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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Oishiki Ganguly 

“Racism is global, and it infiltrates everything that we do; it’s close to inescapable offline, and it’s just as common online. Fandoms are no exception,” claimed a Teen Vogue’s article In the op-ed by Joseph Torres on Colorlines, he writes, “it’s almost impossible for people of colour to accomplish racial justice if we are unable to inform our own personal narratives or ensure the structure and organization of our stories.” This especially rings true in the cases of fandom narratives.

The inherent source material of Hollywood and its media plays a huge role in this, the western media is rooted in racist stereotypes which further racism and the lack of voices of the people of colour, who if spoken up is pushed aside seem to highlight this 

Although racism in its ultimate form is ingrained into the fabric of Hollywood and its society, any voices that speak up can be driven so far underground that they will not be major factors in the leading lives of most of cinema and television. Defeating elite white male supremacy is about breaking down and weakening it as a system of social control, and about building up and strengthening a countervailing social, economic, and political vision and practice to replace it. 

This trend directly follows into the fandom spaces and their audience, People of colour are alienated and fend to define themselves and held at a higher standard than their white counterparts. Be it an artist or a fan. From micro-aggressions to downright racism every day is a battlefield for fans of colour to exist in the same space as the white fans. From jarringly problematic slurs used freely in the fandom to hints of racism in fan art and fanfictions, it becomes impossible for a fan of colour to escape this horror. As a fan of colour, you also get to see people devote months or even years of their time attacking artists of colour, people who share the same ethnicity and background as you. Take, for example, the onslaught of islamophobia and racism that occurred mainly in 2015 and is still directed at Zayn Malik for leaving the boy band One Direction. 

Bring up any conversations of  microaggressions and racist tropes in fanworks and the media, fans of colour will be shut down with “It’s my opinion” or these conversations will be brushed aside as pointless fandom discourse. White fans will talk a big game and take up the role of the white saviour, but they refuse to listen to actual POC voices. They take hold of most spaces and won’t allow open conversations to be held within these spaces. They act like they are the primordial custodians of anti-racism and ignore the conversations the POC are trying to make about it. The case of white queer fans who are under a marginalised group within their community thinks that their white privilege does not extend to them.

Give me a cup of coffee, a book, or Netflix, you won't see me for 6 months. I'm a student at Ashoka majoring in Literature so you'll find me studying literature at 4 am and hear me break into rants about history at any time.