The RWA is at it again. Last time it celebrated Nazis. Now its Wounded Knee. What's up with the racist genocide?

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ElaineA

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Books like this are what gives conservative a bad name… I’m conservative, and extremely so, and my posts in this thread show what I think of this.
Critique can and should happen from the inside of every genre community. I write at the opposite end of the spectrum--erotic and high heat romance--and boy, have we been through years of conversation (both within and outside of the genre) and shifting the norms on consent and abuse. As for At Love's Command, I have seen some excellent commentary and breakdowns on this book's shortcomings from people who are definitely spiritually Christian (including yours). Ron Hogan, who is a long-standing blogger with deep roots in the romance blogging and general internet community, and who, I think (?) identifies himself as Quaker, has done two detailed twitter threads (including references to specific scripture): one here, the other here. I found them very thoughtful and well-argued.

My anger is most definitely reserved for those I consider writing professionals (writers, editors, publishers, book reviewers) doubling, tripling, quadrupling down in defense of this author and this plot device by basically saying critics are bullying, haven't read the book, don't understand, are holier than thou, etc. There has been a scarcity of public self-critique from within the "Inspirational" Romance writer community once again, and since this isn't the first time, it just means a lot more people have run out of patience with the defensive reaction.
 

frimble3

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How about white-on-white violence? Catholics vs Protestants?
The Philadephia Nativist Riots of 1844 (Should be an easy one for the Religious Romance Award - Christians fighting it out in the City of Brotherly Love) and the Draft Riots in New York?
Not to mention what happened to the Mormons in Nauvoo (and a lot of other places they tried to settle.)
Either these writers have no imagination, no grasp of history, or they are deliberately not wanting to show white people in a bad light.
 
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Autumn Leaves

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How about white-on-white violence?
Well, they already have the novel about the Nazis who did quite a lot of that...

But yes, I see your point.

There's a series by Iny Lorentz (a prolific German romance writer for whose books I've got a real soft spot, actually a couple writing under a pseudonym), about the adventures of a German immigrant in America, and it's, as far as I remember, white vs. white with the MC an ally of the Comanche - sadly, I've only read the third book of the series and it was a few years ago, so right now I can't recall the details (I definitely remember the MC and his French neighbor being on the opposing sides of a conflict because of some Highly Important Stuff, but I don't remember what it actually was). There's also the MC's Comanche wife, a wonderful character and the one I remember best, so not relegated to the "Exotic Beauty" stereotype..
 

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The Philadephia Nativist Riots of 1844 (Should be an easy one for the Religious Romance Award - Christians fighting it out in the City of Brotherly Love) and the Draft Riots in New York?
Not to mention what happened to the Mormons in Nauvoo (and a lot of other places they tried to settle.)
That, if done well, would be an amazing and poignant read! (Turns out I really have much less knowledge on the religious history of the US than I should...)

Often the relations between members of two close denominations of the same faith can get as stormy or stormier than the relations between different faiths. Just ask the people of Byzantium about the crusaders, or all the persecuted Catholics during the Reformation and the persecuted Protestants under Mary, or the 17th-century Old Rite Orthodox about the New Rite Orthodox, or present-day followers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church about the Orthodox Church of Ukraine...
Either these writers have no imagination, no grasp of history, or they are deliberately not wanting to show white people in a bad light.
I don't think it's even because they were white. I think the point is not willing to show that one's people fought each other. Because fighting against the enemy (who was defending their own land, but whatever) is one thing, but admitting that one's own people had all this bloodshed between them...

In our country, many of the Communist atrocities were only admitted and apologized for by the post-Soviet government in the 1990s and 2000s, and I see the logic: okay, there was that embarrassing friendship with Nazi Germany and the matter of Poland, but later the Nazis forgot about it and started a war that got them defeated, so let's forget we ever had that friendship. The Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia or, for example, the Winter War with Finland... well [I'm still following the logic, there aren't my actual thoughts], they still were against other countries... However, all the countless victims of the Stalinist regime were people slaughtered by their own compatriots. Even the more relaxed governments of the 1970s and 1980s weren't ready to speak aloud about that.
 
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frimble3

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That, if done well, would be an amazing and poignant read! (Turns out I really have much less knowledge on the religious history of the US than I should...)

