping and nitpicking defenses......

 

 

Sharans are the darkest skinned people. Seafolk are a kind of dark skinned people,but represent Islanders such as Polynesians, Indonesians, Hawaiians, Philipinos, Malaysians etc. Domani and Tairens are like mediterraneans. Saldaeans are Turkic/Slavic with a hint of Mongolian. (some would say Asiatic) 

 

I never said that after the cleansing channelers instantly lost the madness. It is obvious even in AMOL that

incurred madness stays. Androl even saved Logain by playing to one of his captors madness. So why side-step the

real issue? After the cleansing new recruits still came in at the Black Tower. So there were still men learning to

channel for the first time or manifesting their talent. So where are the Sharan post-cleanse men? Where are they?

THAT was my point. My post is still there.

 

Also, i forgot to mention that Shara was not invited to Rand's Peace treaty with the rulers of the HUMAN nations. If you think the Aiel had a right to  be insulted, just think of what is going to happen with Shara now the Last Battle is over. Remember after the opening of the Bore and after the Breaking how the Aiel were (wrongly) blamed and hated by being associated with Lews Therin,  Breaker of the world, and some Forsaken? Remember them being raped, beaten, murdered, and enslaved in TSR?

 

In 2 decades of WOT books no emissary or Aes Sedai/Asha'men team was ever sent there for diplomacy or investigation. If there was, correct me and also explain why no follow up investigation was sent after they did not come back.

In a saga about MANKIND versus Evil the dark skinned nation had no autonomous role. Not invited to join the armies of humanity, not invited to sit at the peace treaty.

If you are unable/unwilling to read between the lines...WOT stance=Shara is not a part of humanity.   

(the walking like apes bit was just a cherry on top)

 

Good thing those dragon cannon have been invented. There do be plenty of resources and slaves to be had in Shara. And since they are not on the Dragon's Peace Contract they are legal to make war upon. Deja vu anyone?

Besides, all the good folks back at home will remember they fought for the Shadow!

 

I guess them Sharans got it coming eh?

 

 

Thank you mister Sanderson,

 

The Peaceful Warder - The Netherlands

 

PS I could comment on how Tuon was depicted in AMOL as a woman, mother (to be) and a ruler compared to her light skinned peers. And Mat's and Min's depiction in relation to Tuon. Nice touch again!

 

PPS Ofcourse i remembered RJ describing Sharans as liars, untrustworthy trading partners and unpleasant people that will kill eachother with no hesitation. Wanted to see if someone picked up on that, i have a witness now.

Edited by PeacefulWarder
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This will be a long post, I'll try to reply to all of the points. I might miss some though, in which case, I'll try and reply if you point it out. 

 

1. As I mentioned in the first post. There are no male sharan channelers at the Black Tower because they are kept ignorant and uneducated. The Sharan people use male channelers for breeding and kill them before they have a chance to start channeling. Put simply - they don't know about the Cleansing, and wouldn't believe it if they were told. At least not at the current time. 

 

The fact that some are black you might consider a racist slur, but it has perfectly valid reasons. Black males who cannot channel are treated no differently from the rest. It is channeling, and the threat of madness that makes the Sharans do that to their channelers. 

 

The Seanchan still kill their male channelers - there haven't been any Seanchan Asha'man. 

 

INTERVIEW: Apr 6th, 2001
 
LUPIS
Is the Shara world going to be changed a lot now that their male channelers won't go mad? Will they even find out because they kill them so early anyhow?
 
ROBERT JORDAN
Shara will not be changed by the fact that male channelers won't go mad because they kill men who might possibly be able to channel at a very young age. Those guys are nothing but breeding stock, kept utterly innocent and utterly ignorant until they are killed.

 

This practise is not much different from any other treatment of male channelers. Aes Sedai are the most humane, but you have people like the Whitecloaks who would kill a female channeler  without any madness - as quick as a Sharan. The treatment of male channelers in Shara is not a significant difference from most treatment. 

 

2. I would disagree about "darkest skin". It is true for Tear perhaps, and the Sea Folk are similar to Island nations, but Tuon is as dark as can be, and other Seanchan have been described as "black as coal" . There's not much darker you can get than that. 

 

3. Re: Tuon. This is a common complaint of Brandon's treatment of Tuon. I agree that she is out of character and much worse than she actually is in aMoL. Is this racially motivated? I'd say no, it's just poor grasp of character. However, it is open to debate. 

 

4. Shara has been approached since the Breaking. Not in the main series - which only spans 2 of a 3000 year history. By the main series, people have given up trying to contact Shara. As for specifically Aes Sedai, there is no direct reference, but people have tried for a long time. I don't see why AS would not have been a part of the expeditions. 

 

In any case, speculation aside, why people didn't in the main series: They are only allowed to trade. There are two routes to Shara. By land, one has to travel through the Aiel waste. The Aiel refuse passage to everyone but Tinkers, Gleeman, Ogier and, until recent events, Cairheinin. Those few that are allowed to cross and manage to make it to Shara find walled-off cities. They are allowed in to a small area to trade with merchants, but no further. Similarly, the second route, by sea - the Sea Folk trade with them, but are not allowed into the cities and are restricted to the docks. 

Ivory and silk comes from Shara, and there is plenty (if not exactly commonplace) to be had. Trade between Shara is not uncommon. However, the Sharans - for whatever reasons - do not allow outsiders into their cities, and those who disobey usually "disappear". 

 

Hawkwing did send his son to Shara - just like he sent Luthair to Seanchan. The Seanchan would be totally unknown if Luthair's ancestors didn't come back to the mainland. The Sharan expedition disappeared completely with no word. 

