In which I spend a little while talking about racism.

News sources in Britain (I use the term “news source” very loosely for the Mail) would like to show us divergent twins born to biracial parents. First, we see these cute little girls who just turned seven:

It’s like baby pandas holding hands under a rainbow.

The kids are perfectly huggable, but I find it rather distracting how the Mail is so set on making sure we know they don’t face any racism! No, not at all, their differing colors are never an issue, thank you much!, but hey, maybe this really is their experience so far. They’re only seven and are still several years away from secondary school.

It hasn’t been quite so easy for these young men:

“We’re twins and we’re different colors because fuck you, that’s why.”

It’s interesting how their all-white school was so much easier for James (the darker one) than for Daniel (the pale one). Sometimes, it isn’t really difference so much as ambiguity that attracts hostility. Small-minded people want to be able to store others securely in neat little boxes, and a guy like Daniel upsets their sense of order.

And then there’s this shit:

But I’m sure you let them use your bathroom.

I haven’t read the books, but fortunately we have Dodai Stewart to show us the parts where Rue’s and Thresh’s physical descriptions were given in the text. One is left to wonder why it is such a goddamn surprise to these “fans” to see the characters portrayed by black actors.

Let’s be clear about what we’re dealing with: these are horrible people, and their reading comprehension is pathetic. Two separate issues, both disturbing in their own ways.

Between Joel “Adults should not enjoy books which I have not deigned to try” Stein and these asshats, I kind of want to read the series just to spite these ridiculous bigots.

Furthermore, as the author of a novel with a multiracial-black protagonist, this knee-jerk reaction bugs the shit out of me. Yes, it’s very nice to know that blond children can be seen as “innocent” whereas little black girls who look like this are not so hard to see killed. It’s very nice to know that characters who are portrayed on screen as African-Americans are not “good.” So I made it easy for everyone and put my highly intelligent, thoughtful, more-a-lover-than-a-fighter guy on the cover so no one runs the risk of reading a novel about a black dude without realizing it.

ETA: I’m sorry to say that I’m no longer using this cover for my novel. It’s still on the inside, however.

2 thoughts on “In which I spend a little while talking about racism.

    • Apparently the genetic odds are a million to one against. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when a lot of strangers assume Kian and Remee aren’t related.

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