Often the relations between members of two close denominations of the same faith can get as stormy or stormier than the relations between different faiths. Just ask the people of Byzantium about the crusaders, or all the persecuted Catholics during the Reformation and the persecuted Protestants under Mary, or the 17th-century Old Rite Orthodox about the New Rite Orthodox, or present-day followers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church about the Orthodox Church of Ukraine...

I don't think it's even because they were white. I think the point is not willing to show that one's people fought each other. Because fighting against the enemy (who was defending their own land, but whatever) is one thing, but admitting that one's own people had all this bloodshed between them...

In our country, many of the Communist atrocities were only admitted and apologized for by the post-Soviet government in the 1990s and 2000s, and I see the logic: okay, there was that embarrassing friendship with Nazi Germany and the matter of Poland, but later the Nazis forgot about it and started a war that got them defeated, so let's forget we ever had that friendship. The Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia or, for example, the Winter War with Finland... well [I'm still following the logic, there aren't my actual thoughts], they still were against other countries... However, all the countless victims of the Stalinist regime were people slaughtered by their own compatriots. Even the more relaxed governments of the 1970s and 1980s weren't ready to speak aloud about that.
This is why, in North America, we fought so hard against admitting what was done to the blacks and indigenous peoples. No-one wants to admit that they're like that. Better to make up stories about how the other side 'deserved' what was done to them.
You're Russian, I gather? My mother was Polish, left Europe for Canada after the war. She was fond of Russia and Russians because, as she said, Stalin was the only one who could have stopped Hitler. Stalin was willing to sacrifice millions of his own people in order to lure Hitler deep into Russia, spreading German troops thin, so that the winter and the unforgiving Russians could break the back of the army. If Hitler hadn't invaded Russian, he would have had all his resources focussed on the West.
A 'nice' man would have given up in hopes of saving his people.
My mother would thank you all.
 

Autumn Leaves

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This is why, in North America, we fought so hard against admitting what was done to the blacks and indigenous peoples. No-one wants to admit that they're like that. Better to make up stories about how the other side 'deserved' what was done to them.
Someone, I don’t remember who, said “A human being can’t kill a human being”. That’s why people kill “enemies”, “savages”, “villains”, “rebels”, “counterrevolutionaries” etc. They have to slap on the labels to be able to do it.

You're Russian, I gather? My mother was Polish, left Europe for Canada after the war. She was fond of Russia and Russians because, as she said, Stalin was the only one who could have stopped Hitler. Stalin was willing to sacrifice millions of his own people in order to lure Hitler deep into Russia, spreading German troops thin, so that the winter and the unforgiving Russians could break the back of the army.
I think it’s more like the story about Napoleon’s Russian campaign… (I hope I haven’t offended you or your mother! I can change the post if it looks sarcastic or harsh or anything)

Hitler wasn’t "lured" deep into Russia, we were plainly retreating because we weren’t ready for the war – and a major reason for that was a certain guy’s fondness for mass shootings of the army and civilians in the 1930s.

Stalin (as well as the role he personally played or didn’t play in stopping Hitler) remains a highly controversial figure among the Russians, with polarising opinions about him. I myself have one good thing to say about him with certainty: he was better than Lenin.
 

frimble3

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Someone, I don’t remember who, said “A human being can’t kill a human being”. That’s why people kill “enemies”, “savages”, “villains”, “rebels”, “counterrevolutionaries” etc. They have to slap on the labels to be able to do it.


I think it’s more like the story about Napoleon’s Russian campaign… (I hope I haven’t offended you or your mother! I can change the post if it looks sarcastic or harsh or anything)

Hitler wasn’t "lured" deep into Russia, we were plainly retreating because we weren’t ready for the war – and a major reason for that was a certain guy’s fondness for mass shootings of the army and civilians in the 1930s.

Stalin (as well as the role he personally played or didn’t play in stopping Hitler) remains a highly controversial figure among the Russians, with polarising opinions about him. I myself have one good thing to say about him with certainty: he was better than Lenin.
 

frimble3

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I like your quote about 'A human being can't kill another human being', it makes a lot of sense and explains a lot about conflict. 'Othering' just makes things so much easier, morally.

