Tolkien a racist?

I don’t believe so. He was against the Nazis.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
Dimitra Fimi has been a disappointing defender of Tolkien's views on racism. I've never tried to open a dialog with her (we're friends on Facebook) about this because I feel it would detract from the message she is trying to convey.

She's right on virtually every point she makes. But she misses so many other important points.

I wrote about Tokien, racism, and The Lord of the Rings years ago on the Middle-earth Blog - really, before it became a topic popular with the news media. I've updated "Was J.R.R. Tolkien A Racist" several times since 2012.

J.R.R. Tolkien himself spoke out against racism in his lifetime, such as when he gave this address while introducing his successor:

Quote:If we consider what Merton College and what the Oxford School of English owes to the Antipodes, to the Southern Hemisphere, especially to scholars born in Australia and New Zealand, it may well be felt that it is only just that one of them should now ascend an Oxford chair of English. Indeed it may be thought that justice has been delayed since 1925. There are of course other lands under the Southern Cross. I was born in one; though I do not claim to be the most learned of those who have come hither from the far end of the Dark Continent. But I have the hatred of apartheid in my bones; and most of all I detest the segregation or separation of Language and Literature. I do not care which of them you think White.

And he condemned racist attitudes in his private correspondence:

Quote:… for the word [freedom] has been so abused by propaganda that it has ceased to have any value for reason and become a mere emotional dose for generating heat. At most, it would seem to imply that those who domineer over you should speak (natively) the same language – which in the last resort is all that the confused ideas of race or nation boil down to; or class, for that matter, in England. – Letter No. 81

I wish the people defending Tolkien in the media would cite these important words - words from the man himself. They don't have to make excuses or contrive wound up logic that escapes the limited perspective of people who want to accuse Tolkien of racism.

He used racism in The Lord of the Rings to illustrate the shortcomings of human society. The racists always lose. That's a powerful statement, given the "times" he lived in, to put it in words that people keep falling back on.
I just cited a hilarious letter JRRT wrote to a Nazi-era publisher in 1939 who expressed interest in The Hobbit, which sums up his feelings at least so far as 'anti-Semitism' is specifically concerned.
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