Dune Racism?

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Mr J G Morton

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Jun 11, 1994, 9:25:54 PM6/11/94
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Hmm, I had not noticed that all people in Dune appear to be white.

However, isn't Hitler mentioned in GEoD as being a passed emporer?
Maybe in the Dune past he managed to complete his eradication of other races.


Just a thought,

Jon(me)

--
+ ` You'd set the table for the barber Sweeny Todd, +
+ You'd clip the wings of any rising god ' - The Levellers +
+ Jon(me) - Ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk - Mataclypt to some. +
+ " Seen one messiah, seen them all. " - MtY +

Thorsten Frigger

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Jun 12, 1994, 7:15:02 AM6/12/94
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Mr J G Morton (ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk) wrote in article <2tdo72$e...@crocus.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:

-> Hmm, I had not noticed that all people in Dune appear to be white.

All main characters except the Fremen seem to be members of Houses Major or
Minor. The Atreides are supposed to be Sardaukar themselves, so i think
a possible explanation is the Corrinos looked after their relatives and
most of the Empire's nobility is from Salusa.

-> However, isn't Hitler mentioned in GEoD as being a passed emporer?
-> Maybe in the Dune past he managed to complete his eradication of other races.

Leto mentioned Hitler along with Ghengis Khan (sp?) as someone who managed
to get millions of people killed with rather primitive weapons. And no,
in the Dune universe he couldn't have succeeded because of the jewish
community in either Chaptherhouse or Heretics.

-> Just a thought,

-> Jon(me)

-> --
-> + ` You'd set the table for the barber Sweeny Todd, +
-> + You'd clip the wings of any rising god ' - The Levellers +
-> + Jon(me) - Ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk - Mataclypt to some. +
-> + " Seen one messiah, seen them all. " - MtY +
--
'Go ahead,' said the Queen of Lancre softly, 'bake my quiche.'
Terry Pratchett -- "Lords and Ladies"

Erik Maiershofer

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Jun 14, 1994, 1:59:54 AM6/14/94
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In <1994Jun12....@dojo.ruhr.de> thor...@dojo.ruhr.de (Thorsten Frigger) writes:

:Mr J G Morton (ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk) wrote in article <2tdo72$e...@crocus.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:

:-> Hmm, I had not noticed that all people in Dune appear to be white.

:All main characters except the Fremen seem to be members of Houses Major or
:Minor. The Atreides are supposed to be Sardaukar themselves, so i think

:possible explanation is the Corrinos looked after their relatives and

[rest deleted]

I really think that the problem is one of perception. Why did you
ASSUME that the characters were all white? Because of the movie?
[it rained at the end of the movie - which pretty much sums op my
opinion of it, as any true DUNE fan will understand]

You see, as I have said before [although some time ago related to a
Lawrence of Arabia thread], Herbert based the Fremen culture,
language, etc. to a large part on Arabic culture. I always assumed
that the Fremen were darker skinned - despite still suit protection
and all.

Erik


Eugenio Filippi

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Jun 14, 1994, 6:25:11 PM6/14/94
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> Just a thought,

> Jon(me)

Well, actually in the movie one of the generals of the Emperor is a black
guy, i dunno about the book, though.
Weren't the Fremen a kind of MiddleEast race?
And also remember that the Jewis community was still around!!!!!!
Just a thought!:-)

Thaddeus Khachaturian

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Jun 14, 1994, 3:51:18 PM6/14/94
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We can't contine to compare the super intricate plot of Herbert's Dune
with Lynch's cult comparison .. it's just the way he casted it .. my guess
is that the Fremen would not be just darker skinned ,but black like African
Americans of bushpeoples of the Kalahari .. and considering that Caladan is
a humid planet with a warm climate as well I would guess that anybody who lived there would be darker like in Brazil .. not as depicted in Lynch's file (not that I didn't like it I loved it ..,but they are two different representations of a story which is true or untrue ..
Ted

