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Thread: Let's not be jerks

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  1. #8
    permanently suctioned to Buz's leg Putputt's Avatar
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    *surfaces from deep within the bog*

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggyCat View Post
    The article is horrendous, and, as it points out, very similar to what happened to Keira Drake which I was already aware of. It genuinely frightens me. The Twitter lynch mob seem to be particularly vocal when it comes to YA, and, honestly, awareness of their activities has had a negative effect on my own writing, because I feel I need to be so, so careful with what I do, and second think everything. I fiercely believe that with research and responsibility writers should be able to approach and tackle all topics, types and characters; a world where writers are limited to their own experience and writing characters "like them" would be very sad and, conversely, damage diversity.

    The point Atlantic makes about many people reading the book - editors, agents etc - before it got to the stage of being lynched is a really good one. Clearly, none of them saw anything deeply problematic there, so I suppose, not having read the book myself, my feeling is that probably there isn't anything really awful there, else surely it would have been flagged. I really feel for the writer having what should be a brilliant experience tarnished like this and yes, it does feel like a stitch up.
    Actuaaally, this is not at all similar to what happened to Keira Drake, because Drake's book, THE CONTINENT, was absolutely, blatantly racist. Her book was a white savior narrative where the white MC goes and saves two warring tribes, one of which is "red skinned" "savages" modeled after Native Americans, and the other is a grossly fetishized version of ancient Japan, complete with ninjas with "almond eyes". So, no. Not at all comparable here.

    I disagree that just because editors and agents saw nothing wrong it means there's nothing wrong, because clearly, in the case of THE CONTINENT they messed up biiiig time. So things do get missed, and racist, sexist, and/or homophobic books get published all the time.

    But I don't think that's the case here, and I feel absolutely awful for Amelie. I agree that Twitter in general is toxic, and YA Twitter is such a giant, toxic mess that I've long stopped interacting in it. I do think that good things do sometimes come out of YA Twitter (for example, in the case of THE CONTINENT, I'm so glad they called out that book), but yes, overall, it has its kinks. I have many mixed feelings about what's happened to BLOOD HEIR, and I will try to explain why below.

    As someone who is part of a few YA whisper networks, here's what happened from my PoV.

    1. A white woman whose Russian-based YA F is also debuting this year was jealous of Amelie's book and wanted her book to be the only Russian-based debut of 2019. She started rumors about how Amelie's book was plagiarized and Amelie was threatening the YA community (just btw, this rumor is unfounded) and that her book's racist.
    2. Because of the rumors, a few PoC readers took a look at it. They found instances of racism in the book.
    3. There was a discussion amongst PoC writers within a whisper network about what to do. Since the instances of racism weren't as bad as in THE CONTINENT, the majority wanted to do a call IN and quietly broach the subject with Amelie, with Asians taking the lead so that the onus isn't on Black women to do the labor and fight against anti-Blackness.
    4. However, one PoC writer Tweeted about it publicly. And so the call-in turned into a call-out.
    5. Despite this, the call-out didn't gain much traction until a guy who is a known racist and transphobe decided to butt in. He screenshotted the PoC's call-out and tweeted to his 40K followers, taking it out of context and basically setting fire to the whole neighborhood. Up to this point, that PoC writer's call-out had gotten maybe 30 Likes on Twitter. It was a small call-out. But thanks to this guy, it blew waaaay out of proportion. His 40K followers, mostly angry white men, came after all the PoC writers who had mentioned the book being problematic.
    6. Death threats were made to PoC writers who Tweeted about the book being problematic.
    7. The author released a statement saying she was pushing back her publication date. The internet blew up.

    So. That's what happened. It is not the same as the incident with Keira Drake. Things got out of hand, and I'm really angry that the call in turned into a call out, but more than that, I'm angry that now the racists are pouncing on this as their example of "WHY SJWs ARE DESTROYING THE WORLD". I'm also really angry at the readiness of PoC writers to turn on one of our own. I definitely think the book should be fixed, but it shouldn't have been ripped apart so publicly, with so much ...glee. I don't know. I have strong feels. I definitely think us PoC writers have failed Amelie here, and then the racists are making it about fifty million times worse.
    Last edited by Putputt; 02-01-2019 at 06:12 PM. Reason: I can haz spelling

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