It is a sad fact of human nature that any movement, and every movement, no matter how pure, good, moral, or noble it is, will, given time, become coopted and corrupted by extremists. It’s also frustrating, if you’re one of those sufficiently educated to recognize this fact, in that you are powerless to ever keep it from happening. You can point it out. You can condemn it. But stop it? Never.
The perfect example: the quest to achieve racial equality. There are no loftier aspirations than that. But the fight to keep unarmed black folks from being mistreated and even killed by white policemen, for example, has already given way to idiotic attempts at casuistic censorship. As a black lady said to me during a discussion on social media yesterday (and I’m slightly paraphrasing, since I can’t remember her words verbatim), “Here we are trying to get murderers put on trial, and they’re (meaning white people) worried about pulling episodes of THE GOLDEN GIRLS.” Such nonsense cheapens the movement and runs the risk of obscuring those things of vital rather than superficial importance.
To give yet another example of this stupidity, there are now claims that DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and the works of Tolkien are racist. How in the hell is that possible, you ask? See, both Tolkien and D&D used the word “race” in accordance with a more antiquated definition. An Orc is a “race” in those works, when the word “species” would perhaps be more accurate, in that we are dealing with fantastical creatures that DON’T REALLY EXIST(!). But it’s racist because Orcs are described as being of lower intelligence and culture whereas “European” (i.e. “white”) characters like Elves (that DON’T EXIST!) are seen as more evolved. Okay, I know I’m not black and I can’t claim to know what it’s like to think like a black man. I do believe, though, that if I were a black dude, and I saw people inferring that “black” translates in Fantasy to a slovenly, dimwitted “race” like an Orc—which is really what these people are saying—then I’d be damned insulted.