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I read this sage advice over at Monica’s this morning, and I thought I’d post it here, because it was the best damn piece of commentary I’ve read in a week.

Now this shit applies to a whole bunch of people, not just the Monica Jackson’s of Blogland. If you read a comment that made you feel uncomfortable for one reason or another, take that discomfort and examine it, think about it, and question it.

Don’t stop participating because you feel slighted, because let’s face it, this is Romanceland, and over here, we can start a fight over something as petty as a photograph of an author on the back of her book. Feeling slighted is part and parcel of our particular corner of the world.

Also think about the people who are constantly made to feel uncomfortable in their everyday lives. This is one blog, it’s not your life, and to a certain extent, what goes on on the net, stays on the net. (unfortunately)

There are people who aren’t just able to ‘switch’ off, because their reality is just one big old bowl of racial tension, and exclusionary manouvres.

Having said the above, the only person I’m going to allow to be uncivil on here is me, ok?

This kind of debate is healthy, and sometimes you have to look beyond the initial hurt feelings to appreciate the fact that at least we’re all growling at each other talking to each other.

Now y’all say it with me “In with anger, out with love… In with anger out with love…, In with anger, out with l…”

Coming up next, Bettye Griffin.

2 Comments »


  • TheVixenne
    March 23
    5:55 pm

    Frustration.

    Reading many of the comments concerning this issue, what we’re talking about here is sheer frustration. The kind of frustration that makes one feel powerless or apathetic.

    300 years. This country has had 300 damn years to get it right and still folks resist. How many more Frederick Douglasses, Soujourner Truths and Fannie Lou Hamers do people need before the idea of “all men/women are created equal” starts to sink in?

    Here we are in the global village, the age of the internet. Instant communication before our very eyes. Satellites link remote areas of the world with big cities. You can google anything and pull it up instantaneously and yet we are still the “other”. And yet here we are like Oliver Twist holding out our hands asking for “more please”?

    And yet the excuses and the obscfucations continue and somehow it’s OUR fault. We complain too much instead of accepting our fate. Every lame excuse is just another sheeted and hooded face telling us that we’re not worthy, we’re inferior. Langston Hughes spoke of a dream deferred–I guess that’s what some folks want us to do–not to reach for the stars (or at least the NY Times bestseller lists).

    Yes, my wit and comments are often caustic, but after 40 years on planet earth playing peacemaker and trying to show the best of what black people have to offer, one gets a little tired of extending the olive branch to those who still get their ideas from Birth of a Nation. I’m so sorry but they should know better. There are no more excuses, no more hiding places.

    One should feel ashamed at such stupidity when made to face it. One should question themselves as to why they bought into and continue to buy into the hype. And one should make a conscious effort–without being told or seeking approbation–to rectify their lapse.

    We have stories to tell and should have the right and the access to tell them. MLK said it best when he urged us to see into the content of our character. It’s time for readers to see the content of OUR characters.

    Peace,
    The Vixenne

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  • byrdloves2read
    March 23
    10:15 pm

    While I wouldn’t say I’ve “enjoyed” your discussions on race and discrimination, I have found them interesting. Also disheartening. When you first discussed the whole Millennia Black fiasco, I was appalled; I couldn’t understand why the publisher would want her to change the race of her characters.

    Shoot, there’s so much I want to say, and don’t know where to begin or how to organize it.

    I like it when I read a story about a group of friends that are a mix of races. I admit I don’t see that in real life much except when it’s a group of young children, but I keep hoping that one day skin color won’t be a factor. Yeah, I know, call me Pollyanna. But sometimes it seems that we achieve that online because we can’t see each other. So until you somehow reveal it, no one knows what race you are. I sure can’t tell by reading someone’s post.

    You know the SEAL series by Suzanne Brockmann (she’s white, isn’t she?); I eagerly awaited Harvard’s Education about the AA SEAL in that group. Of course, I enjoyed it just as much as all the other stories because I liked the characters. And his girlfriend was kick-ass. I liked that too. However, I don’t know if I’d have picked up the book if it hadn’t been part of the series though. sigh That’s part of my reality as a reader too.

    Finally I’d like to say that I don’t honestly care what race the author is. One woman who, through her writings, has had a profound affect on my life was Verna Dozier. She had a very special impact as a lay person in the Episcopal Church until September last year when she died. She was bright and witty and brilliant, and it wasn’t until she died that I learned she was African American. But to me she was a shining example of how one should live one’s life – honestly, both reverently and irreverently, always open to learning new things. And the good news is that through her books, she will continue to have an impact on future generations.

    I won’t say I want to live in a color-blind world. I just wish skin color could be another simple descriptive like hair color or eye color. Yup, like I said, call me Pollyanna.

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