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Thread: Victoria Foyt's novel coming under fire...

  1. #51
    The colors! THE COLORS! leahzero's Avatar
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    Just thought I should point out that Victoria Foyt is a member of AW and has advertised her book here (1, 2, etc.).
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  2. #52
    Smoking Monkey Smart Arse Foinah's Avatar
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    I'm absolutely gob-smacked by this whole surreal mind-f*ck of a book.
    I haven't read it. I've read the posted excerpts and her blog spew.
    That's enough.
    This author has embarrassed herself beyond recovery. And you know what's sad? She doesn't even recognize that fact.
    This is the most dangerous form of hate speech: the innocent, wide-eyed, 'oh...no, that's not what I'm saying at all. I just looooove black people. What ever do you mean???? I got called black once.'

    My sister is black. We faced this kind of passive aggressive (often overt) racism almost daily growing up in both Ireland and the States. This book needs to have a serious "come to Jesus*" moment with a reality slap up along side the head as far as plot and veiled content goes.
    And I really hope that someday the author learns from her mistakes. I doubt it. But I can hope.

    ETA: * or any other deity that would appropriately remedy the situation. Maybe a come to Kali moment. Mayhaps Zule. Something Omnipotent to point out the error of her ways.
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  3. #53
    She blinded me--with magic! third person's Avatar
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    Question "Save The Pearls", the YA Whites vs Blacks book that claims it isn't.

    Victoria Foyt is the (white) author of a new young adult book series called Save the Pearls. The book chronicles the adventures of Eden Newman, a white woman, or a “Pearl,” whose entire race has been enslaved by the dominant race of “Coals” — or dark-skinned people. Hoping to capitalize off of the popularity of dystopian young adult novels like The Hunger Games, Foyt constructed a narrative in which, she explains, “Solar radiation has wiped out most of the white race whose lack of melanin causes them to succumb to the Heat. The survivors, called Pearls, suffer from oppression under the new majority of dark-skinned Coals.” In the new world, Eden must rely on Bramford, a Coal. As Foyt describes it, Pearls is “a Beauty and the Beast story in which both parties must find self-acceptance before they can discover true love.”

    Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com...#ixzz21ydJX3Vj
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  4. #54
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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  5. #55
    Grinding it out EarlyBird's Avatar
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    Not having read the book, I cannot comment on the content, but this quote from the blog? Oi.

    Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash.
    If such a category still exists? What, like AA's have stopped reading fiction? Um, WHAT??
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahzero View Post
    Just thought I should point out that Victoria Foyt is a member of AW and has advertised her book here (1, 2, etc.).
    I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. Dammit. Why did you have to post those links? I need a new mantra.

  7. #57
    practical experience, FTW meowzbark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    The target is white racists who fear "extinction" of the white race through interracial marriage. I know~ It's all so scary... people from other races are marrying each other. *heavy sarcasm* ('cause if I didn't use sarcasm I would be ranting nonstop...)

    Oh and I think it's kinda brilliant that she thinks that Latinos and Asians made it in society somehow as a model race because they get gemstone names. (Gag me) And of course Coal. What? the internet was broken that day that you couldn't look up "Black gemstones"? and then you said Oh well, let's choose something else black--hmmm... my non-white housekeeper can help me write this book.... let me ask her. Wait, the door is (F*ing) jammed I got this black soot on my hands. I'll have to use words with my house keeper. Wait... soot, dust... but I need a solid object... COAL! Yes. Wasn't that a slur...? No matter. Short, coal it is. My Housekeeper will have my back later. I can use her as an excuse to use this, because she's a person of color--wait I don't see color except Barrack Obama.

    *Arrggghhh*



    Yes, I found this in Korea, Japan and China too. Makes me sad...

    So, for example, in Korea, if you know English, you are more likely to get a job. Went to a White US college? (Which is how Koreans viewed America before Barrack Obama... I've been tracking it...) You are more likely to get a job. Freckles are considered ugly. Nose jobs are done to make people look more white. Eye surgery for the double eye lid (Korea, Japan and China). Lighter skin is treasured more in all three mentioned countries. If you speak English they want to hire you. English shows play at least some part of the day all day around. (Hong Kong, Japan, Korea--parts of China, though this is from reports more I've gotten.)

