The finale of RWBY Ice Kingdom sends a confusing message about racism

The following contains spoilers for RWBY: Ice Queendom Episode 12, “Best Day,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

RWBY: Ice Queendome The final episode of its Japanese run was scheduled to air on 18 September with an English dub starting on 25 September. ice queendom Weiss is to address an inconsistency in Schnee’s earlier character development between RWBY section. 1 and 2, it goes the extra mile of addressing his relationship with Blake Belladonna, a phonus and a former member of White Fang. The more important question, however, is whether the series successfully tackles the topic of racism without playing in harmful tropes.


ice queendom Correctly denotes that racism is a system of racial oppression that a dominant group imposes on a less powerful group. In the world of relics, humans hold the most power and are racist against the Phonas, who are largely human in appearance but possess some animal traits as well. Some creatures have the ears of a cat or rabbit, others have a tail, some have horns and others are aquatic. While the humans on Relic are believed to have been created from the god of light and Grimm is to have been created by the god of darkness, this is not established in the main RWBY The series that produced Phonus.

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Does RWBY: Ice Queendom’s portrayal of racism gets it right

at best, RWBY: Fairy Tales This establishes that a third deity known as the god of the beasts is responsible for creating Phonus, although this is not confirmed in the main series and the idea is not revisited. ice queendom, However, what the gods establish, confirmed in the main theory, is that humans have a tendency to colonize groups they decide are inferior to themselves, resulting in resource theft, displacement, enslavement, Exploitation, genocide and erasure from history.

in chief RWBY In the series, the human colonization of the Faunus only alludes to the setting up of the Menagerie as a “reserve island” for the Faunus, and Blake describes their homeland as a reminder of their unequal status in human society. When Blake allows himself to be captured by a Nightmare Grimm as a means of fighting the Nightmare version of Weiss ice queendomShe explicitly confirms that White Fang was founded by Phonas in response to human colonization.

As Blake made it clear, this meant human theft of the Phoenician lands and their resources, and the exploitation of them for slave labor and canon fodder in human wars. Repeated violence against the Phonus community also led to radicalization of some White Fang members.

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another way ice queendom Racism as a system of oppression is accurately depicted by the mistrust that Blake has towards his human friends and the headmaster of his school, Ozpin. Despite Ozpin presenting himself as an “ally” of Phonus, both have ice queendom And in the main series, he interrogates Blake about his decision to hide his Faunus characteristics despite being aware of the violent racism that exists against Faneus at Remnant. He also inquires about his previous membership in White Fang, the way a police officer interrogates suspects at a crime scene, forcing him to justify his motivations for attending his school.

Although Ozpin goes through the motions to “reassure” Blake that Phonas has been accepted into his school, his police-like behavior does not convince him of his integrity. Instead, his behavior validates his need to lie about his past as a way of protecting himself against possible expulsion from Beacon Academy. The fact that he threatens to fight anyone who “threats the peace” in an intimidating voice does nothing to negate Blake’s need for self-preservation. The implications of rejoining White Fang with the knowledge he gained at Beacon to further the group’s initiative doesn’t go over his head.

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WHAT RWBY: Ice Queendom’s portrayal of racism gets it wrong

One thing ice queendomThe depiction of racism gets it wrong, however, as it presents Blake as being equally responsible for maintaining racial tensions by focusing only on his pain, not Weiss. Misrepresenting Blake’s outright anger at the violence plays into the myth of “reverse racism” as “selfishness” by humans in positions of power such as the Shane family. Blake’s misrepresentation of anger also hurtfully argues “extremism goes both ways,” which fails to take into account that racism – like many other systems of oppression – thrives on power imbalance, Between Weiss and Blake, only Weiss has the institutional power to effect meaningful change, while Blake can only achieve this through opposition.

whereas ice queendom Weiss taking ownership of the fact that her family’s violent exploitation harmed the Fones community, how she acknowledges that it also sends a confusing message. On the one hand, Weiss recognizes that it is up to him to work with Faunus to build a more equal society, but Faunus fails to acknowledge the need to compensate with the community. She doesn’t specifically question whether her grandfather, Nicholas Schnee, was actually the generous founder of the Schnee Dust company that she remembers. More specifically, she does not question whether her grandfather actively stole the Faunus land for Dust – it is implied by her father Jacques to begin with.

at best, ice queendom Weiss is finally committed to letting go of her internalized racism and coming to terms with her own past so she can move on. When it comes to handling racism as a topic, however, it doesn’t quite stick with the landing. for example, ice queendom Best enjoyed as a story that puts Weiss through a path of self-discovery that feels primarily in line with his later development RWBY Chain.

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