As to the other, not to worry. My mother is long gone, and I am merely repeating things she said. If Satan had killed Hitler, she'd have praised him for the deed.
And, most of what I know about Russia is from my mother, books and movies. It was not taught in school.
Probably much the same as your not knowing much about North American religious conflict.
P.S. it wasn't all Americans, look up 'The Black Donnellys', an Irish Catholic family in Ontario whose farm 'mysteriously' burned down, killing 5, in a Protestant area.
 
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Autumn Leaves

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I like your quote about 'A human being can't kill another human being', it makes a lot of sense and explains a lot about conflict. 'Othering' just makes things so much easier, morally.
I found the article where I picked that phrase up — it was by Fr. Andrey Kuraev, formerly an prominent Orthodox missionary (now sadly having separated himself from the church and on the verge of getting defrocked).
As to the other, not to worry. My mother is long gone, and I am merely repeating things she said. If Satan had killed Hitler, she'd have praised him for the deed.
And, most of what I know about Russia is from my mother, books and movies. It was not taught in school.
Probably much the same as your not knowing much about North American religious conflict.
Yes, of course, I understand — we’ve mostly concentrated on Russian and European history at school, so I, too, only know about the most major events from the history of the US.
Well, Stalin was commander-in-chief of the Soviet forces so he did play a serious part in winning the war (though some people think all the good work was the field commanders’ doing — like I said, he’s a very controversial figure).
P.S. it wasn't all Americans, look up 'The Black Donnellys', an Irish Catholic family in Ontario whose farm 'mysteriously' burned down, killing 5, in a Protestant area.
Looked them up. What a horrible, tangled mess of a feud! As far as I could gather, there was even bad blood between them and the neighboring Catholics.
 
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frimble3

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Looked them up. What a horrible, tangled mess of a feud! As far as I could gather, there was even bad blood between them and the neighboring Catholics.
I think, honestly, that they were the kind of people who would have made an excellent robber band, up in caves on a hill somewhere. Some people think they are above the law. And then other people decide to make an example of them. Which usually involves breaking along religious or political lines.
 
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cmhbob

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Also loved that quote, Autumn Leaves.

And frimble, you said,
This is why, in North America, we fought so hard against admitting what was done to the blacks and indigenous peoples. No-one wants to admit that they're like that. Better to make up stories about how the other side 'deserved' what was done to them.
Here in Oklahoma, we're still fighting that battle. There are people complaining that the name of the event has been changed from the Tulsa Race Riot to the Tulsa Race Massacre, even though the latter is much more accurate.
 

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Also loved that quote, Autumn Leaves.

And frimble, you said,

Here in Oklahoma, we're still fighting that battle. There are people complaining that the name of the event has been changed from the Tulsa Race Riot to the Tulsa Race Massacre, even though the latter is much more accurate.
There still are people in Russia — or, at least, there definitely were several years ago — who complain about the acknowledgment of Soviet persecution of Christians, though it was likewise a slaughter through and through.
 
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frimble3

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Also loved that quote, Autumn Leaves.

And frimble, you said,

Here in Oklahoma, we're still fighting that battle. There are people complaining that the name of the event has been changed from the Tulsa Race Riot to the Tulsa Race Massacre, even though the latter is much more accurate.
Yes, but what is accuracy in the face of, well, saving face?
'Riot' sounds like breaking a few store windows, and 'race riot' kind of suggests that the black people started it. But, yes, from what I've heard, 'massacre' seems much more like what happened.
 

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There still are people in Russia — or, at least, there definitely were several years ago — who complain about the acknowledgment of Soviet persecution of Christians, though it was likewise a slaughter through and through.
In North America some people claim they are being 'persecuted' if other people say mean things about them on Twitter, or don't let them play their music loudly at night. They have no idea what real persecution is.
 
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Catriona Grace

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race riot

  • n.
    A riot caused by racial hatred or dissension.
  • n.
    a riot caused by hatred for one another of members of different races in the same community
 

Autumn Leaves

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In North America some people claim they are being 'persecuted' if other people say mean things about them on Twitter, or don't let them play their music loudly at night. They have no idea what real persecution is.
If we were currently even in the 1980s, when there were no mass shootings or mass imprisonments anymore, I wouldn’t have been where I am now. Being openly Christian meant no admission to the Youth Communist Union, and no admission to the Youth Communist Union meant you couldn’t ever dream of attending university. Things only started to really relax by the very end of the decade.
 
