Usually, I don’t comment on things like this…okay that was a lie, I sometimes comment on things like this. But today I have a lot and I mean a lot to say about the subject at hand. What is that subject you might ask? Well, I have two words for you, my friends… Identity. Politics.
If you know this term well, you may be one of those people who cringe at the sight of it. Or you might be one of those people that marvel at the word and thinks nothing is wrong with the term. Normally I would say that you’re a part of the problem and you should leave now. But I came to terms that problems can’t be solved by pushing people away. Simply having them sit across from you and have an open dialogue with them. So, here I am having an open dialogue/speech for all to hear. So, sit back and kick your feet up. Because you might enjoy this one.
A few weeks have passed since I saw the article, but a few friends of mines that are authors themselves have shared it talking about how writing fantasy is now considered offensive. I mean really a make-believe world created by human imagination is now considered offensive. Really? Now if you read the article that I’ll post down below, you’ll read about a young Asian author, 26 to be exact, and how her critics consisting of authors, editors, and bloggers tore into her accusing her of racism. Why? Because her book “Blood Heir” was somehow about American slavery, therefore she had no business writing about it because she wasn’t black.
The synopsis reads as follows:
Set in the Russian-inspired ‘Cyrillian Empire’, Blood Heir tells the story of a magic-wielding princess who is forced to flee her kingdom following her father’s murder. ‘In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin colour, and good and evil exist in shades of grey… comes a dark Anastasia retelling,’
I don’t know about you, but I don’t find this offensive. Or how this relates to American slavery…oh wait, that’s right the “blind to skin colour” must’ve triggered it. So, instead of waiting for the book to come out, so, people can read and judge for themselves. This author was accused of racism and was demanded that her book be pulled from publishing before her release of February of this year, which has now passed.
To wrap this up quickly, she apologized to the book community (she didn’t have to) and pulled her book from publishing and hired scholars and “sensitivity readers.” I didn’t even know that was a thing until I read that article.
But here’s my thought on the whole situation. I think it’s preposterous and pathetic, harsh words I know. But I need people to understand why I’m so annoyed by this. I’m black and I’m a writer (Or trying to be at this rate). I shouldn’t have to have validation on what I’m allowed or not allowed to write. I’m a creator and therefore I have every right to create whatever and whoever I choose to create. And yes, I heard of the saying “write what you know.” But I’m going to break that down with my own interpretation.
I pick up a book about Japanese culture and learn about the way of the samurai. I learn how they train, their fighting styles, their love life, etc. Do I now know something about Japanese culture? The true answer will be partially, but I do know something on this subject. Which means if I what to write a story about a samurai I can, Why? Because I know the subject matter at hand. Write what you know, does not mean write about things that relate to your background. As much material there is about yourself, you can probably write a hundred books. But what would those books be about? Where would they take place? When does the story take place? These are things you must ask yourself, or you’ll just end up writing a series of your life and people will get bored easily.
For me, the debut novel that I’m working on is a coming of age story about a young African American kid trying to figure himself out and what he wants to do with his life. Now it sounds boring, but I don’t want to go into too much detail of the synopsis. But me being black, writing about a black person, I get a free pass. But let a white person write this story and all hell breaks loose. They are called racist and are attacked on all forms of social media. This isn’t right and people know it. People tend to forget that we as Americans and other countries have the right to free speech, whatever amendment that falls on for the respective countries that have it.
We must have forgotten that anyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion and beliefs. Even if it goes against your own. I’m sorry, but that’s how it works. That’s how it always worked. But the world we live in today, creators are feeling oppressed more than ever. While some are running freely saying whatever they want.
Not to name anyone specific. But my friend wrote in his blog about how some authors (One in particular) write negatively about Christians in their fantasy books. This is not the first time I have heard of this, but where is that same energy when someone’s religion is attacked. I’m not a religious person myself, but why is it that when people mention the words pray, bless, or God. People get offended so easily. When there is a TV show or movie that puts religion in a good light. I see people in the comment section calling it Christian propaganda. Why is that? It makes no sense and it’s hypocritical at best.
Basically, to any SJW people reading this or if you made it this far. As a black person, I’m asking you to stop this nonsense. You’re not helping me or any other black person. If anything, you’re hindering us. Imagine all the black authors out there that are trying to get their names out there but can’t. Because the white audience is afraid to read what we write and give us their criticism whether it’s harsh or constructive. All because they are afraid of being called a racist.
To end my long lengthy rant and I thank you to those that made it this far. But this is my rally cry to all writers out there. Write what you know. I mean that literally if you want your character to be black, make them so. If you want them to be gay or straight go for it. If you want to mix up time periods…I wouldn’t recommend it but go for it if you truly desire it. We’re writers and our jobs are to tell wonderful stories from our hearts and soul. Showing people, the things that they can’t even imagine or putting them in worlds that they feel at home. I think it’s time we take our voices back from the oppressors. Write on my friends and always remember…
Love conquers all, Love ends all.