Those of you who believe that the Tabletop hobby should always be kept free of political discussion might want to click away–but we hope you won’t, because we think you have something to gain by reading further.
The Daily Worker Placement is just a teeny-weeny platform, and we know we speak from a privileged position. However, after watching recent events unfold, both throughout the United States and here in Toronto, we feel we have to say something about it here. There are times when silence is complicity and we think this is one of them. We have friends and relatives, both in and out of the hobby, who have been cruelly treated by the very people whose job it is to protect them–because of the colour of their skin, who they choose to love, their appearance, their religion, their political beliefs, or some combination of these. We believe we have a responsibility to them to amplify their voices and others like them, because maybe by doing that (even in our tiny corner of the interwebs) we can help to bring the necessary pressure to redress the systemic imbalances that perpetuate these injustices and at the very least, we want to let people know that we support them and stand with them. And in particular to affirm our belief that Black Lives Matter.
Trevor Noah posted a video last week in which he talked thoughtfully about the events of last week in the US (which also can be applied here in Canada). We recommend you watch it. The heart of it, we think, is Noah asking us to follow the Golden Rule, to look at the protests through the lived experience of the protesters. Every religion that we know of has some form of the Golden Rule. For instance, Jesus said: “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12). Rabbi Hillel said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” (Shabbath folio:31a, Babylonian Talmud). And Mohammed combined the two: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them.” (Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146)
Those are just three versions: there are many others, each with slightly different flavours, but all amounting to urging us to step outside ourselves and look at the world through other people’s eyes, even if only for a moment.
If you can do that–even if only for a moment–then you have grown as a person and you have gained something. Which is what we promised you at the top.
We’ve struggled with how to take constructive action ourselves. On a personal level we’ll continue to educate ourselves on how to be better allies. In terms of the DWP the most obvious thing we can do is reach out to POC in the hobby and ask you to write stuff for us. We’ve struggled with appearing to be bandwagon-jumpers or opportunists looking to benefit from tokenism. In the end, we decided our discomfort with that is small beans compared to the possible good it would bring. Better to make the offer with what we hope are good intentions and listen to any feedback we get. We also commit to do more to signal boost diverse designers and publishers.
Thanks for reading.