Welcoming intolerance is NOT just scene drama
James Raggi posted an endorsement from fascist icon Jordan Peterson, causing Kiel Chenier to quit.
Why do I care?
- Raggi has produced excellent gaming products, and I want him to produce more. Furthermore, Raggi has chosen to work with a diverse group of creators, which helps grow a healthy gaming community by sending a welcoming message.
- Raggi’s Peterson endorsement sends the opposite message — that the gaming community does not tolerate diversity. Whether what Peterson personally says and believes is good or bad (I’m not thrilled about governments compelling speech) what Peterson means to many people is clear: fascists are welcome and non-fascists are not welcome. Framing this as a free speech issue slams hard into the paradox of tolerance.
To dismiss this incident as scene drama ignores the tangible harm Raggi’s speech inflicts on our community by pushing away people like Evlyn Moreau.
Do we boycott Lamentations of the Flame Princess? Do we stop using the “OSR” label? Do we splinter into politically segregated subgroups? I don’t know. I love so much about our community that I hope better solutions emerge. I’d welcome a loud, explicit disavowal of intolerance from James Raggi.
Regardless of what happens with the OSR, I’ll continue to welcome any type of person at my game table — regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or politics — except that intolerant fascists who disrespect other players can fuck off.
Raggi has made a couple of relevant statements on Facebook, which I had not seen.
From a few days ago:
So when I run into this guy [Peterson] and take the same funny picture I’d already taken with a band and would have taken with other celebrities had I remembered to bring the damn book with me when meeting them, I didn’t see it as any different. “Went to a show and got a pic with the person I went to see.” Same as I would have with Jimmy Carr last night had he been available to the crowd after his show. Same as if I randomly ran into OJ Simpson on the street if I had a book on me. The point was “famous person.”
But the thing is, LotFP isn’t actually just me. It actually is all these other people that work under its banner. Because their work is often as personal to them as mine is to me.
And Peterson represents to many of them something far different than he means to me.
And it is for their sake that I have deleted the post. It’s always going to be difficult for me not treating LotFP as a personal thing. That’s served me well, in many cases. But in this case, something personal to me turned out to represent my fellow creators in a way they did not want to be represented. And I apologize to them for that.
And this from a couple hours ago:
This isn’t the place to hash out opinion on transgender people’s identities, and we will remove people who insist that it is. If you are uncomfortable with using someone’s desired pronouns, use their name. The name they currently use. If even that’s too much for you, this isn’t the place for you.
Everyone is entitled at the very least to courtesy and basic respect in public. Even if you don’t believe someone is who they say they are, it doesn’t hurt you any to just go along with it, and it just might be incredibly harmful to them if you’re wrong. And how the fuck do you know the difference?
That goes for race, nationality, religion, etc. as well. Anyone that wants to be involved is allowed to be involved here without harassment or interrogation of their beliefs or identity.
So, that’s something, though more equivocal than I’d prefer.