I love gaming.

Online gaming, to be more specific.

I didn’t think I’d ever be that girl, but I am.

I’m no expert and I don’t play everything I come across. But when I find an MMORPG game I love – like World of Warcraft – I am in and I am dedicated.

Apparently, I am also oblivious.

Because it took me more than 16 years to realize that though my favorite online game had a robust character creation process…

…meaning it’s set up so I can pick from a whole list of faces, hairstyles, skin colors, and more…

It did NOT have a dark-skinned option.

I could make tan characters, but not black or brown ones.

And I didn’t even notice all the white-only characters running around Stormwind until WoW introduced darker skin options in 2020.

I could be purple or blue (as an elf). I could be black or brown (if I chose to be a cow).

But a black or brown human? Nope. Not an option.

This is racism.

It’s part of the white supremacy narrative that erases people of color by making them invisible.

“But it was just an oversight,” some might say. “A simple mistake.”

(Especially if you’re a fragile white gamer that isn’t used to having your worldview challenged.)

But that “simple mistake” speaks to a much deeper, systemic issue.

It speaks to the lack of BIPOC designers, artists, and developers in the gaming industry.

It speaks to the lack of their voices.

It speaks to the lack of their experiences and worldview.

And it speaks powerfully to the centering of white people as the default experience.

I’ve since left WoW. (Turns out racism wasn’t their only issue. Though, in hindsight, racism should have been enough.)

But I have to ask myself, “Why did it take so long? Why didn’t I notice this sooner?”

And equally important, “How do I keep this from happening again? And how do I advocate for more BIPOC representation in not just gaming, but every industry? (Standing with, not talking over, those voices.)”

I’m 3 years into my own journey with my mentor, Lynne Maureen Hurdle, through her “On the Matter of Race” program and I’m barely ankles deep. (I’ll be sharing Lynne’s summit with you as soon as I have the deets!)

So the truth is, I don’t have the answers.

Just a willingness to keep showing up to face the hard shit of deconstructing the white supremacist narrative intertwined with my worldview like a malignant tumor.

And a desire to keep asking, “What am I missing?” until I can’t NOT see the racism still infecting our planet.

Reflections of Racism is my uncomfortable look in the mirror to identify the roots of racism and white supremacy still active in my life. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not standing as a voice for anyone but me. I’m simply sharing my inner monologue in hopes that my failures, faults, missteps, and mistakes can help someone else see, challenge, and change the white supremacist ideologies influencing their world too.

White supremacy isn’t a system I chose; it was one I was born into. But you better believe I’m gonna do everything in my power to choose out, burn it down, and build something better in the ashes.

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