    In fact, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan do a lot more cultural exchange than Canada and the US does... there are TV shows that are imported wholesale between the countries and subbed freely. One of the biggest hits in Japan was a Korean TV show, Winter Sonata. Korea, in turn, imported a bunch of Japanese TV shows which also were popular.

    Apartheid anyone?

    US? No. Could they import, say Mexican shows on TV. Sure. They could also import French Canadian. Run subtitles on Japanese anime late in the night. Run subtitles on something *not* in English. But you get the point. White is often considered default in other countries and they are aware of the pervasiveness of English and see it as a "White" language.
    ***

    There is this thing among white extremists where they are afraid their race will go "extinct". (Which gives me a whole other type of headache several parts cultural anthropology...). This book seems to be an embodiment of that thinking.

    From her article... (Which is not a good read--it gives me a massive headache):


    I don't even... what... where... *shakes head* I'm crying out how could someone even go here? AND then make it worse by blackface? Can I say it? WTF is wrong with her?

    I'm glad it's getting slammed on amazon and goodreads. I wonder if the 30-something odd good reviews are her friends who are also racist, but I'll try to be mature and not go there. Though her article on Huffington post also makes her seem like she's against QUILTBAG too. (And no, I didn't miss the bit where she's all blacks are only good for changing oil.)

    Did she even research? I feel like I need bleach for my brain, a strong sledge hammer, a lobotomy, and a good fetal position to get this trash out of my head. I can't think of a time that I didn't know better.

    And I hope that someone would have the sense to outright call me racist if I ever pulled any kind of S*t like this. Seriously. Please.
    I think few Americans would tolerate a mainstream television show NOT in English and its not because of racism. Its also the same reason we are practically the only country that doesn't use the metric system. Also not because of racism. We'd rather the rest of the world change than for us to change. Americans are proud to be "English" but this pride doesn't necessarily equal "white and English." So please don't lump everyone into that.

    And I think the author isn't knowingly racist, but I think her remarks are incredibly racist. I think she's ignorant and short-sighted. She didn't do her research at all. She doesn't understand how sensitive people are on this issue. She has no comprehension as to how much "blackface" offended people when a child did it earlier in the year as a costume and that people will be way less tolerant of an adult doing the same thing.

    I think that there's a possibility that her book is also good (as in entertaining and thought provoking). Many dystopian books are inherently racist, political, and emphasize the dangers of censorship and communism. It's part of the genre to offend people.

    BUT, I think she's damaging the imaging of her book just as fast as Sarah Palin damaged John McCain's run for president. This is not going to end well for her.
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  8. #58
    She blinded me--with magic! third person's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJD View Post
    Thanks, looked everywhere but that section for where to put this. Mods, merge or delete--up to you!
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  9. #59
    Worst song played on ugliest guitar Libbie's Avatar
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    Delurking just for a moment to say: What the fuck? Seriously? Who thought this was a good idea?

  10. #60
    Snakecakes cryaegm's Avatar
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    The more I read about this--from what I did earlier today--the more I become sad and can't figure out what she was thinking. I'm not sure if I want to know what she was thinking. There's so much what-the-fuckery going on, it hurts my head.

    And a lot of the excerpts that have been posted don't make a lot of sense or go with the premise/blurb.

    I want to say sorry that this exists.

    ETA: Might not be much and sort of off-topic, but Web of Trust (an add-on for Firefox, and I think Chrome) has a "Warning! This site has poor reputation" thing for Sand Dollar Press. I just thought I'd share.
    Last edited by cryaegm; 07-29-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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  11. #61
    She blinded me--with magic! third person's Avatar
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    And yet the more people breathe fire about it.....the more popular it will become. Nothing sells in America like controversy. Sigh.
    "My beauty shalt wilt, unseen,
    save for twin black eyes that shalt come to take
    my soul to peace...or Hell for company."