 

So no diplomatic envoy. It hasn't worked for 3000 years, with the Last Battle and the chaos their own nations have, I doubt anyone even thought of the possibility. Also, the Sharans are completely covered and only their eyes can be seen, so traders would not have known what colour skin they had. Even if they somehow did - there are perfectly valid reasons why no diplomatic relationships haven't been tried rather than because they are black. 

 

It's fair to question why they didn't appeal for help or invite Shara to the Dragon's Peace. It might have been a good idea. However, there is ample reason why they didn't, after 3000 years denying even a look into their cities, it's understandable that it wasn't the first thing that popped into everyone's mind. Certainly dozens of reasons without coming to the conclusion that they didn't think they were human because they were black. Possible, but a huge stretch in logic.

 

(various facts come from the BWB guide under Shara.)

 

5. Lack of sympathy: This is also a common point of criticism with aMoL. It is not an isolated incident. The severe lack of evident emotion spans the whole book. Many different things have been cited. For example, the lack of reaction from Mat to the "death" of Elayne. The lack of basically any mention of Egwene's death or any mourning besides a token "that was bad". In the epilogue, everyone is mourning for Rand, but Egwene is totally forgotten apart from a throwaway line. Elayne's mental fortitude, her warder was killed, Rand was body-swapped, her brother is dead along with her good friend and she is as calm as ever. IN fact, apart from Egwene's reaction, nobody even mentions Gawyn. The aforementioned inconsistencies in Tuon's character.  Faile's non-reaction to her father arrested as a DF. Literally a casual one line mention without any emotion. 

 

The list goes on, and the lack of sympathy for Sharans is but one of these. Allies were not mourned properly in aMoL, let alone enemies. As far as they knew - the Sharans WERE evil. They willingly fought alongside Shadowspawn- what else would they think? 

 

6. Sharans fighting for the Shadow: Brandon has mentioned that he didn't have enough time to explain things, and it shows with Shara. The equivalent of a short story was cut from aMoL about Shara - and will be published as the River of Souls in the Unfettered anthology. This sheds some light on the situation. Not all of Shara followed Demandred. He had to balefire entire cities that opposed him. Furthermore, Demandred's actions were set in prophecy. "Bao the Wyld" was a legitimate prophecy, according to Brandon. Same as the Dragon Reborn was prophecised to lead people, some of the Sharans followed Demandred. And some resisted these prophecies - presumably because they knew he was evil. 

 

In addition, even the Sharans who did follow Demandred showed that they were uncomfortable fighting with Shadowspawn. Plus, they didn't even know what Shadowspawn were. Shadowspawn do not exist in Shara, and only small scale fighting happened in the Trolloc Wars. 

 

Demandred expicitly states that the Sharans are not fighting for evil or the DO. He confronts Shendla about it. She says they are fighting for Demandred, not the DO, and that she trusts he is doing what he thinks is best. Which he does - although it is wrong. Their prophetic figure turns up and tries to help them - even if it is in a twisted way. It isn't impossible to believe, nor does it paint Sharans as evil black monsters. In fact, the Demandred arc allows the reader to sympathise with the Sharans. 

 

7. The depiction of ape-like Sharans. This has been explained. The male channelers are treated as livestock. Demandred evidently stopped them being killed and trained some of them. Under Demandred's tutelage, these livestock learn to channel and adapt in a small way to the outside world. No wonder they act as they do. Now, I can see that this can be viewed as a poor choice of description. I can see why it can be offensive. However, I doubt it was a malicious attempt to degrade people of African origins. 

 

8. RJ on Sharans: I recall him saying something similar. However, that is really nothing special. The Seanchan treat people like dogs and collar them. Much worse than liars and untrustworthy. Any number of characters of multiple ethnicities have been described as terrible people. Only 2 - Rhavin and Semirhage - of the 13 Forsaken, the most evil beings known in the universe, are described as dark, alluding to black heritages. 

 

At no point in the story does any character of any ethnicity look down upon people with dark skin, or any skin tone for that matter. Nations/groups are hated. Illianers and Tearians, but not skin colours. 

 

While on the subject - the Aiel suffer from a type of racism. White with blue eyes and blond/red hair. They are known as primitive savages and generally despised and distrusted. Even so, it is not because of their colouring, but their society. 

 

So I can see how things look bad - and it could have been written more tactfully to avoid such things. But malicious or even conscious attempt to degrade African oriented people? I'm afraid it is a stretch. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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The reason the Sharan males are little more than animals is because the Sharans did not kill their male channellers immediately. They used them as breeding stock, and killed them when they started to channel. They are kept in an isolated village and are not educated at all - since they are going to die anyway. They are cattle. Demandred stopped this practise and taught them channeling. However, it was only 2 years since he arrived in Shara. The men are mostly uneducated and little more than animals.

 

 

The ability to channel is consistently detected years after a man or woman has learned to walk and talk like a human being. It happens in teenage years throughout the whole WOT series.

 

A Sharan man that is found to be a channeler would  already have learnt to talk and walk ages before the discovery. As with the Aiel men who find out and are already trained and educated enough to undertake their suicide mission into the Blight.

 

Or is Sanderson quickly gonna change the story and say ALL SHARAN MEN are raised and kept separate like cattle? Is that it? They are all living in apartheid and those that manifest channeling are picked from the kennel by the Ayyad? (i wonder how one teaches channeling and organised warfare to a man/beast that has no language even if he wasn't mad on top of that?)

 

Are Sharan civilians a nation of monkey men that can't speak human words and go on all fours?

