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    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline


    I am a big fan of South Park and its humor. I had every intention of being nice. This episode was about judging people (trans included) on their behavior – not only because they are trans (the PC thing to do, it seems, these days).

    As much as I consider myself “woke,” Bruce, now Kaitlyn, Jenner has always been kind of a jerk. Olympic hero or no. Trans or no.

    Anonymous @

    I talked earlier in this topic about qualms I had with the episode, and got some good responses that helped square me away. And yet, I still felt dissatisfied, and I think I finally can say why.

    Before I go on, though, I’m only explaining why I’m dissatisfied, not why you should be. Maybe it’ll help anyone else feeling the episode somehow didn’t measure up. But the last thing I want to do is take away from anyone’s enjoyment.

    I remember getting introduced years ago to racism in the US. I read about it, or maybe saw something on TV; it certainly wasn’t something that came up at home. My mom, unusually for someone of her age at the time, had a good friend who was African-American, who came to the house any number of times. Living in the worlds of my imagination as I did, I never thought of her as different, just as one of mom’s buds.

    So when I found out about Jim Crow and lynchings and all the rest, I was horrified. How could people behave like that? This was the USA! I wanted to understand how this could happen. So I read about heroes like Rosa Parks, and victims like Emmett Till, and others besides.

    I also read about George Washington, Father of Our (My) Country, how he wanted to free his slaves, knowing slavery was not compatible with the ideals of the country he’d helped bring into being. But his slaves were a significant part of (sorry for putting it this way) his assets, and, reading between the lines, I’m sure he feared impoverishing himself and his family. He was conscious of the adulation people had for him, and I’m sure he didn’t want to tarnish that with risking bankruptcy.

    And that fear I suspect is there is what I was looking for in my reading, and didn’t see in Rosa. All the non-TARDIS white speaking roles in Rosa are interchangeable. Krasko, the cop, the waitress, the bus driver are racists, and nothing more. We aren’t invited to understand why human beings could make such inhuman choices. We aren’t invited to regard them as human, really.

    Which leads me to my final point. Because I think AG Who has tackled racism before, and brilliantly. Remember Midnight? The Tenth Doctor for once isn’t able to get the others on his side, isn’t able to talk them around, and the Midnight creature soon takes his ability to talk away. The others are terrified, and in their fear they turn on the helpless one who they see as different. He barely survives, and it’s scary in the extreme.

    We’re invited to identify with the Doctor, as always, just like we are with Rosa Parks. But Midnight also invites us to understand why people can make such a horrible mistake, how they can be frightened into doing something horrific and inhuman. Not the case with Rosa.

    So, for me, that’s why Midnight is a great episode, and a great introduction to the “othering” that underlies racism. That’s why I consider it great…and Rosa pretty good.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, I get why you should feel that way – you’re interested in why individuals could be racists.

    However, as far as I can see, what Michelle Blackman was interested in – when she was writing Rosa – was the institutional racism that existed in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Krasko, the cop, the waitress, the bus driver are racists, and nothing more. We aren’t invited to understand why human beings could make such inhuman choices.

    Nope, we’re being asked to understand how there could be such a thing as an entire legal, political and social system that not only allows human beings to make such choices, but approves them. Provides police power to support those choices. Pushes those who do not approve (you mentioned George Washington) into making racist decisions themselves.

    We’re not invited to understand why the cop, the waitress, the bus driver are racists because the reason they are racists is almost certainly that they were born and brought up in Montgomery, Alabama and have been socialised all their lives to be racists. That’s the system they were born into, and they are decent, law-abiding, productive members of an institutionally racist society. When the cop comes into the motel room, when the waitress tells Ryan and Yaz to leave, when the bus driver tells Rosa to move – they’re all upholding the norms of their society.

    That’s the truly scary thing; more terrifying than any monster. They’re all just doing their job.