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    The website for Sand Dollar Press says they have a background in independent filmmaking which gives them "a fresh outlook on marketing ... video book trailers and viral campaigns, coupled with expertise in marketing, public relations, and social media strategy, that results in the unrivalled execution of book launches."
    Hold on. That sounds familiar. Wasn't there a start-up company essentially soliciting here with the same self-description, oh, about April-wise?
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  13. #63
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    I'll transfer this to the PoC room for a merge. I believe that thread has quite a bit of response already.
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  14. #64
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meowzbark View Post
    I think that there's a possibility that her book is also good (as in entertaining and thought provoking). Many dystopian books are inherently racist, political, and emphasize the dangers of censorship and communism. It's part of the genre to offend people.
    Particularly why I avoid the dystopian genre. It is ego-stroke fodder for the unsoddened.

  15. #65
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by third person View Post
    In that article she says this:
    Otherwise, I'm happily surprised to say there has been not a blip of protest.
    Give it time, honey!

    I'm glad to see the backlash is coming hard and thick now.
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  16. #66
    Blessed by the AW Gods Jessianodel's Avatar
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    Okay I have to admit I haven't read the article, but this is just a reaction to the original post.

    One, it sounds horrible and insensitive. Save the Pearls? From the big bad mean Coals who want to kill them off or some shit? Really? Really?

    I cannot even fathom that someone went through the whole difficult process of creating this series and it never once occurred to them that it may be, um, a bad idea? And blackface models? I'm not even going to watch that video.

    How can anyone honestly think this would all go over smoothly?

    Okay I'm going to go somewhere else now because I'm agitated.
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  17. #67
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    I checked out another entry on her HuffPost blog.


    This sentence is a stark reminder of where the author comes from:

    The actress, Claire Pfister, a real find with the right amount of edge and appeal, is the perfect Eden Newman. Stunningly beautiful as she is, in the post-apocalyptic world of the book, she'd be considered ugly and oppressed.
    Note how the actresses beauty, as Eden, is taken as a given; it IS so. Just the Coals' perception of her beauty is false! So, white beauty is the real beauty.

    This is the attitude that has had black girls self-hating themselves from the very beginning, and is still very much in place. I know: I was one of those girls.

    It's interesting how a statement no doubt written in all innocence can reveal subtle layers of racism!

    I notice, too, that comments to her HP blog posts have been blocked. I wonder if she did this herself, or HuffPost?
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  18. #68
    I'm a sparkly fairy princess! bettielee's Avatar
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    I pretty much have many things to say... most of them not nice. Those videos on youtube, by the way, all white folk. Many with half their face in blackface. Oh my gawd. The insanity. I just ... oh gawd....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. I will take the mature path. Dammit. Why did you have to post those links? I need a new mantra.
    See... I said this to myself over and over and then... I read that "essay" and pretty much wanted to vomit.... this below

    Otherwise, I'm happily surprised to say there has been not a blip of protest.
    made me go to Amazon....and after scrolled through pages and pages of filibuster of the "editorial reviews" section, usually supplied by the "publisher" I came to the user reviews

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  19. #69
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    Here are a few more excerpts from the book. I see that she is a member and has recently been active here but this book.. just because you have good intent, good intent doesn't mean a thing by the way. Many people who have done and said horrible things had 'good intent'. These are all from separate places in the book. One's I posted earlier were from Chapter 1.


    .

    .

    .
    Colour blindness is a thing white people tend to say a lot. It's insulting. It's harmful and it's a luxury only white people can have being the dominant race and all.

    .

    .


    The problem with this book isn't that it's 'post-apolocyptic' or to quote someone earlier, "I think that there's a possibility that her book is also good (as in entertaining and thought provoking). Many dystopian books are inherently racist, political, and emphasize the dangers of censorship and communism. It's part of the genre to offend people.". The problem is that from passages in this book she is speaking from a very uneducated privileged position.

    Yes dystopians are controversial but the difference between this and Malorie Blackman's is Marlorie knows her subject, she constructed a believable world. It's an actual dystopian, it won't really offend anyone because of how good Marlorie Blackman is as a writer, she knows her stuff.

