" as in "Fantasy
", not as in
A subset of the old trick of dealing with thorny issues through metaphor
. Instead of having the hero encounter racism between, say, whites and blacks in the American Deep South
, or between ethnic Czech and Roma in the Czech Republic, or between Ainu and Japanese, or any other sets of real-world groups, they encounter racism between two-headed aliens and three-headed aliens, or between Elves and Dwarves
, or Werewolves and Vampires
, witches and wizards
, humans and super humans
or humans and intelligent robots
, or even robots and robots
Note that this can also cover other types of prejudice; anti-homosexual sentiment, religious differences, and so on.
Related to Space Jews
, in which the story
has dubious racist overtones. Also related to Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?
, when monsters are used as a metaphor for alternative sexual identity, rather than race. Fantastic Slurs
are often involved, as are Monster Rights Movements
. Real Life
weaselly lines like Some of My Best Friends Are X
may feature. The undesired minorities may be rounded up inside a Fantastic Ghetto
, they may also be the targets of Super Human Trafficking
If the point of the story is to show the evils of racism, this trope can lead to a Broken Aesop
if there are in fact good in-universe reasons to discriminate
against a certain type of creature (say, because they need to drink human blood in order to survive, or they genuinely don't have free will or a sense of ethics like humans do).
Also note that Tropes Are Not Bad
: most people wouldn't believe in a world where elves, dwarves, aliens, etc got along with perfect harmony, because their own experiences of different groups' interactions don't bear that out. It's called Fantastic Racism
for a reason.
If the racism appears to be spilling into something a little less fantastic and into something more real, it's Values Dissonance
Compare Superior Species
, in which one species actually is
objectively superior in some way, and Master Race
, when it's just in their head.
See also People of Hair Color
, which can be another occasion for racism in fantasy.