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That was a direct quote from a pissed off black author.

This whole racism in romance thing started because of my desire to help.

Seriously, this wasn’t about grandstanding, or attention seeking. No, this was a genuine effort to help black authors.

Well, you know what they say: No good deed goes unpunished.

Let me share with you a couple of the e-mails I’ve received since this whole thing started:

This was from the ignorant author who pasted my personal e-mail address to umpteen number of Yahoo groups. I still haven’t gotten over that one, thanks.

The following, was from another author, who took exception to my posting her name as a participant of the survey. She wrote me a long old e-mail telling me why I was the spawn of the devil, amongst other things:

By the way, just to explain, an author friend of hers sent me an e-mail telling me that she wanted to participate in the survey, and that I should send her the questions. So I did. Her friend was mistaken. Obviously.

Ok then, let me answer this point by point.

Your entire survey operates under the assumption what we need to show white readers, i.e., the audience for your blog, in hard proof that there is racism in publishing so they’ll believe us; otherwise, they’ll think we’re liars(?) or paranoid black folks(?).

Actually, I did this because I foolishly thought I could make a difference in some small way. It wasn’t about showing my ‘white readers’ (and you’re not the only person to have belaboured on this point) hard proof about racism in publishing. The questions I asked, were questions I genuinely wanted to know the answers to. So sue me.

I don’t need to justify anything to that audience

That audience? Which audience? The people who read my blog? Or the ‘white’ people who read my blog?

I don’t need to explain racism to them, and I don’t care if they know about it, feel bad about it or think it’s a great idea.

I can’t help but think that this point of view is at best, a little defeatist.

There are people out there who genuinely wont know, that there is a problem. Of course some of them won’t care a whole lot, but you know, there are a few, a precious few, who will care, a precious few who might even consciously choose a book written by a black author the next time they go shopping. Some may scoff at this, and look at this as a pity-buy, but I say balls to that. Everybody has to start somewhere.

A few authors have scoffed that what I’m doing wont make a difference, and what do I know about the struggles that black authors have faced for years anyway?

They’re probably right. It probably wont make a blind bit of difference, but it surely wont be because I didn’t give it a go. I actually thought I was doing something good. Can you believe that? What was I thinking? I really should stick to talking about romance books by white authors. Truly.

This issue doesn’t personally affect me. It really isn’t my fight. So why bother?

Well, because of the authors who didn’t scoff at this mouthy blogger. Because they were happy to take time out to help me out. I can’t repay that by throwing my toys out of the pram, just because I failed to get the support this venture needed to make it work. That’s not their fault. They kept their end of the bargain. So I’m gonna keep mine insofar as I can.

I will keep posting the author responses, they deserve to be aired. But yes, I will post other things in between, because this isn’t a topic that I want people to get bored of. It’s too important for that.

For those of you who have something to say about that, may I suggest that you spin on it, and rotate very effing speedily. Or at the very least get the f*ck off my blog. You’re not my target audience.

Oprah might not be interested in this issue, but you know, one of these days, somebody will be. The authors affected should get ready for that day, because it might not be as far off as you think. You just never know who’s listening in…

Coming up next, Marcia King-Gamble.