    But if you read the passages from the first chapter, it's quite obvious the authors is using the world as an excuse to use racial words against PoC because even in this world shes created she hasn't reversed the roles at all. Eden speaks from a place of white privilege regardless, she treats PoC exactly the same as PoC are treated in this world. Nothing has really changed except the scenery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meowzbark View Post
    I think few Americans would tolerate a mainstream television show NOT in English and its not because of racism. Its also the same reason we are practically the only country that doesn't use the metric system. Also not because of racism. We'd rather the rest of the world change than for us to change. Americans are proud to be "English" but this pride doesn't necessarily equal "white and English." So please don't lump everyone into that.

    And I think the author isn't knowingly racist, but I think her remarks are incredibly racist. I think she's ignorant and short-sighted. She didn't do her research at all. She doesn't understand how sensitive people are on this issue. She has no comprehension as to how much "blackface" offended people when a child did it earlier in the year as a costume and that people will be way less tolerant of an adult doing the same thing.

    I think that there's a possibility that her book is also good (as in entertaining and thought provoking). Many dystopian books are inherently racist, political, and emphasize the dangers of censorship and communism. It's part of the genre to offend people.

    BUT, I think she's damaging the imaging of her book just as fast as Sarah Palin damaged John McCain's run for president. This is not going to end well for her.
    As for English, I would refer you to the whole debate about language being a tool for oppression. You can find such things on Ted talks, talks about the validity of Spanglish, and also refer you to the whole Hispanics must learn English. (Or as my ex-co-workers put it, white people calling them from the Mid US and telling them straight to their fluent speaking mouths/hearing ears, "Learn English. Go back to Mexico [racist slur]") Or how the Japanese tried to ban the use of Korean and Korean names in Korea during the Japanese occupation. Or as some people like to tell me (and you'll see this often with Asian racism) "This is America." and "You speak English good." (Dearie, it's "well") Like I wasn't speaking it for years. Language is a tool for expressing racism and superiority, or did you forget the whole BAE arguments of the late 1990's. (For the uneducated they termed it "Ebonics" in the news, but I'm more PC than that) I sure didn't.

    Language can be used to erase culture and identity... it teaches ways to think about the world... and I know that because when I learned Japanese, Korean, French and other languages, I find myself trying to adjust the way I think and move through space. Language and the insistence of language is often used to erase cultures, as was often debated in the Phillipino movies where the discussion about Taglish v. Tagalog and how that has played into perceptions of class and the pervasiveness of English does dominate the upper class. (Which, BTW, is the SAE version). Singapore movies (because I was watching worldwide movies) also addresses these problems. And I spotted it in Indian movies too...

    As I said, Korea is a DIFFERENT country from China with an unrelated language. Spanish is closer related to English than Chinese to Korean, so it's not practicality insomuch as it is naiveté and enjoying being at the top of the economic class with a language that is a lingua franca and imposing what is SAE (Which, for the most part is dominated by a White Middle Class... didn't see that coming, did you?) before that is was SBE (also dominated by the Working class, for the most part... but that goes more to classicism in Great Britain.)

    In reverse, when you learn a foreign language, you have to learn about the culture and usages too. By the majority of Americans not having to remember a foreign language (I believe it was 70% by last count didn't know a foreign language) and learning by and large the SAE version of English, it means that one doesn't have to think too hard about racial/cultural differences if one is not exposed to a different culture. (When I learned French, I also learned about Creole and thus deepened my love and understanding of Zora Neale Hurston, for example.) Language can open new doors... so I don't think it's practicality insomuch as deliberate ignorance. (See naive)

    But this is getting more into the anthropology of things. I also had this extensively covered in Ethnic Studies Classes. So I'll leave it with hopefully you thinking.

    Quality of the book beyond the racism... see me at the end of the post. I got words for the first chapter, even if you remove all of the racism. (Which, BTW is hard).

    Quote Originally Posted by aruna View Post
    In that article she says this:

    Give it time, honey!