 

 

Or are Sharans so dumb, so intellectually challenged that they only master speech, walking and writing etc after their 15th birthday? so those that don't turn out to be channelers do learn to walk and talk after they have been checked on channeling?

 

 

Yes people, depicting Sharans like monkeys, grunting black brutes that can't even talk IS a stretch from incidental. Stretch doesn't even come close. It's a light years long shot from unintentional. Nice one, mister Sanderson.

 

I was a loyal fan boy, and would have been defending WOT before i read AMOL. But enough is enough people. There is need to defend mister Sanderson. He had to give us these nice touches, he made his choice. Or was it in Robert Jordan's notes that the Sharan men just had to be depicted this way?

 

It was just destined to manifest this way, right?

 

 

The dark skinned folks i know can reason just as good as i do. I really think i'll cease my WOT promoting ways and let them discover this saga for themselves. Don't be mad at me, i didn't write AMOL.

 

As for the WoT history lesson on why no contact was made with Shara. Nonsense. For the Dragon himself, a man so incredibly T'averen and powerful it would have been THE MOVE to make to go lift the veil of questions and secrecy and bring another nation in to the fold. That's what Rand decided to do very decidedly and succesfully. 

 

Also for two decades of WOT we've been drilled to death about Aes Sedai persistence and intel gathering. They just missed this one and couldn't voice their suspicions or fears to Rand eh? Nonsense.

 

There is no WOT explanation, it was something the author intentionally decided to do. All factions ignored Shara by author's intent.

 

If one denies this then Robert Jordan just forgot about Shara all those years or just didn't know what to do with Shara all those years and mister Sanderson just had to improvise something and AMOL is the best he came up with. Good to see all various nations and races united for Good and have the dark skinned folk siding with Evil. (so original!)

 

Nice touch, mister Sanderson.

 

 

PS Don't bend the story: Seanchans don't collar all people they collar and exploit channelers. That's disgusting enough, but at least RJ did not describe the entire Seanchan people as pathological liars that cut each others throat like putting out a cigarette. (and that being almost the only description he gave us of a people for years)!

Edited by PeacefulWarder
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This is interesting.

 

I want to trust the depiction Barid so eloquently makes, and I do for about 75%, but I think PW is compelling as well, and subtle racism ... That of stereotypes and expectations ... Is often the hardest to put a finger on, because sometimes it is not deliberate.

 

I think in Barid's first post above he means RJ had not expanded on "SHARAN" culture, not "SEANCHAN" culture. Correct?

 

I don't think it was necessarily malicious, but I do think it can speak to an underlying sense of racism in society or zeitgeist. IMO.

 

:smile:

Edited by AesSedaiGuy
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Good catch ASG, I did indeed mean Shara - as it states in the interview. 

 

Here is what the BWB has to say about the male Ayyad. 

 

 

The document states that there are channelers in Shara, both men and women, called the Ayyad. They live in villages cut off from the outside world, surrounded by high walls. No one except the Ayyad are allowed to enter, and supposedly no Ayyad leaves without permission...

 

They Ayyad are tattooed on their faces at birth. Someone who is discovered to be able to channel later in life, presumed to be the result of a union between one of their ancestors and an Ayyad, is seized, tattooed, and confined to an Ayyad village for the rest of his or her life...

 

Male Ayyad are kept completely cloistered. It is forbidden to teach a male Ayyad to read, write or do much of anything else beyond feeding and dressing himself and simple chores. Male Ayyad are considered breeding stock for female Ayyad... 

 

Apparently, these boys (the Ayyad) are never called 'sons' among the Ayyad, only 'the male'. When the boy reaches the age of approximately sixteen, he is taken from his confinement, hooded, and transported inside a closed wagon to a distant village....

 

Around his twenty-first year - or sooner if he shows signs of beginning to channel - he is once more hooded and taken away, as if on his way to another village. Instead, he is killed and the body cremated.

Several things: The channelers outside the Ayyad are dealt with. If they are males and can channel, they are killed. They are only kept alive as breeding tools until they begin to channel. 

 

Thus, the only male channelers alive when Demandred awoke were the boys who had not started to channel. In two years, he trained them. Of course, there is a possibility that Demandred could have gone out and found male channelers who were not Ayyad, and prevented their execution then trained them as well. But that isn't necessary to the story. 

 

Brandon wasn't exactly the most thorough in his research and detail on the WoT. I doubt he would have thought of this, much less add it in to prove a point. 

 

The more probable option: He used the easiest and most probable form of male channeler. 

 

Really, the only male Ayyad we see can be counted on one hand. There are literally thousands in Shara. Not all of them will be the same.

 

The description itself is poor. Any combination between a black man and ape-like qualities will be subject to scrutiny. It would be best avoided. But it is hardly a cause to denounce the whole WoT series as some kind of racist work. 

 

I can totally see that it is a potentially offensive description. However, the original posts made much more of it than it actually was. A whole list of 8 or so points showing the glaring racism by Brandon is now 1 point based on a few descriptions in the final book. 

 

Perhaps it was unconscious racial stereotyping. Perhaps it was even a historical reference. Perhaps Demandred himself trained the men to be subservient as they do - he is certainly not the greatest person in the world.  

 

Of course, feel free to believe what you will. It could be true - I don't know. But 99% of the points can be easily explained and need not be some kind of racist remark. I'm just presenting explanations that are there. Whether they are true or you believe them is up to the individual. I've no emotional investment in this topic - if it's racism, I'm not down with it - just presenting possible explanations. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I completely agree Barid.

 

I didnt "catch" that it was being slated as a "racist" work, I thought there was just a pointing out of a possible racist element.

