J.R.R. Tolkien and white supremacy

An interesting essay by Tolkien scholar Robin A. Reid points out that the beloved author’s works are also loved by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc. Why? Perhaps because Tolkien’s fictional universe sets up a fictional racial hierarchy similar to the real-world racial hierarchies promoted by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc. The essay’s title is, in of itself, interesting: “Why White Supremacy No Longer Provides Cover for White Academia.”

Reid also cites a recently-published article that uncovers the racism in Tolkein’s fictional world: “[I]n 2022, those of us working on racisms and Tolkien were amazed to discover a newly-published essay in The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Charles W. Mills’ “The Wretched of Middle-earth: An Orkish Manifesto.” … It turns out that this 2022 publication is over thirty years old: Mills wrote it at some point during the late 1980s and could not get it published….” Reid goes on to say that the simple fact that Mills could not get his essay published in the 1980s helps reveal how Tolkien scholarship has been dominated by white viewpoints and by white privilege.

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