I love me some H.P. Lovecraft. His stories about weird shit happening and words I can’t pronounce have helped shape the horror genre as it is today. But in every story there’s a moment where he’s like ‘and this is the fault of black people’ or says something else incredibly racist. Awkward!!!!! This brings up a dilemma in the liberal Caucasian brain. We love Lovecraft, but hate racism. And Lovecraft is a big ol’ racist. What do we do!?
Well fear no more, because one of the foremost Lovecraft scholars has recently announced that the twenties were a pretty racist time all round, so of course Lovecraft is a racist, and to stop worrying so much about it. Phew! What a relief! As it turns out, America was super racist at that time, with Klan membership at its highest in history and almost total nationwide acceptance of segregation by white people. Lovecraft may have been a racist prick, but so were most other white people, so it’s all good! We can enjoy the Lovecraft books totally guilt free. Hooray!
We can’t judge people by the standards of today! We have to judge them by the standards of the time, and in the twenties there were absolutely no deviating views from white racism at all. Everybody was into it! I mean, not black people admittedly. So I guess if we judged him from the standards of black people of the era he’d be a dick… But, like, if we judge him PURELY by the standards of white people… wait… that’s kind of a racist view… Errrr…..
So happy days guys! You can enjoy the story of Scary Squidman without feeling weird whenever Lovecraft uses a racial slur. Which is quite a lot. Because it was common for his era. So it’s fine. If everybody is doing something terrible, then you bear no personal responsibility for being terrible too. And that’s why we shouldn’t worry. I mean, it was the past right? It has no bearing on how we think today.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to be paid more money for doing the same job as everybody else. Ciao!