 

I, for one, do not think it was deliberate or even malicious ... But that also doesn't make that description less racist. :)

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That brings about a different question. 

 

If it is unintended, how should it be viewed? 

 

Personally, I would view it as a mistake, and move on. 

 

Perhaps someone aught to bring it up with Brandon, and he may change it for the paperback versions. 

Aside from that, there's not much reason to decry aMoL as a racist piece if it's an honest mistake. 

 

Anyway, I think this would be a great thing to bring up with Team Jordan to get an answer. 

 

Edit: Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the OP believed this to be intentional on someone's part, and no longer wants any part in a racist book - which seems a bit extreme. 

 

I was presenting alternatives to Brandon/RJ are blatantly racist. No disagreement about it having racist connotations. It does show these stereotypes. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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The ability to channel is consistently detected years after a man or woman has learned to walk and talk like a human being. It happens in teenage years throughout the whole WOT series.

 

A Sharan man that is found to be a channeler would  already have learnt to talk and walk ages before the discovery. As with the Aiel men who find out and are already trained and educated enough to undertake their suicide mission into the Blight.

 

Or is Sanderson quickly gonna change the story and say ALL SHARAN MEN are raised and kept separate like cattle? Is that it? They are all living in apartheid and those that manifest channeling are picked from the kennel by the Ayyad? (i wonder how one teaches channeling and organised warfare to a man/beast that has no language even if he wasn't mad on top of that?)

 

I think those of channeling bloodlines (i.e. yje Ayyad) are kept separate.  They have a completely separate society.  The vast majority of Sharan men live in normal Sharan cities, and are probably every bit as civilised (if not more so) as the citizens of the nations we are more familiar with.  Its only the Sharan males born as descendents of channelers who are treated like livestock, and yes, these are treated as livestock as birth (before the ability to channel is detected) because having both parents as channelers means its more likely they will be channelers themselves.  

 

 

 

Yes people, depicting Sharans like monkeys, grunting black brutes that can't even talk IS a stretch. Stretch doesn't even come close. It's a light years long shot. Nice one, mister Sanderson.

 

Bit of a sweeping over-generalisation.  Only Sharan male channelers are depicted like this.  All other Sharan characters (i.e. all females, all male non-channelers - the majority of the population) are depicted as perfectly normal.  And the reason Sharan male channelers behave in this way is due to a completely bizarre and inhumane upbringing that has nothing to do with their skin colour.  If Andoran males were brought up in this way, they would behave, as you put it, 'like monkeys, grunting black white brutes that can't even talk.'

 

 

 

As for the WoT history lesson on why no contact was made with Shara. Nonsense. For the Dragon himself, a man so incredibly T'averen and powerful it would have been THE MOVE to make to go lift the veil of questions and secrecy and bring another nation in to the fold. That's what Rand decided to do very decidedly and succesfully. 

 

I think if Rand had had more time then yes, approaching Shara (backed up by Mat and Perrin for maximum ta'veren-ness!) might have been an option.  However, the seals are crumbling, the LB is coming, there is very limited time and Rand can barely hold the nations he has together.  Of the members of Rand's uneasy alliance the Seanchan are the most similar to the Sharans, in that they have an extremely different culture, aspects of which are completely inhumane.  Its obvious from the latter half of the series how difficult it is to maintain peace with the Seanchan.  Rand (and everyone else) struggle with balancing fighting the DO with fighting the Seanchan.  GIven that the only response Sharan's have made to attempts to contact them are to kill anyone who enters their cities, I think it is a sensible decision not to try and involve another party, who have so far been neutral, verging on hostile.  The exclusion of the Sharans from the Dragon's Peace has nothing to do with their colour; it is because they have chosen to keep themselves isolated from the rest of Randland.  Rand, and 99% of all other characters have almost no knowledge of Shara beyond the fact that it is unfriendly.  I doubt they are even aware what skin colour Sharan's have.  If it did the Atha'an Miere, some Tairens, many of the Seanchan, etc. would not be involved in any of the LB.  

 

 

 

PS Don't bend the story: Seanchans don't collar all people they collar and exploit channelers. That's disgusting enough, but at least RJ did not describe the entire Seanchan people as pathological liars that cut each others throat like putting out a cigarette. (and that being almost the only description he gave us of a people for years)!

 

The Seanchan also continually try to assassinate each other, and while they don't call all people, the fact that the entire population supports enforced slavery, ownership of people as property, and in the case of the damane, complete dehumanisation, I think is a pretty grim reflection on their society.

 

I am not saying there isn't racism in the WoT.  In fact, it would be pretty unusual if there was no racism given that this had been a predominant issue at most points in history in our world.  It just really didn't come across as intentionally derogatory to me.

Edited by Rhienne
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I never denounced WOT. I have enjoyed it and promoted it. Nowhere did i say such a thing.

However i did find some very disturbing themes i normally expect from Hollywood and Washington.

 

I have said my piece and have used facts from the books anyone can read.

 

I apologize for being hasty and missing RJ's comments on Shara, however the fact that RJ himself

describes Sharan society as such only makes me more sad. The men are indeed raised as little more than

animals. Objects without will and without name. Must be sheer coincidence that these dark skinned people resembling

an African/Arab nation was the nation RJ chose for this particular idea and role in the saga.

 

 

These kind of things never happened before in media and entertainment right?* All unintentional right?

What happened to Tuon's honor, loyalty and morals in AMOL is also just a fluke right?

 

 

Don't be mad at me, i just had to say what i see.

 

The Peaceful Warder.

 

 

*google Jud Suss, and German media during the 1930s.