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Autumn Leaves

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Yes, but what is accuracy in the face of, well, saving face?
'Riot' sounds like breaking a few store windows, and 'race riot' kind of suggests that the black people started it. But, yes, from what I've heard, 'massacre' seems much more like what happened.
Riot suggests some regular politics-flavoured stuff that’s happening all the time. Student riots have happened under every form of government ever since universities became a thing.
 

frimble3

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If we were currently even in the 1980s, when there were no mass shootings or mass imprisonments anymore, I wouldn’t have been where I am now. Being openly Christian meant no admission to the Youth Communist Union, and no admission to the Youth Communist Union meant you couldn’t ever dream of attending university. Things only started to really relax by the very end of the decade.
No higher education, a lot of jobs you couldn't even apply for, problems all your life. Yes, that's persecution. Life-long consequences.
 

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No higher education, a lot of jobs you couldn't even apply for, problems all your life. Yes, that's persecution. Life-long consequences.
And, again, that’s what one could expect in the 1970s and 1980s and it was nice compared to what happened earlier.

In the late 1940s to 1960s, you had a high chance of getting a prison term.

Before 1941, getting shot sooner or later was almost inevitable. Even if you were in your eighties, long-retired from church duties, and so sick that the arresting officers had to carry you on a stretcher.
 

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cf. Christian bloggers; persecution porn.
There, that's an angle for the RWA 'inspirational' romances! Works in all eras, except pre-Christian, of course. Good idea, and it sounds like there's an audience. After all, that's apparently why the Puritans came to America - to get away from the haters.
 
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If we were currently even in the 1980s, when there were no mass shootings or mass imprisonments anymore, I wouldn’t have been where I am now. Being openly Christian meant no admission to the Youth Communist Union, and no admission to the Youth Communist Union meant you couldn’t ever dream of attending university. Things only started to really relax by the very end of the decade.
Far out! I had no idea. Gosh, what a sheltered life I've led.
 

frimble3

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And, again, that’s what one could expect in the 1970s and 1980s and it was nice compared to what happened earlier.

In the late 1940s to 1960s, you had a high chance of getting a prison term.

Before 1941, getting shot sooner or later was almost inevitable. Even if you were in your eighties, long-retired from church duties, and so sick that the arresting officers had to carry you on a stretcher.
Terrible times. Of course they dragged away elderly, sick people who couldn't walk - they're easier to shove around. And, if they let anyone get away with a 'weak' excuse like weakness and infirmity, why, everyone would be faking that.
All dictators work from the same playbook.
Is your situation okay now, or should we coast this thread away from local politics and back to it's RWA roots?

Ahem, how about RWA stops making categories, and sticks with MF, MM, FF, and Historical, Fantasy and Science Fiction?
 

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Is your situation okay now, or should we coast this thread away from local politics and back to it's RWA roots?
Thankfully, since the 1990s and especially the 2000s things have been going wonderfully for the Church in Russia. (I’m sorry, I also feel I’ve steered the talk far away from the roots — topically and geographically :)).
Far out! I had no idea. Gosh, what a sheltered life I've led.
As I realised a few posts earlier, I’ve been completely ignorant about American religious history as well :)
Upd: I’m sorry, I haven’t noticed where you live at first — like I said, our history curriculum likewise has little to say on any continents beyond Europe and Asia, so I’m afraid I don’t know much about your homeland either besides what I’ve read in Gerald Durrell‘s accounts of his travels.
Terrible times. Of course they dragged away elderly, sick people who couldn't walk - they're easier to shove around.
Oh, they were quite the ones for equality in that matter: they dragged away everyone who wasn’t fit for the regime.

Ahem, how about RWA stops making categories, and sticks with MF, MM, FF, and Historical, Fantasy and Science Fiction?
Yes, sticking to the objectively defined would be best of all.
 
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Marian Perera

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The author of the book in question has written an article on how all the "ugliness" affected her, and how supportive her fans were towards her to make up for it :

 

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