Was Tolkien Really Racist?

There have been some recent claims that the world that J.R.R. Tolkien creator reveals the racism of its creator. But was Tolkien really racist?

Dimitra Fimi has taken on this topic and is addressing the accusations in this article.

The latest media interest was triggered by a Wired podcast with fantasy fiction author Andy Duncan in which he discussed his 2002 short story Senator Bilbo, whose main character shares a name with Tolkien’s Hobbit hero, Bilbo Baggins. In it, Duncan imagines the real Senator Theodore G Bilbo — the early 20th-century, white supremacist senator of Mississippi — opposing the immigration of orcs in Tolkien’s Shire in a post-Lord of the Rings era.

This fictional senator is against any foreigner who may ‘contaminate’ the purity of the Shire. The story is a clever, well-written parody in which orcs are portrayed as misunderstood and discriminated against. But in the podcast, Duncan spoke of the ‘repeated notion in Tolkien that some races/peoples are worse than others’ and how this idea can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Is he right? Well, yes and no.

Read the full article here.

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