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I've no problem with what you are saying personally. Feel free to believe it - but the "facts" that are presented are circumstantial and stretched possibility. One of several possibilities. Some of the points are possible, but not the logical conclusion, rather a conclusion that is looked for. 

 

Not to say that it isn't the case. It may very well be - but it disregards a whole heap of information that seems to have been ignored. (of course, that's only my view, others will have different opinions on the subject.)

 

I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree on this until further information is gained. It will be interesting to see the River of Souls short story - which expands the Sharan culture and may provide further detail. 

 

Feel free to continue discussing the topic. Your opinion is perfectly welcome as long as the discussion remains civil. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I never denounced WOT. I have enjoyed it and promoted it.

Uhmm yeah.

 

I was a loyal fan boy, and would have been defending WOT before i read AMOL. But enough is enough people. There is need to defend mister Sanderson. He had to give us these nice touches, he made his choice.

I have said my piece and have used facts from the books anyone can read.

 

Those so called "facts" have been largely shot down. While there a couple interesting pieces mixed in as a wise man once said "don't bend the story". Edited by Suttree
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I don't see most of the facts shot down. They are simply that certain people or a certain race is depicted in a certain way in this saga. I took some rest to think about what got me so upset and after thinking about my posts this bad feeling does not go away.

 

Sorry if i upset anyone, i don't like doing that. I'm just very very disappointed with what has been done.(once again)

 

 

Thought precedes action.

I learnt that everything starts in the mind. The things we make, the things we do and the way we treat each other.

I also learnt that what we set before our eyes and what we listen to influences our mind and actions.

That lesson helps me spot that something is very wrong with the way certain people always end up depicted with negative images or marginal roles or are portrayed as the proverbial  "heel" or "butt-monkey" (google those words)

 

Even in this millenium some things just don't change. If my reaction was strong it is because i love WOT a lot.

We can get quite shaken about things we love. I'm sure you understand if you love something or someone.

 

Thanks Barid for your research and summary about other complaints on AMOL. I agree on a lot of them.

On my issue with the image and role of Shara and dragging down of Tuon i'll agree to disagree.

I can't think of what more it would take for anyone to say that something is seriously wrong. I will take back my claims that it must have been on purpose. I'm just a man and can't see into people's hearts. Sorry for being hasty.

 

Personally i enjoy Western and Northern European folklore and stories without any other races in it just as much as i love something like The Avatar Airbender/Kora cartoons that are all-Asian/Oriental. I don't care about being PC or trying to include the whole world. If WOT was all white/European i would never have complained!

 

It's just this: When you do include people you should give them a fair deal. It stinks when you include one group and they get  all the rotten parts and play 'Token parts"  or "Heel parts" all the time.

 

If you are honest and look at the division of  POVs, major parts, heroic acts and displays of honour, love, loyalty, dignity, endurance and bravery the entire (very long) WOT saga gave almost nothing to the darkest people. It's a fact and everybody knows this and i'm not the first to notice.

Instead they appear once in a while as "tokens" and they got the coup de grace-bucket of dung in AMOL. That's what made something in me snap and go cold.  I never really noticed till i read AMOL. AMOL was just so blatant, i'm still disgusted after cooling down. I can say i hate AMOL as much as i love TSR. (fantastic book)

 

 

One of my teachers said if you can't say anything nice about someone it's best to say nothing. That's what bothers me about AMOL and WOT itself. Maybe someday there will be a version where they're all white and the African nation doesn't have to be ignored till the very end just to show up in the last book to crawl on all fours and serve as evil cannon fodder while all the other races unite for the future of mankind. Sanderson should have tried this plot with a Jewish looking nation. (imagine the fall out)

 

I won't bring this issue up anymore as i don't have much nice to say for now. Gotta follow my teacher's advice.

If i post again it will be something positive.  

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts,

 

The Peaceful Warder - The Netherlands

 

PS I live close to where Anne Frank lived and i work close to where she hid till they got betrayed and deported by the Nazis.

Thought precedes action. Let's not forget what happened before things kicked off.

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I think Shara has more parallels to China and India than merely dark skinned people.

 

A country that more or less closed itself from the outside world (like China and geographically, in RJ's world, it is approximately where China is in the real world). They also have what I think  appeared to be a caste system which was introduced by BS (where you can fall through the bottom of the caste system but never climb up - also the breeding pens also suggest one is stuck in their station as is the caste system).

 

But you can draw similarities to certain Chinese practices with Seanchan (long nails - to signify you do not do labour work and therefore "rich"). I can't say I am particularly familiar with Indian culture to draw further similarities (or inspiration the authors may have obtained) with the other nations.

 

The Seanchan had certain practices again that remind me of East Asian (like people in service killing themselves when their masters die/fail their masters), yet geographically, they are situated where America is. Their history has a certain parallel to real world America with Arthur Hawkwing's children (where "Europe" is) going to Seanchan/America to conquer it.

 

Certainly there would be inspiration drawn from the real world to create the nations in RJ's world, but a lot of them are mixed up like a melting pot of histories. I think it is incidental than intentional if you go past the skin colour of the dark skinned sharans.