Crist J Clark

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Jun 14, 1994, 11:41:06 PM6/14/94
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In article <1994Jun13.0...@ucl.ac.uk>, zcb...@ucl.ac.uk (Eugenio Filippi) writes:

|>
|> Well, actually in the movie one of the generals of the Emperor is a black
|> guy, i dunno about the book, though.
|> Weren't the Fremen a kind of MiddleEast race?
|> And also remember that the Jewis community was still around!!!!!!
|> Just a thought!:-)

Yes, I have always remembered that black Sarduakar. But gospel here are
Herbert's novels. Even the "Dune Encyc." is looked upon with suspicion (not by
Frank). Still, even in the movie, remember a single other non-white character.
Keep in mind, Herbert's description of Fremen sound middle
eastern, but as I stress, they're caucasian. Even with all of the Zen references.

What I really wrote this particular post for though is that you brought
up a point that I used to, but never got a lot of discussion, the Jews. Of course
contrary to some peoples' beliefs, Judaism is not a race but a religion. I have
always found references to the Jewish race some what silly. It is a belief
system nothing more or less (ask Sammy Davis, Jr. if he were alive). Back to the
point. No other Old Terra religion had made it to the post-Leto world as we can
see. (But can anyone out there draw parallels to a modern religion and that of
the Teliaxu? It's a pretty easy one kids.) Why Judaism surving? Herbert in the
early books is fascinated by the Arabic _cultures_ but in the later books the
Jewish _religion_ becomes a leading theme. How 'bout some climbing in to
Herbert's head?
--

Crist "No Sheds" Clark

Kevin Spencer

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Jun 14, 1994, 5:00:37 PM6/14/94
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I seem to recall that in one of the first three Dune books, Duncan Idaho
was described as having curly black hair and dark skin...

Kevin

Crist J Clark

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Jun 14, 1994, 11:24:45 PM6/14/94
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He did make Fremen an exception from the white comments as you did too.
I, personally, don't assume characters are white until they are described as
such. Some characters are not described as "white" but I have yet to recall a
non-cauacasian being described. With all of the Zen philosiphy you would expect
a description of a face that fits a more Asian ancestry, but no.

One comment about, thorsten's comments. What do you mean, "The Atreides
are supposed to be Sardaukar." Sardaukar is the name of the Corrino military.
The Atreides and Carrinos are "royal cousins" but I think you are confused about
what Sardaukar means, thorsten.

Bear Giles

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Jun 15, 1994, 2:27:13 PM6/15/94
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In article <69...@sdcc12.ucsd.edu>,

Erik Maiershofer <emai...@sdcc3.ucsd.edu> wrote:
>In <1994Jun12....@dojo.ruhr.de> thor...@dojo.ruhr.de (Thorsten Frigger) writes:
>
>:Mr J G Morton (ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk) wrote in article <2tdo72$e...@crocus.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:
>
>:-> Hmm, I had not noticed that all people in Dune appear to be white.
>
>:All main characters except the Fremen seem to be members of Houses Major or
>:Minor. The Atreides are supposed to be Sardaukar themselves, so i think
>:possible explanation is the Corrinos looked after their relatives and
>
>I really think that the problem is one of perception. Why did you
>ASSUME that the characters were all white?

I agree completely. Very few of the characters *had* to be a specific
"race", and when you consider this story is roughly 10,000 years in the
future you can make a very good argument that the ethnic groups we consider
significant are different from theirs -- so the entire question is
irrelevant.

(As a good contemporary example, Indians (India, not Amerindians) are
considered "caucasian", but many have skin tones darker than many "blacks".
We look at things like bone structure, hair patterns, etc.)

Even the Jews in the latter story could be coal black (remember when the
Israelis evacuated a number of black Jews from Ethiopia (?) a few years
ago), "arabic", or generic European. Judiasm follows the bloodline of the
mother, but that has not prevent a wide diversity in only 2000 years.

