This is the one where I get testy and rant a bit. I’ve been brooding a lot lately. Been kind of a screwed up week.
I have found the chaos has fed into my work just fine but left my brain like a room where a dog has gone rabid and chewed up everything even remotely tooth worthy. Part of that has to do with Scoundrel’s Magic. It’s a steam-punk story, which is a nice break for me, but it went places I’m not really comfortable with. Still, it’s going through first edits, and after that will be sent off for thumb’s up or down. And even with that kind of pressure other things are shoving themselves underneath my fingernails.
It turns out a NYC publisher put a white girl on a novel where the protagonist was a black girl. An author of Indian descent was saying it was proof that every publisher in the USA was racist. I replied that it was stupid. Stupid-stupid-stupid-stupid-stupid-stupid. Racist? Unlikely. I put that theory forward that covers rarely have ANYTHING to do with what’s inside the book. Companies exist to make money. Being foaming at the mouth racists is VERY UNPOPULAR, and costs money. Thus corporations eject racists as soon as they can. The book company even back ed off thier earlier stupidity. Now I have to hear about how EVERYONE I work with, meet, or think about working for are racists only interested in ‘whitewashing’ covers without anyone ever explaining why a group of secretly rabid white supremacists would print a book about a black girl in the first place!
Normally I’m one to make statements in my novels and keep the blog nice and lighthearted. Yet here I am, going on and on about the internet commando who deemed me a racist, let me know I would never know his pain, and then shut down the discussion so that his preconceptions could never be challenged in front of his friends. And I don’t know how to engage cowards like that. I know how O’Leery would do it, but I lack the high-explosives. I just gotta try, though, ya know? I can’t let a complete prat be the only voice in a conversation, because if he’s the only one talking he assumes everyone agrees and he’s right.
I think my books speak for themselves, and I don’t feel afraid of people who cast aspersions, even those as damning as racism. There are damaged people everywhere and if you are afraid of what sewage they will spew you can’t get far in the world.
It’s a bit of a shame, really. And now I wonder how long the word racist has left before it becomes as overused and shrug-worthy as Nazi. I did a lot of study on the Nazis in researching The Great Conflagration in Children of the Sun, and I know more than I’m really comfortable about their reign in Germany. The things they did defy imagination, but their name is tossed around with a lack of respect that is mind-boggling. People have begun to use it against presidents, the current Speaker of the House has used it for citizens who disagree with her, and internet users yawn and mathematically determine how long before someone uses it in e-conversation. It feels wrong, and not because it once contained a black mark against humanity as a whole as powerful as any racial slur. Considering the dark history behind the National Socialist (Nationalsozialismus) party, one would think that their shortened name, Na-Zi would hold a terrifying power until the end of recorded time. Half a decade later, it is shame that it has become a toss away word that has no power left in the syllables, even when they are curled into a fist.
This Indian author cloaked himself in a velvet monstrosity of entitled victimhood, so sure that his special club had the lock on the moral high-ground without understanding that: by using the hot brand of RACIST everywhere, he diluted it to be virtually worthless. He is not alone! Cries of racism has been everywhere the last few weeks, and it’s beginning to pall.
I mean, let’s face it: I’m a mutt. I’ve got Irish, German, Dutch, and American Indian if you believe the family stories. I remember being beaten up at school, and the bullies were racially diverse, giving me a visceral reaction to bullies, not anyone of a particular skin color. People from my school, from my class, are described by memory and relationship, of quality and quirk, not skin color. All of them I still keep in touch with can barely fathom that racism still exists at all. It’s like seeing a steam engine idling in traffic.
And suddenly I’m wondering when the last time a major political party in this nameless jerk’s country has ever elevated someone to the highest court in the land who stated openly and repeatedly that she would make better decisions because of being a different race and sex. I wish that were a lie, or hyperbole, but it ain’t.
And don’t give me anything about making allotments for a wisdom filled or poverty stricken life, because to say that you have to assume I am not wise, and that the only poverty is a lack of money. You have judged without the facts, and thus you have prejudice. Uninformed opinions are easy to point out, and easier to fix, as long as the discussion is allowed to continue without someone running off and suck their thumb. You cannot give to one without taking from another, and taking without permission is theft. Theft builds no bridges, mends no fences, and makes no friends. It is racism itself, and breeds racism as people react without thinking, creating a storm of stupid that has enveloped whole cities, states, and nations.
Because that’s the horrible truth: It is not contained in one people or another. It is spread across the human race like zits, the klutz gene, or singing ability. Racism is a special kind of stupidity. It takes the kind of mental midget that is so twisted they scare themselves while walking around corners. Racists do not view themselves as racists.
To themselves, racists are NORMAL.
That is why ridicule and exclusion work so much better than legislation and catcalls. Putting people in prison for the content of their heads only validates those thoughts by casting them as victims of an all oppressive state…
What I am saying is that making it not normal is the whole point. We live as ourselves, as beautiful, honorable, talented and intelligent people. When they want to know us, we demand they leave the maggots of racial tension behind. Then can we start treating them socially, making it them THINK about their positions.
Thought. Exposure. Patience. These will end racism. Nothing else.
And every time someone screams racism where there is none, more converts are driven away. The word is watered down, and the cause is corrupted by attention whores and drama queens who seek the spotlight more than they want to support the cause of honest equality. I will continue to ridicule stupidity where I find it, and racism especially. I shall mock it, and those who give it aid and comfort.
With that: Though this Indian author, this wasted shell of human wreckage, seemed to find it objectionable that I had a main character of a different race than myself, believes racism should be a jailable offense. To put it biblically, (which after his rants on religion should annoy him even more): Jailor, imprison thyself.
Seriously, I still hope he finds enlightenment – or at least an axe to the face – before he hurts too many people with his vileness. Because he had a post he thought the height of wit and intelligence where he said: ‘We are all a minority, a minority of 1’. Which is precisely what I mean when I say entitled victimhood. He is too blinded by his comforting blanket of self exclusion to realize that if all the human race is made up of millions of groups of 1, then we are all an EQUALITY of 1. If we dissolve the walls that separate us, we can just be Humanity. I hope he finds this blog. I hope he reads it. I hope he takes it to heart. Barring that I hope others do and then he can die in a ditch somewhere.
Because he’s the only racist I’ve met in a while.