    Throughout the script we discover that being a well-meaning non-racist white person is insufficient. The Doctor and Graham are told to get out of town, and have the police checking their motel room to see if they smuggled in the ‘mongrels’. The Doctor sits next to Rosa on the bus – and is told that she can’t, because Rosa will still have to move.

    And Graham, who has a black step-grandson and who tries to protect Ryan throughout, is forced into the situation of being the white man that Rosa Parks was supposed to give up her seat to. The fact that he didn’t want the seat, would have been perfectly willing to stand, is irrelevant within this system. It forces compliance.

    And that is institutional racism. And it’s really important that we recognise it when we see it.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The grounds for your reservations about the episode are valid, but I’m not sure that the nuances of the psychological and sociological roots of racism in Montgomery in the 1950s could ever have been adequately addressed in one 50 minute episode of a show intended for family viewing and aimed primarily, in this case, at an audience of younger viewers of many nationalities for whom the events portrayed would be as distant as the Boer Wars or equivalent were for me in 1955.

    The writer chose instead to explore the basic issues by showing one of the pivotal events in the history of the struggle for civil rights in the USA from the 21st century point of view of three British people of various ethnic origin, one middle aged and two young, confronted in shocking fashion with the, to them, unfamiliar reality of a racism which was not only deep rooted and pervasive, but encoded in segregationist law and with a legacy of extreme violence behind it. The mentality and the motivation of the white racists who featured in the episode were not explored and so they might seem stereotyped, but I can remember the shocking filmed reports not long after Rosa Parks’ protest, of  black students running the gauntlet of angry mobs when schools were first desegregated, and the stereotypes are recognisable.

    As @bluesqueakpip says, the more intricate questions of why racists are racist, the complex of fears and insecurity which fuel racism, and how racism becomes embedded as a social norm with the force of law behind it are not the subject of this episode, but they are implicit for those who may be prompted to look further and ask questions. If even a few viewers do follow up in this way, then I think the writers will have done their job.

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark – My basic feeling is, if they couldn’t do it justice in 50 minutes, then either go two-parter or don’t do it at all. Imagine the Boer War in one episode, trying to accurately convey the conflict. Difficult!

    But I do see your point, and as I said, I don’t want to detract from anyone else’s enjoyment. It didn’t work for me, not as much as I’d like, but I realize it did for some.

    This whole series seems the least ambitious in story terms of all the AG Who, at least to me. Even this episode, when they tried for a knockout, I just feel they did so in a very limited way. Then again, I was very familiar with Rosa Parks–name-checked her, if you will, in a young-adult thing I did a few years ago–so I had less to gain than most.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – Sure. If I hadn’t read up so much on Jim Crow, racism, lynchings, etc. I probably would have appreciated the episode more.

    As mentioned in the Tsuranga thread, I’m not the one the show is aimed at, but rather young people. I get that. I mostly posted because someone else might be bothered that everyone else is saying it’s a great episode, but they don’t feel that it is.

    I just hope we get episodes that try to come up with something wildly imaginative, something unexpected. With luck that will keep everyone happy.

    Don’t worry about me, though. I don’t expect others to share my tastes, preferences, etc. Why should they?

    Mudlark @mudlark


    It is probably asking too much of Chibnall to hope he will come up with something wildly imaginative; that isn’t his strongest suit 😉  Moffat had an almost limitless imagination and a willingness to take risks which made even his less successful episodes interesting. It is significant that Rosa is the only episode in this season that I have felt I wanted to view twice, whereas I watched all of the episodes during Moffat’s time in charge at least two or three times, and sometimes felt it necessary to do so before I could even venture to comment.

