Author Topic: Editor Points Out Agents Gatekeeping Diverse Books!  (Read 22416 times)

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: Editor Points Out Agents Gatekeeping Diverse Books!
« Reply #75 on: November 06, 2015, 03:13:39 PM »
I think the more recent language for explaining white privilege can easily be misinterpretted. I grew up in a household in which I was taught white guilt. My feminist, single mom was a counselor in inner-city Oakland schools, so talking about race and inequality was not uncomfortable for me. But I admit, when I first heard "Your struggles do not erase your white privilege in society," it took me a while to grasp the message. I was helping my friend put together a funeral for her toddler when I first heard it worded that way and I thought, "So her hurt doesn't matter because she's white and privileged?" I may have been on mama bear defense mode for my hurting friend and I was reacting. Not thinking.

And that's what I tend to see as the backlash from this message. Lots of reacting; not enough thinking. It can--at first introduction--feel as though the individual's past pain is being invalidated somehow. Or that they're being personally blamed. And when people feel attacked, they get defensive, further dividing a movement that desperately needs unity.

Terry, it's obvious that there is no hate in your heart. Deciding to reject hate may have been a huge step toward change in your family tree--maybe somewhere in there somebody severed the tradition of teaching children to hate. Or maybe that person was you. But the push for diversity in books, and understanding white privilege, is important. Read. Let it sink in. And understand that your past pain does matter. Your good intentions do matter. But we are talking about this as a big picture, cultural issue, even though right now you may feel pointed out as the terrible white man whose suffering is unimportant because he's privileged. I just hope you know that's not what anyone's saying, and that you strive to become an ally in all of this :)

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