Edited by James Tham
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If one distorts things enough, it is possible to make damn near anything seem sexist or racist or what have you. It's not just a question of what RJ and BS (or any other writer) brought to the writing of the book, it's also a question of what the reader brings to the book - if you are choosing to view this series in a certain light, then things will tend to look worse than they are. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is nothing to see, just that if you look hard enough you'll see it if it's there or not. Take, for example, the Sharan male channelers - it is specifically the male channelers who fit the ape-like description, not Sharans as a whole, nor Sharan men as a whole. It is a group who are raised from birth as breeding stock, to be killed when they hit a certain age or start to channel, a policy that has only changed recently. It doesn't fit some sort of pattern within the series of darker-skinned people being seen as evil, or subhuman or what have you. I've seen people on these boards argue that gentling is a crueller punishment than death, gentling being the favoured method of the white, European analogues. So whether the Sharan system is inherently crueller than the others is arguable in itself, but there isn't really a perfectly humane solution to the male channeler problem, so the Sharans can hardly be condemned for finding a less than humane solution.

And of course there come the semantic, side-stepping and nitpicking defenses......
 
Sharans are the darkest skinned people. Seafolk are a kind of dark skinned people,but represent Islanders such as Polynesians, Indonesians, Hawaiians, Philipinos, Malaysians etc. Domani and Tairens are like mediterraneans. Saldaeans are Turkic/Slavic with a hint of Mongolian. (some would say Asiatic)

This is, I think, somewhat telling - the other groups are "the wrong sort of dark". What is this if not an example of the same "semantic, side-stepping and nitpicking defenses" which you had just condemned?

Also, i forgot to mention that Shara was not invited to Rand's Peace treaty with the rulers of the HUMAN nations.

An intensely isolationist nation that maintains no diplomatic ties with the outside world and is incredibly hostile to outsiders wasn't invited. There also being evidence of said nation undergoing civil war. Despite it taking two decades to write the series, the time it covers is just a couple of years. So how much chance has there been to establish the political situation in Shara, discover who best to make diplomatic overtures to, persuade that person or people to join with you in the Dragon's Peace? Especially when you consider how much of the series has involved Rand strengthening his own grip on power - he was dealing with rebels in Tear as late as KoD, and didn't draw Arad Doman and the Borderlands to him until TGS. No-one was really in a position to start gathering intelligence in Shara until it was too late to make a difference. Unless they had started prior to the series, but again, we see they are an isolationist culture that is hostile to outsiders, and there was urgency to it until the series was under way - they had no reason to risk lives making the effort until it was too late to make the effort. It is not a comment on Shara's lack of humanity.
 

In a saga about MANKIND versus Evil the dark skinned nation had no autonomous role. Not invited to join the armies of humanity, not invited to sit at the peace treaty.
If you are unable/unwilling to read between the lines...WOT stance=Shara is not a part of humanity.

A good example of my point. A (not the, a) dark-skinned nation had no autonomous role due to its intense isolationism. Murandy, a significantly whiter nation, didn't even merit a mention in the Last Battle. The Seanchan, many of them very dark, helped save the day and were a very visible presence. Thousands of Aiel channelers were unaccounted for in the Last Battle - clear evidence that the series is gingerist! AMoL had many problems, the series as a whole hasn't always been perfect. Everyone has their biases, it's true. Many have noted that RJ was quite willing to include lesbians, but gay men merited only a one line acknowledgement of existence in a prequel - should we consider the series homophobic? The Sharans are not portrayed as evil, nor as stupid, nor as subhuman. They are misguided, as are plenty of cultures, groups and characters in the series, of all races, and their intense isolationism meant that they have been isolated from the main series - we see only a little of them, and there simply isn't the time to expand upon them the way that others were. But, again, all manner of skin colours have been given short shrift. We know some cultures better than others.

 

Again, if you insist on seeing everything in terms of race, then you can undoubtedly find evidence of racism. A significant amount of that is what you're bringing to the series, though, not what is in the series. Many of the problems you cite have legitimate explanations, often within the series itself.

 

I think Shara has more parallels to China and India than merely dark skinned people.
 
A country that more or less closed itself from the outside world (like China and geographically, in RJ's world, it is approximately where China is in the real world). They also have what I think  appeared to be a caste system which was introduced by BS (where you can fall through the bottom of the caste system but never climb up - also the breeding pens also suggest one is stuck in their station as is the caste system).
 
But you can draw similarities to certain Chinese practices with Seanchan (long nails - to signify you do not do labour work and therefore "rich"). I can't say I am particularly familiar with Indian culture to draw further similarities (or inspiration the authors may have obtained) with the other nations.
 
The Seanchan had certain practices again that remind me of East Asian (like people in service killing themselves when their masters die/fail their masters), yet geographically, they are situated where America is. Their history has a certain parallel to real world America with Arthur Hawkwing's children (where "Europe" is) going to Seanchan/America to conquer it.
 
Certainly there would be inspiration drawn from the real world to create the nations in RJ's world, but a lot of them are mixed up like a melting pot of histories. I think it is incidental than intentional if you go past the skin colour of the dark skinned sharans.

WoT in general is full of "mix and match" cultures, as RJ favoured blending different elements together over just copy and pasting cultures.

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I think the arguments here are not mutually exclusive.

 

I don't think PW is attacking the series, as much as he is trying to defend his original statement.

 

I agree with Ares and PW.

 

If you look for racial overtones ... Sometimes you find them because they are really there.

 

I don't think it is a far fetch to say that there may be some racial descriptions or that the treatment of characters in a literary sense may not have been "fair". We all tend to think/view/write from our own head and perspective. It is naturally where we go to first. We also should admit that stereotypes exist in that same headspace ... For good or bad ...I don't think neither BS nor RJ meant anything malicious ... i think they both were trying to "add" diversity, and probably didn't consider some of the things PW has brought up.

.

 

Do I think AMOL is a racist book? No.

Do I think some racial stereotypes or expectations entered into the planning? Yes.

Do I think RJ and BS are racists? No.

Do I blame them for said stereotypes and expectations? No.