    My expectations of Chibnall were lower from the beginning, especially in the light of what he said about the direction in which he wanted to take the show, so when it comes to commenting on the episodes so far this season I am assessing by different criteria,  primarily according to what I think were his aims and the aims of the writer if different, and how well or otherwise they succeeded

    As I indicated in comments earlier, I am British and was in my early teens in 1955. Although events depicted in this episode impinged only lightly on my consciousness at the time, by the mid 1960s I was politically very much aware of both current events and the background and I can understand your frustration over the fact that the complex subject was treated in relatively simplistic terms.  It was, however, aimed at people who, if they were aware of the facts at all, viewed them only from a simplified historical perspective. It succeeded insofar as it jolted awareness by conveying the visceral and emotional reality, through the experience of Ryan in particular, and that was the basis of my judgement.  My judgement as a historian didn’t really come into it.



    Anonymous @

    @ mudlark

    It was, however, aimed at people who, if they were aware of the facts at all, viewed them only from a simplified historical perspective. It succeeded insofar as it jolted awareness by conveying the visceral and emotional reality, through the experience of Ryan in particular, and that was the basis of my judgement.

    Very well said!

    My expectations aren’t what they could be as well, and I’m trying to judge each episode strictly by whether I was entertained; intrigued or engrossed is too much to expect…

    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark I was saying something similar to my husband, that re-watching these episodes isn’t mandatory. And, in a way, it’s a relief. As much as I loved Moffat’s writing, I sometimes got a bit tired of having to first watch an episode, just to get a sense of it, and then re-watch it multiple times in order to understand it. Needing to meet that challenge occasionally is fine, but every week?

    Of course, that may be more a commentary on my literal thinking than on Moffat’s writing.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    It is the difference between reading a novel which you may enjoy but, at the end, feel there is nothing more to be learned from a second reading because everything is there on the surface, and reading one which you immediately want to read again because you know that, however much you have understood and gained from that first reading there are additional depths and nuances to be found.  There are some novels you can read again and again and still find something new on each occasion. Television drama tends to be more immediately accessible but, just as with novels,  the best always repays further viewing



    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark Fair enough. I certainly understand that point of view. But for me, it isn’t a prerequisite for Doctor Who.

    DogBoyTheCat @dogboythecat


    I feel a bit overwhelmed that so many have quoted me…. although not always in context.

    Looking around the internet in the past few weeks seems to show a lot of people supporting my viewpoint.

    Many sources are reporting Doctor Who’s ratings as seriously dropping, and for the exact same reason I mentioned before…. the show is becoming PC and preachy, and it’s turning viewers off.

    And now, Chibnall’s not going to do a Christmas episode?

    Will we be getting one for Ramadan instead? (Ooops! Did I offend someone with that question?)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Did I offend someone with that question?

    I can only refer you to the following dialogue from Time of Angels

    THE DOCTOR: Er, no offence, Bishop.
    OCTAVIAN: Quite a lot taken, if that’s all right, Doctor.

    Ratings were discussed in the On The Sofa thread. Short version – each episode to date has higher ratings than any series since 2012, or even earlier.

    Anonymous @

    @dogboythecat – If you look around here, you’ll find I’m not enamored of the newest series, primarily for reasons of taste.  (I’m not completely thrilled with the stories and writing.)  However, if this series is losing viewers, it’s seemingly still having much higher numbers than almost all after-gap (AG) Who, and any drop off from episode 1 to episode 5 is typical.

    If I really cared about this (I don’t much), I’d dig more for numbers, but I just pulled these from Wikipedia for comparison purposes.  Column 1 is series number, 2 is millions of UK viewers for episode 1, 3 is viewers for episode 5, and column 4 (bold) is the percentage of viewers of episode 5 compared to episode 1:

    1 10.81 7.98 74%
    2 8.62 9.22 107%
    3 8.71 6.97 80%
    4 9.14 6.53 71%
    5 10.09 8.50 84%
    6 8.86 7.35 83%
    7 8.33 7.82 94%
    8 9.17 6.99 76%
    9 6.54 6.56 100%
    10 6.68 5.27 79%
    11 10.96 7.76 71%

    You can see that a) the viewing numbers for 11/5 are higher than most AG series, and b) the drop off from episode 1 is not atypical.