That said, it must also be remembered that Frank Herbert was a white man
writing in a predominately white culture, so many of the *implicit* state-
ments in the book may lead a member of a minority to believe all of the
characters were white. Herbert may not have intended this (he may not
have known how to write his stories to avoid this inference), or he may
have felt that his readers would have been confused by more inclusive
language. But unless the story refers to a character's "clear white skin
and sharp blue eyes", don't assume that character is necessarily white.

--
Bear Giles
be...@cs.colorado.edu/fsl.noaa.gov

Crist J Clark

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Jun 15, 1994, 3:35:32 PM6/15/94
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representations of a story which i|> s true or untrue ..
|> Ted
|>

Who's comparing the movie to the book (yikes!!)?

Fremen were described with olive skin. The dark tan of a desert dweller.

The Atreides of Caladan were described over and over with the Greek
features. And the current majority of the population of Brazil are caucasian too.
And of course Jessica had red hair.

In article <2tl5pl$5...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, kspe...@iti.org (Kevin Spencer)
writes,


|> I seem to recall that in one of the first three Dune books, Duncan Idaho
|> was described as having curly black hair and dark skin...
|>
|> Kevin

Herbert repeatedly called Idaho's hair, "black goat hair." If your not
familiar with the description, it's course with large looping curls. Not what
you may be implying, an afro.

As for skin, here's a quote from _Heretics of Dune_ which I am re-reading
at the moment. It describes the Idaho ghola-child,

"His skin was darkly tanned but a slight movement of his body shifted his
blue singlesuit, revealing pale skin at the left shoulder."

Doctor Demento

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Jun 16, 1994, 10:50:27 AM6/16/94
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..And Cthulu smiled when he saw that Erik Maiershofer had written:


: I really think that the problem is one of perception. Why did you


: ASSUME that the characters were all white? Because of the movie?
: [it rained at the end of the movie - which pretty much sums op my
: opinion of it, as any true DUNE fan will understand]

Agreed. Definately!


: You see, as I have said before [although some time ago related to a


: Lawrence of Arabia thread], Herbert based the Fremen culture,
: language, etc. to a large part on Arabic culture. I always assumed
: that the Fremen were darker skinned - despite still suit protection
: and all.

That was also my opinion. They never specified in the books, but
I always assumed the Fremen were more dark-skinned, while the Atreides
were paler-skinned.

: Erik

--
Kevin Barth
ba...@wam.umd.edu

Jonathan Greenberg

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Jun 16, 1994, 10:49:08 AM6/16/94
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In <2tlt8i$s...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU> cjc...@athena.mit.edu (Crist J Clark) writes:

> What I really wrote this particular post for though is that you brought
>up a point that I used to, but never got a lot of discussion, the Jews. Of course
>contrary to some peoples' beliefs, Judaism is not a race but a religion. I have
>always found references to the Jewish race some what silly. It is a belief
>system nothing more or less (ask Sammy Davis, Jr. if he were alive). Back to the

Well, about Jews being a race. Well, it does depend on your understanding
of the term. Race (term wise) often refers nothing to genetics, but
instead to culture or heratige. It would be hard to argue that Jews do not
have distinct culture. But this is merely a question of semantics.

In context of the novels, Jews having lived genetically isolated for
thousands of years pretty much would cause them to become genetically
distinct. At least to the point of being able to seperate them from a
crowd by common DNA sequences. Jews at the point in posthistory of the
novels would pretty much be a race. But again this is all sematical, and
fairly unrelated to the arguement.

>point. No other Old Terra religion had made it to the post-Leto world as we can
>see. (But can anyone out there draw parallels to a modern religion and that of
>the Teliaxu? It's a pretty easy one kids.) Why Judaism surving? Herbert in the
>early books is fascinated by the Arabic _cultures_ but in the later books the
>Jewish _religion_ becomes a leading theme. How 'bout some climbing in to
>Herbert's head?
>--

> Crist "No Sheds" Clark

Yep. I agree with that.