Does that change that they may be in there and may have credence? No.

Should they have some responsibility? Yes.

 

The problem as I see it is once the "r" word gets thrown in, people lose their mind. Everything becomes misconstrued and lines in the sand are drawn everywhere. I hate how the word "racist" is so charged it has to be instantly defended, etc. We need a new word that conveys there are racist/racial overtones because of one's experiences or society ... That doesn't also imply Nazis or KKK. I don't know what that word is yet ... But it is OK to be accountable, even if it was not intended.

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Throughout history African's have been dehumanized by comparing them to monkey's and gorilla's. That is fact. Referring to blacks as monkeys will provoke anger and in some cases violence. That is fact. I don't think that Peaceful Warder has any problem with the back story of the Sharian nation, but instead is asking why the Sharian channelers, who walk like apes, need to be black. I think that is a legitimate question to ask, especially considering how painful and hurtful such comments can be. Joe Frazier never forgave Muhammad Ali for referring to him as the "Gorilla in Manilla" because he was so hurt by the comment. You could have white Sharian channelers walking like apes, and bypass the entire racially insensitive topic.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am not about to go searching through RJ and BS's closet in search of their KKK wardrobe. I have watched too many videos of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and I have not gotten a single hint that they are racist or believe in white power, but again they are also too intelligent not to have noticed the stereotype.

 

My theory is that this is both intentional and ignorant. There is too much detail weaved throughout the story line that mirrors real world stories for this stereotype to have been accidental. Robert Jordan was a historian, not to mention that he lived through the civil rights movement, so he would have been well aware of these stereotypes. Now you could quit right here and proclaim RJ as racist, but I have felt that rushing to that conclusion often over-simplifies many situations.

 

If you read a variety of topics you will find that the WoT contains many myths that are found in popular culture, as well as many different religions of the world, both large and small, it also contains multiple cultures and ethnic beliefs buried in the story. From interviews it is easy to see that Randland is not a different world, it is Earth from millions of years in the past, lost human history that still influences us today. With that in mind, lets go back and revisit the Sharian channelers. They are black slaves who are kept ignorant because they are not educated. They are used as breeding stock, so they can breed more slaves. Now you could trace modern day slavery all the way back to the Sharian nation if you say that Randland is true human history. Likewise, the stereotype of an ape can also be traced all the way back to the Sharian nation. This would be why the Sharian channelers could not be white because would not make sense if you were looking for parallels between WoT and the real world. I think you could still argue that it was insensitive to write the Sharian nation this way, but I think it clears them of being racists who believe they are superior than Africans...

 

What does everyone think?

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Throughout history African's have been dehumanized by comparing them to monkey's and gorilla's. That is fact. Referring to blacks as monkeys will provoke anger and in some cases violence. That is fact. I don't think that Peaceful Warder has any problem with the back story of the Sharian nation, but instead is asking why the Sharian channelers, who walk like apes, need to be black. I think that is a legitimate question to ask, especially considering how painful and hurtful such comments can be. Joe Frazier never forgave Muhammad Ali for referring to him as the "Gorilla in Manilla" because he was so hurt by the comment. You could have white Sharian channelers walking like apes, and bypass the entire racially insensitive topic.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am not about to go searching through RJ and BS's closet in search of their KKK wardrobe. I have watched too many videos of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and I have not gotten a single hint that they are racist or believe in white power, but again they are also too intelligent not to have noticed the stereotype.

 

My theory is that this is both intentional and ignorant. There is too much detail weaved throughout the story line that mirrors real world stories for this stereotype to have been accidental. Robert Jordan was a historian, not to mention that he lived through the civil rights movement, so he would have been well aware of these stereotypes. Now you could quit right here and proclaim RJ as racist, but I have felt that rushing to that conclusion often over-simplifies many situations.

 

If you read a variety of topics you will find that the WoT contains many myths that are found in popular culture, as well as many different religions of the world, both large and small, it also contains multiple cultures and ethnic beliefs buried in the story. From interviews it is easy to see that Randland is not a different world, it is Earth from millions of years in the past, lost human history that still influences us today. With that in mind, lets go back and revisit the Sharian channelers. They are black slaves who are kept ignorant because they are not educated. They are used as breeding stock, so they can breed more slaves. Now you could trace modern day slavery all the way back to the Sharian nation if you say that Randland is true human history. Likewise, the stereotype of an ape can also be traced all the way back to the Sharian nation. This would be why the Sharian channelers could not be white because would not make sense if you were looking for parallels between WoT and the real world. I think you could still argue that it was insensitive to write the Sharian nation this way, but I think it clears them of being racists who believe they are superior than Africans...

 

What does everyone think?

^This

 

Well said, and love your Handle. Much more effective way of saying what I too believe.

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In reading through aMoL, I never really caught that the Sharans were supposed to be black.  In fact, because they were described as tattooed, I always pictured them being more Indian or Hispanic in skin tone, as tattoos don't really show up that well on very dark skin.  That's why a lot of African cultures use scarification or branding, why African slaves in the Americas were more often branded than tattooed to mark ownership, or tattooed on the inside of their lips.  I can understand the reaction, though.  The use of the "darkies" as the "bad guys" is an old trope very much rooted in deep cultural racism, and the depiction of humans as animals, especially when linked to a particular race, is naturally offensive.  But, I don't think RJ depicts races so much as cultures, and most of the cultures in Randland are multi-racial.  Only the Aiel really stand out as being racially homogeneous.  What RJ shows is that human degradation, enslavement, etc., is a cultural phenomena, and not a racial one.

