It suffices to say that we are living in turbulent times. As of this writing, the United States finds itself viscerally reacting and responding to the tragic death of George Floyd, a Black American who was murdered by Minneapolis police on camera. His death, witnessed now by the world, is but a single event that exemplifies centuries of systematic oppression and violence against Black Americans and indeed Black people across the world.
At Goonhammer we condemn the violence perpetrated against Black people and all minorities and support those that are working to effect change in society that will lead to greater justice.
At the same time, during times like these we must also look inward at our own communities, ask the difficult questions, and speak out when we see injustice being perpetrated. A founding principle at Goonhammer was to strive for a more diverse and inclusive hobby and community. So it is necessary at times to shine a light when members of our community are the targets of racism or other forms of discrimination. Recently, Josh Mallett posted on Instagram recounting his own experiences with racism as a Warhammer player.
In particular, he recalls an incident at the Warhammer Weekender where Tony Cottrell, Forge World lead at the time and current Old World project lead, publicly made a blatantly racist remark about Josh and made him feel alienated in a hobby he has devoted so much time and energy to. Watching this video made me feel physically ill as I thought about the pain inflicted on Josh by an uncaring act of racism by an erstwhile leader in our hobby and representative of Games Workshop. What Tony Cottrell did to Josh is abhorrent. The entire video is embedded below:
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I’m sharing this video to talk about something that’s been happening for a very very long time and isn’t exclusive to America but world wide. Slavery has been around for 100’s years and black slavery was only abolished about 3 generations ago. Yet people like me and other ethnic minorities have had to deal with this for a long time. With the recent killings in America I wanted to talk openly about racism and in the #warhammercommunity so if you actually care about me and my community and the people who live around you please listen. #blacklivesmatter #warhammer40k #warhammer30k #warhammer30000 #horusheresy
We thank Josh for his courage in speaking out about such a difficult subject and wish to honor him by responding to his call to action. We ask that Games Workshop acknowledge the incident Josh has recounted, apologize for its occurrence, and take demonstrable action to ensure that no incident like it will happen again. We encourage our readers to do the same and to do what they can to hold Games Workshop accountable for fostering a diverse and inclusive Warhammer community.
The only way to effect greater change it to start with communities where we live, work and play. Through the accumulation of our collective actions, tomorrow can be better than today. Let’s do what we can to avoid the grim darkness of the future.
Black Lives Matter.