    I'm glad to see the backlash is coming hard and thick now.
    She's getting slammed. But I fear for our lives, because she says this is a SERIES.
    ***
    Going through the first chapter on Writing Quality:
    1. Peach? Really?
    Besides the obvious racism... you know... why the hell did you choose Peach? I know, I know... internet was broken that day and your white readers didn't spank you in the first round.
    2. By page 3, she's right into a flashback and info dump for a whole few pages. Is this a no-no or what? You are forced to dillute your verbs with had.
    3. By page 4: All right, oppressed white people can afford to ride a hovercraft--If I remember right, when I was a kid and rode a hovercraft it was expensive. My mom actually bitched about the price to ride one. The fact that someone poor could ride a hovercraft when they are expensive to upkeep for all extensive purposes... What is that? They seem to be living the rich life to me. (When I rode one, once in my entire life, my WHITE parents (I ain't white--my adoptive parents are.) spent the entire ride describing how expensive they were.)
    4. WTH, "Pearls feared the light?" I have to wonder at this point if she's trying to be "smart" about religious overtures.
    5. The only personal decision she's ever made was to wear a copper earring. Uh-huh. That's oppression. Really?
    6. By page 6, still info dumping. Didn't you learn about Info dumping? Do not do. You INTEGRATE. Repeat with me INTEGRATE.
    7. WTH... only white people have blonde hair and blue eyes... OMG... What? People can't have, ya know brown hair? black hair? ginger hair? brown eyes? Or is that confusing the whole Hitler White Aryan supremacy thing... OK, I'll get back to to the writing.
    8. Finally Info dump ends at page 7. I've seen newbie writers do better than that. They even put info dump into prologues better.
    9. *ignore racial slur, ignore racial slur*
    10. Huh? We're in another flashback, are you serious? I just got OUT of the previous flashback and now we're back in one? I just got out two paragraphs ago.
    11. Flash back to a flash forward on the same page, 10. No. You do not talk about what might happen. You talk in present terms. It engages the reader more.
    12. Flash forward to another flashback? Now I'm just confused. I have no idea where in the timeline I am. And why is her oppressed father a scientist while the black people, ya know the ones in power assistants? (And women to boot) *face drag*
    13.
    Voluptuous, with raisin-colored skin, everything about Ashina screamed ruling class.
    WTH *raisin-colored* skin. First, off, raisins come in many colors, secondly, you couldn't frggin' think of a better name than to name it after a fruit? You know.. a FOOD. There is Ebony... there is mahogany... there is obsidian... onyx... you know, those gemstones you couldn't bother to look up. Raisin? You had to go with something that's dried and wrinkled? Really? Raisin. Huh? Even past the racial slur implied, are you really going to imply skin is like a raisin? That's what happens when you get out of a bath. And that's Beautiful to you? Wrinkled. Really?
    14.
    Since their numbers hadn't been decimated in The Great Meltdown, as the other races' had, they now ruled the planet.
    Grammar error, first real paragraph on page 9. Attribution error. If you need to understand why, watch Jon Stewart on Barrack Obama on That and those. Barrack Obama, the black man that you used to excuse yourself as not racist.
    15. Sorry, but Cotton is better than Coal. Not to mention that Cotton was historically linked to racism too. You know, for the oppression of blacks in the American South or Why Texas became a state and America fought with Mexico. (Tsk. I got that one in Grade School.) Also, calling Albinos "Cottons"--I don't know where to begin with that. TT They also have issues... (Ted talks) though it's not so much racism category as it is dealing with people with disabilities category.
    16. Feminism issue. Cut off period is 18? Really? Racism AND sexism. Yay. All right, she's trying to make a point about "blacks get pregnant more often as teens." durr I guess she didn't watch MTV where there are an equal amount of races in that show about pregnant teens that are both black white and so on. (But OMG, there are interracial couples too... which is probably why she didn't watch it)
    17. Sorry, but that little bit isn't racism where she calls you out for poor work ethic. She doesn't know racism if it hit her square between the eyes. It's the little things, like thinking you're not beautiful because you're surrounded... through systemic racism in billboards, etc.
    18. Page 10... at least she stayed in the present. Dialogue is lazy. Italics are lazy (I've ranted about the use of italics) Eden is still treating Ashina as if she's inferior. Doesn't work. Sorry.