    By all means come on the forum and discuss things with the rest of us!  Opinions for or against something are fine.  Just be prepared to support them; unsupported opinions are a dime a drizzle, and no one cares about mine either. 🙂


    My issues with this episode:

    1)No white anti-racism (if that’s even a term I don’t know please don’t attack me for being ‘uneducated’) representation makes this episode kinda like an anti-white episode which irritates me a lot.

    2)The villain of the episode (a space racist) is about as interesting as a wet dish cloth. I understand that racism is a terrible topic but can you make a villain who is a space racist a tad bit compelling please Chibnall.

    3) That scene where Yaz talks to Ryan about how she is victim to racism makes me want to eat gravel. Like we get it racism is bad. It infuriates me that Chibnall basically shows that he thinks that everyone doesn’t know that people who follow Islam get called terrible things which belittles a lot of people.

    4) The episode generally feels very slow and boring.


    The positives:

    1)The music is decent

    2)Bradley Walsh’s performance is as up to standard as ever with some deep moments

    Anonymous @

    Graham was a white non-racist.

    And the Doctor was shown having to find a way to get the ‘right’ driver into place as the scheduled driver would have been less likely to be confrontational with Rosa.

    I think that’s probably about all you can do in a programme of this length.


    Anonymous @

    @rosasucksandsodoess11 – With a handle like that I was sure you were here to rant, but you actually put down some thought-out points.  Good on you for that.

    I’ve already thought more about this episode than I really want to recall, but you’ll find I sympathize with you at least somewhat.  If you want to read through the comments and look at mine, well, they’re there.


    @margaret-blaine @kevinwho







    Anonymous @

    @pedant – I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, since most of the poster’s other entries are adequately thoughtful.

    Anonymous @

    Agree with kevinwho above.

    The points made were not all negative.



    It’s the usual misogyny and racism dressed up in a posh suit.

    The clue is in the user name.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @margaret-blaine

    I don’t care for the user name either, it’s, if I can coin a term, inciteful.  But the comment content seems entirely acceptable.



    it’s, if I can coin a term, inciteful

    And describing a scene where a British Asian woman and a British black man discuss there experience of racism as “makes me want to eat gravel” isn’t?


    As @bluesqueakpip alluded a couple of weeks back, the only question is in which Reddit sub they are discussing tactics.


    @pedant I was just giving my opinion that the deliverence of the scene was bad

    The contents had good intentions but the scene itself and the blatancy of the message just annoyed me

    My quote about eating gravel was a bit extreme I admit but I had no intention of being a troll or anything of the sort

    If my opinions do not align with yours that’s fine that’s why this forum exist: to discuss

    If I was being a troll I apologize and will just deactivate my account or something

    Anonymous @

    @pedant Not everyone is a troll. People sometimes don’t always quite get the tone right.

    To be fair you don’t always get it right yourself. And neither do I so I hope in this case I’m not coming across as too aggressive.



    just deactivate my account or something

    Or you could just change your handle to something less idiotic. It makes you come across as a whiney 13 year old with anger management issues. Or a US libertarian, which is much the same thing.


    But this one started with a troll name and posted all of the tropes from the “I’m just a poor white boy nobody loves me” school of Youtube fuckwittery, across multiple threads. *makes hand-weighing motion*

    Anonymous @

    The name is a daft choice it’s true (sorry RSASDS11 but apart from anything else it’s a hell of a lot to type out!) but I don’t think the contents of the post were trolling. 2 and 4 were reasonably valid points and 1 and 3 could be debated. The poster also put in some positives.

    Points made on other threads were valid even if one disagreed with them.

    The poster has also apologized in 2 different places. I think he/she was worthy of a polite response.