Anyways I would assume that Houses are heritige based. That the atriedes
have some form of cultural distinction (for some reason I seem to remember
tehm as being of Greek descent). Presumably there are non-white races
abound in the Trillion citizens that make up he Imperium, but they are
simply of other houses and therefore irrelivent to our story. Don't forget
there are something like 100 Major houses alone. Who knows how many minor
houses.

Jon

.sig is under repair

Bear Giles

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Jun 16, 1994, 1:11:23 PM6/16/94
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In article <2tnl64$h...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>,

Crist J Clark <cjc...@athena.mit.edu> wrote:
>
>And of course Jessica had red hair.

Over 8000 years, sexual selection could give *anyone* red hair.

(Sexual selection is akin to natural selection, but refers to the fact
that attributes lead to more children by making the possessor more
sexually attractive, not a "better" animal.

Standard examples are peacock tails, the *very* long tails on some
other birds, human breasts and penises (most other mammals have very
small breasts and penises -- e.g. a gorilla is "hung" with a 2" penis),
etc.)

--
Bear Giles
be...@cs.colorado.edu/fsl.noaa.gov

Dave Thomas

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Jun 16, 1994, 11:28:59 PM6/16/94
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In article <69...@sdcc12.ucsd.edu>, emai...@sdcc3.ucsd.edu (Erik
Maiershofer) writes:
>
> I really think that the problem is one of perception. Why did you
> ASSUME that the characters were all white? Because of the movie?
> [it rained at the end of the movie - which pretty much sums op my
> opinion of it, as any true DUNE fan will understand]
>
> You see, as I have said before [although some time ago related to a
> Lawrence of Arabia thread], Herbert based the Fremen culture,
> language, etc. to a large part on Arabic culture. I always assumed
> that the Fremen were darker skinned - despite still suit protection
> and all.
>
> Erik
>
>


I kind of thought this way until a couple of days ago, when I
noticed, while reading Children of Dune, that Jamis (a Fremen priest) was
described with a red beard, and Ghani is described as having her mother's
red hair.

--
TTFN,
Dave
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dave_...@mindlink.bc.ca //
\X/
"Life's a lot more fun when you're not re

Jim_B

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Jun 19, 1994, 6:18:11 PM6/19/94
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cjc...@athena.mit.edu writes:
>up a point that I used to, but never got a lot of discussion, the Jews.
Of course
>contrary to some peoples' beliefs, Judaism is not a race but a religion.
I have
>always found references to the Jewish race some what silly. It is a
belief
>system nothing more or less (ask Sammy Davis, Jr. if he were alive).
Back to the

'Of course'? Well, it is nice to have such an expert around, but insofar
as the term 'race' has any meaning, there's nothing silly about the idea
of a Jewish race. Why would there be? If you mean by race something
like 'a group of people with a largely common ancestry', then the idea of
a Jewish race is not 'silly'. It's not 'pure', but no 'race' you could
possibly point to is 100% pure. Judaism is certainly a religion, but why
should that exclude a Jewish race (or reasonable approximation thereof)?
Sorry this is off the point, but this kind of categorical ignorance bugs
me. (Although I'm sure we're very glad to know that you have 'always'
derived amusement from the idea. Parva leves capiunt animos.)

umgr...@cc.umanitoba.ca writes:
>Anyways I would assume that Houses are heritige based. That the atriedes
>have some form of cultural distinction (for some reason I seem to
remember
>tehm as being of Greek descent).

I don't remember if Greek descent is specifically mentioned in the books,
but the name Atreides would certainly suggest it. Atreides is ancient
Greek for 'sons of Atreus', and refers specifically (in an ancient Greek
context, anyway) to Menelaus and Agammemnon. Take a break from Herbert
and zip through Homer, esp. Iliad, it might be illuminating to the series
(not to mention worthwhile for its own sake).

Jim

Barrington King

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Jun 19, 1994, 10:44:24 PM6/19/94
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: He did make Fremen an exception from the white comments as you did too.