    Let me summarize the first chapter.
    Oppressed white people live underground and can afford to ride (and possibly own) hovercrafts. (Which, BTW, are expensive as hell). Her father is a scientist, despite the fact that her race is supposed to be oppressed. (You know: barring education, having trouble finding a job, etc.) They spend all their time inside, but still black face anyway. And more than half the chapter is done in flashback and flash forwards in rapid succession that I have no idea which way is up. The plot is in summary an excuse to call a black person a "bitch" and a "Coal". Main character comes off as whiny and can't rise above the racism and instead succumbs to it. And the women are insipid as hell. What is wrong with the women? They are all assistants. And women have to mate by the age of 18 which is supposed to be some kind of smart view on teenage pregnancy wiping out the white race in our world. (See earlier comment about Hispanics).

    So, no, even if you ignore the racism, does this chapter even close to stand up to something like a good writing standard. The whole climax of the chapter is her getting angry. Gandhi? Martin Luther King? Malcolm X after he returned? Any of those could have helped. What's scary about any prejudice is that you are so helpless in the face of it. You know it's ingrained into society and changing it is so hard. This first chapter fails that and makes some basic writing mistakes.
    Last edited by Rachel Udin; 07-29-2012 at 12:23 PM.

  21. #71
    practical experience, FTW meowzbark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    As for English, I would refer you to the whole debate about language being a tool for oppression. You can find such things on Ted talks, talks about the validity of Spanglish, and also refer you to the whole Hispanics must learn English. (Or as my ex-co-workers put it, white people calling them from the Mid US and telling them straight to their fluent speaking mouths/hearing ears, "Learn English. Go back to Mexico [racist slur]") Or how the Japanese tried to ban the use of Korean and Korean names in Korea during the Japanese occupation. Or as some people like to tell me (and you'll see this often with Asian racism) "This is America." and "You speak English good." (Dearie, it's "well") Like I wasn't speaking it for years. Language is a tool for expressing racism and superiority, or did you forget the whole BAE arguments of the late 1990's. (For the uneducated they termed it "Ebonics" in the news, but I'm more PC than that) I sure didn't.
    (I didn't want to quote the whole thing because it is long.)

    So, no, even if you ignore the racism, does this chapter even close to stand up to something like a good writing standard. The whole climax of the chapter is her getting angry. Gandhi? Martin Luther King? Malcolm X after he returned? Any of those could have helped. What's scary about any prejudice is that you are so helpless in the face of it. You know it's ingrained into society and changing it is so hard. This first chapter fails that and makes some basic writing mistakes.
    You make great points. You are definitely correct that Americans using only English can definitely be seen as a form of oppression. My only point was that it wasn't racism as it doesn't matter what race the speaker is, only the language. I've heard people get just as offended by French or German speakers in places as Spanish - some people just don't like to hear anything but English.

    And, thank you for pointing out the poor quality of the writing/plot. Personally, that convinces me more to not read the book than the subject matter. I try to distance myself from the drama authors create and focus on the story. If the story sucks - well, it's a lost cause.
    Last edited by meowzbark; 07-29-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  22. #72
    She blinded me--with magic! third person's Avatar
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    Reading those excerpts in a previous post, when I see the author shifts from "pearls" to "white people" and back it becomes SUPER CLEAR what this is really about. Not even thinly-veiled. The veil failed.
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettielee View Post
    made me go to Amazon....and after scrolled through pages and pages of filibuster of the "editorial reviews" section, usually supplied by the "publisher" I came to the user reviews

    and



    Of the 137 one star reviews on this book, 134 of them occurred after this story went viral on July 27th from the reviews mentioned in the OP and also from people in this thread who probably think they are helping. Over 20 of the ones I looked at had only 1 review to the account's name. I gave up looking after that.

    I have a feeling the author is just a terrible interviewer, and the video may be misguided but it apparently does reflect the types of characters represented in the book. I have found the SF City Review of her book, which appears to have been moved on their site from its original location, and after checking the source for most of the 3-5 star reviews, those appear to be legitimate as well.

    I feel like I should be learning a lesson from this, but I'm at a loss for what. I certainly have new appreciation for how quickly a 4.5+ star, award-winning book can be turned into a 1.9 star book with a few creative usages of sockpuppet accounts on Amazon.