    I apologize if that’s how I came across I didn’t mean to be and Im just trying to give my opinion in a way that voices how I feel but not too over the top

    Oh and no one loves me at *school* just to confirm not trying to be toxic 🙂



    I will change my name if that makes me seem less toxic

    Just trying to be nice


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @rosasucksandsodoess11, OK, so assuming you’re not a troll (I second advice to change the name, it does resemble the kind of name people create when they come to forums like this deliberately just to troll).

    1: As @margaret-blaine points out. Graham was a white anti-racist, and the team needed that particular bus driver because it needed to be one who would absolutely insist and then call the police if Rosa refused to move.

    2: I agree the baddie can seem rather under drawn, but I think the decision that he not be ‘compelling’ might be deliberate. A theme throughout this season is that the root of what’s going wrong hasn’t been some powerful supervillen, Tim Shaw is a loser of his species. The Game master had to capitulate and take two winners when they stood up to him. Prim was killed by his angry and confused little brother. And so on through the series. It’s an unusual choice for a Who series, but I think it all pulled together at the end, with the return of Tim Shaw as a genuine, serious threat. Ordinary people can become heroes, (the Tardis team, even Ryan’s dad) or ordinary people can become catastrophic. The most destructive people in our history weren’t super villains from space, they were people affected by their experiences to managed to achieve positions of power who often got there through a combination of some enthusiasm for their ideas, and a lot of indifference towards the less pleasant aspects of them. He was no more or less impressive than Hitler in Lets Kill Hitler, which I think is part of the point.

    3: I didn’t see that scene as Yaz talking of herself as a victim, but as someone who has experienced racism on a daily basis. Moffat (much as I love him) and RTD tended to skirt around this. Generally, we’d see a future without racism, or at least, racism against blue people but not along the old/current lines. Or an experience of racism during time travel, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s more or less done with today, and will be entirely a thing of the past in a few centuries. It would have been quite easy for Yaz and Ryan to share a quick ‘thank god we live in the 21st century, eh?’ but it’s not that simple. What this episode did show was the shock of experiencing legally acceptable, in fact, legally mandated, racism. The episode was about the progress our society has made over the last few generations, but without forgetting that it’s certainly not all over yet.

    I also don’t see how Yaz mentioning the abuse she faces amounts to CC assuming people don’t know this happens. A television show wouldn’t work if the characters only ever said things the watching public don’t know. Unless it’s a quiz, and it’s called QI.

    4: personally I found it compelling, I often think the slowest episodes are the best, but that is a matter of personal taste.

    I agree about Bradley Walsh, fantastic as always. And that kind of underlines the point – some very well portrayed white anti-racism with deep moments that you enjoyed.

    Anonymous @

    Some numbers (all courtesy Wikipedia), and thoughts, on Rosa and on my three favorites from Series 11:


    Rosa 6.39m
    Kerblam! 5.93
    It Takes You Away 5.07
    Resolution 5.15

    Appreciation Index:

    Rosa 83
    Kerblam! 81
    It Takes You Away 80
    Resolution 80

    Rosa was the top pick in a Radio Times poll of favorite Series 11 episodes. Its Appreciation Index was as high as any episode that series. (Kerblam! was second, It Takes You Away fourth; Resolution hadn’t aired.)

    If you liked Rosa, that’s great, because it sure seems to me that Chibnall and company would be fools not to try to replicate its success.  I’m certain we’ll see more like it.

    Anonymous @

    U agree with what you say @miapatrick about it being a refreshing change not to have a ‘super villain’. Another thing I’ve liked about this series is not having a whole planet of aliens who are ‘bad’. As I’ve said elsewhere this seems to me to be the very definition of racism.

    And as I was thinking about this I understood a little better where @kevinwho and @rosa_sucks_and_so_does_series_11 are coming from. Of course not all white people are racist and (I’m guessing both the above named are from the USA) it must be irritating to see a whole subset of your fellow citizens categorized in this way.

