From a conversation I began and forgot two weeks ago...
..This is somewhat interesting. I'm actually on my way into deeper realms of this dimension. In particular I'm considering all of the NeoVictorian everything as a useful countercultual metaphor / narrative/ critique of the failures of globalism. I suspect that there's more than a bit of white boy worry going on here, which for people like myself amounts to little more than 'hey are you sure your sensitive oppressed little soul can handle this?'. That's especially the case when such white boy worry anticipates rather than reacts. I mean you just can't win as a white boy, which is why criticism is always better than prior restraint. (In general anyway). Of course I understand that some folks are doomed to only think of themselves as white boys, more's the pity.
All that said, I agree that the entire culture vulture argument is wrong and always has been wrong. And the presumption that cultural artifacts can serve political purposes is faulty as well. Either it's racist terrorism & propaganda or it's not. Everybody's mileage varies, but not by race. I just went over this matter in my head a couple weeks ago viz Resident Evil 5, and it was bad, but it was the kind of bad that was clearly artistically bad. Any attempt to read a political intent into that is foolish.
I'm also going to qualify myself via the 'six pounds of racism' excuse because although I've not read all of Kipling, I've yet to find something in him that makes me all queasy. Again, I don't put a lot of stock in post-colonial narratives of oppression. There might be enough racism in all that to give some folks the vapors, but that's hardly criminal facilitation.
Korman, I presume you are referring to Pynchon's Against the Day re: female airship pilots etc. If it's whitewashing history, then it's only another form of revisionism. I mean have you actually read Molefi Asante? I think any historical fiction is just as fair game as science fiction and the more any writer tries to make of the races of their characters in any contemporary political context, the more they are writing themselves out of the ultimate humanities.
I haven't been influenced by any racialist reading of Tolkein but I can't give that bit any more cred than I would of a literal interpretation of the meaning of putting sentient animals into any story. I mean who of us are actually hares and who of us are tortoises?
I have encountered a rather stilted Barbie system in EVE Online, which I have on trial at the moment. And I've played enough RPGs to judge how strict their racialisms are. But I have never encountered one that warrants prior restraint that wasn't transparently racist propaganda. The only thing that comes immediately to mind is Ghetto-opoly, which crashed and burned in a matter of weeks.
I am ultimately convinced that any writer sufficiently in touch with the actual nature of humanity should have no problem writing out any length of work strictly within their 'own' ethnic realm. I was even relatively certain of this back in 1989 when I was writing the Great American Black Novel...