: I, personally, don't assume characters are white until they are
described as : such. Some characters are not described as "white" but I
have yet to recall a : non-cauacasian being described. With all of the
Zen philosiphy you would expect : a description of a face that fits a more
Asian ancestry, but no.

I often do, with Herbert's work, due to the fact that most of the
names, Duncan Idaho being a perfect example, are anglo. Dr. Yueh strikes
me as being a Mandarin-Asian with full lips and straight hair. Vladimir
Harkonen strikes me as some sort of Bergomeister, and Stilgar as a
rough-looking eastern mediterainian Semitic type.

: One comment about, thorsten's comments. What do you mean, "The


Atreides : are supposed to be Sardaukar." Sardaukar is the name of the
Corrino military. : The Atreides and Carrinos are "royal cousins" but I
think you are confused about : what Sardaukar means, thorsten.
: --

One thing I just can't stand about this sort of argument is that how a
person's impressions of a book can lead it to be called racist when the
racism in question is a product of the subconscious of the reader,
meaning that it is by definintion both not a fault of the author nor a
thing that the reader is in control of. If we did indeed have control of
the subconscious processes our environment and upbringing have saddled us
with, there would be no need to call to racism in the first place; To
call Dune or any other fantastic (literal meaning) work "racist" is in
itself a product of intellectually guarded ignorance.

As this ramble of mine is becoming more appropriate to alt.philosopy.*,
let me just say: "Quod Deconstructivatii Deconstructivat?"

--
"There is no limit to stupidity. Space itself is said to be bounded by
its own curvature, but stupidity continues beyond infinity." - Gene Wolfe

Mr J G Morton

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Jun 20, 1994, 10:54:36 AM6/20/94
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In article <2u2g73$m...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>,
Jim_B <ji...@mail.utexas.edu> writes:

>umgr...@cc.umanitoba.ca writes:
>>Anyways I would assume that Houses are heritige based. That the atriedes
>>have some form of cultural distinction (for some reason I seem to
>remember
>>tehm as being of Greek descent).
>
>I don't remember if Greek descent is specifically mentioned in the books,
>but the name Atreides would certainly suggest it. Atreides is ancient
>Greek for 'sons of Atreus', and refers specifically (in an ancient Greek
>context, anyway) to Menelaus and Agammemnon. Take a break from Herbert
>and zip through Homer, esp. Iliad, it might be illuminating to the series
>(not to mention worthwhile for its own sake).
>

Indeed, in Children Of Dune when Alia is being assaulted by her inner voices
one says something like:-

"I, your ancester Agammemnon, demand attention."

I'm sure there are more references than this when Leto is being "tested".

Jon(me)

--

+ ` You'd set the table for the barber Sweeny Todd, +

+ You'd clip the wings of any rising god ' - The Levellers +

+ Jon(me) - Ma...@csv.warwick.ac.uk - Mataclypt to some. +

Mike Loux

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Jun 20, 1994, 1:31:30 PM6/20/94
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>>I don't remember if Greek descent is specifically mentioned in the books,
>>but the name Atreides would certainly suggest it. Atreides is ancient
>>Greek for 'sons of Atreus', and refers specifically (in an ancient Greek
>>context, anyway) to Menelaus and Agammemnon. Take a break from Herbert
>>and zip through Homer, esp. Iliad, it might be illuminating to the series
>>(not to mention worthwhile for its own sake).
>>
>Indeed, in Children Of Dune when Alia is being assaulted by her inner voices
>one says something like:-

> "I, your ancester Agammemnon, demand attention."

>I'm sure there are more references than this when Leto is being "tested".

The references I picked up on were all in God Empereror and the last two
books, with Leto either losing himself in his memories and mentioning that
they are descended from Atreus, or telling someone (like Moneo, also an
Atreides), or hearing about it from one of the many descendants in the two
later books (Odrade, Teg, Lucilla, etc). But there is definite mention. I
don't have my books in front of me, otherwise I would quote it, but I know
it's there...