    However, this wasn’t casual racism. This was institutionalized, legalized racism endorsed by the state and the people. And I think this is what Chibnall and Blackman were trying to show the terrible reality of. There’s certainly a case for showing the role of white people in helping to change attitudes and behaviour but I don’t think this was the vehicle for it .This was Rosa’s story and she stands for all the black people who worked and fought for an equality which should have been theirs by right, just as Graham, to a lesser, but still important degree stands for the decent white person. If this amount of representation didn’t seem enough for you then I sort of understand but it was enough for me.

    As far as Yaz and Ryan discussing their experience of racism – well, I think I’d have been outraged if they hadn’t done so, given the situation!

    Don’t give up Rosa sucks etc. You’ve opened up the debate a bit more which is what forums are all about.  (I really would consider changing the name though.)


    Anonymous @

    That first U should have been I. Must learn to proof read.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @margaret-blaine It’s fine, still works I agree with what I said too ;).

    The good thing about Graham’s part in this is how instinctive it was. His immediate protectiveness of his (step) Grandson. He probably knew, somewhere in his mind, how that would have gone down, made no difference.

    It surprises me that so many people see this show as generally bashing straight white men when there has, throughout, been Graham, with his kindness, his sandwiches, and his just general goodness. There were concerns that boys/people/children need to see a strong male role-model, this series has provided it. He’s not the smartest and most powerful person in the room – he’s not the Doctor, but he’s smart and powerful in his own, important way, and he is, most of all, kind. Kind is important in Who. Donna’s kindness to the PA in Silence in the Library, 12’s instruction to his successor at the point of regeneration. Nor is he remotely emasculated by the Doctor – his decision not to kill Tim Shaw came because Ryan got through to him. And if the show was as hysterically pc-sjw-snowflake-whatever the next phrase will be as some critics have suggested, they wouldn’t have placed him as such a contrasting example to Ryan’s dad.

    When people mention racism critically, what they’re criticising is racism. But I would suggest that if anyone starts to feel personally as though their entire ethic group is being attacked, they might want to take advantage of the opportunity to feel some empathy here, and maybe exercise a sense of proportion and consider exactly how much it affects their day to day lives to feel a little preached at by a television programme. And remember other people are watching this who have experienced the kind of abuse Yaz talks about in this episode, they’re not being ‘informed’ of anything anyone is assuming they don’t know. They’re being given a voice.

    Anonymous @


    (I’m guessing both the above named are from the USA) it must be irritating to see a whole subset of your fellow citizens categorized in this way.

    I am, but that’s not what bothers me – although I admit having it come from someone non-USA is as aggravating as when our chump of a president dumps on the British PM.

    There’s certainly a case for showing the role of white people in helping to change attitudes and behaviour but I don’t think this was the vehicle for it .

    I won’t argue with that.

    If this amount of representation didn’t seem enough for you then I sort of understand but it was enough for me.

    Well said!


    …if anyone starts to feel personally as though their entire ethic group is being attacked…

    Not me.  Jim Crow in all its aspects still makes me want to throw up.

    Let me try to put it this way:

    • I despise how racism treats an entire group of people as if they weren’t individuals, and as if they should be looked down on.
    • When criticizing racism, best not to treat any group of people as if they weren’t individuals, and as if they should be looked down on.
    • Doing so only gives ammunition to anyone who wants to object to the episode for any reason.

    @bluesqueakpip and @jimthefish got into a good discussion with me about midway through the 40+ comments on Backing Away from the Premise, and made good points, but without convincing me.  I know not all depictions of loathsome groups like Nazis individualize them either, but I just can’t accept that.  I’ll never be comfortable with it.

    Other than that (and that idiot Krasko), Rosa is exceptional and outstanding, and I do not think anyone should think the less of the episode because of either the depiction of southern whites or of Krasko.  What gets under any individual’s skin is an individual matter.

    Anonymous @

    @kevinwho    Just to affirm that at no point have I taken from your posts the impression that you were racist. Quite the opposite.

