Tolkien has often been accused of racism, because of his descriptions of Orcs, Haradrim and Easterlings, etc.. Anotherone of the main reasons for these accusations was a statement in one of his letters:
|The Orcs are definitely stated to be corruptions of the 'human' form seen in Elves and Men. They are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes: in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types.|
|Letters # 210|
But if we see Tolkien's statements in their historical and mythological context, little remains that can seriously be considered racism from Tolkien's side. If we accept Tolkien's declared intention, that he wanted to "create a mythology for England" as true, his tales (or at least part of them) would have to be closely connected to the "oral tradition" brought to England by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes (which was "history" back then rather than "mythology"). And if we keep in mind the main cause for their migration to England - the invasion of the Huns - we get a pretty good explanation. How would the Huns, who killed the people of the Goths and burned down their houses be described by them (or their descendants)? Probably as "sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes: in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types"...