-Mikus

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Crist J Clark

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Jun 20, 1994, 3:42:05 PM6/20/94
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She was described with red hair a fair complexion and very fine features.
She was white; that was my only point. People with red hair, in general, have
fair skin, even in Herbert's descriptions.

In addition, she was a product of the Bene Gesserit breeding program not
a random product of "sexual selection" (never heard that one before).

Crist J Clark

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Jun 20, 1994, 3:58:47 PM6/20/94
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In article <2u2g73$m...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>, Jim_B <ji...@mail.utexas.edu> writes:
|> cjc...@athena.mit.edu writes:
|> >up a point that I used to, but never got a lot of discussion, the Jews.
|> Of course
|> >contrary to some peoples' beliefs, Judaism is not a race but a religion.
|> I have
|> >always found references to the Jewish race some what silly. It is a
|> belief
|> >system nothing more or less (ask Sammy Davis, Jr. if he were alive).
|> Back to the
|>
|> 'Of course'? Well, it is nice to have such an expert around, but insofar
|> as the term 'race' has any meaning, there's nothing silly about the idea
|> of a Jewish race. Why would there be? If you mean by race something
|> like 'a group of people with a largely common ancestry', then the idea of
|> a Jewish race is not 'silly'. It's not 'pure', but no 'race' you could
|> possibly point to is 100% pure. Judaism is certainly a religion, but why
|> should that exclude a Jewish race (or reasonable approximation thereof)?
|> Sorry this is off the point, but this kind of categorical ignorance bugs
|> me. (Although I'm sure we're very glad to know that you have 'always'
|> derived amusement from the idea. Parva leves capiunt animos.)

But Jews in general are not _that_ closely related. I was yesterday at a
friends wedding. They're Iraqi Jews. I also know some Persian Jews who have a
somewhat different culture. Then there are Jews who have lived generations in
Europe and the US, and everybodies favorite example, Ethiopian Jews. The
connection between these people is a religion. The blood ties virtually fade to
the days of Moses, and their everyday languages range from English to
Yiddish to Farsi (of course they have Hebrew, but it is the varnacular for only
a few). Similarly, the cultures are not at all identical, but linked through the
religion. The use of the term "race" does no fit such a broad catagorization in
my opinion.

One thing more. I don't pretend to be an expert on Jewdaism or anything
except chemistry, which doesn't have much to do with this. These are my opinions
and observations. I take you're point and the reason I post here is to discuss
topics of this nature; however, your sarcasm is not appreciated. My responses
may sometimes be short and terse, but this is because i don't have all day to
compose sweet prose. I write it off the top of my head short and to the point.
Please, if you disagree, I want to discuss it. I by no means believe I'm right
about everything, but neither are you.

|>
|> umgr...@cc.umanitoba.ca writes:
|> >Anyways I would assume that Houses are heritige based. That the atriedes
|> >have some form of cultural distinction (for some reason I seem to
|> remember
|> >tehm as being of Greek descent).
|>
|> I don't remember if Greek descent is specifically mentioned in the books,
|> but the name Atreides would certainly suggest it. Atreides is ancient
|> Greek for 'sons of Atreus', and refers specifically (in an ancient Greek
|> context, anyway) to Menelaus and Agammemnon. Take a break from Herbert
|> and zip through Homer, esp. Iliad, it might be illuminating to the series
|> (not to mention worthwhile for its own sake).
|>
|> Jim

Yes, it is specifically mentioned many times. They supposedly could
trace back to Agammemenon, and Leto had him in his Other Memoeries.

Muad ba'bki Atrieidies

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Feb 21, 2018, 2:06:23 PM2/21/18
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Op zondag 12 juni 1994 03:25:54 UTC+2 schreef Mr J G Morton:
Hello, I just read Dune and i don''t think it to be racis.t.
yes it is very true that the name of hitler was used but that does not mean frank herbert was a racist. look at many other books where hitler had appearaed in. Also the reson why no black people in dune movie is because the film was shot in mexico and black people doýnt live there.
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