    Nor have I got that impression from the other poster to be fair. Just that he/she has criticisms of the series.

    Anonymous @

    @margaret-blaine – No problem.  And I’m glad I’m giving an accurate impression on that score.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @kevinwho yes but to clarify my comment – when racist white people are being criticised, the only people being criticised are racist white people. And Rosa, for example, makes it clear that this isn’t, at the risk of involving a hashtag, all white people. Graham isn’t racist. One particular bus driver had to be driving the bus for her protest – according to this episode – to ensure that the full extent of the law was called on. So it’s a major plot point that a different driver might well not call the police and have her arrested for refusing to move.

    Elsewhere in the episode a waitress tells them to leave. All we can be certain of the other customers is complicity. Are they silent out of shock for who has walked into the place? Or out of tension for what they know is about to happen? The episode essentially shows three attitudes: overt racism, complacency/indifference to racism, and anti racism. That is, in fact, the range that exists.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick – I grant that the episode shows that one white British person isn’t racist.  But I disagree with your second paragraph.  All the southern whites have the same facial expression during the confrontations, and those with speaking parts all use the same tone of voice.

    Look, go on ahead and discuss, I certainly don’t mind.  But consider me a lost cause please, and don’t try to convince me.  You’re not going to at this point, and remembering this episode just upsets me.


    @kevinwho @miapatrick

    The reason the story works so well  is that it never once loses sight of what the story was about just so that it could pause coddle the hurt feelings of whiney white boys.

    But consider me a lost cause please, and don’t try to convince me.

    Or, for that matter, those whose understanding of format-constrained storytelling is so weak that their minds slam shut when said feelings are hurt.

    Anonymous @

    Further to @Miapatricks point about the three types, overt racism, complacency/ indifference and anti racism, I imagine it must have been very difficult for members of the last named group to live in Alabama at the time, although obviously there must have been some.

    I don’t think it takes a suspension of disbelief to accept that the Tardis team may not have encountered any.

    Sadly racism hasn’t been eradicated but at least in the UK and the USA it is illegal. That’s a good start when one looks back to a time within living memory when blacks and whites couldn’t share a lunch counter and, in this country landlords could put up signs saying ‘ No Coloureds, No Irish.’

    Just as an aside, I nearly counted the Doctor in with Graham as a white non-racist but I realized it could be argued that the fact that in her 13th incarnation she is still white could be construed as slightly racist. Still ,one step at a time,eh?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @margaret-blaine I only didn’t count her as she’s not human, it just happens that humans look like time lords. She is an example of an unbigoted Time Lord (though not perhaps always, if I remember the first ever episode correctly) unlike Missy/Master, who refers to the human companions as pets. However her enthusiasm for the human species can look a little like an overcompensation (I love humans! My best friends are humans!). I would assume since we’ve seen a Time Lord switch race as well as sex, pigmentation doesn’t have the meaning on Gallifray it does on earth, any prejudice there seems to be class/time vortex caused mutation-based.

    And yes. It is, to put it one way, easier to be anti-racism when racism is, to an extent, illegal. Not in a thought police sense, but when racial discrimination and hate speech is covered by law. And it’s easier to simply not be racist when the law considers all races equal. Even complacency/indifference is less glaring. Much harder and more obvious when the racism is actually upheld by law. We’d all like to think that if we were born in that kind of world, we’d be among the exceptions, and exceptions have always existed. But even though I’m probably as SJW as you can get, I can’t be certain I’d be one of them. No one can.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – Please, no name-calling.  I am sorry my views on this episode have upset you to the point you felt you had to resort to it.

    @craig – Would you please PM me and @pedant as to whether anyone has crossed the line, and what people should put up with?  Thank you.