    Are you ladies and gentlemen absolutely sure this woman is trying to push a racist agenda down your throats? Is it possible that she is merely trying to appeal to the types of readers in her community that may not be able to empathize with minority views? She may be doing it incompetently (I have no idea), but the legitimate book reviews out there and the Eric Hoffer Award appear to--at least on the surface--say otherwise.

    And exactly when did we reach the point where we forgot what constituted the infuriating parts of blackface? It wasn't just that actors painted their faces black. It was the stereotypical behaviors expressed once the actors took it on. It was the mockery. It was the flagrant racism. When I was growing up, I was taught that it was the fact that African Americans could not become actors and white people used the facepaint to misrepresent and mock generations of African Americans in both stage performances and movies. I was under the impression that there has to be intent to defame, mock, stereotype, or something like that--for instance to caricature one of the 8 common racist black stereotypes.

    I'm not seeing this in the videos. She seems to be trying to have the actress assume the role of a person who has to change her skin color to be accepted into society. Is it believable? Eh. But it reminds me a lot of the theme of Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd.

    The writing quality points raised in this thread aside, I'm not sure I'm seeing maliciousness here. I'd have to read the book to make any kind of judgement over the "pearl" versus "coal" thing. In a post-apocalyptic world, coal might be more valuable than a pearl could ever hope to be. Coal would offer fire and an energy source. A pearl might be nothing more than decoration in the author's fictional world. It would depend on how she used it, imo. It would seem highly odd for me, as a reader, to see an oppressed people being called "pearls" by a privileged class unless the oppressed were actually seen as pretty things used for decoration or status symbols.

  24. #74
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexJameson View Post

    Are you ladies and gentlemen absolutely sure this woman is trying to push a racist agenda down your throats?
    No. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. I think she was probably sincerely trying to put herself into the position of an oppressed person, a victim of racism, but was unable to let go of her own very established attitudes of privilege and white superiority, as in: finer, more beautiful, more refined, more intelligent.

    It's a "what if" situation: "what if" the finer, more beautiful, etc race were to be oppressed by the more animalist, more bestial, more primitive race?

    I don't think she was consciously trying to push an agenda down our throats. I think these are unconscious fears, so much a part of her psyche she isn't even aware of them.

    Is it possible that she is merely trying to appeal to the types of readers in her community that may not be able to empathize with minority views? She may be doing it incompetently (I have no idea), but the legitimate book reviews out there and the Eric Hoffer Award appear to--at least on the surface--say otherwise.
    Yes. She is tryig to appeal to readers who harbour similar fears. In no universe could she believe that this would go down well with black readers. And if she did believe that -- well, then she needs to learn a lot, because that would be just stupid.




    The writing quality points raised in this thread aside, I'm not sure I'm seeing maliciousness here. I'd have to read the book to make any kind of judgement over the "pearl" versus "coal" thing. In a post-apocalyptic world, coal might be more valuable than a pearl could ever hope to be. Coal would offer fire and an energy source. A pearl might be nothing more than decoration in the author's fictional world. It would depend on how she used it, imo. It would seem highly odd for me, as a reader, to see an oppressed people being called "pearls" by a privileged class unless the oppressed were actually seen as pretty things used for decoration or status symbols.
    It's possible.
    But is this value-reversal made perfectly clear in the novel, are are you just conjecturing that it could be so? If it were the case that coal is more precious than pearls in the novel, should this not be explained in the marketing? Since it is not explained in the marketing, we have to assume it's not the case in the novel.

    And so we have to assume: in the world of the book, and for readers, pearls are more precious than coal. And the message coming out of that is clear.
    Last edited by aruna; 07-29-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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  25. #75
    I'm a sparkly fairy princess! bettielee's Avatar
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    Well, there are not 134 people in this thread, and I do no believe AWers are the ones behind this "conspiracy" as you seem to be saying. This is all over the web, and people are pretty horrified at the authors comments and the very poor judgement of anyone putting on blackface as a marketing tool. Go out there, read the blogs, follow the links. I haven't found anything positive about this book.

    This is not even thinly veiled racisim - it is straight up and down, in your face, obvious SAVE THE WHITE PEOPLE FROM THE BIG BEASTLY BLACK PEOPLE! Serious author judgement fail. Serious racial sensitivity fail.

    One review says it all "...what is this I don't even...."


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