Since everyone else is doing…. I figured I would talk about me too. I kid. Sort of. I can’t count the number of times I have started to post, the number of times I decided not to, or how many times I turned off the computer and walked away.
But since there are two blogs posting it seems odd for me to comment – without addressing why I have been quiet. I sort of thought it was obvious but one of the people who were so kind to try and defend me said ‘I was wondering what you thought of all this.”
here it is
I was reading romance for about 6 months before I started my blog. And oddly enough hadn’t spent much time in romanceland online (odd because I was plugged in just elsewhere). I found the question shocking when I first saw it. Why haven’t you read an AA romance author? Well it wasn’t in question form but was the root of the uh… debate.
My response was pretty much what do you mean… why wouldn’t I have read a romance by authors of different races? It was some what shocking to discover that authors of contemporary romance or historical romance (which was all I read at that time) that were African American or had main characters that were had their own lines or places in the bookstore.
And every time I saw the question raised the conversation would go off course and end up on a complete horrid path. So by the time I started my blog and really started to be involved in romanceland, I ‘knew’ where the path would end. A topic that is so important would become so trivialize and we repeatedly let it happen.
It is odd because I recall talking about this over and over again but I found very little of it posted by me on Sunday when I went looking. I think a lot of it was in chat and email… and then of course there is my blog post that will live in infamy from Aug 2005.
I have never tried to hide it. It is linked to from my blog. I don’t deleted my posts or try to hide facts. And the fact is I am not always reasonable, rational, right, fair or a hella lot of other things I should try to be more of but don’t.
Push me and my reaction will be to push back or ignore you until you go away. I wish I could say I was surprised to see a post in sometime in late 2005 calling me a racist. But I wasn’t because it was status quo. Take one name out and flip another in, rinse, wash and repeat.
So I wasn’t surprised but I was a touch pissed. How do you answer such a statement? You can’t. A denial is seen as guilt as much as a non answer. And why do I need to answer a question that was never asked? Why do I have to prove myself to anyone?
Or… or a lot of things. I could go on for hours. Trust me it isn’t pretty but anger and hate never really is – is it? In hindsight, I should have just swallowed my pride and addressed it. Because is seems you can still have a catfight even without two pu.. uh.. cats showing up. I didn’t think of the bunny.
I do not deny what I said or the action. I am the first person to say it was an irrational reaction to repeatedly seeing people treated hatefully. So of course it makes sense to respond hatefully. (yes that was sarcasm). It was petty. It was childish. And when I was encouraged to ‘boycott’ or whatever I stated pretty clearly that it wasn’t a boycott.
I was angry, responding from that point in time, once I worked through it I was sure I would be rec’ed something and blah blah blah… the post is there. So the ever burning question (not asked to me) seems to be… why don’t you read AA authors my response is generally I don’t know if I do or don’t.
I don’t check the back covers to see an author photo before I read a book. If I email an author I don’t check first… btw what race are you? And goodnight even if they look ‘white’ when the hell did that become a race? Trust me when I say you can’t always tell ‘race’ by the color of someones skin.
I read a lot. More than I could ever post, rec, review or whatever. I don’t know, don’t ask and honestly don’t care about the race of who wrote the book. A romance is a romance is a romance (tm karen). But I can say for any guest author ‘day’ I have done I request a photo or an icon ‘for’ the author. The point is those are ‘their’ posts. I thought it was a cute idea, I have a duckie as mine. So I am not sure what sort of radical signal that could be sending.
I didn’t want to bring up the topic of race during a guest day and have it turn into a catfight. Or be anything not about the author. And I don’t think race has anything to do with most romances. I didn’t want any author to feel used or be told they were being used. I didn’t want to be apart of taking something so important and making it trivial. So I stay out of it… I am one person… I am just a blog… I am just one voice… I am…
I am stubborn.
I am pigheaded.
I am vocal.
But on this, I let one person silence me, for that I am ashamed.
Change will never happen unless it starts somewhere. I strongly think no one should feel they HAVE to do shit. Free will and all that… what books you read for whatever reasons you read them does not automatically decide if you are racist. That is about as stupid as saying someone who is racist won’t be if they start reading AA romance novels.
But many people seem to be just plain unaware of course that brings up all sorts of other questions.
Many I have no answers on.
The main thing ‘I’ think is important whatever we do – we do it in a positive way. Maybe that sounds stupid or trite but I would be lying if I didn’t say another reason I decided not to address this the first 50 times it was thrown at me is because if or when one person is check off as ‘ok’ there was always another name to fill in the box.
There are all shades of readers here, all shades of authors are welcome as well. If I ever did or said anything in anger which was addressed at one person – not a race – I do apologize. Because no one else should ever be blamed for the actions of one.
yes feel the irony…
I am not looking for approval. I am not looking for validation. I am greatly tempted to turn off comments for this post but I am not hiding… am open to answer anything… read historical, paranormal, erotic romance regardless of the race of author or characters…
and have found my voice… oh and I cuss (often)