    :shrugs: You literally said your mind was closed because white anti-racists weren’t represented in a story by a black writer about an issue of overwhelming importance to black people.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – No, not “literally.”  If anyone had asked, I would have said that I’ve agonized over this so much that the agonizing has colored my feelings, and done it too far.  My mind says it’s a great episode with one flaw that others may consider insignificant.  My feelings say Rosa has caused me a lot of pain.  So my mind needs no convincing, and my emotions are no longer listening.

    Please, please, please, when someone is trying to be reasonable and you think they aren’t, ask before jumping down their throat.  I know my knowledge of the internet doesn’t compare to yours, and maybe I just shouldn’t be on it, but I like to think I can contribute here.



    Sorry, but this story set in the 1950s speaks so much to a world in which the US President is openly racist, black people in the US are disproportionately the victims of police violence and where, only yesterday over here, fascist thugs completely mis-identified the black person they were hurling abuse at (as well as calling a democratically elected moderate Conservative a Nazi).

    It isn’t about you or me, with our white privilege, but about the people on the receiving end. About looking out of the window and seeing the world through other eyes.

    It isn’t about being on the internet or not on the internet (you really tried that guilt trip?). It’s about imagining ourselves in the shoes of the people the story was about.

    It’s about giving the empathy you appear to be demanding.

    And that is absolutely my last word on this.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant – Thanks, and I’ll drop it too.  I honestly wasn’t trying for guilt, but to acknowledge that I’m not used to how, um, harsh the internet can be, and thus maybe should be expecting to get castigated.

    I agree with all you say about the episode in my mind, but my heart says it has a flaw I can’t entirely get past.  I hope most people can get past it, and can appreciate the episode more than I can.

    And I’ve said enough.

    syzygy @thane16


    Elsewhere in the episode a waitress tells them to leave. All we can be certain of the other customers is complicity. Are they silent out of shock for who has walked into the place? Or out of tension for what they know is about to happen? The episode essentially shows three attitudes: overt racism, complacency/indifference to racism, and anti racism. That is, in fact, the range that exists.


    consider me a lost cause please, and don’t try to convince me

    That’s a concern, isn’t it? That you think you’re a “lost cause?”  🙂   I think @miapatrick said some extremely interesting points, though. The people within the state who upheld Jim Crow were, in a very short time, in a very short screen-play, complicit with racist beliefs.

    Upon re-watching  ‘Rosa,’ it merited interest because of the nature of history required in pursuit of legitimate aims. People complicit with Jim Crow, whether the young waitress, the bus-drivers, the sheriff of the County and the couple whose husband slapped Ryan threw us, deeply, into the mess of the 1950s. I, for one, recall how Medgar Evers and MLK said  to groups of listeners, “if you think racism in the deep south was changed only because of the work in the early 1960s you have one helluva history lesson to learn.”

    This was that History. Mum mentions being in Alabama in 1979 and every single person she met -with grandpa -who was obviously European  -was racist, nasty and sarcastic. They stayed a week and met not one single kind, compassionate person -they were all too scared of offending the racists.  To be there, is to know that. Now, perhaps other people with European fathers and mothers and with sons and not daughters didn’t feel that way -but it certainly was a lesson she never forgot. And neither did grandpa. He’d worked against fascists and against Communists in the 1940s/50s and so this experience shook him. He was a voracious learner, an engineer, a successful salesman but in Alabama he was “wog or dirty Jew” whilst mum, at 13, was a “whore.” In 1979!

    I think we needed the story -not because it was representational, only, but because it showed a time which was intentionally subjective. Also, it needed to use time travel to prove how effecting change right there and then would’ve blown the boycott’s plan wide open. And held things back, too long.

    T16  (thankyou for reading)

    Anonymous @

    @thane16 – I’m not commenting any further on the episode; I’m better off not thinking about it.  Sorry…

    TGSOE @tgsoe

    I was very surprised with DW going this far with a historical episode. I was not really a fan of historical episodes, but, Rosa won me over. I have great hopes for historicals in this new era.  Not as perfect as Demons, but, I love how brave it was, and how good they treated the issue.

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