Tag Archives: racism

Musings on privilege

4 May

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend about politics, sexism, authoritarianism, and more. At one point, he mentioned that he despises the way privilege is often deployed to shut people up.

Which is a fair criticism, as we’ve all seen cries of “privilege” used to police what other people say and how they say it.

On the other hand, privilege exists, most people have at least some in one area or another, and it shields them from other people’s experiences and suffering.

Thing is, people rarely see their own privilege, however limited it may be, and therefore tend not to be receptive when it’s pointed out to them.

Like, say, people who have the privilege of choosing what they engage with, and how. Another form privilege manifests is in what we even see happening in the world around us.

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White people, do not do this

21 Jan

This past weekend, that hateful “March for Life,” wherein right wing organizations and schools bus people in to DC to march for the “right” of men to control the lives of anyone born with an uterus, took place concurrently with the Indigenous Peoples March.

One of the schools that sent teens and chaperones to march this year was Covington Catholic High School, an all-male private school in Kentucky. There are long and terrible threads on twitter¹ with personal stories of survivors from both the school and the all-girls school across the street, which Covington assholes have nicknamed “whore school.” Charming boys, no?

At one point, a fairly large group of kids from Covington was facing off with four older members of another hate group, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and things were tense and likely heading to violence, when Omaha Elder Nathan Phillips, on his way to closing the Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial, intervened, placing himself between the two groups–and becoming the target of the white kids’ ire, once they were deprived of their original target.

There is video² and a plethora of articles about this harassment. There are interviews with witnesses AND with Nathan Phillips. Go google them.

There are also people defending the “boys” or rather, specifically, the white male teen wearing a MAGA hat, smirking with hateful disdain to the face of an elderly Native man.

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Making lists, checking them twice.

27 Aug

This post has existed in draft form for…well, yikes, almost two full years. Something came to light yesterday, that made me come back to it. And you, lucky readers, get to read my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before here and elsewhere, I do have a list of authors who, in my opinion, behave badly.¹  And, since my time, emotional labor, energy, and money, are limited, I quite simply refuse to even try their work. It’s still, at least in this small area, a free country.

By the same token, I have a much, much, much longer list of incredible people who are authors who will always get my support.

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Collective racial violence in the US

15 Aug

This is a collection of resources on the long and terrible history of racial violence against Black people in the US. Originally a twitter thread, starting here, by Professor Walter D Greason. I have added a couple more links, for specific instances mentioned by other people, as I’ve remembered them.

There is a lot–A LOT–of deeply disturbing imagery in these links and videos. This is what white people have done, and continue to do, to Black people in this country, without remorse–indeed, feeling morally justified and protected by law–for centuries.

(Note: I’m including some links at the end, regarding racial violence toward other groups)

I will continue to update this as I learn more.

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Traditional publishing, and the risks thereof

26 May

Originally posted to the Literature forum at MyMedia.

I’ve written here, more than once, about genre romance being the single most successful genre in publishing. Not too long ago, genre romance accounted for about 40% of income for traditional publishers.¹

Since the late 70s/early 80s, romance sales have floated other fiction at pretty much all the big houses. To this day, many of the big advance names in so-called literary fiction never earned those advances back–while romance writers of the same caliber routinely do.

Those literary books may earn all the important prizes, and get lots of review space in the big papers, while romance is generally dismissed as pabulum and ‘mommy porn.’

But everyone in publishing knows that the money comes from genre fiction, and that genre romance brings in the lion’s share of the revenue.

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Devastated.

9 Nov

Whatever social progress was made in the last six decades in the USoA?

Pretty much sure to be gone within six months. The Voting Rights Act was gutted, and the next President elect is a misogynist, a xenophobe, a racist, an ignoramus, a compulsive liar, who says things like “I will consult myself first, because I have a very good brain, and I have said things,” with a straight face. But hey, he’s a white cis philanderer who’s proud of how he can grab women’s genitals, because he’s a ‘celebrity.’

The fate of the planet in the face of a US President who believes climate change is a hoax?

Yeah, I should start making plans to move inland from Florida soon.

And I don’t even want to think about what is going to happen to the world’s economy with this…this waste of space plutocrat wannabe and his cadre of self serving ass-kissers in power in the USoA for dog knows how long.

It sure looks like all that ‘post-racial’ society crap was indeed a very thin veneer barely covering hatred.

May the universe have pity on us all.

More on race, reading, writing, and publishing.

22 Aug

Originally posted to the Literature section of MyMedia,
as part of the race in literature thread

Justine Labarlestier, a YA author, has a wonderful essay on Reading While White, about her own evolution, as a white author, on the matter of race. I do hope you follow the link and read the whole thing, but here are a couple of short-ish quotes, to give you an idea:

For years the response to my books—glowing reviews, award nominations, fan letters from People of Colour—supported my belief that I was doing good.

I had read critiques of the white saviour complex but was sure they didn’t apply to me. But one day in early 2009 a black woman blogger wrote a critique of my novel Liar.

Liar has a black teen protagonist. The blogger wrote that the book hurt her, that it was full of painful tropes, and that she would not read anything else I wrote unless it was not about People of Colour because I could not be trusted with the stories of anyone who isn’t white. Further, that she wasn’t going to read any more books with PoC protags by white people because we always get it wrong.

I felt like I’d been punched.

It was the most painful criticism any of my books had ever received and I’ve had reviews call for my books to be burnt and me to be slapped.

I sent the critique to several friends so they could reassure me she was wrong.

Yes, in the face of someone literally stating she had been hurt by the racist tropes in my book, all I wanted was reassurance. I thought my hurt feelings were more important than her actual pain.

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