 

Something else about my own perspective of the Sharans is that, especially once we start getting some povs on, around, and of them, I began to feel more pity and sympathy for them than a deeper hatred or glorying in their defeat.  They were essentially dupes, led astray by their prophecy of Bao the Wyld, who were naturally isolated and became more so over time, likely due to both the pressures of the taint on Saidin, the lack of a White Tower to regulate female channelers, and possibly due to Ishamael's influence, if  he had any.  

 

Oh, and a minor quibble with Bel:

Hawkwing did send his son to Shara - just like he sent Luthair to Seanchan. The Seanchan would be totally unknown if Luthair's ancestors didn't come back to the mainland. The Sharan expedition disappeared completely with no word. 

 

Hawkwing sent his daughter to Shara, not his son.  3

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Under RJ, I don't think Shara was a mono-culture. He described some Polynesian tattoos and albinos (Farstrider), among other appearances. Of course Dem's force only represents a part of Shara, and BS is hardly great on descriptors.

 

Have we seen a monkey/ape in the series, and have we seen those used? The PoVs that see Dem are educated though (Brandrol, Lan, Elayne's brothers,...).

 

That said, it was pretty clear that it was only referring to the male Ayyad iirc.

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Throughout history African's have been dehumanized by comparing them to monkey's and gorilla's. That is fact. Referring to blacks as monkeys will provoke anger and in some cases violence. That is fact. I don't think that Peaceful Warder has any problem with the back story of the Sharian nation, but instead is asking why the Sharian channelers, who walk like apes, need to be black. I think that is a legitimate question to ask, especially considering how painful and hurtful such comments can be. Joe Frazier never forgave Muhammad Ali for referring to him as the "Gorilla in Manilla" because he was so hurt by the comment. You could have white Sharian channelers walking like apes, and bypass the entire racially insensitive topic.

Why do the Sharan (not Sharian) channelers need to be black? Well, because the Sharans in general are. Consider that the Ayyad are the de facto rulers of Shara - having the mostly black country ruled by non-blacks can also be seen in a racial light. So do you make Shara as a whole whiter? Well, then people question why there are so few black people (maybe the Breaking was the "black guy dies first" trope taken up to eleven?). So, do you start making other countries darker, to make up for the lack? So, are black people confined to a small corner of the continent, and the white folks don't have to breed with them? Or how about you make the Westlands entirely dark-skinned? That's probably the best solution - until you bring up the Aiel (who were given Irish colouring because RJ thought it amusing, given they live in a desert) - so the white guys are better than the black guys, and they rampaged across the continent unchecked during the Aiel War and went home because they had done their job. So make the Aiel black, and then hve people complain that the black people are uncivilised. However you slice it, people can start reading something into it. I understand that it is problematic to have black people depicted in a sub-human light, but context is important. In context, the male Ayyad are raised as breeding stock, but it is specifically that small subset of people rather than all black people who are portrayed in that light. As a whole, are black people portrayed in a negative light in the series? As worse people, as less intelligent, as not as human? Not really. Like people of all skin tones, we see them as a mixed bag in the series.

 

My theory is that this is both intentional and ignorant. There is too much detail weaved throughout the story line that mirrors real world stories for this stereotype to have been accidental. Robert Jordan was a historian, not to mention that he lived through the civil rights movement, so he would have been well aware of these stereotypes. Now you could quit right here and proclaim RJ as racist, but I have felt that rushing to that conclusion often over-simplifies many situations.

 

If you read a variety of topics you will find that the WoT contains many myths that are found in popular culture, as well as many different religions of the world, both large and small, it also contains multiple cultures and ethnic beliefs buried in the story. From interviews it is easy to see that Randland is not a different world, it is Earth from millions of years in the past, lost human history that still influences us today. With that in mind, lets go back and revisit the Sharian channelers. They are black slaves who are kept ignorant because they are not educated. They are used as breeding stock, so they can breed more slaves. Now you could trace modern day slavery all the way back to the Sharian nation if you say that Randland is true human history. Likewise, the stereotype of an ape can also be traced all the way back to the Sharian nation. This would be why the Sharian channelers could not be white because would not make sense if you were looking for parallels between WoT and the real world. I think you could still argue that it was insensitive to write the Sharian nation this way, but I think it clears them of being racists who believe they are superior than Africans...

 

What does everyone think?

Our Age is most likely the first, the Age before the Age of Legends. Everything from the Third Age will be a long forgotten memory by the time the First Age rolls around again. Further, the situation of the male Ayyad bears little resemblance to the real life African slave trade.

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Yeah white people should be the only people in literature or film that can be depicted as evil or act like animals because no matter what valid reasoning there is behind an action, (male channelers acting like animals because, shocker, they're treated like animals) people who try to find any sort of racial undertone will find it anywhere they can. This in my opinion has worse racial implications then the original text and can taint any sort of literature if people believe it hard enough.

 

My opinion on the sharan male channelers is that Demandred intended to use them very much like Rand intended to use the Asha'man, as weapons. Except he kept the males that had any sort of taint on them because they would still cause destruction/death and he doesn't seem to be the guy that cares for others well-being. And animalistic weapons seem to be a great tool for the shadow, men so isolated and treated so horribly that they don't think for themselves.

 

After reading the series multiple times, I can't remember any time the color of someone's skin went farther then just the description of the character, and if people believe that 3 lines in the last book of a 14 book series sees it as being some grand design about putting down a certain group of people, I truly feel sorry for them.  

 

I mean whats next? Are we going to have to assume there's some sort of racial undertone because the main enemy is referred to as The Dark One? Or because the Light is good and the Dark is bad?

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